Saturday, May 9, 2009
Pens vs. Caps, game 5 tonight
I'm starting to wonder, despite Ted Leonis's comments that us "'Yinz" love our towels, that maybe tonight at the Verizon Center, the Capitals shouldn't be passing out their own, heavy duty version, as there has been a whole lot of crying and whining going on in their dressing room... and hey, that's when they were winning. Who knows what's going down now.
Of course the only news that was bigger last night then the fact that goalie phenom for the Caps, Simeon Varlamov, is actually indeed human after all, and not a robot, is the dirty first period knee on knee hit from Alex Ovechkin on Sergi Gonchar.
The fact that Gonch looks like he's being screwed down into the ice he was hit and spun so hard in and of itself should have made the on ice official at the very least consult with his fellow officials, how that can be even be interpreted as tripping is anyones guess.
You be the judge:
Clearly not a trip in my opinion. But oddly a few after game comments from the Penguins, courtesy of the WashingtonPost.com:
"That's three games in a row where he's out there trying to hurt guys," said Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik. "You just watch the way he hits. And I love the way he plays ... but he could get a charging penalty every time he hits. He leaves his feet, and takes countless strides. We've gotten lucky up to this point. And he likes to target the Russian guys, for some reason.
"Everyone likes to play hard, and play physical," Orpik added. "But there's a line you can't cross, and a lot of guys in our room felt like the last couple games he was taking shots where he was trying to hurt guys."
Rob Scuderi added: "It's tough. You want instant retribution. You want a big hit, catch him with his head down, knock him out across the middle, something like that. But it doesn't do you any good. That's your first snap thought but after a couple seconds you calm yourself down and you realize the best place to hurt them is one the scoreboard."
And that they did. But had this been a 5 minute major, the Penguins could have kept on that power play until it ran out. But, whateveh... the Pens won so I won't try to get to picky about the end result, but had they lost, I'd be hotter than I was last night after this went down.
The wonderful end to this game aside, and it was a great end, punishing the Capitals, their rookie goalie, and Ovie himself. Holding him to less than spectacular stats.
What happens next? It remains to be seen the status of Gonchar. But what of the status of Alex "the great"? Will the high and mighty Colin Campbell dole out fair punishment? If I had to be honest with myself, and I do try to be, nothing is going to happen to him. At the very most he'll get a fine, and when it gets right down to it, he should. But don't hold out for even that to happen.
I listen to a local talk radio show from time to time, and the one host talks about how "better people should be treated better". Sometimes when I hear him say that it really irks me. Who are these better people, other than the fact they are someone with more money, status, etc. And why do they deserve better treatment?
To think this doesn't trickle down into the world of hockey would be naive. Being a Penguins fan, many a time I've heard that Sidney Crosby gets prefered treatment by the NHL. Maybe he does in some regards, but what folks don't look at when they are outside the Pittsburgh market, Sid didn't ask for any of this. He was proclaimed 'the next one' by the Great One himself, and the marketing folks at the NHL picked up and ran with it, the poor kid never had a chance to show himself for what he was.
So now, we have the Crosby haters wailing that Sid didn't get suspended for the hit to the family jewels on the Atlanta Thrashers player in the regular season. I'm sorry, this knee on knee hit was totally different, and tell me if I'm biased I don't give a flying fig. But we'll forget Sid for a second, what about Malkin? He got fined for the elbow to the head he delivered before the end of the season.
Oh yeah, the referee making this call? Same dude who blew the whistle in the Red Wings - Ducks game when he 'lost sight of the puck'. Special.
I say, don't suspend Ovechkin, but at the very least fine the freak. He got off easy with his two minute 'tripping' penalty.
Anyhow, this being a back to back two games, it should be interesting to see who benefits more. I'd have to say I hope the Penguins do since they are coming off that sweet 5-2 win.
One last little nugget of encouragement. The Caps have won only one of their seven playoff meetings with the Pensguins. As well, Pittsburgh is 7-0 all time in Game 5's, including 3-0 in Game 5's in Washington. Just thought I'd share that :)
LET'S GO PENS !!!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!!!