Let’s do it again:
Lightning 5 – 4 Islanders (OT)
While there are some crusty old guys who love the fact that officials become a personification of a urine puddle late in playoff games and overtime, I’ve always thought it was dumb and contradictory to the sport. As I’ve said many times, “Letting the players decide” is a phrase that makes no sense. When one commits a penalty to stop another, the players have decided. They’ve decided that one got beat so badly or made a mistake that the other should be rewarded with a power play for his team. While the refs may say they don’t want to decide games, they are deciding them with inaction. They’re just coming out way worse on the other side.
Brian Boyle’s hit on Thomas Hickey was late and it was to the head. The ref was about as close to it as I am to my coffee table right now which I have my feet up on at the moment (thug life). And he couldn’t locate his spine to make the right call. The Bolts get a 2-on-1 because one of the Isles’ defenders who would be defending was trying to pop his nose back out of his brain. Boyle scores from the exact spot Hickey would have prevented him from getting to. Sure, you could argue it’s karma from what the Isles got away with in Game 6 against the Panthers. But I doubt that went through anyone’s head at the time.
Anyway, this game was awesome and it sucks it was decided on this. The Isles seem to be discovering that you need more than a top line and a good 4th line to win.