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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not as many mistakes as the Officials had

Minnesota Wild generate a lot of chances but make costly mistakes in a frustrating one-goal loss -
"Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard said. 'We thought things were going our way, and we got the crowd back into it.'"
Bou has changed the way he spells his name on his jersey so it is "Boochard" ... so when you hear the fans go "BOOOOOO" during a game it isnt' that they are upset with something, its more that they are warning the other team that the Enforcer is on the ice and they better start to play nice.

My son was telling me that one of the Avalance was giving another of our players a tough time during the last period of the regular season game (Boo was no on the roster that night) and a reporter asked him if he was going to try to do the same thing to Bouchard. The answer was basically 'are you kidding???' he then commented on the fact that Boo is like 6'4" and 240 lbs or something .... a fan had a great sign at the game --- and it was rink side seating too! It said ' (name of Av. player) aren't to too old to be afraid of the Boogey Man???' I thought it was great --- both son and I were LOAsO.

I told my son that we should just stick Boo on our blue line crouched and ready to tackle the other players -- then just any little movement from Boo would break their concentration by just that little bit. He said no we can't do that ... besides, he observed, its better that the players think he is always breathing down their necks (hee hee -- I have to give him that ... the scariest thing is the unknown).

Anyways -- I understand that this should have been an easier game that it was. But the officials were letting a lot of infractions 'slide' by ... I saw at least three BLATANT trips that didn't get called (and yes one of those was by a Wild) and .... what the f is with the Avalance laying down on the ice to block a goal????

They weren't inadvertant falls caused by tripped up feet or skates slipping out from under a player .... everytime (okay, nearly everytime) a Wild player tried to line up a shot and it was pretty obvious that it would have gotten in one of the Avalance would 'fall' on the ice between the puck and the net. It was so apparent that it was predictable.

By the end of the third period it got to the point where both son and I were going -- look we're lining up for a shot, which player will go down???? and sure enough, BOOM, one of their players would fall. My son was so pissed ... he wanted to know why we just didn't have our players lay down on the ice in front of our goal to keep the puck out or prevent the other teams from getting a decent shot.

So what did the officials do? NOTHING. In fact the majority of the game I swear they did nothing. One of their players fell on the ice (it was an accident) but then he purposefully threw his leg out to trip our player who had the puck ... did he get called for tripping? no. One of their players purposefully puts his hockey stick between one of our players legs and uses it to try to trip him up (and make him a soprano), the player knew what he did was an infraction and looked to the official who simply skated away -- yes just skated away, didn't whistle anything and even the Avalance player seemed momentarily stunned that he didn't get called on it ... our player was incensed by it.

I know much of it has to do with the NHL hoping that by simply letting the fellows play hockey that they will trigger some fights and get more viewers. As much as the NHL might like to act like they dislike that side of the game -- it does sell tickets ... hockey is the last great blood sport in the US. Just watch how the crowd reacts when the thought of a fight enters their minds .... yeah the NHL wants the fights, they don't want the injuries, but they do want the fights.

But like I said, this should have been an easy game for us. Maybe we were too laid back. Maybe Backstrom was off his game (although he looked better than most of the games I've seen with him in the net). Whatever the reason, we should have been making more goals -- we had twice, or nearly twice, as many shots on goal ... I hope they get some decent ice time to practice those tough shots before the next game (Friday). But we will see.

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