After watching the Pittsburgh Penguins fall into a two games to none Stanley Cup Finals hole this past weekend, one logical question that has begun to stir around is “can the Pens find a way to get back into it”?
Well, obviously the answer is, yes…yes they can. They are too good to be counted out.
However, to me the more pressing question is whether or not I think the Red Wings can blow a two-OH lead. And I can answer that question is one word…
Know what else I don’t see being blown in this series? Penalties…that’s what.
In game one there were a total of three minor penalties called. In game two…prior to the little scrum that occurred with just seconds left in the game…there were a grand total of two infractions that were whistled.
Were there more penalties that could have been called? Oh yeah…you betcha! One such play that could have been deemed worthy of time in the box was just prior to Detroit’s second goal Sunday night in which Marian Hossa’s stick got up around former teammate Pascal Dupuis’ hands. That play has been called a penalty a thousand times during the past few years and all throughout the playoffs…but not in this series.
There have been several others, but that one just sticks out to me.
For whatever reason, the officials have decided to keep the whistles in their pockets and let ‘em play. For the most part, I see that as a good thing…as long as what is allowed to go uncalled in the first two periods are not all of a sudden called in the third. Consistency ya know.
However, in the name of overall consistency, if the league has determined that letting them play is good for the flow of the paly and for the viewing of the game…then why not allowing for the same type of environment all the time?
If your not gonna blow it in the Finals…then why blow in the regular season or the first three rounds of the playoffs?
And before we leave the subject of “blowing it”…
One last question for you. Is the league “blowing it” by allowing Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin to play in Tuesday’s game three even though the rules are clear regarding an automatic one-game suspension for incurring an instigator penalty in the last five minutes of a game?
Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive VP and director of hockey operations, is allowed to review such calls and determine whether or not to uphold the rules…or let them slide. He has done so and chosen the latter.
“Suspensions,” Campbell said in a prepared statement, “are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight.”
So, he seems to be siding with the “spirit” of the law as opposed to the “letter” of the law.
Again…if the rule applies prior to the Finals, should it not also apply during the Finals?