Love the fan responseI find it interesting now that the Caps and Ovechkin are supposedly getting the preferred treatment from the NHL when historically original 6 teams have benefitted from that type of treatment. Don't you think financially it's just as good for Montreal - maybe better - to face Pittsburgh than the Caps. An entire nation would be riveted to that match-up, whereas no matter who you put on TV here in the U.S. maybe 2 percent of the population will care at all.
Last year the Penguins received a power play advantage of nearly 3 to 1 in their six-game series vs. the Capitals, and all the Crosby/Pens supporters said the officiating was not one-sided and to basically shut up, so ... you can read between the lines on this one.
Montreal's tying goal in Game 1 came after Ovechkin was crosschecked to the ice in front of the net 40 feet from the puck. If they get away with that, then Halak is going to have to deal with some people in his face. Maybe the Hab's densemen shouldn't pin players into their goalie after they set up in front. Maybe Halak should stop the type of wide-open, clear-viewed shots that Theodore got yanked for letting in...either way, the first thing you have to do is look in the mirror and realize that your team allowed the comeback to happen.
For the game the Caps ATTEMPTED 85 shots to Montreal's 42. Another thing to consider is that the Canadiens are creating traffic in their own end by sagging and collapsing to the middle with 4-5 players at time. That puts 8-10 bodies in the line of fire. Not easy for any goaltender to deal with. If you sit back and let your goalie get bombarded by the top offensive team in the league, at some point something is going to give.
And, for the record, the Caps did not receive a power play until the 39-minute mark of the game. Gill's play was a tough call on him, but had no bearing on the outcome. However, the rule is, if a player makes a self-dump and tries to go around you, you can shield him, but not pin him. By letter of the law that's a penalty these days, but still a tough third-period call. There was a similar play by the Canadiens early that was way more blatant and went uncalled.
I can list calls that weren't made for either side. That's hockey. The refs stink. They stink at the mite level, the junior level, in college and the pros. That's a fact. It's reality, not an excuse. We've had to deal with it for years, and it really sucks when you feel like your team was on the short end.
"If you want bread you go to the bakery. If you want money you go to the bank. If you want goals you go to the net." - Brooks Laich