|Posted by Radatz on April 18, 2017 at 1:25 AM|
If there are several things besides the OTL I'm suddenly getting quite sick of, they are (1) automatic icing, (2) broken sticks and now (3) early penalty calls that result in quickie OTs. Inconsistent officiating is of course on the list now too. It was not a good night for NHL rules or refs. A puck hits a guy going off but if he doesn't 'play' it you don't call too many men? Maybe, but news to me. Now it's a 'judgement call'? Rules vague regarding hitting a goalie who's out of the crease? News to me, but Roenick wasn't sure. Just dumb announcers? Whatever. But the players? The usual. Four OTs. Four blown leads, all at least 2 goals. Two series at 2-1 and two at 3-0 to end the night. Can't say it wasn't exciting at least.
Down 3-0 early with Providence, BU and various depth chart denizens on defense, the Bruins coalesced and took over the 2nd, tying the game. Nearly getting the winner several times in the 3rd, they went to OT, which featured two tired teams looking for a break. Ottawa got the wrong kind with an unthinkable roughing call on Nash, who was sandwiched and whacked while on his knees and flailed back (all of which followed a pair of clear infractions by the Senators at the other end). It was, if anything, a case of matching penalties (which had been called all night), and according to what was being let go at that point, even a no call. But only Nash went off, and Ottawa scored on the PP. It wasn't a popular ending with Cassidy or anyone else. The call was whitewashed on the NBC broadcast as an 'undisciplined penalty'. Half truth.
Speaking of lousy OTs, Toronto and Washington had another huge game, also tied 3-3 after 3, end the same way (minus the controversy it seems). So far Toronto is playing head-to-head with the best team in the league and beating them in crunch time (tonight's game perhaps not a perfect example due to the dreaded OT PP). All that said, the Leafs have now overachieved themselves into a corner. If they lose this series, maybe any series at this point, it could do to their brilliant rebuild what the lightning collapse to Boston did several years ago. Then again, they have Babs now. Washington, meanwhile, has the stigma of playoffs past on its shoulders. Lots of 'em. They don't need one more.
It's not unusual for a team down 2-0 to take game 3 even on away ice, but with every chance to put the kibosh on Chicago and with Rinne making saves from behind the net, the Predators instead let them score their first postseason goal and take a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period. No big deal? One PP later it was 2-0. With Subban being his usual jerk self but seemingly neutralizing Toews, Nashville seemed to take some fuel out of the Hawks and made it 2-1. Then they tied it and sent it to OT on a goal where Crawford was hit. But he was outside the crease. Does it matter? Analysts weren't sure. Then with 10 seconds in regulation, an ominous Nashville rush was halted for an offside nobody saw. Maybe he lifted his skate? One thing's sure, one blade was on the blue line when the puck crossed the line. But Nashville seemed to have the advantage in an unpolluted, long and thrilling overtime, and finally got the winner. That's 3-0. With Chicago having the round number?
Anaheim too good? Maybe at home. Well, actually, they got some luck at home, and they were no match early in Calgary. Then again, 3 PPs in the first 10 minutes kind of stretches the imagination. It put Anaheim in a 2-0 hole early. It wasn't exactly a must game for the Ducks, but they needed their motivation recharged. Calgary is unpolished but no one can say they aren't trying. A late goal in the 2nd made it 4-2 and gave Anaheim some small spark. Then in the 3rd they made it 4-3 on a deflection that seemed to come from a high stick. The call of good goal surprised the announcers. Vague rule? NHL or NFL? Whatever, soon it was 4-4 and another comeback was complete. Even game and another OT. This one didn't last long as Anaheim, looking like toast late in the 2nd period, completed their comeback. They may not be too good but they're up by 3-0 now.
Categories: NHL Blogs