Last night, watching game 6 (and every other game), there were several times in the first and into the second periods where I found myself screaming at the TV because there where obvious blown calls. I swear I’m going to start seriously documenting them. Stuff where the puck carrier gets hooked or interfered with, all the refs should have eyes on this play, but there isn’t a call.
What makes the mystery of the non-calls even more bizarre is the relative tightness with which penalties were called. Rupp breaths on a guy the wrong way and he gets called for roughing. Prust, honestly, cross-checked Condra and properly gets called, but then he gets cross-checked in the exact same position, no call.
But while screaming during the penalty lull in the early second my 70 year old father, whom I’m watching the game with, calmly says "stop yelling, they’re not going to call it." It was a moment of clarity, calmness and ultimate acceptance of the fact that Rangers won’t get the calls.
There are two points of irony in my story. The first is that not long after he tells me this the penalties on Ottawa start actually being called, somewhat. The rangers score and the game flips. The refs doing their job, even if only briefly, actually hurts the offenders and there is justice in world.
The second was my need to use my father’s words to calm him down later on in the game when the no calls start occurring again, which brought a moment of levity to watching the game.
My point on my story above is to say that I believe a closely called game; a properly called game favors the Rangers. They aren’t nearly as dirty as Ottawa. Thoughts on this last statement?
A few, other points…
• I think Rupp, Bickle and Prust should each fight Neil, in that order. We led the league in fights, what happened? I would trade 5 minutes of any of these guys for 5 minutes without Neil. Plus, if he does fight 3 times he gets a game misconduct. Thoughts?
• Del Zotto gets pushed around by Neil too much. I think Bickel should be assigned to him. Bickel could be and would need to be more physical with him. Get him tired and pissed off and he’ll do something stupid. Thoughts?
• It’s obvious that the laws of Physics and the powers of deductive reasoning are not available in the NHL’s Toronto HQ. As evidence I recommend watching the goal Neil kicked in the net last night. 1) Hank’s stick stops it. 2) Neil’s skate dislodges it. No thoughts needed … we won the game despite the NHL.
• I think the NHL discriminates against tall players. Zedeno Chara’s elbows are naturally at the height of the head of short players. I’ve seen him get called for elbowing when his elbow is firmly at his side. I’ve seen the same thing for our taller players. With regard to Neil’s hit on Boyle, if Brian was 3 inches shorter "the primary point of contact" would have been his nose instead of his chin. Boyle doesn’t get the same protection or consideration as other players because of his size. Thoughts?