Sidney Crosby is not known as a physical player. In fact, he’s the exact opposite; he’s a skilled player who has accrued just 417 penalty minutes in 470 career games. But as the second period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins came to a close, Crosby got into it with two different Bruins.
The Bruins were up 1-0 and managed to keep the Penguins from scoring despite Pittsburgh being on the power play to end the period. While Evgeni Malkin and Patrice Bergeron got most of the attention for dropping gloves after the period ended, what should not go unnoticed is what happened with Crosby and Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
Rask was skating off the ice after the period ended and crossed paths with Crosby as the Pens captain was headed over to the pile of players who met in the middle of the ice. Crosby gave Rask a nudge with his elbow, and Rask may have responded because Crosby turned around and went back to confront Rask. Crosby gave him a cross check. As the Bergeron-Malkin fight was being broken up by the officials, Crosby had words with Chara. Maybe it was just two captains trying to stand up for their teams.
What we do know is that Crosby did not like the physical nature of the game.
“They’re letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope. That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that,” Crosby said after the game, per Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The teams will play Game 2 on Monday in Pittsburgh. It will be interesting to see how the officials handle things after all the physical play in Game 1. After Matt Cooke’s hit on Adam McQuaid, I can imagine things continuing to be physical.