Thursday, March 25, 2010

Caps vs Pens Last Night: A Thriller Once Again. And New Headshot Rule

If you didn't catch the Capitals and Penguins game at the Verizon Center last night here in DC, then you missed a great one. Washington won the game via shootout style 4-3 on home ice. Yes, I understand that some of you may be turned off because of the media hype between the Crosby and Ovechkin "rivalry." But you must not be a hockey fan if that alone makes you ignore such a great matchup and ultimately, and great game.

The Caps were down 2-1 entering the third period when Alex Semin began the surge with a shorthanded goal to tie the game, followed by Eric Fehr's 21st goal of the year to give Washington the lead. However, Jordan Staal of the Penguins tied the game again at three, and the game went into overtime.

In the shootout, things looked bleak early on for Washington, as Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby lifted the Penguins to an early twi goals to none lead. Alex Ovechkin, who has not always been so successful in the shootout, scored, along with Alex Semin and Mike Knuble, who recieved his first career shootout goal. Along with Jose Theodore stepping up in net after the first two Penguins goals, the Caps ended up winning 4-3 on home ice against Pittsburgh.
For a full recap of the game, check out my post on The Hockey Writers at http://thehockeywriters.com/capitals-penguins-game-3


While I claim this game to be one of the best games to watch all year, the whole first half of the game was dominated by the team in black and white - yep, the referees. I try to avoid making complaints about officiating these days, but when it was as blatant as it was last night, it's hard to avoid the discussion.

The Capitals had five penalties called against them, while the Penguins had one penalty. What was hilarious was how the Penguins power play dominated the flow of the game. The Caps penalty kill was rather impressive, allowing only one goal, despite the constant pressure the PK unit faced.

It was difficult to watch the seemingly uncompetitive matchup. Still, the Cardiac Caps did a great job of persevering through all of that and ultimately winning the game in the shootout, which isn't always the case in those situations.

Nonetheless the officiating was HORRIBLE and ATROCIOUS! Like as if it was illegal to call a penalty on Pittsburgh. It's one thing to see a lot of calls, but for it to go all one direction is ridiculous. Even the most neutral of spectators got livid at the number of missed calls that should have been on Pittsburgh (tripping anyone?).

Whatever, the Caps won, and are up 3-0 in the season series with Pittsburgh. I look forward to leaving the series to the regular season. I want to see the Caps win a Cup after all (will be revisted at a later date).

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Also, today it was announced that the NHL has approved a new rule prohibiting "a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact..."

...Meaning, they're disallowing headshots... which I thought was already kind-of-sort-of against the rules, but I suppose not if they just approved of one today. Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza called the decision a "band-aid" solution. According to The Ottawa Sun, an unnamed player says this is partially because the players had wanted this rule implemented last season, and it was not put in until this season as a result of the outrage from the Matt Cooke incident.

That is a little unfortunate, since concussions were an issue the League was trying to look at before, and logic tells me that cutting down on head-hunting and risky hits would help decrease the number of concussions players were experiencing. But since when did logic matter in sports?

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Finally, as if anyone's bracket wasn't already burned, shredded, or eaten up by some animal/child/adult-person, the wildness continues. Cornell is out of the tournament though! The one underdog team that I was willing to cheer for is now out. You don't go with logic when it comes to this.

In fact, I heard some guy's 6-year-old was on point this year with some picks based on mascots... If there's something I NEVER put money on, it's NCAA basketball. Every year. I get angry watching some game because I did not pick that team to win, and they go almost all the way, if not entirely to the final two.

*If you were unaware, I don't like underdogs. Davidson? I hated them (I can revisit this later too)... well, unless they were American University *open bias*.

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I' will be at the Calgary Flames/Capitals game at the Verizon Center on Sunday. The game starts at 3pm. Follow me @LadyHatTrick1 for in-game updates and commentary.

2 comments:

  1. Pens SUCK!!!!!! enough said lol

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  2. LOL! Wonderful insight into the matchup there!

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