Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sidney Crosby and Jimmy Howard Mix It Up At the Buzzer...

Well Caps fan, lots of chatter around the inter-webs today about Sidney Crosby's cross-checks of Herik Zetterberg and then mixing it up with Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard as the buzzer sounded at the end of last night's Red Wings - Penguins game. From my vantage point it's all much ado about nothing. Also, if we are ever going to be credible in our defenses of Alexander Ovechkin, then we ought to give Crosby a little slack on this for sure.

I watched the game, it was a good one, and Detroit won by a score of 3 - 1 if you didn't see it. Zetterberg spent much of the game about as close to Crosby as "white" gets on rice. In the last minute of the game, often not included in the pics and videos being posted, what you don't see is the jockeying for position in front of the Detroit net and the mixing it up going on between Zetterberg and Crosby for position. It was a physical matchup and really good hockey to watch, as was Crosby's driving the net and getting in Howard's face often during the night. However, even more interesting to watch was how Detroit in general and Howard in particular handled it all and kept Sid The Kid off the board and pointless all evening long. So I'm sure Crosby was frustrated at the end of the game, but the mixing it up with Zetterberg was all normal, playing hard ice hockey; I'm confident if there was 30 seconds left to play when he did it, he would have gotten a 2 minute minor for it. I'm also pretty sure given Crosby's driving the net all night long, Howard was more than happy to come to Zetterberg's aid and give "#87" a bit of a face-wash with his catcher. From my seat on the settee here in scenic Bristow, the on ice officials handled it all just right.

In the end it all works out and now if Detroit beats the odds and makes it to the Stanley Cup Finals as a #7 or #8 seed and Pittsbugh returns to the finals as well, the NHL will have another bitter rivalry to hype, in the sort of WWE fashion they seem to be gravitating towards. The moves by Crosby, the 22 year old Penguin Captain, weren't well advised. However, nobody got hurt and it was all in the course of a hard fought ice hockey game. If we Caps fans are going to credibly defend the actions of our own team's 24 year old Captain, when his youthful exuberance, passion for the game, and strong competitive nature drive him to make a poor decision, in the normal course of a game, we shouldn't fail to give Sidney Crosby the same consideration. If we act in such a manner, we really aren't credible when we air a legitimate beef. I mean it's not like either did anything universally reviled like punching someone below the belt or such.

My real question is had Zetterberg caught an edge and crumpled to the ice, breaking a bone or something, how many games suspension would Colin Campbell have given Crosby? I'm not being facetious, I think he would have suspended Crosby for the move. However, given the lack of any logic would Crosby have gotten just one game since he's not a repeat offender like Ovie is? My point is once again, in defense of Ovechkin, accidents happen sometimes. When they don't we should be happy and rejoice. When they do, we shouldn't scream for the other guy's head on a platter. Of course, just because you have a lot of money, doesn't make you immune from making stupid statements. Thankfully in the Crosby/Zetterberg tussle, nobody was hurt, no accidents happened and instead Zetterberg woke up named the #1 Star of the night in the league.

Next Pittsburgh, tomorrow at the Phone Booth...


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