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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Caps lose to Flyers, Refs

What a disappointment. Not because the Caps lost, because they made an incredible run to get where they were. Although that is disappointing enough. But the WAY they lost is just unfathomable.

The Flyers second goal, if you haven't seen it, should have been disallowed by the referees for goaltender interference. Flyers winger Patrick Thoresen checked Caps Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn into goalie Christobal Huet and the three slid out of the goal crease, leaving a wide open net for Sami Kapanen to deposit the puck in.

The game winner came later though, as the refs allowed the Flyers an OVERTIME POWER PLAY on a ticky-tacky tripping penalty to Caps D Tom Poti. Granted, during a regular season game this call would be legit. Poti tried to play the puck but swung and missed and got enough of R.J. Umberger to put him to the ice. But in the context of this game, when the refs stopped calling penalties midway through the second period, it was clearly a case of the refs injecting themselves into the game where they didn't need to be.

Congrats to the Flyers for capitalizing on the advantages they were given. Congrats to Flyers goalie Martin Biron for playing his best game of the series in the final game. And congrats to the Caps for putting themselves in a position to even play a game seven when this series looked lost a couple of different times. And congrats to Coach Bruce Boudreau, who earned himself a new, undisclosed contract.

But it didn't have to end this way.

And I'm not going to get caught up in the media-hype about how the Caps have a bright future, etc. Sure the Caps have a bright future, as their roster is stocked with young, talented players and savvy veterans. But, the Caps had the league's second best record since Boudreau took over. It's the playoffs. You gotta expect to win. I don't think anyone in red last night (on the ice or in the stands) was "happy to be there" or thinking of future playoff games. It was all about last night and how this one was taken away.

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