It was only a matter of time when the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs’ two greatest trends (in volume, not in classiness) would collide in one sequence.
No, we’re not talking about Anaheim Ducks goalie changes or rallies from two goals down. We are referring, of course, to spearing your opponent in the crotch or spraying him with water — two juvenile offences the league has deemed worthy of a fine (maybe) but not a suspension.
With the Pittsburgh Penguins losing 3-1 to the New York Rangers in Game 6 Sunday and on the brink of blowing their second chance to close out the series early (spoiler alert: they never came back), captain Sidney Crosby — he of the Art Ross Trophy but one lone goal in 12 post-season games — turned into Milan Lucic for a second.
As time winded down in the second period, Crosby’s stick got caught up between the legs of New York forward Dominic Moore. As he ripped it free, No. 87 jabbed Moore in the general jock area — an act for which Dallas’s Ryan Garbutt and Boston’s Lucic have already been fined this post-season.
“What did you see that I might have (done)?” Crosby asked a reporter, post-game. “When he tied me up at that face-off? I took a shot or he took a shot?… What do you mean by I took a shot?… He’s holding my stick, yeah.”
But the nastiness didn’t end there. During a post-whistle scrum in the Rangers’ slot, Brian Boyle shoved Crosby down to the ice. And as he skated off to the dressing room, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist casually squirted the superstar with his water bottle — an act for which Boston’ Shawn Thornton was fined $2,800 just hours earlier. (Credit Corey Perry for starting the meme.)
Lusty chants of “Crosby sucks!” inflated Madison Square Garden.
“He’s playing hard. He’s got emotion,” Boyle told reporters of Crosby, who appears to be reaching his boiling point. “I’m sure we probably got away with a few things.”
So… was one of those things a certain Swedish goaltender dousing the guy who deked him out in the gold medal game?
“I always squirt it when I go off the ice,” Lundqvist told reporters, with a small a small chuckle. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”