Friday, October 19, 2007

Capital City Stomping-Isles 5, Caps 2

It was a humid night last night on Long Island, but in our nation's capital the Isles were cooling off the Caps and heating up their own offense. An explosion for 3 goals by newly ordained Islanders captain, Bill Guerin, and a stellar performance by Rick DiPietro, stopping 27 of 29 to secure a hard-fought win for the boys in blue and orange.

As many are probably wondering, the washed-out "goal" by Ruslan Fedotenko two minutes into the third period, was most likely a goal. Though I can't disagree with the ruling on the ice as I'm sure from the corner where the official was standing gave the impression that Ruslan "directed" the puck towards the goal with his equipment, I'm sorely disappointed that the "War Room" in Toronto did not see the same angles that the Isles TV crew managed to get and that clearly showed that Feds merely was protecting himself from getting hit in the face with the puck. As Rule 78.4 of the NHL Rule Book states:

"If an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed."

However, Rule 78.5 countermands this by stating in the first situation (i) a goal shall be disallowed:

"When the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick."

Personally, I agree to disagree with the ruling on the ice and by "War Room". Directing a puck into the net would generally mean that the body movement was in direct line with the net and not upwards in an attempt to defend oneself from the blow of a puck. No offense here but it hurts quite a bit, ask Brendan Witt who took one to the kisser in the first period of this game.

So despite all this conjecturing, it resulted in a wash-out of the goal and clear momentum shift for the Caps who quickly took advantage of the situation to pot two of their own. Ovechkin scored his 4th of the season off a pretty one-timer that both Witt and DiPietro had no chance. Then several minutes later Fleischmann picked up the equalizer for the surging Caps. But that was to be it as Bryan Berard sealed the victory after Chris Campoli (who played a marvelous 60 minutes) rushed end to end to draw a well-deserved penalty on Jurcina.

This was a great confidence boosting game for the Islanders who fell to Earth after a wonderful start against Buffalo. Now with some momentum going into Saturday night's Firefighter Appreciation Night against the Devils, who play their eighth consecutive game on the road, it should be interesting to see how the Isles respond to the positives from last night and hopefully bring the same gritty and hard-working attitude.

Thanks for reading my first real blog on the site and I'll try to do one after every game and answer questions pertaining to the officiating. So in an effort to copy one of the best writers who just left Hockeybuzz to join The Hockey News, congratulations Pat Hoffman:

For questions, comments and dumb penalty calls; e-mail me anytime at

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