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A Slew Foot, and a Slew of Other Problems, at the Garden

John Tortorella kept surprisingly calm during his post-game press conference last night, explaining that the Rangers struggled during a ten-minute span during the second period, and that Pittsburgh capitalized to win the game. Because from our seat, the Rangers looked a step behind all night in their 3–1 loss to Pittsburgh — too many sloppy passes, too much indecisiveness in the offensive zone, and line combinations that, for the most part, didn't quite work.

Coming off a 2–1 road trip wrapped around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Rangers allowed the Garden crowd to come alive only on rare occasions: a short-but-explosive Sean Avery fight, a couple of big hits, and Marian Gaborik's second-period goal, the Rangers' only tally on the evening. Meanwhile, the red-hot Penguins pounced when given the opportunity, jumping out to a 2–0 lead thanks to Maxime Talbot scoring off a loose puck in the first, and a second-period goal on which Sidney Crosby — more on him in a moment — fed Kris Letang in the slot during a sloppy Rangers line change. (They'd extend the lead to 3–0 a minute fifteen later.)

And now, here's the part of the Rangers-Penguins recap where we discuss the officiating, or more specifically in this case, the reactions to a bad call. During the first period, Crosby and Ryan Callahan got tangled up near center ice, and Crosby quite blatantly kicked Callahan's skate out from under him. Callahan — and only Callahan — was sent to the box afterward. Here's the video:


Brandon Dubinsky, shown the video by MSG during intermission, called it a "dirty play." And then after the game, Crosby responded to Dubinsky's allegations. Via the Times:


"How many penalty minutes do I have this year if I'm that dirty?" said Crosby, who has 15. "I mean, please. Show me all those dirty plays. It's a battle and he falls. I think Dubi has done his fair share of things out there that are questionable. I guess he's talking again. But I'm not surprised."

Of course, pointing to your relative lack of penalty minutes isn't the strongest argument when there's a perception that you get special treatment from the referees. And as for the request that someone show him those dirty plays, perhaps we can begin by getting Crosby the same slew-foot video that Dubinsky — and everyone else, for that matter — saw last night.

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Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images