Jaromir Jagr at the post game remarked that he expected something to happen. Boy, can he call them. Crosby, to his credit, saved his dive for the end. You remember the comedian Dom DeLuise's great line, "No applause please, save it for the end". On a play that was behind the main play, Whiner II, upon contact with Martin Straka went splashing to the ice, in obvious pain, to the roar of the White Shirted Penguin crowd. Two minute interference call, man advantage penalty, game winning goal on a shot by The Diver off another Penguin. In fact, three of the Penguin goals were deflected off an assortment of Ranger/Penguin players. So it was a typical sequence Penguin win. Dive, call, penalty, goal. Game, set, match. I tried to get a better view of the Dive but Versus had poor reruns that weren't conclusive. You don't think they did it on purpose?
However, the Rangers helped give the game to the Penguins. The defense was awful. Coach clueless's defense-at-all-costs was very costly. It started with the Rangers up 3-0 and Rozsival fanned on a simple clear out which gave the puck to Rutuu who headed deep into the Ranger zone. Rozsival, who must have felt an affinity to Rutuu, chased him in, planted himself in front of the net and allowed the first goal to go in off of his skate. Three more Penguin goals were scored including a two on one where Fedor Tyutin couldn't make up his mind who to cover and he covered no one and Sykora had an easy tap in. Tuts, in case this happens again, leave the shooter to the goalie, you cover the other guy.
After the Pens went ahead 4-3, Gomez tied it up, and with time running out Jagr hit the post. But the Rangers did score four goals and should have won the game but the defense collapsed and its hard to imagine a defense so soft and so mistake prone in such a big game. Hey, I've been screaming about this defense for three years and we have had three years to get some rugged guys but we wind up with the Backman's of the world.
The ultimate insult was Rutuu putting his stick in Rozsival's face and he did nothing but stare at him. Forget the stupid officials who skated to Rutuu and had to put down his stick with no penalty call. I guess the Sean Avery rule doesn't apply to skaters. Where were the Rangers? Where was Rozsival? More importantly, will they shake hands after the series? I remember way back when during a Ranger/Flyer game and the Flyers were harassing the GAG line and had put their bruisers on against them. Prior to the faceoff, coach Emile Francis, beckoned Rod Gilbert to get off the ice and Francis replaced him with a guy I believed was named Ron Harris. Well, they dropped the puck and Harris and the Flyer, Kelly, exchanged blows. Well let's put it this way. Harris punched and Kelly caught. End of intimidation. This would be shocking and unbecoming in the new, Bettman/Crosby NHL.
One more thing on the TV coverage. It is minor league. They seemed peeved when the Rangers scored and ecstatic when the Pens scored. The absence of a revealing replay of the Crosby dive was telling. What also annoyed me was coach clueless's post game news conference. He refused to talk about the play/dive/penalty. Why? Why not talk about the play. Why not scream long and loud about the play. So they would have fined him. Big deal. By not talking about it, it validates the call and they will see many more calls like that. Remember, it wasn't until the fourth game that they called diving on Brodeur. You wonder why the team is so passive. But this is what we have in what is called hockey today. It is sanitized. Its stick over body. Its Crosby diving at the slightest touch and its Jagr taking all kinds of hits and rarely ever going down. And the Rangers subscribe to this through their coach who believes that a pained expression and silence will carry the day. The old Brooklyn Dodger Manager, Leo Durocher, may have gotten it right when he said, "Nice guys finish last".
Scott Burnside / ESPN:
Crosby, a diver? Question sparks war of words between Rangers, Pens -- To carp or not to carp: that is the question.
It wasn't quite Hamlet's soliloquy; but for an off day after Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinals, it was pretty good. Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien took the New York Rangers, and specifically coach Tom Renney, to task for accusing Sidney Crosby of diving.
For almost three minutes, Therrien went non-stop, talking about how disappointed he was in Renney and saying it was obvious the Rangers coach was trying to get into the collective kitchens of Crosby, the on-ice officials and the NHL in general...
Crosby's diving works to perfection in Game 1 -- So, any of those hundreds of Penguins fans who were shocked - shocked, I tell you! - when I wrote on Wednesday that Sidney Crosby is a whiner and a diver care to chime in today?
No? That's OK. You're probably all sleeping in in your "white-out" gear after Friday night's win, and you're entitled. The Penguins showed some resolve in rallying from three goals down, got good contributions from a couple third- and fourth-liners and a very good night from the Evgeni Malkin- Petr Sykora-Ryan Malone trio...
"I haven't changed one bit; I never dove and I don't dive now ... That's just part of the playoffs; part of gamesmanship. If I go down, it's because I've been forced down. I'll do whatever I can to stay on my feet. I think he (Renney) should be the one worried about diving." - Sidney Crosby quoted in NY Post