Scott Levy

Photo credit: Scott Levy

We should have known better. We should have been more cynical. We should just have assumed this series was going to seven and enjoy Mother’s Day.

But nooooooo. We watched the Caps play an undisciplined-yet-solid game on enemy ice, giving up five power plays. No one’s saying the Caps are angels, but this is silly. The Rangers did nothing with their big chunk of man-advantage time, but one lucky bounce off Steve Oleksy’s arm made this a perfect afternoon for New York: a shutout without any penalties committed*.

Rangers beat Caps 1-0.  Game seven tomorrow night.

  • Well, we kinda knew it would happen like this. Mathieu Perreault took a clean– but way late– hit by Michael Del Zotto. No whistle. Ryan Callahan lured Jack Hillen into roughing, and the Caps killed the penalty. Then, Eric Fehr put an elbow into Derek Brassard‘s shoulder, whose master thespian skills got the attention of the refs. The Caps killed all their first period penalties (including a long 5-on-3), but it was taxing. The whole bad-referee conspiracy theory thing is tiresome, but I don’t see how some of these calls are defensible. I really do think the Caps are doing more naughty things in this series, but not this many. And as the team who has had the puck most of the series, they’ve committed a curious number of offenses. That’s all I have to say about it.
  • So I made a big deal last week about how articles slamming Alex Ovechkin’s defense are out of proportion. Alex probably didn’t read those articles, but he did feel like throwing me a bone, blocking two big shots in a first period shift. I appreciate the gesture, but I’d really rather not have my team’s $10-million superstar throwing his body in front of ballistic vulcanized rubber. If you disagree, I have two words that end the debate: Sidney Crosby.
  • The Rangers came out of the first intermission motivated, tilting the ice for 10 minutes before Derek Brassard got a shot past Braden Holtby by way of Steve Oleksy‘s deflection. Rick Nash didn’t get a piece of it– no matter what the NHL scoresheet says.
  • Alex Ovechkin‘s line got caught out in a long shift at the tail end of the second period. Most of that time was spent scrambling in their own zone, though Ovi did break out for a pretty chance on Henrik. That 96-second shift was just one portion of a fast-going second period, which the Rangers dominated.
  • After a few days of chatter over possible injuries and defensive match-ups, Alex Ovechkin was electric on Sunday afternoon. 5 shots, 12 attempts– but nothing hitting the back of the net. He’s due.
  • Remember that time in the third period when the Caps got away with a too-many-men penalty? That was nice for a second, until Joel Ward was whistled for a light crosscheck that sent Dorsett into the Rangers’ net. Ugh, I said I wouldn’t kvetch about penalties anymore, but here we are. At least New York is garbage on the power play– 2 for 20-something (and climbing) this series.
  • 28 saves for Braden Holtby, plus the one behind his back. Beast.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

*UPDATE: Stepan and Girardi were given roughing penalties for the scrum at the final buzzer. Carlson and Brouwer also got tagged for it. This is completely inconsequential, but putting an asterisk on NYR’s “perfect” game is the closest thing I have to joy right now.

Everyone’s been saying that the Caps have to stay out of the penalty box. It’s no less true now that it was then, but we haven’t really seen any effort to make that happen yet. We have seen an exemplary penalty kill unit, so there’s that at least.

Okay, game seven. We’re used to this by now, right?

Listen: no team has lost on home ice in this series. The Caps have outplayed the Rangers in probably five of these six games, and they can do it again. Dial down the passion, pull a couple power plays, and stay the course. No sweat.

Crash the net.

P.S. – Call your mom if you’re lucky enough to have one. Mine is great, and I’ll be bummed out that she won’t answer the phone tonight with a cheerful “happy hockey!”

See you guys tomorrow.

  • JenniferH

    Oh well, back to VC to take the series. Holtby and the defense was great, but we could just rarely get any prolonged offensive opportunities and they just hammered the net almost non-stop!

  • hopeless

    First bullet expansion: “they’ve committed a curious number of offenses IN NEW YORK.” This is some ish. I’m not saying we didn’t commit them, but the Rangers committing none? Indefensible is right. WTF NHL?

  • buck

    If these refs had one more eye, they would be cyclopses

  • hopeless

    which would only give them a clearer view of the insides of their rectums.

  • Dman

    Can’t blame this on the refs. We deserved most of those calls. We were outworked for 2 periods and Henrik freaking Lundqvist is so annoyingly good at hockey. We’ll get them game 7.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andywalker Andy Walker

    I don’t buy the “refs are penalizing to keep the revenue going” argument either, but there is clearly something going on here, even if it’s just outright incompetence. What is especially irksome is that there are no formal channels for inquiry or censure that the fans are privy to. If there’s oversight of any kind in the NHL, we sure as hell don’t hear about it.

  • hopeless

    after that bs im gonna go get hammered. bam.

    maybe then i can stop focusing on my angst and can get off this site for a while. happy sunday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hank.desword Gringo Hank

    Fehrs “elbow” and wards “crosschecking”. Ehhh.
    Then theres the hit to poor lil mathews head. Yeah he’s a short dude, but thats a penalty.
    Some were earned, but the rangers got away with way too much.

  • blondinwrx

    14 PPs for caps, 26 for rangers. double the fucking penalties. Looking alot more like caps pens series that was ridiculously one sided.

  • Kolzig27

    I honestly believe most NHL refs are just plain incompetent, refs in other series have been awful too. No way the rangers didn’t deserve at least one penalty though.

  • vahockeymom

    So is this the NHL, or just terrible refs? No way are the Rangers the little angels they seem to be, based on the score sheet. Yes, the Caps have committed some penalties. But what is troubling is that the Rangers have too. Clearly. And yet nothing is called. Maybe the NHL wants Rangers-Blackhawks this year?

  • Joben

    I will admit that the Caps were deserving of their penalties today, but the series should have been over in game 5. The officiating in games 3 and 4 have potentially cost our boys the series. I really hope someone in the Capitals organization calls the officials out for today, the Rangers committed plenty of offenses and I’m disgusted that they couldn’t have at least thrown a PP our way after all the soft calls on the Caps.

  • vahockeymom

    You are so right. The whole thing was a disgrace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184025207 Glenn Havinoviski

    NBC feed on NHL Sportscenter: “This should really be a 3-0 or 4-0 game except for Holtby and the New York power play”.

  • Joben

    Its as if the networks know they’ll get good ratings from a 7 game series between the Caps and Rangers so they’re deep in the pockets of the officials to extend the series. I could also just be going crazy from my frustration and making conspiracy theories.

  • http://twitter.com/priscillamay1 Priscilla Villanueva

    LOL – the Rangers have been hopelessly outplayed this entire series. I don’t see that happening without Bettman hiring Jeff Gillooly to chop off Sid’s legs or Anderson’s arms.

  • Dman

    The Fehr penalty is a tough call for the refs to make. Obviously, it wasn’t the right call, but in real time, it looked like an elbow. 5 penalties on us were too much (should’ve been 3 from what I saw) but we knew coming into this series that the Rags were the least penalized team. Gotta get something done at even strength. Again, they have the best goalie in the playoffs (other than Holtby, of course)

  • http://twitter.com/firefghteremt08 Eric Currence

    The DOG Penalty’s we have taken over the coarse of the regular and post season this year is unbelievable, that wasn’t a cross check against Ward…but the Rags not getting 1 penalty is ridiculous, borderline calls….please shoot the puck more, MSG is bad ice they should know that by now, disappointing but back at home tomorrow, GO CAPS

  • yv

    The rule still stands: 3 first period PKs Caps lose. Rangers have used their bench location perfectly. In second they speed up the game, start pushing, pinning Caps in Dzone and keep sending fresh offensive reinforcement from the bench, while Caps cant b/c of long shift change. So, another game 7. Caps urgently need to find offense and start scoring, otherwise if game again will go to OT they might not be lucky as the last two times. Ovi played good tonight, but game 7 now on his shoulder, without his goals Caps would be in big trouble.

  • JP

    The problem is that in MSG the refs are calling the games much tighter against the Caps than against the Rangers.

    This isn’t conspiracy theory. Look at the tape. How is the Ward ‘penalty’ worse behavior than what Del Zotto did against Perreault? Answer: it’s not. Wardo spends two minutes in the box, Del Zotto skates on.

    Just call the damn games evenly. That’s all we want.

  • blondinwrx

    the rangers have gotten 25 of the last 35 powerplays in this series

  • vahockeymom

    Awesome Jeff Gillooly reference.

  • Batman

    The first racist NYR fan

  • Killing Refs
  • Corey Dalton

    The penalty on Hillen was also a joke. No reason for the call, and if they were going to call it Girardi should have gone too.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Sorry dude, I’m gonna nix this comment. I don’t wanna use this space to signal-boost assholes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andywalker Andy Walker
  • http://twitter.com/jyoders19 Jeff Yoders

    New York’s “perfect” game is being influenced by what has to be instruction to the officials. There is simply NO WAY that Dorsett PUNCHING Green in the groin before his cross-check goes unpenalized without the refs being told something by the league brass. The fact that Green only got two minutes for the cross-check makes it clear that, unlike Pierre Maguire, the refs actually saw the punch to the groin area that preceded the cross-check.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Rangers have never won a game 7 I believe is what John Walton said on the air today.

    They have also never won a first round series after going down 0-2 away from home.

    Let’s hope we don’t buck the trend.

  • Tommy

    I was also disappointed that the officials declined to call Lundquist at least once for his two trips in game 5. They saw Holtby and called him in game 4, but no dice for us. All around, this has been a very uneven series. Hard to say “coincidence” when refs shelving best power play in the league.

  • jennrubenstein

    aside from asterisks on the score sheet, is there any other penalty for the 4 roughing calls after the final buzzer?

    i try to look at things like officiating from outside of a blind homer/conspiracy theorist standpoint, but it is really, really hard with a game like today. i won’t argue any of the calls against the caps. not a single one. but to say the rags played a perfect game is to make a mockery of the series. i’ve seen enough comments about it on twitter from non-caps fans that it makes it that much harder to swallow. is it all the officiating? of course not, and it’s really satisfying when a team can “overcome” what we perceive as an unbalanced game and win anyways. but it’s tough to get any momentum going with a period like the first. ah well. TOMORROW. the nhl wants ratings*, let’s destroy the rags at home and give them some ratings.

    * not a conspiracy theorist… not a conspiracy theorist…

    oh and the scoresheet was amended to give the goal to brassard, which is, uh… nash something something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42211077 Owen Johnson

    Rangers won a game 7 last year.
    Against the Caps

  • http://www.facebook.com/hank.desword Gringo Hank

    Well, yes you have to get sht done on five on five, BUT, when your forecheck is broken by zebras seeing elbows on your shoulders, and having to play with 4 guys half a period. Its hard to get things done 5v5 when you are only 4 guys…
    And ofc Ovis TOI drops, AND rags don’t have to play Ronald McDonagh and them boys as much.

    And that elbow by Girardi on Hillen? Thats a non call that would deserve a shanaban in regular season. Real dirty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hank.desword Gringo Hank

    I believe the correct stat is they have never won a game 7 on away ice. 0-5 i think it was.

  • OlietheGoalie

    That sounds better Gringo. I knew I heard Walton wrong. More importantly, I watched the Game 7 last year too…dunno why I forgot that we lost the series.

  • http://twitter.com/stRANGERS35 stRANGERS

    You can throw your stat sheets out the window. this is as good as it gets. playoff hockey game 7. #NYRBelieve

  • http://twitter.com/stRANGERS35 stRANGERS

    Nash get’s gooned about 5 times a period. I didn’t see the play ur referencing, but will try and find a vid.

  • http://twitter.com/stRANGERS35 stRANGERS

    Holtby should play the puck a lot in game 7.

  • Rigged

    What you don’t know is that the families of the refs are being held in a basement in Jersey by some dude who goes by the name “Tommy” and will be only released unharmed if the Rangers win.