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Chasing culture, broken jaws, and referee negligence

June 7, 2019, 11:17 AM ET [73 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It’s been a hard fought Stanley Cup Final and the St. Louis Blues are one game away from winning their first ever Stanley Cup. I don’t have anything against either team, but it is hard for me to not want a team and city who have never won to finally break through rather than a team from a city who seemingly win a title every few months.

Ryan O’Reilly finished with a goal and an assist in a 2-1 victory in a pivotal Game 5. The trade was a complete steal for the St. Louis Blues. This trade was just another blunder in what seems like an endless quagmire in Buffalo where they perpetually chase a “culture” instead of good and great players. Terry Pegula is all in on “culture” for both the Bills and the Sabres while disregarding that no matter what you try to do with your culture losing will destroy it. Bill Belichick is a great coach, but if he didn’t have Tom Brady to drive success his approach and culture would fall flat on his face. Just look at his Cleveland sample. If you collect good and great players and win the players will be more apt to buy into the “system” and ‘culture”. The Sabres traded away a #1 center in O’Reilly for BS culture reasons and now they get to watch him one win away from the Stanley Cup Final. The Blues must be a resilient bunch to overcome his toxicity.

Jason Botterill was the Sabres General Manager responsible for this trade, but not the date it was made. There is no doubt Terry Pegula pushed the trade through in the late hours of June 30th so he could get out of paying O’Reilly 7.5M in straight cash on July 1st. For a guy who bragged about drilling more oil wells for cash this doesn’t seem to fall in line with those comments. It seems disingenuous and quite frankly lying doesn’t seem like the kind of things people do in top notch “cultures”. His desire to get out of the bonus payment squashed O’Reilly’s value and the Sabres once again took one step forward and two steps back.

Referees love to play the “we don’t want to impact the game” card. Newsflash, you are going to impact the game no matter what. The fear of making appropriate calls and ignoring them is just as horrendous as making a terrible call. Last night it cost the Boston Bruins when Tyler Bozak definitely tripped a Bruins player in the offensive zone. The immediate aftermath of the missed call was the Blues game winning goal. A goal that gave the Blues a 3-2 series lead. Woof

Innocent players definitely look at the referee immediately to see if they’ve been caught stealing from the cookie jar…

Zdeno Chara is getting a lot of credit for how tough he is for suiting up for a broken jaw. He also exhibited his toughness in 2013 when he punched Sidney Crosby and his broken jaw.

A player to keep an eye on for the Penguins if they clear cap space could be Marcus Johansson. So far in the playoffs he’s a 2.84 points per 60 player at 5v5 and his xGF% and CF% are north of 50%. He’s coming off a contract that pays him 4.5M, but he’s also been injured and coming off a season where he’s a 1.35 points per 60 player. If the Penguins clear some cap space and stay in that 4.5-5.0M range he might be a nice fit to put alongside Evgeni Malkin who is looking at Bryan Rust playing his off wing or Dominik Simon as left wing candidates.

Thanks for reading!
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