NHL Suspensions Bewildering

Much has been made over the past week about the suspension following the “game” between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. After a game filled with 346 penalty minutes and10 ejections, just three players were suspended.

The Islanders’ Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin were suspended for nine and four games, respectively, and Penguins’ forward Erik Godard was suspended for 10 games. The Islanders were also fined $100,000 as a team.

Martin sucker punched the Penguins’ Maxime Talbot early in the game in a classless move that was just the beginning. The punch and ensuing “fight” (Martin just pounded the shocked Talbot as he lay helpless on the ice) epitomized the game. How exactly does Martin only receive a four game suspension?!

This wasn’t just a tiny mistake. It was purposeful and premeditated and has no business in the sport. It should have been a minimum 20 game suspension and I would have liked to have seen Martin sitting out the rest of the year.

Gillies’s cheap shot was similar, but worse. In the 3rd period, Gillies ran after Eric Tangradi, struck him in the head with an elbow and continued mauling the forward as he lay on the ice. As Gillies skated away, he mocked the concussed Penguin. It was truly disgraceful.

But Gillies only received nine games!! He shouldn’t be playing hockey again this year whatsoever, but the NHL brass just can’t get anything right. Continue reading “NHL Suspensions Bewildering”

Let’s Play Seven

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and the next two games feature three great game sevens. That’s right. Three of the four conference semifinals have gone the distance and that is what makes hockey so great. They should all be great, hard fought games and the most-anticipated game is tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins head back to Washington to face the Capitals.

This one has the making of one of the greatest games in NHL history. This series has been nothing short of phenomenal. I wrote a post a week ago or so saying that for this series to reach its potential, Evgeni Malkin needed to step up and push the Penguins to a game seven. He did more than that as Pittsburgh actually one three straight games and took a 3-2 lead in the series before falling at home in overtime. Now they have to head back to Washington where the crowd will be loud and ready to propel the Caps to victory.

I expect big games from Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. This is the biggest game of the year so far and this is when stars come out. I’m not sure they can repeat their matching hat tricks from game two, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see each have multi-goal games as beneath winning the series, there is a competition for the best player in hockey. Don’t forgot Malkin either. He’s fighting for best-player-in-the-league honors as well and he could easily swing the game for the Pens. Continue reading “Let’s Play Seven”

Capitals vs. Penguins Can Get Better

APTOPIX Penguins Capitals HockeyWhat’s better than Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby  facing off in a playoff series? How about both of them scoring hat tricks in the same game?

Yes, that happened last night and it really is an extraordinary event. Hat tricks aren’t that uncommon. They occur maybe a couple times a month in the regular season and every once in a while in the post-season. But two in the same game by arguably the two best players in hockey? That is something special.

The Capitals took the game 4-3 and lead the series 2-0, but now Washington most leave their home town and head out to Pittsburgh, where the Penguins’ fans will surely be ready. If this series heads back to the capital tied at two games a piece, get ready to start talking about the greatest series ever.

For that to happen though, Evgeni Malkin must step up. Crosby and him are the soul of this team. Without one, the Pens don’t stand a chance against the Capitals. Malkin must make his presence known, both physically and on the scoreboard. The other two stars in this series have four goals each. Malkin? Zero.

Hockey fans are so excited for this series, because of what it can become. A heavy-weight showdown between the league’s best. But that isn’t guaranteed to happen. The Capitals could easily enter Pittsburgh, win a game, and head home and lock the series up. That would be such a disappointing end to a series with such possibilities. Continue reading “Capitals vs. Penguins Can Get Better”