Refs frustrate Bruins in Game 5

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Refs frustrate Bruins in Game 5

The Bruins were doing their best to simply grin and bear it after feeling like theyd been screwed.

But playoff hockey brings out passion, and there were plenty of impassioned responses when the conversation turned to the referees and some of the lowlights from Bostons 4-3 loss in Game 5 at TD Garden in their first round series against the Washington Capitals.

First there was the conspicuous lack of a whistle when Bruins defensemen Joe Corvo was the unwitting victim of a Mike Green slapper to the knee at the end of a long shift for Corvo and his D-partner Greg Zanon.

Corvo didnt hear the whistle and attempted to get back into the play, but he was unable to do so after being hobbled by the blast. Instead he moved aimlessly searching for his stick while the Capitals attacked the net with a 5-on-4 advantage. Alex Semin eventually smacked home the rebound of a Dennis Wideman shot, and the Bruins were suddenly down 1-0 with goals at a premium in the series.

Claude Julien recalled a pair of instances in Game 4 when plays where whistled dead with Boston possession in the Washington zone and a Capitals player down and out with an injury. But thats not what happened with Tim Peel and Steve Kozari working the game in Boston on Saturday afternoon.

Julien fumed at the referees after the goal, but to no avail.

That was probably the frustrating part for me. We were in Washington last game and twice their players go down in their own end and we had full control of the puck, said Claude Julien. The whistle was blown right away with no hesitation. Tonight were deciding were not stopping the play.

So, I guess I was a little perturbed is there two sets of rules or one? I know theyre different referees but its still the same series. So that was frustrating because they ended up scoring a goal on that. That was my frustration on that goal and its unfortunate thats how it ended up.

Perhaps even more trouble is that each of the last two game-winning goals for the Capitals have been on third period power play goals and this coming after the Washington Caps owner groused that the Stanley Cup champs will always get the benefit of the doubt on his personal blog.

The hooking call on Patrice Bergeron that led to the Game 4 winner was a borderline call at best. But the slashing call on Benoit Pouliot with less than three minutes to go in the third period of a tied playoff hockey is the kind of thing that should never happen unless one player got medieval on another with their stick.

Or perhaps that call could be made if blood was drawn or an appendage was missing. But a tic-tac penalty call in the final three minutes of regulation leading to a power play goal in the playoffs is taking things right out of the players hands.

There are almost no instances during the playoffs when a bogus penalty call should affect the outcome for either team, and it should always be decided by 5-on-5 hockey deep in the third period of a playoff game.

The game-winning power play goal for Troy Brouwer was, of course, a soft one from the outside surrendered by Tim Thomas, but the Bruins were more upset about what many considered a soft penalty.

It was like that all game. To call that slash at the end it is disappointing. But there is nothing you can do about it, said Pouliot. You just have to show up tomorrow. Its a tough call.

I will leave it to you guys, but it was a tough call to make at 2:15 in the game. It is a grind out there. Sometimes you get the calls and sometimes you dont. It happened that they got it.

Its happened that the Washington Capitals have received quite a few of the calls since Ted Leonsis made his public plea, and since the referees missed an off-side call prior to Bostons game-winning goal in Game 3. But those kinds of things tend to even out over the course of a seven-game series, and that means Boston may have a break or two headed in their direction.

The best thing the Bruins can do: make sure the last two games arent close enough that their efforts could be undone by an unfavorable call or two along the way.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”