NEW YORK — The hour struck 11 a.m. More than 12 hours after New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba extended his elbow to connect with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby there has been no mention of a penalty from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
Multiple outlets, from the NY Post to Sportsnet, reported word that additional penalty will not be forthcoming.
Trouba’s elbow made direct impact with Crosby’s face.
The hit was at best reckless and at worst a continuation of a pattern of deliberately dangerous hits in the series and game by Trouba and New York defensemen. Earlier in the series, defender Ryan Lindgren knocked Penguins winger Rickard Rakell out of the series with a head shot.
Those are things that the NHL Department of Player Safety could have been included in a video, but apparently will not because there won’t be a video. No penalty. No fine. No suspension by the DoPS.
The Penguins comfortably led 2-0, and New York faced elimination until Trouba leveled the playing field by taking out Crosby. In the following moments, New York scored three goals in less than three minutes before the Penguins coaches could figure out new line combinations. New York won 5-3 to extend the series.
One can safely assume Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan disagrees with the decision. PHN asked Sullivan if he thought Trouba had intent to injure when he hit Crosby.
“Did you see the hit? … then you probably have the same opinion I do,” Sullivan responded.
It was a mouthful in less than 10 words for a coach who typically avoids public comment on controversial topics.
If you missed my take on the hit, I left little doubt where my opinion stands. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a series win taken away by an intentional injurious hit.
However, the league, which has denied a link between concussions and CTE, and frequently blames players for getting caught with their head down instead of the offending hitter who victimized a defenseless opponent, appears poised to turn another blind eye.
Game 6 on Friday at PPG Paints Arena should be interesting.
Thursday morning, Sullivan said Sidney Crosby would be reevaluated when the team arrived back in Pittsburgh on Thursday. However, Sullivan had no further updates.