Rangers Screwed in Pittsburgh Again

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It seems like whenever the New York Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo, not only must they try to beat a very talented team - but they also have to beat the new age NHL and its referees.

The score of the game was 4-3, in favor of the hometown Pens. Pittsburgh received all of the help that they needed from 2 of the worst officials I have ever witnessed refereeing an NHL game. Steve Kozari and Dave Jackson would be looking for a new job if I was in charge, but this is Gary Bettman's job and there is no way in Hell that he'd have the guts to review this game. Where do I start? First, poor old Sean Avery... what does he have to do to get some respect from the officiating? He gets crosschecked to the ice after a whistle as plain as day and no call? Come on, Gary. Get over it. You tried to blackball him from the league and now you're embarrassing the league with the "Avery Rules". It's just laughable.

Next, how about Colton Orr's 5 minute major and game misconduct? Are you friggin' kidding? The 2 blind mice on the ice didn't make a call initially, but because Mark Eaton scraped himself off the ice showing a little blood the linesman makes the call. Mark Eaton was putting himself in a position to get drilled, and this is the key folks, Eaton puts himself in danger. So, the NHL wants to make up for a players stupidity. I don't get it, but there's more! Nik Antropov gets tripped up late in the 3rd period by Pascal Dupuis in the center of the ice, and again there's no call. Dupuis clearly sticks his leg out and down goes Antropov as a result. The Pittsburgh fans even thought there should of been a call, but of course there wasn't. That can't happen, especially when you have incompetent officials reffing a professional sport. Sorry, but this has become a continuing joke (especially for Rangers fans at Pittsburgh... anybody remember the high stick on Drury in Game 5 of last years playoffs?). You still think you're going to draw fans to watch crap like this? Good luck.

Enough of my rant, the Rangers played their hearts out today and unfortunately there were 2 opponents that they had to overcome. I'm not going to talk about the hockey part of today's game because I'm still steamed at what I saw. Rangers players, keep your heads up. You deserved better! And as for the NHL? Get your heads out of your behinds. If not, you will lose more fans. Over and out!


Canyon of Blueshirts said...

It's absolutely infuriating what happens when the Rangers play the Penguins. It's so !@#$ing predictable, its almost like its scripted. I can't believe the NHL allows it continue.

Want some more NHL bias. Did you see the hit Malkin put on in LA a week ago. How was that not a suspension?

Kotsy's Korner said...

Ryan,The NHL just can't make up their collective minds. Either you call everything or you call nothing.

What I witnessed today was a travesty and very disheartening to watch in a game of this magnitude.

The Rangers played about as well as you could considering the incompetence of the officials.

No, I did not see the hit. I'm sure Gary Bettman didn't either.

Jeff said...

Here's the Malkin hit, borderline sure but Johnson is looking down like an idiot and there were only 3 seconds left in the game. I think that's 50-50, I'm not sure Malkin had to be suspended. Maybe I'm wrong, just give my 2 cents.


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GENO said...

Hi Chris, I can't echo it any better. I"ll say, the officiating under Bettman has been a DISGRACE, especially when Sid "THE KLEENEX Boy" Crosby is involved. He does more crying then a 2 year old. Why can't the League see this. At least the Capitals young star dishes the hits out and takes them without a tear. As a Ranger fan, I am so sick of the one sided officiating always against the Rangers past and present

Kotsy's Korner said...

Thanks, Jeff I'll check it out.

Can't wait to hear what you have to say about today's game.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Geno, Ive been around Hockey a long time and trust me this New Age NHL is hard to take.

The game survived before Bettman arrived. Some how he's been able to dupe the owners and make the NHL his own personnel canvas.

It's turning into what the Great One once said "Mickey Mouse".

Graying Mantis said...

I heard during the Devl's radio broadcast that there is actually a rule covering this -- an interference call can get you a 5 minute major.

Regardless, I have to agree with you -- that was a ridiculous call. And to let the Rangers get penalized and slew-footed without a call is ludicrous. Antropov and Avery were the most visible victims.

You're not the only with steam coming out of your ears.


Kotsy's Korner said...

Graying Mantis, It's the NHL that has taken the game away from the Players and the Fans to some extent.

The 2 referees involved in today's game were a disgrace.

Rule book or no rule book the call on Orr was absolutely a joke.

I have been around Hockey for a long time, I've never heard 5 minutes for interference ever!

Almost like the "Tuck Rule" in football. Remember that one.... nobody heard of that one either.

The NHL is a clueless and we have a right to be pissed.

Leatherneck said...

Hello Chris...very well said...this game is becoming a joke and the loss really hurts when the outcome was not by the players but by a bunch of morons...eh...Zeigler had his issues but not like this..Antropov...a key signing next year...very impressed by him...I think he will be the goal scoring version of Avery...just a fit..on the Rangers..Crosby...bettmans boy..something must be done about him...he needs a good old fashioned spanking..that crybaby

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, I have never been so infuriated like I was today. Players need to decide the outcome of games not officials.

The Rangers had no chance to beat 2 opponents today and the NHL should review this game but they won't.

Don't dare question Gary Bettman and his baby the NHL. Yeah Right!

It's starting to become a laughing stock, and while I might sound like a old dinosaur I believe most fans agree with me.

Antropov is a keeper, Let's hope they can find a way to lock him up.

There's not much you can do about Crosby it's the New Age NHL and unfortunately he's not the only one.

Leatherneck said...

Hi Chris..Sauer sent down..why?? he was not at fault for those 2 goals...i hope Trots isnt the same mold as past managers and coachs when it comes to rookies...I like Potter...so no my frustration is...more on the staff...Redden..Staal in Atlanta and Mara last night were awful...why shatter a rookies confidence by sending him down like that?? whats the message here? Mara got beat on those 2 goals...not Sauer...why was he punished after he was soooo praised by the same staff previous 2 games?? Even if he were at fault he is a 21 year old DEFENSEMAN the toughest position to play in hockey

Kotsy's Korner said...

Ah... Leatherneck spoken like a true "D" man LOL. I agree Sauer was not at fault. It's unfair to the kid but that's the way it goes.

Youth, Salaries, Contracts, Names, all of the above are factored in on these decision's in today's Cap driven league.

The Rangers had better get the "D" situation straightened out fast as the season is on the line.

Leatherneck said...

indeed...D is my favirote position and humbly..i prefer the physical D-man...ie Scott Stevens mold and in todays world...Kommiserek..i taped the game yesterday and frankly 2 of the goals Lundy should have had..i am concerned with Lundqvists focus lately...a few bad goals he has let in... Another humble opinion...a team has to have continuity with its players to be successful in any era...the changing of players constantly..is not good..rokies or veteran free agents...same SH_T .. they have to get used to each other one way or another..look at all the sucessful teams of the past...always was minor tinkering of the line up.ie..oilers..islanders..canadiens..avalanche devils and the wings...the core has always been the same..top goalie...4 consistent D-men and 2 solid interchangable lines...formula is simple...eh

Kotsy's Korner said...

Once again Leatherneck I cant disagree with you on the continuity of a team.

Familiarity is important to building a TEAM. Pretty simple equation.

I have noticed Lundqvist allowing a soft goal almost every game lately. I can't criticize him without him where would we be ?

Do think the pressure is finally getting to him? It's possible.

Hey, without solid tough D you can't win on a consistent basis. All the great teams had Physical, Mean , Tough D-men.

Leatherneck said...

yes...and solid drafting...by needs..not best available player...if i need a physical defenseman..with size..i draft 2 players whom will fit that description on that draft year and then adress the oher team wants not needs..moitor their progress and if need be...draft for that physical D man again with 2 choices..numbers work...if planning and scoting was done in confidence and not half assed..one will make it...this has been another Rangers problem...poor drafting..though recentely they have done better..nothing can be said about Cherepanov as he was a great pick that tragically passed away..Del Zotto..Sanguineti and Grachev are very good picks to look forward to...Anisimov is on the cusp...Byers was a great team need pick..tough player to fill in on the 4th line soon..now...team nees are power forwards with scoring ability and physical defenseman..and very soon a back up goalie..I know nothing of Zaba and Wiikman to say if they are capable or not

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, I got to give you your props. You know your shit.

You sure you were not GM in Hockey at one time or another? LOL.

Leatherneck said...

I would love to become a GM...wish i had continued in my hockey creer...alas..my dad.wrongly stated you cant make a living in sports...lol...so i ended up a Marine..I was pretty good as was my brother..my brother was scouted by the Islanders and Whalers..alas he moved to California and stopped playing..now look at the salaries..lol...

Jeff said...

So I finally found some time between yesterday and today to watch the game, and I must recognize I didn't see something particular, was a good game, both teams played well, hard, not giving up much. The officiating was awful, something that is killing the game and we all know who to thank for this. But that was pretty even through two periods, the refs missing blatantly obvious calls on both sides.

They showed all their professionalism, (which one hardly reaches 1 on a scale going from 1 to 10), but at any time I saw a call tending to give deliberately the edge to Pittsburgh. Orr's penalty is a joke, I agree, a 2 minutes call was largely enough, I don't know where they found the 5mins, there was blood maybe? (Drury was bleeding too last year!!!!!). But they made another huge mistake on the next face-off, the hook on Staal is not patent. The tripping on Antropov is 50-50 for me, another ref would call it, this one didn't. What bother me concerning this amateurish officiating, is the fact the refs consistently close their eyes when Avery is given a rough ride, it started some games ago, and it continues, I don't like that at all. Avery proved he deserved this second chance, the league will be to blame if something bad happens.

Honestly, I don't think the referees robbed us, we were far yesterday from the Chicago incident. What worried me the most are two particular moments in the 3rd period, two moments that strangely wrap Crosby's game winning goal. The first is when Tortorella forgot to place someone in the box to serve Orr's penalty. While speaking of amateurism, this one is a gem, no excuses. This cost us an extra 30 seconds at 4 against 5. Crosby scored 1 minute later. I think we had the game in hand for a huge part of the game. But when your opponent scores a goal with 10 minutes left, you can't afford on the face-off to take the penalty Antropov took, that was stupid and useless. These two moments cost us the game in my opinion, these 2:30 on the PK are not to put on the refs, but on the Rangers.

Lundqvist was really sharp, he made decisive saves in the third period giving us the hope to come back until the last minute. Too bad we didn't convert one of these 2 shots in the last 1:30, Fleury made two awesome saves. I didn't really understood the benching of Sauer, except, that could be directly linked to Mara's own benching. There were no reasons to bench both, that was weird. Concerning Potter's call up, nothing tells us that wasn't part of the plan anyway. We'll need a 7th dman for the playoffs, Torts studies all the possibilities, well advised by Schoenfeld.

That said, I hate the Pens a little more...

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff , I have to disagree with your analysis.

The same calls made against the Rangers were not made against the Penguins. That was clear as day.

Colton Orr's penalty was called by a Linesman who panicked when he saw blood. Still haven't heard of a 5 minute major for interference.

Antropov getting tripped by Dupuis was more blatant than Straka's interference call against Crosby in the playoffs last year.

You either call everything or you don't call anything. These two Referees didn't have a clue.

The players didn't get to provide the outcome of the game. The officials did.

Maybe a little bias towards Pittsburgh's chosen Two?

Jeff said...

I was upset after the game. I'm always upset when we lose against an Atlantic rival. Officiating appears to become a real problem in the modern era of professional sport, and not only in hockey. But according to me that has always been the case.

Today, we have at our disposal a lot of tools we didn't have in the past. Number one: an improved television with multiple replays dissecting each plays under multiple angles. The referees are exposed more than ever, and their importance in the results take at the same time a lot more importance. But they are still human and subject to pressure, as a Drury or a Gomez missing an empty net. I'm not sure, this is something happening only when the Rangers play in Pittsburgh, maybe referees are willing unconsciously to give a little advantage to the team playing at home. I didn't checked all the stats, but the Rangers, at home, obtain more PP opportunities for less PK situations. That's the opposite on the road. It's apparently the same for most teams.

A year ago, I would have gladly twisted the neck of the first penguin that I crossed after the call on Straka in game 1. But, I don't know, I changed my mind over the year, mostly because of officiating in the soccer league here, which is probably the worst unimaginable. I boycotted this league for a whole season because of that. And the referees here do not use replays to comfort or cancel a questionable call or a goal, there's no video, except for TV audience. That leads to scandals, and not only in the cheated team's media sphere, referees are publicly crucified.

I didn't analyse all the penalties yesterday in the game (what a game by the way), but the first one was another mistake, Zajac at any time tripped Staal. Just to say that I think we must take the situation as it comes, there's nothing we can do, once time that's against us, the next time for us. We just can hope that the problem will solve itself in the next years, maybe with a new generation of referees?

Sorry Chris, that's the way I feel today after Saturday's game. Maybe (probably) in another game I will react differently, no way I give a free pass to the refs each time, but I was more upset by Torts mistake and Antropov interference on Guerin in the third period than by the officiating.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I've got no problem with with your thoughts. That's why it's interesting to hear other peoples opinions.

Tort's did make a tactical error, How dumb was that.

As for all the technology you talk about, it's there for a reason to give the fan a proper perspective of what happened on a particular play.

In turn it does not excuse poor officiating, there's a reason why they put 2 officials on the ice (4 all together) to catch the infractions the other don't see.

If that's the case then it is "A Must" to call the game properly. If not then you are exposed by the video that we get to see.

I realize the refs can't see everything, but it does not excuse the obvious calls.

Speaking of obvious sorry Jeff but Antropov was at the very least interfered with or tripped in the middle of the ice where a 2 yr old could see it.

If you think there is no bias towards Pittsburgh, then why the call on Orr? and no call on Drury last year. Didn't a linesman make the call on Orr? Where was that linesman to make the call on Drury in a crucial playoff game?

Jeff said...

Just to make things clear, I'm not Sean Avery in disguise. I didn't follow some sort of anger management program. ^^,

Last year, during the series against those ugly Pens, I was mad from game 1 to game 5, trying to put the blame on the refs every time it was humanly possible, and for good reasons sometimes as we mentioned above. Ha, I don't know, a lot of things happened since, I have now some responsibilities as a moderator on a hockey forum, plus the blog, the magazine, and have to watch a bit my language, and am forced to refrain myself to say @!#? Crosby as many times I'd like to, especially after a loss in Pitt. My judgement is probably a bit blurred nowadays because of this.

That said, can't wait for the playoffs, that could bring back some fiery in my comments against the referees, I softened ^^. Thanks for opening my eyes on this, didn't pay attention I was going the wrong way.

Author said...

That call on Orr was ridiculous and even after last night's great win against the Devils, I am still pissed that Orr got a 5 minute major for that!

That was the same damn call (5 minutes for interference) that they made on him last season when he delivered that clean but devastating hit on Matt Cullen that knocked him out.

You're right about the call not being made until after the refs saw that there was blood. In fact, at 1st it didn't even look like there was going to be a penalty because the play moved up the ice and only when Eaton didn't jump back to his feet did they blow the play dead.

Just found your blog today, great stuff. Always fun to read what an ex-player has to say. Keep up the good work Kotsy!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Puck Central, Thanks for responding and I'm glad you like the blog.

I had totally forgotten Orr received the "Infamous 5 minute Interference Penalty"" for absolutely crushing Cullen. Thanks for the reminder.

It seem s the NHL isn't happy unless they make knee jerk decisions on and off the ice.

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