It's been touched on by literally everyone already, but the officiating of last night's game wasn't even sub-par, it was just bad. I hate sounding like one of those fans that when their team loses who says, "Oh, if it wasn't for the officiating, we would have won. They made some bad calls and that was our downfall, or else we could have wrapped that game up."
In last night's case [and consequently, in Game One as well], the officiating was beyond bad. Even if you're a Sharks fan, you have to admit that somewhere inside your mind, there's a little voice saying, "Wow. This is just ridiculous."
Ten penalties were called against us in last night's game. Ten penalties against one of the least-penalized teams during the regular season. Ten compared to four against San Jose. Ten, equaling twenty minutes. That's an entire period of hockey, in case you didn't know. Twenty minutes on the penalty kill. Tell me, NHL referees and officials, how are the Red Wings supposed to have a chance to get into the game or keep their one-goal lead when they're playing twenty minutes shorthanded? Like Mike Babcock said, "The reality is that you can't have momentum if only half your players can get on the ice because they are sitting in the penalty box all night long."
And look at some of the penalties that were called. Bertuzzi for goalie interference in the second when he brushed Nabokov's glove. Bertuzzi for holding when he shoved the San Jose defenseman. ...Okay, maybe the most blatantly terrible calls were on Bert, and maybe it's just because he looks like a bear with that beard, but come on, refs. Let us play.
There were some misfortunate accidents, too. Like Lidstrom shattering his stick when he tried to take a slapshot and Thornton and Heatley going down two-on-one to score the game-tying goal. Lidstrom did everything he could to try to stall Heatley, but it wasn't any use. I know Mickey Redmond was at home watching the game and had a massive heart attack at that point. Sorry about that Mick, but I'm right there with you.
Jimmy Howard looked like a rookie at times in net. But he had some major game-saving stops at timely moments. And come on, people, I'd like to see you do better as a rookie goalie trying to fight off twenty minutes on the penalty kill. I can't blame Jimmy for this loss. I won't blame Jimmy for this loss.
So to you Wings fans that are freaking out about the series being over, let me quote Homer Simpson when he's talking to Selma on the phone: "Listen, shut up for a second." This series isn't over until we lose one at home. And Mike Babcock will not let his team do that. The Red Wings won't do that. And if they do, only then will I start to worry.
And PS - They don't play on my birthday this year, so you guys don't have to worry about an "intent to blow the whistle" on a Hossa goal to tie the game up with 1:07 left in Game Three. Worst birthday present ever, refs. Don't do it again this year.
Top-Rated Shuffle: #727/1496: I Won't Be Left - Tegan & Sara