Tonight, I found myself alone and yelling at the TV. Yes, it may be a sad sight, but I was mad. Not at the TV, but at the game on TV. The Pens/Devils game. Or, more specifically, the refs at the game.
What in the world was THAT? Did the NHL decide to make a video on how to not ref a game? Maybe they have an issue with the Pens, or maybe they wanted to give the Devils a little boost while they're on their 9-game road trip. Who knows, and who cares. The only thing that matters is that the refs cost the Pens the game.
First, Sykora was called for "hooking" - though you could argue that his stick didn't even touch the guy - just as Sid was breaking away for a shot on Brodeur. If that was the only issue, then fine - I could have lived with it.
Then Malkin scored a goal, which was promptly taken away because the Pens had too many men on the ice. Okay, fine, I get it and I understand. I'm not going to argue that call. What I will argue, however, is the fact that New Jersey had about 10 guys on the ice involved in the action around the benches. The Devils should have been penalized too.
After that, Gionta decided to make his way into the crease and wound up on top of Fleury and in the net, while everyone else pounded away at the puck and the Devils scored. MAF had absolutely no chance at making that save because Gionta was practically sitting on his face and pinning him to the ice. The ref, who had a perfect view behind the net, should have waived the goal off. But no, of course not, that would've been the right thing to do.
And to cap it all off, the Devils interfered with Army right around the time the Malone penalties expired, but the refs turned a blind eye yet again.
But alas, there are some good things about this game.
First, Crosby was ON FIRE! Tonight, TSN stood for "The Sidney Network." - (c) McGuire. He was Pierre McGuire's Monster of the Game, and I would have to agree. That hit on Parise near the end of the third - nice. Those absolutely sick passes around his back or while sprawled out on the ice...I swear, he's better than last year. Thank goodness he's playing for my team.
Second, who would've ever thought that Talbot would be leading the team in goals? Good on him.
Third, Gary Roberts. He lays down the law after the opening faceoff, scores a PP goal late in the first to tie the game, has an assist to boot, and gives Asham a taste of GR anger in the third after Crosby is crosschecked and punched. Asham's lucky to still be walking.
Fourth, Malkin. Two goals tonight, but only credited for one. Add an assist to that total. Not too shabby.
On the minus side of things, MAF needs to work on rebound control. He's a great goalie who can make some incredible saves, but when the pucks keep bouncing into the slot, he's going to get beat.
I think I have vented my anger and frustration...for the time being. Morton and LaRue should be ashamed of themselves...