Sunday, February 01, 2004


The Wings came out of the gate last night with zero respect for the Hurricanes. That much was evident throughout the first two periods and most of the third. They seemed to think the win would come easily and, ignoring the 'Canes recent record against top teams, assumed they would just roll over. The Wings are lucky they got a point out of that game because they did not start to play for it until the end of the game. They got no lucky breaks for a while but they did not bring their "A" game to begin with so that was to be expected. However, things may have gone differently earlier on had the referee called a penalty shot on the Pavel Datsyuk near-breakaway. That would have been just the thing to wake the Wings up and I can't think of a player I'd rather see on a penalty shot than Pavel Datsyuk. It's just too bad that idiot fool of a ref called hooking instead, even though the play was a textbook example for a penalty shot. One of the worst BS calls I have ever seen, if not the worst. I was absolutely livid and the last time I was that incensed at a ref was when the puck hit Don Van Massenhoven, who obviously wasn't paying enough attention to get out of the way, in the skate and bounced right to Markus Naslund during last season. The rule, Number 91(b), states clearly:
When a player, in control of the puck on the opponent's side of the center red line and having no other opponent to pass than the goalkeeper, is tripped or otherwise fouled from behind, thus preventing a reasonable scoring opportunity, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending side. Nevertheless, the Referee shall not stop play until the attacking side has lost possession of the puck to the defending side.
The only argument the offending ref (I was too angry to notice if it was Van Massenhoven or Greg Kimmerly) might have had was that Pavel did not have control of the puck. He was certainly past the red line.
"Control of the puck" means the act of propelling the puck with the stick. If while it is being propelled, the puck is touched by another player or his equipment, or hits the goal or goes free, the player shall no longer be considered to be "in control of the puck."
I think it is safe to say that Pavel had control of the puck, according to that definition. The referee missed a chance to bring excitement to the game and to "restore a reasonable scoring opportunity" which had been lost as a result of the 'Canes player Staal. I wish I had a video of the play so I could be sure I am not just rambling so if anyone knows where to get one and could let me know, I'd appreciate it. It wasn't just that one play, the refs were terrible overall last night, missing clear calls on both sides and letting each team mug the other. It seemed like it happened more to the Wings, though that's probably just because I'm a Wings fan. Still, those two refs were awful and my dislike for Don Van Massenhoven has only deepened. He must have some kind of history with the Wings because he seems to be out to get them every time he officiates one of their games. Ken Holland has apparently told Curtis Joseph that the #1 spot is his to lose, even when Dominik Hasek returns. He has not guaranteed that CuJo would be the #1 goalie but has told him that pro sorts are "... about opportunity. You've got the ball, now run with it." The Wings want Hasek to practice before the All Star break but he isn't likely to return before March. That gives Curtis plenty of time to make a statement or continue his less-than stellar play of late. I'm perfectly comfortable with that idea because Dominik has done nothing to prove he is still capable of playing at this level so far this year and my faith in him is almost completely gone. There's a new face among a growing group of hockey bloggers (I think we should all get together and form something like The Hockey Alliance, but that's just me). His name is Joe Tasca and his blog is "Tasca's Take - Daily NHL Commentary." He describes his site, which he started just yesterday, as being "an inside look at the NHL and professional hockey as a whole from the slightly-skewed perspective of a concerned Rhode Islander." He seems to know what he's talking about and looks to be a good read. So, go check out what he has to say.


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