“It was just a good old fashioned spanking” was how Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella capped off last night’s post game press conference. Although he remained as cool and calm as he could, you could just tell that something irked the Rangers headman, because not only did his team play a lethargic and listless game, but the officials were not at their best. “I don’t want to talk about penalties…we stunk tonight.” was his reply when a reporter asked what he thought of the officiating.
I’m not going to sit here and blame the referees for last night’s loss so please excuse the catchy title; controversy does sell after all, but there were a few questionable calls (at best) to occur last night, the majority happening in the second period. Now, there are a lot of intelligent brains that read and write for this web site so I was wondering if you could help me out with something.
Can someone please explain the following: Rangers center Scott Gomez is trying to enter the offensive zone and is interfered with by a Capitals’ player. As he is being held along the boards, Ryan Callahan carries the puck over the blue line and the whistle blows. Play stops and both teams skate away figuring it was an offside call but there was actually a penalty called on the play. The infraction? Ryan Callahan would be sent off for two minutes for high sticking. Now here is my problem, how can a player high stick someone if his stick is on the ice cradling the puck? They even showed a replay and I was expecting to see him commit the penalty behind the play, but there was nothing for a good fifteen seconds beforehand, and the referees arm was still down.
Next came a questionable call for goaltender interference on you guessed it, Sean Avery. I feel all other penalties on him last night were warranted, but he should not have been penalized when he was pushed into goaltender Simeon Varlamov by his own defenseman. If you look closely on the play, referee Kelly Sutherland’s arm was almost halfway up before Avery even came into contact with him. If they wanted to use their bias to the fullest extent, they could at least do it in a less obvious way. They might as well penalize him for breathing…no wait I take it back; don’t want to give themk any ideas.
Greg’s Game Three 3-Star Selection
- Kelly Sutherland
- Alex Semin
- Henrik Lundqvist