2 Down, 2 To Go For the Wings

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What a disappointing start to this Stanley Cup Finals if you're a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, or a player for that matter. Two games, two losses by the same score of 3-1. Not very good! For the Red Wings, all is fine. Two big wins and now they are heading into Pittsburgh up comfortably in the series just looking to steal one game to take total control of these finals.

The first game was Detroit at their best! Get the lead, play New Jersey Devils style trap defense, and shut your opposition down. The same exact thing happened in Game 2. However, this time the Red Wings got a lot more help from the officiating. On the 1st goal by Detroit, a Detroit player clearly interferes with a Penguin off of the face off and there's no call. On the 2nd Detroit goal, Pascal Dupuis stick gets slashed out of his hands by Marian Hossa. Still, there's no call. Seconds later, Valtteri Filppula scores... come on, give me a break! Just poor officiating, period. Now, I save the best for last... the Henrik Zetterberg "save". How is he allowed to fall on a puck on the goal line to make a save and there is no penalty/penalty shot awarded? I knew right away that it was an illegal play, but the referees on the ice sure f***ed that one up too. Why that is important is because it's the rule you idiots, get it right!

Not exactly the best game for the officials and it deserves a much needed look by the NHL. It's embarrassing to watch. Oh well, enough of my rants. Can Pittsburgh get back in it? Sure. But I don't feel very good about this one anymore. Over and out!


Wrath of Sanity said...

*Yawn* Same old, same old. Not much to say about this series so far. Detroit playing their usual boring hockey... and winning.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, Detroit is too good with the lead. It's like looking at the old Devils trap. Effective, but It sucks to watch.

Isn't that the kind of play the NHL was trying expel out of the game to make wide open?

Jason said...

I agree that the officiating was atrocious last night. It went both ways. The officials' errors in Detroit's favor were just a bit more accentuated and seemed to be of greater magnitude considering the final score. However, the PP on which the Pens scored their sole goal was the result of a dubious call made by Joanette from 100 feet away. Replays did not show anything close to a penalty of any kind. This raises a question of why call something from that far away when you have no clear view of the play? Isn't it why they have two referees? Even the NBC talking heads were stumped (the replay was followed by quite a few seconds of silence).

I wonder if Bettman and company understand that the level of officiating has been bordering on embarrassing for quite a while. This is the Stanley Cup finals. It is supposed to be the best NHL has to offer. What a shame.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, I have belaboring this for as long as they went to a two man crew. It hard for me to understand some of the misses and non misses.

The first and only penalty against the Wings was a love tap in my day as were many infractions called as penalty's today.

Zetterberg making the save or falling on the puck in the goal crease is a penalty shot call if I remember the rule correctly. So where was the call?

I just shake my head and laugh with frustration at what I see happening to a wonderful but struggling game in America. It's a tough sell.

Jeff said...

Hi Chris,

The rule is pretty clear in the book:

A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player other than the goalkeeper who deliberately falls on or gathers the puck into his body. Any player who drops to his knees to block a shot should not be penalized if the puck is shot under him or becomes lodged in his clothing or equipment but any use of the hands to make the puck unplayable should be penalized promptly.I caught the game on replay this afternoon, unfortunately the review was cut out, so I can't make my mind, should get another game tonight.

Speaking of bad officiating, let's not forget the play on which one Malkin got the breakaway, there was a trip or an interference on Kronwall. And what to think about that non suspension on Malkin after the scrap with Zetterberg? The book is also clear in that case, Malkin deserved a one game suspension for instigating Zetterberg in the last 5 minutes of the game. The league is losing more and more credibility.

Not that I think that deserves a suspension, but what the point to write rules if they're not applied? Avery or Brashear would have been suspended in a heartbeat.

Otherwise, the game was quite boring to watch. The pens seem to be unable to beat that defence and most of all Osgood, this series could be a lot of fuss for nothing.

Jason said...

I certainly do not want to beat a dead horse here, but the Zetterberg play looked pretty questionable and not as clear cut as it initially appeared. I watched the replay a few times, and it looks like he fell in the crease well before the puck arrived. One overhead shot actually showed that the puck was loose (not underneath Zetterberg) before the crowd fell on top, i.e., despite trying, he was not able to cover or gather the puck into the body or hands (Rule 63.5).

Regardless, I think we are all in agreement that the officiating in the NHL is not what one would want on a professional level in any sport. I can read the rule book like any other guy and interpret it any way I like, but I would do that consistently for all situations. The way the referees are calling games makes numerous plays a toss-up, depending on who is calling the game, who is playing, etc. Often, the same play varies between being a penalty and not a penalty in the same game. I understand that refereeing is often subjective and open to interpretation, and allowances should be made for mistakes that will invariably occur in this fast game. However, the level of inconsistency and incompetence is way outside any margin of error. I wonder why this mediocre refereeing is being condoned and even lauded by some league officials. I understand that the NHL does not want bad publicity, but allowing the refereeing to deteriorate to the point where it can jeopardize the game and the league is simply not logical.

Wrath of Sanity said...

From Darren Dregger, TSN:

In the third period of Game 1, it looked like Henrik Zetterberg put his glove on a puck in the crease which would normally lead to a penalty shot, but on Saturday, it all came down to the interpretation of referee Paul Devorski.

Devorski was there at ice level, and according to the director of officiating Stephen Walkom, he's assuming that the interpretation was that Zetterberg was simply trying to bat the puck off of Chris Osgood's back.

One thing to remember though is that the crease extends upwards, so if Zetterberg did cover the puck with his glove, then a penalty shot should have been called.

It was an interpretation call, and Devorski thought that Zetterberg was trying to bat the puck, not cover it.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, It's the NHL at it's finest once again. Have you ever seen so much talk about the officiating over the last few years?

I wonder why? Could it be the rules changes that have gone into effect to OPEN up this CLOSED game?

The effect it has on fans is horrible, what was called early in the season appears to have vanished at the end of it.

Thanks for the interpretation of the rule, I was pretty sure of it at the time.

Yes it does not look to good for the Penguins, boring is the right word.

Krista Lynn said...

As the Pittsburgh fan who bleeds black and gold for both the Pens and the Steelers, my sole point of happyness came with 19 seconds left when Evgeni Malkin showed Zetterberg exactly what he thought of his covering up a puck on the goal line routine.

Red Wings caught some lucky breaks, and I haven't lost my confidence in the Black and Gold just yet, but I am looking forward to home ice, a white out at the Igloo, and the return of Sid's amazing playoff run.

Oh, and for the highly anticipated return of Fleury's vision.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, isn't it amazing how the NHL is quietly going about like it never happened.

Zetterberg did fall on the puck and at no time did I see Osgood with the puck if ever. What a joke!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Krista Lynn, I hope for you and the Penguin fans there will be a big turn around at home.

You are correct a few goal posts and terrible officiating contributed to the loss.

The "Hockey Gods" say you are not out of a series until you get beat at home. I'm pulling for the Pens and yes no doubt Fleury has to play better! much better!.

Thanks for your comments and don't be afraid to check back.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, You once again have smacked it out of the ball park LOL.

The NHL has produced undo pressure on the officials with all the rules changes over the years. No questioning that.

It still does not give them an excuse for the lack of consistency needed to call a good game.

Fans see a certain play called a penalty in a game all year and then not in the most crucial times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

I realize it can't be perfect all the time. It just can't be fraudulent and that's what I see and many fans tell me the same.

Very frustrating.................

Jason said...

Kotsy, have you talked to any of the current NHL players recently about what they feel of the direction in which the NHL is going in terms of officiating and the style of play? What do your former team mates think? You don't have to name any names. I am just curious what people who are a lot closer to the NHL action than I think is happenning with the sport.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, I don't get to talk to many of the present day players.

The few that I have talked with are confused and frustrated and it goes to what we have all bitched about lack of consistency.

As for former players and teammates, we all agree that the league has over reached with the new rules.

We basically think the league has been softened up by the constant micro managing of the game.

The league is now filled with very skilled players who just happen to lead their respective teams in hitting. How did that happen?

There is absolutely no retribution on these players what so ever, therefore these players have no fear of retaliation.

Jason, There is so much more that I could go on forever. I think this is good place stop.... for now! LOL.

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