Sunday, May 25, 2008

Karma was not on their side.

It all started when Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves (and you know my sentiments about baseball) said that he thought Sidney Crosby was a "Great, young American athlete."

Wait, wait, wait... what? Back that bookmobile up. Great? check. Young? you bet. Athlete? obviously... what was that third thing, again? American? nope. Someone hit the "YOU'RE WRONG!" buzzer. Poor ol' Glavine is gonna be feeling pretty sad when Crosby is tearing up the USA at the Olympics.

Then Joe Louis public address announcer Budd Lynch called him Steven Crosby. For a bit I tried to rationalize it... I looked across the room at a perplexed Garreth and said. "oh he's just old, I think he said Sidney... maybe". No I don't think he said Sidney, he definietely said Steven. Did he look at the wrong part of the page? Maybe he confused it with Steve Yzerman, who was coming out for the ceremonial face-off. Of course that would only makes partial sense because it's Steve Yzerman, not Steven. Awww, whatever he was born in 1917.

Before that, Marc-Andre Fleury fell flat on his face in front of the entire crowd in Detroit. He was attempting to do his super-run onto the ice for the beginning of the game, but instead did a face plant into the ice. It was slightly less embarrassing than when that anthem singer fell that time, but still embarrassing. I won't lie, I laughed.

But again... the karma. It's almost like the ghosts of Ottawa, New York and Philadelphia were cursing every step the Penguins took. (except when that goal got called back... more on that in a bit.) The Pens looked flat, were making bad passes, and they seemed to collectively trip just like poor ol' Fleury.

On top of it all, how many times were Detroit fans staring in horror as the puck sat idly in front of an open net with nobody on the Penguins able to pull the trigger. The answer is, A lot.

Back to that goal that was called back. If you didn't catch it, here's the recap: Holmstrom was in front of the crease and had his stick in "groin area" of Fleury. The Penguins, who seemed to be paying an ungodly amount of attention to the right-wing, didn't really notice Lidstrom pinch in on the left. The puck squirted over to him and he sent a rocket of a shot to the roof. The goal was called back because of "goaltender interference" and when a ref does that the rulebook states that the perpetrator must go to the box and feel shame for two minutes. So off paraded Holmstrom to the box and Mike Babcock looked like he might blow an artery.

I'm not saying that it wasn't goaltender interference, i'm sure any male would cringe in terror of the thought of getting smacked with a stick in the groin. But it's not like Holmstrom full out Chris Simon'd him. Let's just say if it was Henrik Zetterberg, they probably wouldn't have called it.

But I have to say I agree. In this case, I condone a double-standard. And before you hang me out to dry, let me explain. Holmstrom has a history of keeping his butt a little too close to the goaltender, and there's not really a rule against it becuase that toe-in-the-crease rule is thankfully gone. But, if you look at the replays of Holmstrom in front of the net, he is obviously obstructing the goaltender. A message needed to be sent, and sent early in the series. If you are going to call Sean Avery's shananigans a penalty than what Holmstrom does in front the of the net needs to be as well. There was a goal called back last series for the exact same reason, and he obviously didn't learn. My advice? Holmstrom, you're a big guy, just take a step forward. You'll still be screening the goaltender.

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