Let's set the stage. Keith Ballard lays out Evgeni Malkin with a beautiful hip-check. Crosby goes insane and attacks Ballard *gasp* while wearing a facemask! *gasp* and proceeds to lose the fight.
Two issues in my opinion
- When is this ridiculous fighting after clean hits going to stop? Seriously. This wussified version of the NHL is a joke. Why can't anyone take a hit anymore. Good lord boys, man up.
- Crosby needs to learn to drop the helmet, or else people will call him names, Don Cherry will ridicule you and Wayne Gretzky will yell at you from across a rink.
Oh wait, what? Nobody is bringing these up? They're talking about how brave Sidney is? F**k Sidney Crosby.
"I thought the hit was a little low," said Crosby, who received a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in addition to the five-minute major he and Ballard were each given for fighting. Malkin said he was not hurt on the hit, which he called "fine."
Ballard said the hit "was clean" and was not surprised Crosby came to Malkin's defense. "They were on the power play, so they didn't have a bunch of tough guys out there," he said. "He's their captain, and he understands that no matter who it is, you have to do something. He's an intense player, competitive. At that point of the game, that was pretty much the right thing to do.
From Puck Daddy
If the Panthers announcers think that's "cleaning someone's clock," then there must be some filthy timepieces in South Florida -- that was a bunch of missed punches between two guys with face shields, before Sidney tackled him. The Hockey Fights smarts give Ballard the edge, but by default.
But the action's irrelevant in the fight, which occurred in the first period of the Panthers' critical 4-2 win over the Penguins; it's the ancillary stuff that matters, and the reaction to this brawl goes one of two ways: Either Crosby's the latest in a series of unfortunate scraps after clean hits that has marred the season, or his dropping the gloves at that moment in a tie game was a laudable act of leadership from a young captain.
Ok Grapes. Where's the outrage? Call him out. Ball's in your court, you prick.