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Monday, May 6, 2013

It Was a Damn Penalty @MadChad412

This just in: The NHL still has no idea how to market their game to casual sports fans. Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders in overtime thanks to a Chris Kunitz power-play goal. The power-play came thanks to a holding penalty on former Pens' defenseman, now Islanders' defenseman Brian Strait, when he held Sidney Crosby.

Since then people have lost their minds. Now the internet is full of conspiracy theories, people bitching, and of course Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick giving their great opinions.

"Crosby is soft, Crosby is a diver, the NHL fixes games for Crosby and the Pens". I've literally heard it all since the end of the game. That's basically what these bitter analysts are doing. For those that don't know, Roenick never won a Cup and Milbury was a goon of a coach and a terrible GM of the Islanders.

Roenick and Milbury are both clowns. They get paid to give their opinions and controversy is great for TV ratings. Look, everyone is tweeting about Roenick and Milbury, which just feeds right into their huge egos.

The funny thing is almost every other national analyst that commented on the penalty said it was the right call. Obviously you don't want a playoff game to end on a a penalty but it did now we all need to move on.

Watch the play again, Crosby beat Strait on the boards with a spin move and was driving towards the net. Strait had no choice but to hold on for dear life. Crosby still ended up trying to finish the play on his ass. That's what happens when you got a waiver-wire pickup like Strait watching the best player in the world.

What's more plausible; Crosby diving or Brian Strait holding Crosby? Is it more likely that Crosby would need to dive to draw a penalty more than Strait would need to hold him to prevent a goal? Use common sense. Of course Islanders' fans are going to be upset and they have a right to be. Their team outplayed the Pens and lost in overtime on a power-play. Of course, the Islanders could have just killed the penalty.

What scares me is the NHL makes their superstars look bad. Since he's been in the league hockey experts have done nothing but add to Crosby's whiner/diver reputation. Crosby doesn't need to dive; he's the best player in the league. He beat Strait to the net and if Strait didn't impede Crosby illegally, Crosby has a chance to end the game fair and square right there.

The NHL still doesn't understand how to market their game around their superstars. They bash Alexander Ovechkin for playing with a lack of effort on the same channel that they later have to promote a game that he will be featured in. In case you haven't notice, ESPN doesn't do that with LeBron James or Kevin Durant and the NBA.

So now you have two bitter ass-clowns (Roenick, Milbury) bashing the league's two most marketable and best players on the same channel that they might have to promote a game with either of them playing in. The casual fan might tune in and all of the sudden they're hearing these analysts talk about Crosby being a diver. Crosby being a diver is actually a laughable notion considering that he's never been called for an unsportsmanlike penalty in his career.

The Pens were lucky to win the game though, the Islanders played better five-on-five. But they lost, and they let a mediocre player take a terrible penalty that cost them a game. That's not the Pens fault, it's not Crosby's fault, and it’s not a conspiracy. The league doesn't fix games in the Pens favor; penalties are practically even in this series so far.

The Islanders should be more concerned about their goaltending and coaching. The Islanders should be more concerned that they're down 2-1 and the Pens have yet to play their best game. Instead they'll bitch about this penalty and  already have plans to use this as their excuse to why they lost the series.

As for Roenick, I hope the Pens play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals this year. I hope it goes seven games. In game seven, I hope Crosby gets a breakaway in a tie game with one minute to go. I hope Johnny Oduya hooks him from behind and Crosby gets a penalty-shot and wins the game, and the Cup. I'm sure J.R. would have a ball with that one.

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