If you watched last night’s game between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, you watched Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen knock Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby out of the game with a cross-check to the head.
Prior to the cross-check in question, Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin made contact with Crosby causing him to fall down. Niskanen finished him off with a cross-check that wasn’t intended for the head.
Niskanen was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. That’s all of the punishment that Niskanen will face. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety “will not” be taking any additional supplemental discipline against Niskanen.
After the hit in question, Crosby went down the tunnel to the locker room and didn’t return. During his NHL career, Crosby has suffered numerous concussions. So, obviously, there are grounds for concern in the Penguins locker room.
After last night’s game, some in the Pittsburgh media lost their collective minds. A few writers are calling for Ovechkin to be suspended for the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for his part in Crosby’s injury. Even better, two of them are suggesting that the Capitals might have intentionally went after Sidney Crosby. You can read it for yourself.
Rob Rossi, Upgruv – From here, the view was obvious. Ovechkin went after Crosby’s head.
If the NHL keeps allowing him to play in its hallowed postseason for having done that, it really is the “garage league,” as Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux infamously once deemed.
So please, good people of the Player Safety department, surprise me, shock mostly everybody else and do something significant in the name of your namesake and safety.
Different writers, same premise:
Kevin Gorman, Trib Live – Out of desperation, the Washington Capitals could have dug deep and turned to their star winger to score a goal or a defenseman to prevent one.
Instead, they resorted to one of hockey’s cheapest tricks: take out the opponent’s best player.
You can see this play two different ways, some will call this a dirty hit. Others will say this is a freak accident. To me, this is a hockey play that went very badly. I don’t think this was a deliberate attempt to injure Crosby. Obviously, that doesn’t help Crosby’s injury situation. I believe the NHL’s Department of Players Safety did the right thing by not suspending either Capitals player.
While some were ranting and raving about the hit on Crosby, this also happened last night. There was no call on the play. From my chair, it looked like a text book example of interference. The puck is nowhere near T.J Oshie. The Capitals coach didn’t like the hit. Game four is going to be a must-watch game.
According to Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan: “Sid has been diagnosed with a concussion. He will be out for tomorrow’s game. We will evaluate him from there.”