No, Mr. Miyagi is not pleased. Not pleased with the total breakdown of officiating in the last several games. Blatant calls missed (translate: muggings) in front of either net, phantom calls on Penguin players. I've always considered blaming losses on referees to be a cop-out. I'm not blaming the loss on the refs. The Pens lost, and the way their PP is going 5 or 6 correct calls wouldn't have changed that. But when a team, or series of teams gets the idea that calls will be edged their way, a kind of 'level the playing surface' type of officiating, then bad things are eventually going to happen. When more teams get the idea that it's ok to deck Penguins in front of the net (Chara and Wade) or that you can take advantage of an already frustrated team by slashing, interfering, or cross-checking in retaliation, and not only not get called, but get a Power Play then players are going to get injured and possibly careers are going to get cut short. (I'm not trying to sound like a drama-king, it's just the facts) There are always going to be missed calls. That's a part of every game with rules and a referee. That's not the issue here, if there were ever a perfectly called game, then people wouldn't have anything to bitch about between games. But something's not right about penalties happening right in front of referees and no calls. It's like asking one team in a game to play play-off hockey for the entire season. I don't care how talented a team is, no one can play that kind of a season. You'd best be listening Bettman, your League's meal ticket is at stake here.
Enough ranting, on with the Awards.
Assistant Goalie of the Game Award: Goes to, you guessed it, Rob Scuderi. Scuds blocked three shots in one 5 on 3 PK along with his usual tough defensive style.
First Goal of, Well, Ever Award: Dustin Jeffery on a classic wrist/rebound/stuff shot in the first period. Just like the coaches drew it up in practice.
Hardest Working Man in Show Business Award: Is the sole property of Pascal Dupuis. Super Duper has been just that in the last three games. Working his ass off and whacking that impressive slap-shot at the hapless goalies at every opportunity.
Honorable Mentions for Hardest Worker: Tim Wallace for his desire to hit everything with a heartbeat not wearing a Penguin on his sweater. And Dustin Jeffery for being a willing participant with Tim in his campaign to embed his logo in the skin of the opposing team, and with the same feckless abandon.
The Maxwell Smart "Missed it by That Much' Award: Goes to the entire Penguin offense for scaring the crap out of goal posts every time they crank up a shot. Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal will accept the award for the Forwards.
Other Stuff: Rumors abound about the return of Tyler Kennedy, the spark plug for the third line (and the team). The FSN crew of Error and Stogie announced that Therrien mentioned that TK would be good to play sometime next week. That of course led to further speculation on their parts that it was possible that he could be seen as soon as Saturday's game against the Panthers. Tough guy Eric Godard has been mentioned about as many times in the last week as a mother's threat "The Boogie-man is going to get you' is used on an unruly child. (I have some experience there) Either could be one reason HCMT is dressing Defensemen in stead of calling up another forward from WBS.