So Detroit is one game away from winning the Cup, it seems. Saturday’s win over the Penguins was pretty convincing. Detroit was faster, smarter, calmer, and more disciplined. It’s really as simple as that.
I watched the game at a friend’s house and pretty much everyone joked about the calls Sidney Crosby gets, which makes it especially funny to hear Penguins coach Michel Therrien complain about the non-calls against Detroit. Although Therrien isn’t alone. David Staples of the Edmonton Journal says he didn’t think Henrik Zetterberg got the whistle he deserved when he tied up Sidney Crosby during the Penguins 5-on-3 powerplay. Interestingly, Therrien didn’t have an issue with Zetterberg’s work on the kill.
All of this kind of indicates a problem with officiating that Larry Brooks addressed yesterday. My feeling watching just about all of the playoffs is that there’s a lot of make-good calls being made. Like Pittsburgh gets a lot of calls in their favor during the early playoff games so the next few games are all called toward Detroit. You see this kind of officiating ebb-and-flow during the normal course of a game, but this seems to be a much larger tally. I don’t think the Devils were called for anything after New York Ranger Sean Avery stood in front of Martin Brodeur, waving his stick. It seemed like the league was making good for not shutting that down sooner. And now, it seems like the officials are doing that in the finals, too. As any NBA fan will tell you, the game is only as good as the officials calling (or not calling) the game, so if Gary Bettman wants to sell his product, he needs to get his officiating in order.
And wow. Tampa Bay is really a mess. Coach John Tortorella isn’t even fired yet and they’re already talking about his replacement? That’s just classy. And Barry Melrose as the replacement? On the one hand, I applaud anything that gets him off of TV, but can the Tampa ownership really believe anyone will respond to this caricature of a person?I realize Tortorella was a challenging coach, what with his beefs with just about everyone on his team, but there are plenty of other players’ coaches available who have coached in the modern NHL. I don’t think Barry Melrose and his self-help philosophy are the answer for a one-line team with severe goaltending issues.