Monday, April 06, 2009

Crosby the Enforcer

Several radio talk show hosts, most notably WXDX-FM, Mark Madden have already mentioned the lack of guts on the Pittsburgh Penguins team when it comes to sticking up for highly regarded players. They along with me have noticed a trend when it comes to tough guys joining up with the Penguins. Nobody ever steps up to throw their weight around like a true heavyweight. Steve McKenna, Georges Laraque, Marty McSorley, Krzysztof Oliwa, Jarkko Ruutu to name a few in the recent years and this season Eric Godard and Matt Cooke forgot what they were signed to do.

If there was any doubt as to the chemistry shared between Malkin and Crosby and if they could co-exist on the same team, look no further to the events that possibly bonded them further. Understanding that the NHL and officials will no longer condone revenge fighting in hockey, it has become open season on the league stars.

This latest example of shortsightedness by anti-fighting pacificts. Brian Campbell, defenceman of the scrappy Florida Panthers, decides to abandon the customary code of professional courtsey and blatantly lowers his shoulder to deliver a check to Malkin speeding up along the boards. This causes Crosby to get angry and pummel Campbell with right hands. What if Malkin's awkward backflip injured his neck or back? Submarining a vulnerable hockey player should warrant a suspension, but hopefully Crosby's heroics may overshadow Campbell's villainy.

You can watch the series of unfortunate events unfold on a youtube video of the Panthers and Penguins battle. Hopefully, this will continue to fuel the debate over fighting's place in hockey and the growing lack of respect among players. I fully condone Crosby's reaction to the situation until players wise up and conform themselves in a more professional manner.
If I were Malkin, I would find a way to show my appreciation for what Crosby did. Maybe wax and detail his SUV?
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