There will be quite a few lethargic people in the workplace this morning thanks to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final that took nearly three overtime periods to complete. Andrew Shaw finally lifted the Blackhawks to victory after deflecting in a Michal Rozsival point shot well into the sixth period of hockey. That goal, however, may not have happened if not for an equipment malfunction by Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Seidenberg was battling with Shaw in the corner when his glove came off and landed on the ice. Instead of following Shaw to the front of the net, Seidenberg turned back to scoop up his mit. In doing so, Shaw was left uncontested in front and capitalized for the winning goal.
There are two schools of thought on this. The first would be that Seidenberg was foolish for thinking more about grabbing his glove than possibly preventing a scoring chance. Shaw was clearly his man and leaving him at a crucial time in the game could only lead to bad things.
Another way to think about it, however, is that Seidenberg could have been easily injured without a glove on. It wouldn’t take much for a shot or a slash to break his hand and Seidenberg has been averaging over 26 minutes a night during these playoffs, only Zdeno Chara has played more on the Bruins. Should he be lost for the remainder of the finals, Boston would be in some trouble.
With that being said, the playoffs are all about desperation and Seidenberg would have been wise to try to survive the rest of his shift with only one glove. The funny thing about the post-season is that a simple thing like dropping a glove can have a major impact on the outcome of the game. If Seidenberg didn’t lose that piece of equipment, we could still be watching overtime hockey right now.