Penguins Force Game 6

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

When Peter Sykora scored at 9:57 of the 3rd OT on a power-play, a goal he actually predicted that he would score, the Pittsburgh Penguins have at the very least forced a game 6 Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

A double minor for high sticking provided the Pens with a glorious opportunity and they capitalized with Sykora's high wrist shot that beat Chris Osgood on the short side. The Penguins had 2 heroes tonight: One was Maxime Talbot, who's "never say die" attitude provided the Pens with the tying goal with only 35 seconds remaining. It was a huge shock to the Detroit Faithful, who are the time were singing about winning the cup (a little early, don't you think?). The other, of course, was Marc Andre Fleury. He was in a word: Fantastic.

The Penguins had a 2-0 lead early on thanks to goals by Marian Hossa and a fluke goal by Adam Hall (Hey, they don't draw pictures on the score sheet!). Detroit answered in the 2nd period on a goal by Darren Helm to make the game 2-1 going into the 3rd period. In the 3rd I had this eerie feeling that Pittsburgh needed to score that important next goal, but it didn't happen and Detroit pressed on. Tyler Kennedy's penalty gave Detroit the chance they needed, and a deflected shot from Zetterberg by Pavel Datsyuk tied the game at 2 (more on the penalty call later). A few minutes after that, Brian Rafalski appeared to have clinched the cup for Detroit with a seeing-eye wrister that beat Fleury on the left side. That looked like it was the final dagger, Pittsburgh looked dead and it was a "done deal".

If not for Maxime Talbot's energy, game tying goal, and Fleury's play in net - it would have been all over for the Pens. Hockey is a great game, sometimes strange. How else do you explain being outplayed, outshot, outhit, and basically outeverythinged and still manage to win?

Some other points from the game

- Ryan Malone took on a slap shot to the already broken nose he suffered earlier in the series. He was back on the bench as fast as he could be, of course. That's what I call a true hockey player!

- Malkin was once again a mess on the ice. They are gonna need him and he better snap out of this funk! And please stop making excuses for him... he's "tired", are you kidding me?

- The NHL is really getting exposed with their post-lockout rule changes. No consistency in the calls (I wish they would have just left the game the way it was, let the players play - as I've said many times before!). The penalties called on both teams were terrible (Tyler Kennedy's hooking call was garbage). Detroit players crashing the net - I agree with Mike Milbury and Co., what are the players supposed to do? Sorry NHL, you goofed and you know it.

*Pictures in all blog posts are taken from Yahoo! Sports & Getty Images


Leroy said...

I think your comments on the calls are way off. I think the consistency is solid. The only thing that was off was that the refs were too tired to get out of the way of the puck. In order to have the game calling stay sharp they should insert new refs after 1overtime.

billymadison said...

Kotsy -

Does the fact that Petr Sykora "called" his shot...make him the Babe Ruth of hockey?!?!

Wrath of Sanity said...

What a wild game last night! That's what playoff hockey is all about.

Malkin has been awful this series (maybe the assist will turn him around?). In the words of Michel Therrien at times it looks like "Mens against boys" with him in this series.

I agree on the officiating... why didn't they call the blatant hook on Staal when he was trying to wrap-around? Or when they did it to Malone? Plus, on top of that.. the mentioned penalties were brutal... the goaltender interferences couldn't of been avoided by the players.

Crock said...

Leroy hate to say it man but are you sure you have been watching all the play-off series ????

The officiating throughout the play-offs has been consistent in one manner. Mind boggling .....

One game a call goes one way for one team that goes the other way the next game for the other team.

Goals that should have counted have not counted. Goals that should not have counted have counted.

Kind of like your thoughts on maybe having a second set of refs on stand by for the big play-off games if they do happen to go past two Overtimes. For the Stanley Cup Finals only where everything is on the line.

Still love reading everything you have to say Kotsy.


Kotsy's Korner said...

leroy: Way off? I don't think so. But it's ok to disagree, that's what blogs are for!
I will agree though on the refs getting in the way... the Adam Hall collision was hilarious.
billymadison: I guess in a way. But I don't think Sykora will ever go down in the books quite like the Babe, haha. However, it was pretty impressive that he called it!
wrath of sanity: Yes, it was a very good game. Malkin needs to stop playing like a magician... his dissapearing act is almost perfected. And I think everybody knows where I stand on the officiating... I'm not impressed.
crock: Absolutely. I couldn't of said it any better. I think that the refs should not be changed during a game... can't change the players, so why change the refs?

Kotsy's Korner said...

crock: Absolutely. I couldn't of said it any better.

Although, I think that the refs should not be changed during a game... can't change the players, so why change the refs?


**Re-posted comment due to no space between the two separate thoughts**

captjameson said...

hey kotsy, those 2 goalie int calles on ot were terrible. you have to give the puck carrier some leeway entering the crease. if he clearly barrels in, forget it. but a little bump on a puck handling move should not be called. and i agree to "let the players play" but do it with in the confines of the rulebook. if it's obvious, call it. if the rule book is applied correctly you can't call out a ref for affecting the game. non calls can affect the out come of a game, too. just ask brett hull and the city of buffalo.

Kotsy's Korner said...

captjameson: What happened in Buffalo was a complete rip-off. Brett Hull knew that he got away with one.

That's exactly my point about inconsistent officiating. What's cross-check, slash, interference, elbowing, in the 1st period... dissapears in the 2nd period... then magically appears again in the 3rd. That's what I call inconsistent.

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