Habs Overwhelmed By Capitals, With Official Assistance
The comments on the post are now closed. Every angle was covered and discussed ad nauseum and it was beginning to degenerate into personal things. i won't be party to that. If perchance someone absolutely has something to add that has not been touched upon, that adds in one way or another to this article, they can find the e-mail on the main page. If I agree it adds something to the argument from either side, I will add it into the main post below this and reply to it. Thanks all for your comments and passion. It is now time to move on and consider Game Three.
What a railroad job!
Lord knows what on God's earth was being reviewed immediately after Andrei Kostitsyn's third goal that took a good six minutes to settle.
As cynical as this sounds, someone somewhere did not want that goal, making the score 4-1 Montreal, to count.
To me, that reeks of something.
Like, if they couldn't disallow this goal based on the play's events themselves, then they would find something immediately preceding it that would disqualify it.
Can you imagine some ghost play a minute or so back, that the official would invoke that old "intent to blow" the whistle rule that's already screwed Montreal once this year.
What truly riles is that upon a quick look, the goal was good. It needn't take so long. The shot had redirected off a Capital defender's stick, hitting Kostitsin in the hip, or upper body and finding its way past Varlamov.
With the score now 4-1, the delay was frigging handy to a Capitals team reeling out of control. The unneccessary review essentially gave them what amounted to one very long time out.
On the ensuing play just moments later, Mike Knuble intently backs into Jaroslav Halak's crease, bumping him so blatantly, the whistle should have blown immediately, as Washington has puck possession.
The official can be seen to Halak's right, looking directly at everything, and ignoring everything, just as blatant and obvious as what Knuble had done unprovoked.
A split second later, Backstrom fires a shot past Halak, making into 4-2, as the second period was about to end.
Unbelievably, then again, perhaps not, little protest was seen coming from the Canadiens bench.
The effect of the blown call, was not just game-changing, it was series altering in scope. Should the Canadiens start the third period up 4-1, it's almost surely game over, and Washington, heading to Montreal down two games, are in serious trouble.
What occured after that goal, with the Verizon Center crowd seriously lit up and the Capitals suddenly energized, is that the Canadiens were completely overwhelmed by the prowess of their opponent. The series, from the get-go, was seen as a mismatch, but that wasn't going according to plan.
The Canadiens, surely furious and baffled by the contunous non-calls of goaltender interference against Halak, were trumped. They tried as they might, but there was little they could do against this complicit tidal wave.
Had they been able to gather their wits, they might have hung on to win, but it was completely obvious that they were rattled in every possible manner.
The inevitable script was then played out, the one every Habs and Caps fan felt coming.
It's a sad day for hockey, and a good time to question being a hockey fan.
Now to some, it will surely sounds as thought I am discrediting the Capital for winning this game. Make no mistake, I am.
When a team needs to be so blatantly handed momentum by officials when it's most needed in order to beat an eighth place team that is picking them apart, well good luck to you.
Something dirty went down during that upstairs call after the Kostitsyn goal. Trust you'll never hear a transcript of it, an explanation, a clarification.
The NHL needs its best showcase teams, and that means the Capitals, Penguins, Hawks to remain around for ratings purposes. What sells the game will not be a second round series with the Habs and Ottawa.
There was a crucial moment in this game where the hoped for scenario was in jeopardy, and something was done about it.
What a fix!
What a freaking snowjob!
From Four Habs Fans, fucking lawyers for Christsakes! An explanation of rule 69.1.
The official explanation for the delay, was that they were also reviewing an earlier play during this lengthy time.