Before the end of Game 2 last night, I was thinking that all you conspiracy theorists — those who think the NHL will jump through hoops of fire, no matter the cost in order to get Sidney Crosby to lift the Stanley Cup — had a rough night.
After all, ex-Penguin Marian Hossa sure seemed to hook (if not slash — I didn’t see a slash, but I did see a stick break) a Pittsburgh player just before the tie-breaking goal. Then a video-reviewed goal by the Penguins was not allowed. So how were you guys going to complain about the pro-Pittsburgh NHL today?
Then it happened. Evgeni Malkin (who you all hate, but would love to have in blue, red and white) instigated a fight with Henrik Zetterberg in the final seconds. He received a game misconduct. By rules, a player who instigates a fight in the final minutes of a playoff game is suspended for the next game. Also, Malkin’s jersey was not tied down, that should have been an additional game misconduct. So two game misconducts could be another suspension.
Yet the NHL lifted the suspension, which is somewhat understandable. Malkin’s not one of these goons trying to send a message, which is what the rule was implemented to prevent. Still, it looks like another pro-Pitt ruling. I’m sure you see it that way.
And a few of you guys in an earlier thread brought up the point: What if that were Sean Avery instead of Malkin? He’d probably be suspended for a year, right? Or life imprisonment.
From now on, I think, whenever a fourth-liner makes a significant contribution, I’m going to call him an abdelkader.
Man, that Blair Betts is an abdelkader.
If you need some summer reading, or if you need help falling asleep, The New York Times ran the entire state-of-the-NHL Q&A with Gary Bettman on Sunday. Read it here (if you have nothing to do for a few hours).