Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Terrible Call Contributes To Preds Loss

I don't really know how to properly explain the magnitude of what happened in Game 3 between the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks. It's a 2-2 game in overtime and Ryan Kesler has the puck along the half-wall. Shea Weber goes over to defend and Kesler "chicken winged" Weber's stick under his arm. The play lasts for about eight seconds when, all of a sudden, there's a penalty called. Shea Weber. Hooking. I'll go more in depth into this later in the post.

In the 1st period, Nashville got the scoring started on a shorthanded goal when David Legwand went to the slot and put one past Roberto Luongo. It was a great individual effort by Legwand, and it put the Preds up 1-0.

The Canucks would respond in the 2nd period when Ryan Kesler planted himself at the front of the net and scored off of a great pass by Christian Erhoff. Vancouver wasn't done, however, and took the 2-1 lead when Chris Higgins scored from the boards on a weird play. Rinne was out of the net and the puck bounced right to Higgins, who finished the job.

It wouldn't be a game in this year's NHL playoffs if it didn't go to overtime. Naturally, the Preds tied the game on a Joel Ward wrap-around. Then came the overtime period.

Both teams had several scoring chances in the period. It was a classic case of Stanley Cup Playoffs hockey. However, the call was made on Weber and the Canucks won the game on a tip-in by Kesler to put the Canucks up in the series 2-1.

My thoughts on the hooking call:

First of all, it was a call that should never be made in an overtime period in the playoffs. For one thing, it wasn't called at first. The play between Weber and Kesler was going on for several seconds, with not much changing. Then, all of the sudden, you see a hand go up from the endzone ref. There's no way he could have possibly had a good view on the play.

Secondly, it wasn't hooking. Kesler had the stick trapped in between in armpit and his side. The definition of a hooking penalty is: " A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who impedes the progress of an opponent by “hooking” with his stick. A minor penalty for hooking shall be assessed to any player who uses the shaft of the stick above the upper hand to hold or hook an opponent." Rule 55.2 in the NHL rulebook.

What part of that play constitues "impeding the process" of a player. Both of them were along the boards. There is no progress to be made. The bottom line is that it was a terrible call.

Fan Reaction:

I'm extremely disappointed by the Nashville fans after Game 3. You don't throw beer and other objects on the ice. You just don't do it. Punch something(not a person), throw it on the ground, crush it, kick the chair, or do something else. But, DO NOT throw things on the ice. One, it could hurt players on the ice. More importantly, however, is that it makes Nashville look awful. This is my city that I've grown up in. This is the hockey team that I've grown up with. I will not allow us to sit there and look like straight fools by throwing beer on the ice. Get the hell over yourself.

Game 4 is Thursday night.

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