LCS Hockey: Born Again
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July 18, 2019
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Dave Dameshek
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Don't Cry About It



I’ve been trying to take the high road in the days since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. But Detroit fans are making it very, very difficult.

All this talk of a conspiracy is preposterous. Listen, I’m one of the foremost conspiracy experts in the land. I’ve got obscure, esoteric knowledge falling out of my pockets, and I can break down everything from the New World Order to the truth behind Roswell, but claiming Gary Bettman and his merry buffoons conspired to help the Pens win the Cup is beyond absurd.

If you want to say the officiating was brutal, feel free. The standard used in the Finals was drastically different than the previous three rounds. There’s no debating the point. And the league should be ashamed at its lack of consistency when it comes to rule enforcement. But to say the incompetent officiating favored one team or the other is lunacy.

According to most Detroit fans, the Wings never once took a penalty in their pristine lives. Nope. Not a one. Yet those dastardly Penguins committed grievous sins against humanity each and every shift.

Never mind that the Wings had 23 power plays in the Finals compared to Pittsburgh’s 14. Forget the fact Detroit had more power plays in four of the seven games. Don’t even mention how the Wings were handed two power plays in the third period of Game Six and another in the third period of Game Seven. It’s all meaningless. It’s a conspiracy, they say. A conspiracy!

It’s such a conspiracy, the stripes looked the other way when Johan Franzen blatantly interfered with Sidney Crosby in Game Seven, injuring Crosby’s knee and rendering the best player in the world useless for the rest of the contest.

It was such a conspiracy, the refs made up for missing the call on Franzen by handing the Red Wings a power play less than a minute later.

And you don’t think Franzen interfered with Crosby? Let’s go to the tape. Two angles. First, the CBC broadcast…

And now the NBC angle from NHL.com…

The CBC feed doesn’t show Sid touch the puck, but one can hear him touch it on the second clip. The important thing to note is his relation to the Pittsburgh blue line when he touches it. Franzen doesn’t contact Sid until halfway to center red. That’s roughly 25 feet later.

Count Franzen’s strides on that first video. He takes three and half before contacting Sid. Keep in mind, Crosby didn’t have the puck. It was well ahead of him, and the last time he touched it was 10 feet inside his own zone. Franzen skated into Sid’s lane to initiate the hit. That’s interference. Period.







Now, if there truly was a conspiracy, don’t you think the refs would have jumped all over this? Crosby, Pittsburgh’s best player and the league’s golden boy, gets injured on a textbook case of interference, and the refs call nothing. Not even a two-minute minor. Some conspiracy.

The refs didn’t put those pucks behind Chris Osgood. Max Talbot did. The refs didn’t stone the Wings in Games Six and Seven. That was Marc-Andre Fleury. The only conspiracy involved the Penguins conspiring to kick Detroit’s sorry ass.

The Red Wings got beat on home ice in a Game Seven when the Penguins didn’t even have their best player. Detroit had two power plays to Pittsburgh’s one and did a whole lot of nothing with both. Don’t cry about it. But I guess that’s what losers do.

And speaking of crybaby losers, Kris Draper, you’re a jackass. And make sure you write that I said that.

Draper embarrassed himself and his organization with his idiotic comments about Crosby “snubbing” Nicklas Lidstrom and some of the other Wings in the handshake line.

Guess what, monkey boy? You lost. I know you were probably sour from losing in front of your classy fans – you know, the ones who cheered Crosby’s injury and booed the Stanley Cup. You probably wanted to cry like a little girl in the privacy of the dressing room, but you lost. Deal with it. It’s your job to wait for the winners.

It’s tradition that the winning team forms the handshake line. But Lidstrom and the Wings, apparently unwilling to witness the better team celebrate on their home ice, forced the issue. Crosby wasn’t “snubbing” them. He was celebrating. It’s his moment, not theirs. He was also doing interviews. I realize Draper can’t understand that since only zoo keepers and the occasional veterinarian ever want to talk to him, but Sid has to do stuff like that since, well, he’s the face of the league. Draper’s only the face for gorilla cookies.

Last year, when the Penguins lost to Detroit at the Igloo, Crosby and the Penguins hung around to make sure they shook everyone’s hand. Lidstrom and Draper weren’t in such a hurry then, were they?

If anyone was disrespected, it was Crosby. The Wings should have waited. Losers wait for winners. Draper, you lost. Your buddy Lidstrom? He lost too. You all lost. Shut your mouth and know your role.

And I just heard that Mitch f’n Albom ripped Crosby on the four-letter corporate whore this morning. At first, I typed an incredibly vicious personal attack on Mr. Albom, but what’s the point? It’s Mitch Albom. He does a good enough job humiliating himself each time he takes to the keyboard. You’re the tops, Mitch. Don’t you go changing.

How bad is it when Marian Hossa looks like the classiest guy in Detroit? You know, I was all willing to bury the hatchet, but forget it. Those days are solid gone.

(Sunshine) Detroit, now and forever. Oh, and one more thing...


AP Photo

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