Sun 4 May 2008
I am sitting at my computer and it about four hours until game time. I have this sneaky feeling that Game 5 will go one of two ways. The Rangers are either going to win in overtime (goal in first five minutes or we head to double overtime) or the Penguins will win 5-2. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh victory scenario does not come so much at the expense of poor Ranger play, but more from an endless Ranger death march to the penalty box with an empty net goal thrown in at the end.
Why do I feel that way? The Rangers have been waiting since Friday for clarification from the NHL in reference to the Evgeni Malkin penalty shot. Guess what – I still haven’t seen hide nor hair of an explanation from the league.
Also, Malkin managed to get away with not one, but two slew-foots on Paul Mara without anything being called. Do you know why? If the referees assessed a penalty to Malkin, it would have been a match penalty and all match penalties instantly go the league for review and possibly disciplinary action. Do you think the NHL w3ants to suspend Malkin? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think so.
For those of you who are shaking your heads in disbelief because referees donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think way have never seen a college hockey game. As you know, fighting is illegal in college hockey and suspensions are doled for those who receive fighting majors. Many times collegiate officials will dole out double minors instead of fighting majors because they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want players to face automatic suspensions.
I just hope that the Rangers do not put themselves in any positions where the referee has to make a decision about a borderline call because the benefit of the doubt will go PittsburghÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s way. The Rangers need to get out in front early so they can neutralize the crowd at the Igloo and put some doubt into the Penguins collective psyche as early in the game as possible.
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