Sunday, May 18, 2008

Final score: (Refs 2+Pens 4), Flyers 0 (should be 1).

4-1, the score minus the officiating idiocy, is still a loss, but at least THAT would be the score that we earned for ourselves. We lost the game either way, but taking the officiating out of it makes the score more realistic.

Given the fact that we missed the playoffs entirely last season, the fact that we made it to the Eastern Conference Finals this season is a huge step.

However, it doesn't change the fact that the officiating in these playoffs has been atrocioius. A pro league that was actually somewhere in or near the mainstream would be investigated by Congress for the favoritism that the officials show toward one particular team. It seems like Bettman wants to shove the Pens down North America's throat in the hopes of making them the team that everybody likes. The penalties called against their opponents are ridiculous. The diving and cheapshots the Pens get away with are also ridiculous. The refs HANDED the Pens two powerplay goals today (which they didn't need, obviously, given that they scored four legitimate goals). The Flyers' one goal was disallowed for reasons that remain nebulous -- especially since we've seen similar goals AGAINST us by this very team allowed to stand. (See: Staal running over Biron in the regular season. That goal stood.)

In short, the Pens won the series. And I am not saying the refs won it FOR them, since that's not true. But the refs DID skew the penalty calls strongly in favor of Pittsburgh. Ditto for the playoff rounds prior to this one. RIP NHL -- this league is a shell of its former self.

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