I am so tired of the NHL doing it’s best to ensure the Detroit Red
Wings keep winning. It’s almost a certainty at this point that Gary
Bettman and the NHL officials are doing everything in their power to
keep the winningest NHL franchise in the past 20 years on top, keeping
every other team down along the way. Right?
Wait, that’s not it is it? It’s the other way around, right? “The NHL
is holding the Red Wings back; it’s a conspiracy that starts at the
I don’t know about any sort of conspiracy and frankly I don’t
understand why the NHL would even consider trying to hold back such an
insanely well-run and successful sports franchise. I do believe the Red
Wings have been the bearers of some bad luck call recently, but when you
have Tomas Holmstrom on your team there’s bound to be some controversy
surrounding plays that happen around the crease.
Yesterday, the Red Wings were actually the benificiaries of
questionable call that disallowed a goal, when Patrick Kane appeared to
have scored on the power play to put the Blackhawks up 3-0. Yet the goal
was called back, when it was ruled that Dustin Byfuglien had interfered
with Jimmy Howard. The biggest tell to me on the play was the fact that
Howard didn’t even react to the “interference”, which is usually
automatic when a goaltender feels he was wronged and then a goal was
“You look back on that and it was a turning point,” coach Mike
Babcock said. “I talked (to the officials), because they bumped our
goalie and got the goal called back and no penalty. We bump their goalie
(Tomas Holmstrom) and we get a penalty. I guess we have to clarify that
It was certainly a turning point in the game, as the Red Wings were
able to overcome the 2-0 deficit, score five second period goals on
route to a thrilling 5-4 win. The good news is that the Chicago players
aren’t using that one play as an excuse.
“Against a team like Detroit, we put it on cruise and we
paid for it really quickly,” forward Kris Versteeg said. “I don’t think
we played our game anymore (in the second). It was almost like we
started to let up. We needed to play the whole game like we played the
Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.
(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)
You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.
Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.
Letang told his side of the story:
The Capitals disagree:
While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:
No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.
If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.
The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.
(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)
Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.
A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.
First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.
Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.
Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.
In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.
This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.
It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.
(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)
There are a few things we do know already.
For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.
Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.
In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.
There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.
Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.
As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.
Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.
Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.
Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:
Things could get ugly in Game 3:
One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:
Also, lateness of the check:
The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.
Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.
Read reactions to the check here.