Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Too Many Penguins?

There were 20 seconds in the first period when the Penguins had an extra skater. Not because of penalty or injury or pulling the goalie - they just sent an extra guy out there. So there were six Aquatic Birds skating around out there for a while (seven if you count the goaltender Fluery).

Normally this is what we call a rule infraction - an automatic penalty: Too Many Men on The Ice - and, again, normally this results in 2 minutes in the penalty box for the offending team - and an official man advantage against the cheating team.

But this is the Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins we're talking about - the NHL's favorite franchise. And this is the swallow-the-whistle Stanley Cup Finals where the referees don't like to call penalties because they interrupt the flow of a game they are trying to showcase. Either that or the refs felt the "Men" part of "Too Many Men On The Ice" didn't apply to the Penguin species.

So 20 seconds came and went - with the confused Red Wings exhausting themselves skating all over the rink trying to cover the extra skater. No signal from the refs. Eventually the Penguin bench figured out there was a problem and called one man back.

And finally, less than a minute later the refs found their lost whistles and called a penalty. On the Red Wings! (Don't even ask)

Despite these shenanigans [Editor - "shenanigans"? What are you, Dave, a shop teacher from the 1950's?] the game was tied after one period. And then after a scoreless 2nd period the score was still 2-2, the Penguins were getting outshot 26-11 and an insurmountable 3-0 series deficit was staring the Crosby's in the face.

Speaking of Sid "crybaby" Crosby - the Redwings had been matching the winger Henrick Zetterberg against him all night. The results of that matchup through 2 periods was something of a stunner:

Sidney Crosby: No Goals, no assists
Henrick Zetterberg: 1 goal, 1 assist.
(And Zetterberg put the puck in the correct net this time)

So, as we were saying, in the third period, on home ice, and looking at the very real possibility of a 3-0 series deficit - the Penguins finally came to the party. Summoning some pride and grit - they rose up for the last 20 minutes. They outshot Detroit 10 to 3. Just 3 shots for the defending champs! Gonchar notched the go-ahead goal for Pittsburgh at 10:29 with Crosby finally contributing his lone assist of the night. (Malkin - who I think is better than Sid - showed it again with 3 assists on the night.)

An empty netter rounded out the scoring and with a 4-2 win, the Flightless Seabirds survive to skate another day, and keep Nugman's Upset Special pick alive.

For now. Let's see what happens in game four.

No comments:

Post a Comment