Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Goalies Dive, Captains Shouldn't

Pittsburgh has spent a considerable amount of energy complaining about the evil Red Wings and their nefarious diving. For a team who is captained by someone widely regarded as the first lady of the Canadian Theatre, they might want to keep their mouths shut.

Mostly, they are focused on the two goaltender interference calls from Game 2 in which they are adamant that their players did nothing wrong and Osgood gave Oscar caliber performances.

The first penalty (sorry, can't find a video), there was no dive. Period. Nor was the Pens player (Malone) pushed. He just picked a really, really stupid time to take a run at the goalie in the crease and is looking for cover (and his coach, for some insane reason, is helping him make excuses).

The second penalty, Osgood was clearly embellishing. But Sykora should NEVER have been putting his shoulder into him behind the net. I don't care how frustrated you are, you don't do that. The puck wasn't even in the vicinity. Sykora did something stupid and Osgood made sure the Refs saw it. Should he have gone down like that? No. But Sykora should not have made himself vulnerable to a penalty like that with absolutely no possible change of any kind of favorable result for his team. He was selfishly blowing off steam at a goalie that had (at the time) shut out his team for nearly 2 games.

These actions, along with the sucker punches into Franzen's head (his first game back from concussion-like symptoms) illustrate that the is a Penguins team that doesn't really know what's going on or how to change it (I hope so anyway). I think that they a guilty of buying into their own hype (well, the NHL's hype regarding their team).

Tonight's game in Pittsburgh will be very telling. They get the match-ups they want and their home fans. Obviously it's a must-win for them to make it an entertaining series. They have the talent to pull of the upset, but they have to stop making excuses, work harder, and not be as stupid. Unless they have some brilliant, Machiavellian PR campaign of deception going on, they lack the proper leadership at both the Head Coach and Captain levels.

That's entirely fine with me.

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