Playoffs in February? It sure felt like it. One of the most entertaining games this year was last night’s between the Habs and Pens. Unfortunately some horrid officiating may have robbed the Habs the extra point.
The officiating in this game was the worst I’ve seen all year. Maybe ever. The officials blew the game from the opening faceoff and never recovered.
Off the opening draw there was a “butt end” from Maxim Lapierre delivered to Sidney Crosby’s mid section. Crosby like he normally does went down and did his best fish out of water impression.
You be the judge and determine how hard, if at all, the butt end of the stick penetrated Crosby. Either way if you take a shot at the league’s best you’d expect a penalty call. 2 mins to Lapierre and the officiating fiasco may have been avoided.
Crosby replies with a trip off the faceoff moments later. No call. Even up officiating at it’s best. 2 minutes there might have avoided the whole game being called in this manner but now it was already out of control.
At least it got the teams fired up and they played some exciting and fast paced hockey. Once again until the referees butchered the game.
The penalty call on Michael Ryder, probably the worst single call of the entire year. You be the judge. I’m not even sure what to say about that. The ref obviously had his mind set on calling something and basically invented a call.
Now it gets interesting.
The hit on Koivu was a completely clean hit. A hard hit, what hockey is about. Saku Koivu took it, got up and skated off. He did not roll around on the ice like Crosby after his phantom butt-end.
Clean hit or not, Souray did the right thing by going after Armstrong. Protecting his Captain. Clean or not, you do not run the Captain/Star player.
What is the result? 2, 5, 10 and a game for Souray. Are you kidding? A 7 minute call? When is there EVER a 7 minute powerplay? Armstrong shed the mits and threw at least 2 punches, is that not fighting? Roughing? Awful.
Then wait, 2 minutes to Bonk for interference? You look at the replay. Horrid call.
So the Pens get basically the entire second period with a man advantage and find the net that way. They also concede a shorty.
So expelling the Canadiens best player with a terrible call doesn’t hurt their chances? Of course it did, the Canadiens pressed the Pens the entire game. Souray was missed most on the overtime 4-3 powerplay where his shot would have been lined up countless times with all the room on the ice.
The shootout: Fleury outplayed Abeischer. Bottom line.
The Habs battled hard and earned a point coming from behind several times. If they put that effort into every game this is a contending team.
Did anyone else notice Alex Kovalev wake up? He traditionally shows up in the playoffs and the game was a hard fought playoff-like game.
And about Crosby….Crosby with all his talent still lacks some maturity. How about the hot dog behind the back Denis Savard wannabe pass on a 2-1 late in the game that could have sealed it? Selfish, ugly, stupid play. The Habs nearly tied it up on the ensuing 2 on 1. They didn’t but they did not much later in the game.
Sunday’s game should be a dandy. Souray will be seeking revenge and Crosby will probably be confused with the famous Forum Hot Dogs once again.