The Sharks/Rangers game

(a note from the sharks list on last night’s sharks/rangers game)

God, I’m pissed. I can’t remember the last time we left a game early. We’ve sat through some real bowsers, but last night, I had it. We split after two, went home and had a nice cuppa tea and I got some useful work done.

The Rangers suck. Oh, god, does that team suck. Where does thyne suckiness start? Slow, stodgy, tentative. did I mention slow? They weren’t kidding when people were saying Messier was their best forward. One can only wonder whether Tom Poti keeps trying to wake up from the nightmare, because looking at him last night, he’s starting to skate like an Ent. it’s rubbing off on him. ugh.

We should have pasted these guys. And in all honesty, I’m wasn’t too unhappy with much of the sharks play, Jillson being a notable exception last night. We *did* beat the Rangers last night, Jillson’s mistakes notwithstanding.

Except that it was one of the most abysmally reffed games I can ever remember watching. Van Massenhoven I generally like as a ref. Brad Meier I don’t know very well, but his performance last night goes down in the crappy referee hall of fame along with Steve Walkom’s first visit to San Jose, pretty much any game by Marc “life achievement award for crappiness” Joanette, and some of Kerry Fraser’s classic Cow Palace moments. And then Van Massenhoven chimed in and started screwing up calls, too, and then he got pissed and started making retaliatory calls that’s make Mick McGeough proud, and….

And I said frick it, I’m not going to stay and watch the refs make a travesty of this thing.

Both teams got jobbed here. I’m not claiming for a moment that they did a number on the Sharks. They did a number on the game, to the point I’m surprised BOTH teams didn’t just suggest they go home and stop wasting their time on the thing. BOTH teams ought to be sending tape to the league office on this disaster in stripes. To name just a FEW of the most blatant mistakes, Kasparitis was shoved into the dasher teeth first from behind, with a ref five feet away. A clear 5 minute major — no call. Then Matt “I’m a turtle and I don’t care” Barnaby initiates against Harvey, who responds, and Barnaby turtles — and harvey is out with 2, 5, 10 and a game? Give me a freaking break. The worst case for what goes on there is Harvey for five. I’d call it Harvey four double-rough, most likely. Or barnaby 2, harvey four. Something like that. But instigator and a game? NFW.

It goes on. They fell for blatant dives. They ignored blatant penalties. It was an absolute travesty. I couldn’t watch. No, I wouldn’t. (and we were trying to think of the last time we left a game early. Even more important, the last time we left a game where one of us didn’t have at least a fever of 102.)

And you know what? the Sharks were going to win that game, beating the Rangers AND the Refs. Despite everything the refs did to screw it up.

Except Kiprusoff turned into Jimmy Waite. First goal? call it a bad luck bounce off the pads if you want, but when a goalie’s been struggling, you can’t have a bad first goal. he had a bad first goal. 2nd goal wasn’t his fault. After that, they got softer and softer. He was brutal. More brutal than Jillson. About as brutal as the refs.

the only reason you send Jillson to the airport is to drive Kipper there, and wait for Toskala’s plane to arrive. Because the Sharks would have beaten the rangers last night, despite Jillson’s mistakes, despite the refs, despite everything — if Kiprusoff had even been merely mediocre.

And he wasn’t. He was horrid. And that rippled out into the team, who ended up playing “protect the goalie” games instead of their game.

And you know what? Despite Jillson’s mistakes, despite a complete meltdown by our goalie, despite some of the most absymally decrepit reffing I’ve seen in years, despite everything — they STILL almost beat the Rangers.

that’s how bad the Rangers are.

And that’s why I’m pissed. We had to work really, really hard to find a way to lose that game. And still almost found a way to win it.

God, am I glad they’re going out on the road for a couple of weeks. grump.