Monday, April 14, 2008

The tide turns

Due to Al Gore's great invention, the internet, I was able to finally watch the Devils play some playoff hockey. I definitely picked a good time to start watching. The Devils stepped up this evening and cut the Rangers' series lead to 2-1 in a dramatic overtime victory. I can honestly say, that I'm more confident in the Devils' chances now than I was at the beginning of the series, despite trailing in the series. Just something about the effort tonight made me feel really good.

I'm not gonna lie, the Rangers are a ton quicker than the Devils, and that's the reason they've beat us 9 out of the last 11 times. However, most of those games were close and the Rangers benefited from some odd plays in the first two games of this series. Granted, while John Madden was very fortunate to score thanks to Marc Staal's skate, it was probably the first break we had the entire series. The refs also shortchanged the Devils a couple times this game. For one, they called Zach Parise for a garbage cross-check, 11 seconds into a New Jersey powerplay because they thought they went overboard for calling Sean Avery for goalie interference (though in my mind that was an easy call as Brodeur almost wiped out from Avery bumping him). Another one was a delay of game call on Bryce Salvador where he accidentally knocked the puck over the glass as he swatted it at it. This penalty gave the Rangers a 5 on 3 which they ended up scoring on, but not before some bush league tactics from Sean Avery.

If you watched the game or saw the highlights (he probably did it for at least 45 sec-1 min), you know exactly what I mean. When New York was on that 5 on 3, Sean Avery stood directly in front of Martin Brodeur, facing him right up in his grill while violently waving his stick like a raving lunatic. I have never seen anything like it. It's one thing to screen the goalie, but another to be a complete jackass while doing it. While I admit there is no rule against it, it was just so retarded and disrespectful to the game. I would equate what he was doing to A-Rod yelling at that Toronto infielder as he dropped that pop up last year or a basketball player causing havoc during a free throw. Yeah, you can do it, but come on...respect the game. Cut the bush league crap. However (as Barry Melrose said on SportsCenter tonight), somebody should have popped him in the mouth. You can't just let a guy do that. It would have been a very worthwhile penalty.

With all that being said, here's to hoping the Devils have finally hit a turning point. I can't help but believe that if there is such a thing as karma, it's in their court now.

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