Hockey After Dark: the "NHL Rigged Pekka Rinne to Suck, I Guess" edition by @DXTraeger

"...Where Insomnia Hits the Ice."
(Welcome to "Hockey After Dark," a rehab clinic for hockey junkies and pop-culture dealers.  Topics include the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Nashville Predators, the RAAAAGGE nature of Twitter, and various jokes at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers & their delusional fans)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have now played 20 games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs after their (UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT) uneven but ultimately successful 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals versus the Nashville Predators.


Along their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Penguins have made Vezina Trophy winners like Sergei Bobrovsky and Braden Holtby look painfully mortal as Pittsburgh has converted its scoring chances at an unsustainable rate. 
See?  HNIC's Elliotte Friedman agrees with me, so it has to be true.
Just as the Penguins did with Bobrovsky & Holtby, Sidney Crosby and company made Nashville Predator goaltender Pekka Rinne look silly as Rinne posted a save percentage of– gulp– .636.

(UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT) Pekka Rinne...was not good.  Point in fact, Pekka Rinne was awful.  The Penguins only managed to get 11 (!!!!) shots on Rinne, but he let 4 of them go past him, including 2 of the god-awful variety.

As such, Rinne's poor play would undoubtedly be the narrative everyone was selling at the end of Pittsburgh's 5-3 victory?  HA, you don't know your internet...

OH MY GOD SIDNEY CROSBY ISN'T ALLOWED TO BE GOOD AT HITTING PEOPLE TOO!
Sidney Crosby leveled Mattias Ekholm with a forearm shiver during a puck scrum, and seconds later Evgeni Malkin fired a slapshot that Rinne (UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT) failed to hold onto, and the puck trickled past the Nashville goalie for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.

Malkin's goal came during a two-minute 5-on-3 power-play for the Penguins, made possible by a Calle Jarnkrok trip and a James "Dumber than Dirt" Neal cross-check after the whistle had blown.

And of course, all of this transpired after a PK Subban goal was called back because of a successful Pittsburgh "offsides" challenge on Flip Forsberg.
....wait, what?  Seriously?
The above tweet– and James Mirtle inexplicably agreeing with it– is a case study in why instant social media like Twitter is simultaneously AWESOME and facepalm inducing.

To paraphrase (and only slightly): Mirtle and "Gene" are arguing that an illegal goal correctly disallowed because of video proof is worse than an illegal goal incorrectly allowed to stand because of gross referee incompetence.

That is to say, the NHL's crime is getting the call correct.  Twitter, ladies and gentlemen!

Gene's tweet & Mirtle's response is also cringe-worthy because they're arguing that a a correct no-goal in the 1st period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is WORSE than a botched literal Cup-clinching/deciding goal in freaking overtime.

I like to imagine that Nashville Predators fans are like Francis below, complete with the throwing of Thor's Hammer after such a convincing performance with such a disappointing result:
That Auction House tho, for real.
Nashville held Pittsburgh without a shot for over half of the game, finally relenting a shot on Rinne with just 3:17 remaining, which as you can probably guess, went past Rinne because, again, awful.

Think about the Penguins' performance: they take two stupid penalties that result in two Nashville goals, they don't get a shot on net for over 30 minutes, but STILL walk out of the PPG Paints Arena with a 1-0 series lead?

The Pens' 12 shots on goal were the fewest for a winning team in Stanley Cup history, which means that Pekka Rinne was historically bad in net.

So, what will change for Game 2?

For the Penguins, expect pretty much everything to be a tick different.  Ron Hainsey...you know what I think about and hear when I see Ron Hainsey on the ice?

THIS.

(if you never click on any link contained herein, click on that one, and I will have ruined Ron Hainsey for you for-ev-er)

13 down, 3 to go folks.  Go Pens.






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