That's it in a nutshell folks! In two games that involve metro area teams it's on display yet again how pathetic this league has become. Whatever happened to passion? Battles anyone? Nowhere to be found. And why? Because this new NHL which I and many others advocated is nothing but an utter disgrace!
I have had enough of the ticky tac garbage calls that that freaking nerd's corporate sponsors want in the game. Hockey is not that kind of game. This isn't the NBA where every handcheck or shove is called for the game's stars. Hockey is a game of intense competition. It's skating. It's fastpaced play. It's hitting. It's backchecking. But when you see what's gone on tonight, it's not there.
Before I make a couple of observations from the Rangers-Lightning game which is knotted at two apiece after two thanks to a Michael Nylander power play tally late, I want to point to the Sabres-Devils Eastern battle taking place at The Meadowlands. I've caught most of that as well between breaks and such. In the first, Buffalo again got superior netminding from Ryan Miller (15 saves) and a timely goal from the red hot Chris Drury (30th of season) to go ahead. But also, as pointed out by the FSNY production truck, Brian Gionta setup Patrik Elias on the doorstep during a power play and Miller made what looked like an unbelievable glove save. But as I watched, I immediately said they should go upstairs and look at it cause it looked dangerously close to the goal line. And anytime you have that situation, you should review it. But instead, the referees dropped the puck right away and the Devils failed to convert that man-advantage. It was a few minutes later where FSNY confirmed our worst fears. That indeed Elias' shot looked to have crossed the line before Miller pulled it back. In an ultracompetitive battle between two solid teams with much at stake, that should never happen. One goal could be the difference. And as we write this, Buffalo still has that one-goal lead headed to the third.
Now to the ticky tac calls we've seen. Oh. It's happened in both games. Marginal hooks or even clean shoulders are now penalties. MSG's Joe Micheletti was irate over a call on Brendan Shanahan basically going on to conclude it wasn't a penalty. Not long after, Matt Cullen was whistled for "interference." That's if you conclude that a shoulder tap is. It was an absolutely atrocious call. Meanwhile in New Jersey, you've seen more battles but also a few penalties. On some of those battles, there could've been legit calls on either side. But that was let go. Meanwhile, tacky hooking calls such as the ones on Maxim Afinogenov and Zach Parise were made. It makes me wonder what game they're watching. You have to let these guys battle. There are instances where penalties should be called.
It would be nice if the officials knew the rulebook. But what the hell is the point? It may as well not even exist thanks to that great commish who celebrated his 15th anniversary running this league into the ground.