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Hot Garbage: Officials Fail Game; Rangers Rally After Dirty Hit Injures Crosby

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Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosbty

NEW YORK — The Pittsburgh Penguins led 2-0 later in the second period and had Game 5 under control. A Penguins win meant the New York Rangers would be eliminated, and the Penguins would await the winner of the Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes in Round Two.

New York rallied for a 5-3 win and staved off the end of their season.

Of course, the Rangers would be eliminated, which gave them the license to injure the Penguins’ best players. First, New York defenseman Jacob Trouba elbowed Jake Guentzel about one minute into the game. Trouba delivered a few hard hits before going after Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Trouba delivered a chicken wing to Crosby’s head later in the second period. Crosby went to the bench in obvious discomfort, then left the ice. The still frame from well-respected Canadian reporter John Shannon was damning.

PHN asked Penguins coach Mike Sullivan if he thought Trouba had intent.

“Did you see the hit,” he asked, to which I replied I did.

“You probably have the same opinion as I do,” he replied with an acknowledging nod.

To get Sullivan’s honest thoughts would be priceless, but the NHL could probably figure out a steep price. So, perhaps mine will suffice.

Sidney Crosby did not return. It was an obvious intent to injure. A “reckless hit” is a benefit of the doubt I’m not inclined to give, provided the situation and Trouba’s repeated and continuous actions.

He was headhunting, and he got the biggest one, yet the officials didn’t call it a penalty. The NHL surely must, but does anyone have that confidence?

Officials only gave Trouba two minutes on the game’s first shift when he delivered a shiver to Guentzel’s head. Then called nothing for nearly 40 minutes.

Look, officiating NHL playoff games is like trying to make sense of a mosh pit. It’s thankless, it’s nearly impossible, and that’s why the best officials for decades talk about “managing the game,” but in this case, not calling penalties for two periods emboldened a dirty hit.

Trouba had intent. He delivered too many high hits for it to be an isolated accident. He was going for Crosby’s head because the Rangers had no chance with Crosby dominating play.

The game was about over. Five minutes were remaining in the second period, and not even the buzz of Madison Square Garden could awake the Rangers.

After the hit, New York took advantage of the shuffling Penguins lines and emotional change in temperature. New York reeled off three goals in less than three minutes. The officials finally called a penalty…against the Penguins early in the third period.

IF officials called the penalty, New York would have been shorthanded for the remainder of the period. There would have been no rally.

After the game, the Penguins kept a stiff upper lip. They didn’t blame Crosby’s absence for their three-minute meltdown, but how could any reasonable observer not connect the two?

“They get a lot of energy from the crowd, and we had good control there. But we’ve got to get back on our toes again,” Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson said. “That’s when we’re at our best, not sitting back and defending. We’re at our best when we’re on our toes and forechecking and skating.”

It was Dirty

New York’s season will continue into Game 6, and the Penguins may not have Sidney Crosby in the lineup. It’s hard to imagine the Penguins winning a game without Crosby leading the charge.

If you can’t hurt the guy with six goals, go after the captain with nine points in four games, right? It’s allowed. It’s the Cup. Those (expletive deleted) should toughen up. It’s only a concussion, right, Colin Campbell?

Hey, no American hockey journalist has defended the NHL and the western Canadian physicality more than this guy. But let’s get real. Rough up Crosby. Hit him every chance you get and maybe a couple that you don’t get. That’s hockey.

An elbow to the head? That’s dirty.

Pittsburgh Penguins Anniversary–Rangers Goonery

This weekend is the 30th anniversary of blatant goonery. In 1992, the New York Rangers gooned up the Pittsburgh Penguins when head coach Roger Nielsen gave a little wink and nod to Rangers legend Adam Graves, who then baseball chopped Mario Lemieux’s arm.

Sure, it’s the Cup, after all. To win the series, those Penguins rallied behind a Hall of Fame second-line center, Ron Francis. These Penguins will have to do the same because…

If you can’t beat ’em, hurt ’em.

It’s been true for far too long. The lack of punishment and tacit acceptance cast a pall on what was an entertaining series that drew the highest U.S. TV ratings of any non-Canadian series.

Accepting “evening the playing field” by taking out the other team’s best players remains the most disgusting part of hockey. Can you imagine a defensive lineman elbowing a quarterback in the third quarter because his team was behind by two scores? Can you imagine a pitcher drilling a hitter in the head because he was 3-for-3 in an elimination game?

That’s what makes hockey great, right?

Crosby dominated New York. He had multi-point efforts in each of the previous four games, and New York didn’t have an answer. Crosby’s expected goals-for in the first period was over 90%.

Jake Guentzel already had two goals. New York’s season was about to be OVER.

The toxic underbelly of hockey culture again showed fans the worst. Again, officiating let down hockey.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Dean Rock
Dean Rock
4 months ago

Phenomenal read. Spot on. Would the NFL allow Tom Brady to be elbowed in the head? This is the equivalent. If the Penguins don’t win this series, and if Trouba isn’t suspended a minimum of 5 games, I’m done with the NHL. Probably should be anyway after tonight’s fiascal.
Total garbage …

Irish Hammer
Irish Hammer
4 months ago
Reply to  Dean Rock

Remember Bertuzzi’s dad being charged for assault for attaching a player. Have Pa Attorney General file charges on Trouba for Assault on Crosby. Want to see cheap shots quitting for awhile.

Irish Hammer
Irish Hammer
4 months ago
Reply to  Irish Hammer

Since the NHL won’t stop it. File charges on him. I don’t like it, but cheap shots have to stop. Trouba’s a cheap shot punk.

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Irish Hammer

Guess you saw Malkin’s hit huh? Or the hit on Igor? On a sclae of 1 to 10, Trouba’s hit was a 6 as far as being dirty. Malkin as usual was a 10. Tell it like it is.

gene99
gene99
4 months ago
Reply to  Irish Hammer

and that’s why you’re not a lawyer

Alan Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  gene99

Stupid comment

Phil
Phil
4 months ago
Reply to  Irish Hammer

LOL. Sorry. I was mistaken…^^^THIS comment^^^ sums up the Pens and its fan base.

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Dean Rock

Well, guess your done with the NHL then…

Alan Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat

Yes many of us are! Last place in major sports watches! Go sell goon hockey!

Without prejudice
Without prejudice
4 months ago
Reply to  Dean Rock

I guess Malkins hit was fine huh?

Alan Smith
4 months ago

Malkin was suspended!

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Smith

The cross check to the face on Rooney after slashing him in the game 4 also.

Zane Gearhart
Zane Gearhart
4 months ago

Well said

Barbi
Barbi
4 months ago

You are right on target!

Uros
Uros
4 months ago

Yeah, we’re all frustrated and feel the same way as Sully and you, but what’s the solution? Crosby is a generational talent that could beat this Rangers team on his own and Troubas are dime a dozen. So what if he gets suspended? Rangers win that trade off. They won’t win the series, but I’ll get no satisfaction whatsoever if some untalented hockey player gets suspended. Did I say hockey player? Sorry, I meant goon like his predecessors mentioned in the article.

Last edited 4 months ago by Uros
Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Of course they would but that’s not a point. It was at best borderline. Let’s even say that this is the equivalent to the hit on Igor. One of the best players in the league. There was no need for it hence at least as “dirty” as the Truba hit. Perhaps the dirtiest play of this series was the cross check to the face by Malkin

Katz is Dumb
Katz is Dumb
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat

What hit on Shitforskin? Are you talking about when he tried to trip Carter and then laid on the ice like he had been shot??

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Katz is Dumb

So name calling and then delusional thoughts.Never would have brought that up other then to defend this thought of not hitting star players.. Malkin far and away had the diritiest hit.

NJA
NJA
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Did you really just say that with a straight face?? Don’t let your hatred blind you, no team would trade away a Crosby for a Trouba and you’re just being bitter saying that.

ehasenel
ehasenel
4 months ago

It’s just so sad, even with the increased number of penalties the NHL is still not protecting players from head shots. Most of their penalties are designed to increase goal scoring, which equals more revenue. This continued lack of taking head shots seriously (not just this one there have been others this year) combined with the NHLs new giddiness for gambling which is a major problem in the US especially with young adults, makes me have a hard time watching the game. I have been a fan for 30 years, and a player for 15 and I think I might… Read more »

Christopher Keegan
Christopher Keegan
4 months ago
Reply to  ehasenel

All sports are all in w/ the gambling infection … hell, they even resuscitated the USFL just to have another sports entity to place bets on.
No one was clamoring for the ghosts of amateur hour football to rise again, were they?
I mean … YOU CAN PLACE BETS ON WWE MATCHES FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
If THAT doesn’t say it all I dont know what does 🙄

Puck Yousir
Puck Yousir
4 months ago

The Pens are a solid team playing excellent playoff hockey but they have gotten away with clutching and grabbing all series. The officiating has been inconsistent. Malkin? A cheap shot artist if there ever was one. You’re a homer if you can’t admit that.

Christopher Keegan
Christopher Keegan
4 months ago
Reply to  Puck Yousir

Penguins are a sneaky, cheap, dirty team … its their sneakiness that allows them to evade penalties a lot.
One of the worst team wide offenders of interference in the whole league.
Always stabbing at goaltenders hands on obviously covered pucks.
A cheap & sneaky team.
And Sidney has gotten away with egregious offenses throughout his career & he stoops low when he doesn’t need to … Karma maybe?

Seamhead
Seamhead
4 months ago

You provide no specific evidence to support your claims; therefore, you have no credibility here.

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Seamhead

Hit on Igor- Numerous spearing incidences after the play. The crosscheck to the face by Malkin. Pleanty of credibility for him now.

John doe
John doe
4 months ago
Reply to  Seamhead

Ryan Callahan slew foot look it up just the first one to pop into my head

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago

the penguins couldn’t ice a 5-man unit that would take as many penalties as any 2 rangers goons

Alan Smith
4 months ago

Oh you are so bias and stupid as well!

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago
Reply to  Puck Yousir

yup the penguins are annually one of the leagues least-penalized teams so they totally are pros at getting away with everything…like the little brother of the NHL

NJA
NJA
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Johnston

Yep, the NHL wants the Penguins and Sidney Crosby to win. They also love th Kings so I’m not surprised that series is going that way too when in reality, EDM should be dominating them.

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago
Reply to  NJA

I’m sure the league rlly wanted the pens to win the last 3 years too right?
Edm/lak is so random a rabbit trail but…. Edm has bad goaltending and no defensive structure so that series was always a coin flip in my mind

Alan Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Johnston

Brian go away your by yourself with your stupid comment

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Smith

Facts are stupid then…
The pens (minus geno) are an incredibly disciplined team
Look at the PIM for the last several years

teamquebec
teamquebec
4 months ago

Referees don’t want to have an influence on the game’s result… By not making the calls, THEY have a bigger influence on the results!! The NHL, by not giving heavy suspensions for dirty hits like the one Trouba gave to Sid, is responsible of what happened tonight! They never protected the stars and never will. There are no major consequences for the action taken on the ice so we will continue to witness cheap shots like that for a long long time. This league is a joke and that’s why you often see goon teams like Saint-Louis winning the cup… Read more »

Tom Tarka
Tom Tarka
4 months ago

Your take is spot on and the other commenters have already nailed the nuances.

All I have to add is: I had a feeling this was coming. To your point, the refs had a chance to nip it in the bud (beyond the first penalty) and they didn’t. That sent a message.

There’s unfortunately just not much left to say beyond the fact that it’s a garbage league. It makes me not even want to give them my money.

Paul
Paul
4 months ago

Tonight we saw a major reason why the NHL is a niche sport. Always has been, always will be.

Gallant should be suspended as well. When a coach calls his entire team soft in all areas, that’s code for kill someone.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul
Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

trouba was promised increased ice time and a new pair of shoulder pads if he knocked Sid out of the game
like in the mighty ducks movie where the hawks target banks…..
it’s a simple strategy the league needs to penalize heavily….
you can’t just target star players and beat them to death so they can’t beat you with their skill…

Dingus Dingus
Dingus Dingus
4 months ago

A low IQ take all around. It was pretty clearly an accident. You can see Trouba trying to pull away. You pretend as though Crosby is simply unbeatable, when he lost in game 2. If Crosby is the entire team, your team sucks. There is a reason you guys lost to the rags in the regular season repeatedly. Take your superiority complex and shove it.

Also, if you believe Trouba should get suspended, I hope you’ll be intellectually consistent and insist Malkin is suspended as well. Same hit.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dingus Dingus
Rob
Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Dingus Dingus

Who did malkin injure?

Mark
Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Dingus Dingus

You fit the slang term of Dingus perfectly.

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
4 months ago

You should hear Craig Buttons garbage.

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Getting angry about the refs and Batman is pointless. There is nothing the penguins can do but find that extra gear and eliminate the rangers. They have done it before. Crosby has carried this team thus far, so now its every other players turn.

Steve Malik
Steve Malik
4 months ago

The Pens need to send the Blue shirts back to NYC with their head between their legs !!!
NHL you’re a POS league

Jon Havicon
Jon Havicon
4 months ago

Well written Dan, I have been critical of the refs and NHL on this nonsense for years. I was coming home from a softball game last nightand listening to the game on SIRIUS NHL. It was the Rangers radio feed with Kenny Albert and Pete Stemkowski. The Pens were up 2-0 and playing well then Albert cadually says Sid went to the locker room. No mention of Trouba’s goon hit, just like it was some curious occurrence. So I guess even the announcers have become complicit. After watching the refs allow NYI to do similar things last year with impunity,… Read more »

Clyde
Clyde
4 months ago

The pens need a tough guy to protect their players. Why did they let Reeves go after spending a first round pick on him.

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
4 months ago

If this was any other league, Trouba’s hit to Guentzel’s head in the first would have resulted in an ejection. NFL? Ejection. NBA, MLB, soccer? Ejection and multi-game suspension. But this is the NHL…. so Trouba is congratulated by his coach and does the same to Sid. The hit on Sid was within the fame of a “hockey play,” but the elbow still makes head contact.

Garage league or garbage league? Its home. to some of the greatest play in all of sports, but the vestiges of goonery are strong and embedded in stupid hockey culture.

Forever Ranger
Forever Ranger
4 months ago

YOU PITT FANS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HUGE CRYBABIES!!!! LOL!!!!

Alan Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Forever Ranger

The Rangers are losers just like anyone who lives there! Notice all the people leaving lately! You stay there and be a goon yourself! Rangers haven’t done a thing for years on end!

Robert Roma Sr.
Robert Roma Sr.
4 months ago

First of all I am a Ranger fan and was in attendance.
Its a shame with his history that Crosby may have a concussion.
There is no evidence that this was intentional. If Trouba’s stick did not take Crosby’s leg out and cause him to slip down Trouba’s elbow would not have made contact.
Lets hope Crosby is fine and will play on Friday because most Rangers fans would rather beat the team with him if we somehow win the next two games.

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Probably bragged because it was a clean hit. he also said it was unfortunate. Most of trouba’s hit’s have not been penalized as that one should not have. Explain Malkin’s cross check to Rooney’s face.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago

Remember when Carter ran Shesterkin and delivered a knee-on-knee hit in the last three minutes of a 5-2 loss? Remember when the refs waved off a perfectly good goal to allow the Pens to come back? Apparently not.

This whole column sums up the Pens’ organization and its fanbase nicely. Thanks!

Katz is Dumb
Katz is Dumb
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil

You sir, are an idiot homer of all homers. How can you describe Shitforskin’s attempt to trip Carter like that and then call the play that Kakko ended DeSmith’s season on a perfectly good goal??
Are all Rags fans as braindead as you?

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Katz is Dumb

You need to grow up.

VIKTOR Krasnokutsky
VIKTOR Krasnokutsky
4 months ago

How about intentional hit by Jeff Carter in NY Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin in game 2?
He(Carter) had a plenty of room and time to avoid it. It was absolutely intentional to hurt the goaltender and he(J.Carter) was not punished.

Chris
Chris
4 months ago

Wahh suck it up buttercup

Finster
Finster
4 months ago

IF the officials called a holding the stick penalty on Jeff Carter, with his legs on Adam Fox, potentially eliminating a scoring chance and directly resulting in a change of possession…LeTang wouldn’t have scored the second goal as the Pens would have been shorthanded. IF Toronto saw that Kakko was nudged off balance by the defensemen and clipped the goaltender, and, the Pens defensemen was way more responsible for the goalie’s subsequent positioning…the Rangers would be ahead 3-2. The “IF” game can be played…all…day In ’92, Graves whacked Lemieux up high as happens 50 times a game. They call ’em… Read more »

Pat
Pat
4 months ago

It’s amazing how people’s opinions can be so different when watching the same replay. It wasn’t a dirty hit! Trouba slows, doesn’t leave his skates, hits Crosby’s shoulder first, and then his face, with an arm, not an elbow. And the only reason his face got hit was because Crosby’s knees were bent, with his head down! And if you don’t believe me, then maybe the fact that the league declined any hearing or suspension is enough evidence that all the brouhaha is just about a star player (with a history of concussions) getting knocked out and the Rangers taking… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Pat
Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago

the NHL dept of player safety should be called: the NHL dept of allowing star players to get concussed to preserve the physical element of the game

a little wordy but you get the point

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Love PHN Dan
Thanks for all your hard work
Great get with Dave Molinari!

Without prejudice
Without prejudice
4 months ago

Exactly- I assume Malkin will get jail time for bruatally atta king a player with a weapon. Great check by Trouba.

El Abogado Malo
El Abogado Malo
4 months ago

This article is hot garbage. I suggest you take a second look at this play. If you slow it down you’ll notice that the initial point of contact is with Sid’s shoulder. Obviously you’ve never played any physical sport in your life. Otherwise you’d understand that your intent is to “run through” the other guy or “finish” your check. The image you included in this article is the inevitable and unavoidable result of a player lowering their shoulder and continuing to make contact with the player until such player is on their back. There were a lot of missed calls… Read more »

Pat
Pat
4 months ago

Where are the comments about the hit on Igor or the cross check to the face by Malkin. It was a clean hit to a guy that was ducking. They have had every break in this series.

Alan Smith
4 months ago

God you do go on and on! Wish it was you so we could all say what a good hit!

Pat
Pat
4 months ago

Exactly- I assume Malkin is an an gel

NJA
NJA
4 months ago

You can’t judge this based on the image you posted. Yeah, there it looks like an elbow, but that’s not how the play went. Trouba went for the stick, they awkwardly didn’t get out of the way of each other, sticks made contact and troubas stick and hand got pushed in an awkward position and they tumbled into each other. It was incidental. Tell me, if it was so dirty how come the NHL isn’t pursuing any further action?

Alan Smith
4 months ago

A talented player, ten times more valuable then a second class defense man, has to be protected by the league! Dirty hits by known dirty players, is unacceptable! Where is the suspension and when is it coming?

Charlie
Charlie
4 months ago

Get real. Trouba’s hit was clean & hard.