NHL Game Night 11/19: Lightning at Rangers

Next time Tortorella gets thrown out of the game for criticizing the referee, I hope he gets his money's worth.

TB-1
NYR-4

Johan Holmqvist stopped 30 of 34 shots faced in the loss. Eric Perrin scored the lone Lightning goal off assists from Kuba and Holmqvist.

Let me be clear about this: the Lightning didn't deserve any points out of tonight's game. They played dispassionate hockey and were outskated from start to finish. However, it would be impossible to write up this game without mentioning that the league's biased enforcement of video replay from on high in the league offices in Toronto reared its ugly head once again, twice. The first on a play where a Brendan Shanahan tip on a puck looked like it was with a high stick that resulted in the Rangers' second goal and the second on a play where an Eric Perrin goal which was ruled good by the on ice officials was overturned for kicking the puck into the net. Now, you can sit here and microanalyze each play, but when you look at the bigger picture it becomes clear every time the Lightning have a game against a big market, northern opponent the call is going against them. It's obvious. So obvious, in fact, Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson documented the phenomenon on his blog earlier this year with several historical examples of the double standard in video judging that has always existed for the Lightning.

The most blatent case came earlier this year when 6'9" Zdeno Chara batted a puck off his stick at his eye level (the crossbar is, of course, at 4' off the ice) and somehow, mystically, the league office created a baloney explanation for why the resulting goal counted. Tonight's cases weren't as clear cut, but they did nothing to dispell the notion that yes indeed, the video replay process is rigged, which was only made worse by a phantom hooking call on Eric Perrin which resulted in the Rangers' third goal on the power play. If I thought Gary Bettman had an ounce of integrity, I'd be calling for someone in Toronto to be fired. But with Bettman, why waste the keyboard strokes? Instead, I wish John Tortorella would've thrown more of a fit after the wave off when he was thrown out of the game. Then, maybe, just maybe, the national media attention that would've been generated might've cast some disinfecting sunlight on the festering stink we all smell coming down from Toronto.

First Period
NY Rangers 1:43, Jaromir Jagr 9 (Karel Rachunek, Michael Nylander)

Second Period
NY Rangers 2:50, Michael Nylander 8 (power play) (Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka)

Third Period
NY Rangers 4:17, Brendan Shanahan 16 (power play) (Martin Straka, Jaromir Jagr)
NY Rangers 6:46, Martin Straka 10 (Michael Nylander, Jaromir Jagr)
Tampa Bay 17:20, Eric Perrin 4 (power play) (Filip Kuba, Johan Holmqvist)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

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you forgot the first one

Not reviewable unfortunately (though god knows it probably wouldn't have gone our way either), but that first Rags goal was the one the ticked me off the most. I was shocked and literally re-watched it 5 times in a row, can't believe The Chief didn't catch it 'til the intermission. A little hard for Holmqvist to make a save with a dude SITTING ON HIS HEAD, but were they going to wave off Jagr's 600th in front of the very, um, vocal Rags crowd when he's been stuck at 599 for a while? Hell no, they wouldn't have dared. To me, that was the most blatant missed call of the night. It didn't look like Holmqvist protested either, which is surprising.

If I'm interpreting goalie interference incorrectly, someone please straighten me out, because I can't understand how they missed that. I don't think Holmqvist came out to create contact, and Holmer was still in the crease.

Feaster's comments about the ref getting in Torts' face and Perrin's own comments about a Brind'Amour goal from last month were all very interesting in today's papers.

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