Keep an "eye" out for Orpik vs. Stamkos

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 25: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning fights with Brooks Orpik #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St. Pete Times Forum on April 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

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Watching the 3rd period of game six, with the contest still in doubt and plenty of time left on the clock, Ryan Malone's antics in front of the Pittsburgh net and the ensuing scrum had me in a tizzy.

Watching Steven Stamkos go five degrees of livid, however, made me righteously confused and built up my already high anxiety levels to somewhere north of the sanity plane.

Essentially, the question there was "What gives?" Stamkos was on, what look liked, the verge of getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  That's putting it nicely, as a red faced Spicoli look-alike wanted to lunge at a stolid on-ice official, but was pushed away by one of the linesmen.

Why?  Just why?

I can't find a video of the incident, and the highlights package I found from TSN Sportscentre give you only a fraction of the play and ensuing scrum in front of the Pittsburgh net.  Jump to 1:40 of the video, and while you see Stamkos battling Brooks Orpik, the scene soon transitions to Victor Hedman getting jabbed in the face.

The St. Pete Times noted, in brief, this morning that Head coach Guy Boucher claimed that Stamkos was poked in the eye by Orpik.  Steven Stamkos himself had no comment, and the Penguins had amscrayed before they could be asked about the incident.

Without the full context in a replay of what happened, it's hard to say what DID happen.  I jus tknow I could read Stamkos' lips after the incident, and he was not praying...

It's another storyline to take into tomorrow night's series finale in Pittsburgh.

[Note by John Fontana, 04/26/11 8:02 PM EDT ] Mike Gallimore of Electric Blue Hockey Test uploaded film from the incident.  This is the SUn Sports feed:

 

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