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Stanley Cup Playoffs - Night 2

Or how to objectively criticize a game changing call (or non call in this case) without blaming that call as the sole reason for losing.

Courtesy of commenter R O over at Matchsticks and Gasoline:

Ladd’s crease presence was rather questionable in that play. Especially since Furlatt was officiating.

But that doesn’t really matter. The Flames lost this game all by themselves by playing like crap after Cammalleri’s goal.

by R O on Apr 16, 2009 10:24 PM CDT

I got to see only 12 seconds of this game, thanks to a family commitment. Seems when you get married, you have this thing called a rehearsal dinner the night before.

Forgive if I forget about these things because a lot has happened in the last eight years since I got married. I can't possibly be expected to remember that we had one of these the day before I got hitched back in 2001.

Digressing, you can probably guess which 12 seconds I got to see tonight.

Yup, all 12 seconds of Overtime.

What made it even better was I was working out at the hotel's fitness room on their sweet built in TV when Marty Havlat scored the game winner. What didn't make it great was the ceiling was rather low and while working out on an elipitical, I raised my Gatorade and hit the ceiling with it.

Oh well. Certainly didn't ruin the celebration.

And then I saw the replay.

TSN didn't say anything about "the bump". Neither did Brian Engblom and Keith Jones on Versus.

And I have to admit that as a Blackhawks fan who wanted to celebrate the same way I celebrated back in 1994 when Jeremy Roenick won Game 4 of their first round series against Toronto, the last series the venerable Madhouse on Madison would ever host as it turned out, I thought on initial inspection that they had a right to be angry.

But the more I've looked at it, I just wonder how Andrew Ladd was supposed to avoid contact given the way he was shoved backwards by Jordan Leopold, who also set the game winning goal in motion by giving the puck away. I'll refrain from any Elisha Cuthbert jokes here for fear of being suspended by Gary Bettman.

Yes, I know you're supposed to make an attempt to avoid contact with the goaltender. But ever since the NHL made it a point to call this on a regular basis (which was about two years before the Hawks won a playoff series), I have yet to see a goal waived off on a play where the defenseman shoves an offensive player towards the goal and that player continues on their line and just so happens to bump into the goaltender. The offensive player is going to get the benefit of the doubt there 98% of the time.

Given my motto that bad calls don't excuse bad play and vice versa, I applaud R O for criticizing the nocall without going so far as to suggest that singular call was the reason for his team's loss. I see his point very well.

But not well enough to agree with him.

As for the other games:

  • Detroit's going to be just fine if Chris Osgood plays that well and that consistently. The Red Wings certainly made the Blue Jackets look like the playoff rookies that they are in beating them 4-1.
  • No surprise that Boston beat Montreal after playing them to a 2-2 tie midway through the contest. Of course, since I haven't seen anything by way of a highlight.
  • And ladies and gentlemen, you're first shocker of the playoffs as the Sharks fall to the Ducks in Game 1 by the score of 2-0. Anaheim isn't quite playing house money. And likewise, it's not time to hit the panic button in the South Bay.

    But if they drop Game 2...