Was it, or wasn't it?

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 2:58 PM ET


 TAMPA -- It was a goal.

 He shoots. He scores.

 Martin Gelinas has seen the ABC-TV replay and the Calgary Sun front page photo which combine as something more than "inconclusive evidence."

 But was it in?

 "It looked in," Gelinas said.

 "I mean, you could judge it, too.

 "It was right there."

 Gelinas, who scored the series- winning goals against Vancouver, Detroit and San Jose to help get the Flames here, wasn't so sure when he left the rink after the Calgary Flames lost Game 6 to the Tampa Bay Lighning 3-2 in double overtime.

 But by the time he arrived with his teammates in Tampa yesterday, he had come to believe he had indeed scored what should have been the winner late in the third period.

 WHEN HE GOT HOME

 "I did see it when I got home," said the veteran of four Stanley Cup finals, who played in one previous Game 7 in a final, with Vancouver, the last time a Canadian team made it this far.

 "I saw it in the newspaper," added the guy who broke into the league winning a Stanley Cup as part of the Kid Line with the Edmonton Oilers in 1990.

 "It's very unfortunate," he said. "I'm disappointed. It's a card which was dealt. I have to move on."

 The CBC Hockey Night in Canada replay was, indeed, inconclusive. But the ABC-TV tape shows what a significant number of pressbox eyes saw - believing Gelinas had indeed scored the winning goal of all four series.

 ABC play-by-play man Gary Thorne was certain Gelinas scored.

 "Oh, my gracious, it was across the line," said Thorne on the air after seeing the slow-mo replay.

 "That was absolutely in."

 Thorne, sitting in the seat in front of me on the media charter here yesterday, hadn't changed his view of the goal overnight and considered Calgary Sun photographer Al Charest's shot of the puck about an inch off the ice, crossing the goal-line with Nikolai Khabibulin's pad not in position to realistically get to it, as added evidence.

 Flames' Ville Nieminen said it made him sick.

 "The more I watch it, the more sick it makes me," he said. "You need to be blind if you don't see that it was in."

 But Gelinas, a Stanley Cup record- holder as the only player ever to score three overtime winners, two of them this Stanley season, took it philosophically.

 "You can talk about this goal as long as we want. The picture is there. The film is there. But they didn't count it. We have got to move on now."

 Darryl Sutter, the Calgary coach who was developing all sorts of conspiracy stories after Game 4, saw the CBC replay and when asked if it was a goal after the game said, "No. No, that has to be inconclusive."

 Yesterday he didn't go there.

 "Just go right past it," he said of the idea the Flames had already won this series.

 "It's been deemed inconclusive. Not conclusive. That's fine. I understand it."

 Andrew Ference said he wondered at the time, but the play went on, and so did he, and everybody else involved.

 "I was right behind it," said the defenceman from Sherwood Park.

 WONDERED WHY

 "I kind of wondered why it didn't go in. But nothing was called, so it was just kind of let it be.

 "You put those situations in the league's hand. That's the job of the video judges. We leave it in their hands. It's not our job to complain and get all worked up about it and whatnot.

 "If it went in, then it was real tough luck. But they're not going to change it now. So be it."


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