LaRue: I guess I have to address the May goal first, so I’ll start off by saying it’s offensive to me that unemployment is 15.1% in Michigan, but an idiot like Dennis LaRue is able to hold on to a job.
May goal: It goes without saying that it was a goal and that the Wings got jobbed. The most mystifying thing to me is how LaRue could stand at center ice and say with a straight face: “There is no goal on the play. The whistle had blown to end the play.” That is patently false. A complete lie. It is Fact that the whistle did not go until after the puck was in the net.
It is also Fact that LaRue did not say he had deemed the play dead in his head prior to the audible whistle. So this apparently isn’t about that idiotic intent rule. It’s about LaRue living life half inside a fantasy world. We just have the misfortune of having to deal with the half that’s in ours.
If Dennis LaRue is hearing whistles in his head or from his fantasy world, maybe the NHL should put him on medical leave so he can get that addressed by someone with a leather couch and a prescription notepad.
If LaRue just misspoke and actually Â meant he’d intended to blow the play dead, that’s even more disturbing. At no point in this play prior to the puck’s entering the net could anyone with a reasonable grasp of hockey conclude that the play was dead. If LaRue lost sight of the puck, he should have his driving license revoked because he obviously can’t see well enough to drive.
Toronto: The Toronto call is about as mystifying as LaRue’s mental or ocular capacity. How does Toronto, which presumably had high definition video of the play at their disposal, not get LaRue to overturn the call by telling him the whistle went well after the puck was in?
Rule 39 says that the official can request the Video Goal Judge to review a play or the Video Goal Judge can opt to review a play if they feel the officials missed something. Which was it last night? Either way, what did the Video Goal Judge tell LaRue? Supposedly, it’s the Judge’s word that’s final.
I fail to understand how it went to review and turned out the way it did. It if was a matter of that stupid intent to blow rule, fine. But LaRue didn’t say that. The puck crossed the line on a live play and he missed it. It’s the Video Goal Judge and Toronto’s jobs to set him straight and they didn’t.
The NHL’s got a problem it will never admit it has: its officials are terrible. It’s a systemic issue and as long as they blindly stand behind the men in black-and-white 100%, it will never be fixed. The fact is, those guys need to be held accountable for the mistakes they make. Not the small ones; no one should expect them to be perfect. But when they screw up this big? The NHL has to admit a mistake was made. It’s not hanging officials out to dry to admit fallibility.
I can’t believe the owners don’t get on the League more about this. They’re owed more from the NHL than the referees are. It’s their League, after all. Their product is suffering as a result of these incompetent fools. Why do they let it continue? Are they really so apathetic? Is that how you get to be filthy rich? By allowing rank incompetence?
Anyway: Moving on now.
Howard: I admit it: Jimmy’s playing well and he’s done it longer than I expected.
In fact, he’s the reason the LaRue call matters so much. Were the score 5-1, it still would have been a travesty of a call, but it wouldn’t have had such a direct effect on the outcome, you know? 2-1 is Â a completely different story.
And the reason it was 2-1 and not 5-1 is Jimmy Howard. While the Wings were busy sucking their thumbs for 40 minutes, Howard was making saves and keeping them in a game they basically had little business being in.
That’s right: I said they were “busy sucking their thumbs for 40 minutes.” I’m with Babcock on this one:
“Bottom line, they were better than us for longer than us (sic) …Â We didn’t want to shoot the puck and we wanted to turn over the puck.”
None of that should diminish your anger over the May goal, but let’s be honest here: the Wings weren’t good enough to win last night. Howard put them in a position to pull one out of the fire, yes, but a win would have been a bonus. What they did earn was a point. That’s what LaRue more than likely took away, at least.
Fourth line:This was the only unit I noticed on a Â consistent basis. Sad.
May: He had two-thirds of a Gordie Howe hat trick with a heavy-weight bout with Barch and the goal. I just wish he’d stop falling over to end his fights.
Zetterberg: His individual effort on his goal was awesome. More please, Hank.
Next up: Florida on Friday. Should be exciting…