The Blown Call

The Ottawa Senators unlikely hockey playoff run ended last night. In the end the team was not beaten by their on-ice opponents, the Montreal Canadiens, but by an officiating mistake.

I pity the referee whose early whistle cost the Senators the tying goal. By losing sight of the puck he, in theory, could have cost the team the Stanley Cup. After all, as Aslan says, no-one is ever told what might have been. The officials are never supposed to decide the outcome of a game, and on this occasion, with the season on the line, they did.

In Ottawa today I am sure thousands of fans will be saying the team was robbed by the officials. From a fan perspective it certainly looks that way. But that is not the whole story.Ottawa_Senators.svg

Officiating a sports contest is difficult at best. So much rides on split second decisions, and humans make mistakes. That one of those mistakes turned out to be so crucial is lamentable, at least if you are a Senators fan. But if the Senators had won those three games in which they took an early lead and subsequently lost, if they scored in overtime in either of the two games that went beyond regulation, then they would still have another game or games to play. It boils down to one game, or even one play, only because of what came before.

Life can be like that sometimes. There are times when bad things happen that are beyond our control. How we deal with those is important. Just as important, perhaps even more, is making sure that we take control of those situations where we have the opportunity and making sure there is a positive outcome.

It seems to me that all of us can learn from last night’s hockey game: stay out of situations where a “blown call,” a simple human error, can have such far-reaching consequences in our lives.

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