Penguins-Canadiens: Habs Battled Pens and an Old Striped Nemesis

December 10th, 2009 by Rocket All Habs Leave a reply »
Montreal 2-Pittsburgh 3 (Bell Centre) "The Canadiens didn't lose the game because of referee Chris Lee's blown call."

You will hear that a number of times in the next 24 hours.  There is some truth to the statement.

After the game, the Montreal coach was his matter-of-fact self.  Jacques Martin said, "That's the rule—if the referee intends to whistle, the play is dead. The puck was there, but there's nothing you can do."

The players, too, were toeing the party line.  Scott Gomez came closest to criticism, saying, "Maybe he blew it a little quick, but you don't want to be in that situation. I'm not going to say anything bad about the refs. They've got a job to do and they do it well. Call it mistake or what, but these things happen."

What else could they say?  Both players and coaches wanted to avoid saying anything that would earn them a fine or retribution in a future game.

Media and hockey analysts alike will tell you that Chris Lee was not responsible for the Canadiens being out-shot 41-21.  Lee had nothing to do with the Habs' sloppy play that caused them to commit 27 turnovers.

Someone may even try to tell you t ...

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