Yep, Crazy Eddie is at it again. Eddie Belfour brought the house down with this beautiful performance worthy of an Emmy.
First, the background: Eric Staal was skating in the offensive zone near the boards. Bryan Allen was near him and was called for “tripping” which was dubious. But let’s say it was legitimate for arguments sake despite the fact that any contact was questionable. Staal takes a swan dive worthy of an award clearly trying to draw a penalty. The worst call would have been two minutes on each — two for tripping and two for diving, but to me it should have been two on Stall for diving only. That would have left it even strength. But instead, they just call the phantom trip. Eddie Belfour loses his cool — as only Eddie the Eagle Can — and does a mocking dance for the referee trying to show his opinion that it was a dive. Even Potvin was having a blast observing Eddie from the broadcast booth.
The fans were booing the official when his hand went up after Staal went down — in fact if you listen to the audio of the clip above you can hear our reaction. We all thought it was bogus. Then Eddie got called for unsportsmanlike conduct — a good call, honestly. However, we gave Eddie a standing ovation. That left the Panthers in a situation where we were guaranteed to lose the game, which is what happened moments later when the scored, mathematically eliminating us from the playoffs.
Okay, never use a penalty as an excuse for a game. I’ve said that repeatedly, even here in this blog. We should have won this game in regulation: we were winning 3 to 1 in the third and then we played really crappy for 10 minutes, which is what cost us the game. It should have never gone into overtime, but it did. I am not saying the call cost us the win, but I am saying the call on Allen was wrong and the non-call on Staal was even more wrong. The call on Eddie was warranted, but I’ve never been a big Eddie fan (nor a hater, just indifferent) until Sunday night. Eddie’s dance made me a fan. ED-DIE! ED-DIE! ED-DIE!
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