On Tuesday night in Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in town to take on the Buffalo Sabres. The Penguins ended up winning the game 3-1, but there were some shenanigans that took place on the ice.
One of the world’s best players Sidney Crosby decided to take his stick and use it as a weapon against Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly. Here is the video:
I am not sure why Crosby speared O’Reilly in his family jewels. I am not sure what kind of message Crosby was trying to send by doing this. Crosby was not penalized on the play.
Later in the evening, karma caught up to Sidney Crosby as he was high-sticked by Evander Kane. Crosby lost a couple of his teeth on this play:
WHERE IS THE INTEGRITY?
Sidney Crosby is hockey’s most notable player in the world. He is one of the most gifted athletes on the ice every single night. Crosby is portrayed as one of the NHL’s most likable characters through every major media outlet.
While hockey is a game that is full of emotion, I do not get why Crosby would even think to make a move like this on the ice. The “low blow” is completely unnecessary. It is something I would expect to see Ric Flair do inside a WWE ring, but not something I would expect to see Sidney Crosby do on the ice.
What makes things look worse for Crosby is that he did this “low blow” to his fellow countryman Ryan O’Reilly. I do not believe Crosby and O’Reilly have any personal beef with each other, but it just looks worse on Crosby’s part that he did it to someone who he has played hockey with in other areas of the sport.
WHERE IS THE PUNISHMENT?
Over the past few seasons, the NHL has tried to eliminate the dirty things that happen on the ice. Fighting is down across the league, but the NHL is still wishy-washy when it comes to suspensions and punishments.
The NHL sometimes hands out fines to players for things like diving and embellishment. I am totally fine with the NHL trying to enforce things like this.
In the same breath, if the NHL can fine players for diving and embellishment, should they fine players for unnecessary spears and slashes? I feel that the league should enforce more than they do right now.
First, the referees need to make sure these “behind the play” incidents do not happen as often. If a player on the ice knows he can get away with something “behind the play,” he will likely continue to do it until he is penalized.
Crosby could have been penalized for “slashing” or “unsportsmanlike conduct” on the play. The referees need to make sure that these plays do not continuously happen on the ice.
A spear or slash below the belt should result in a similar fine as a dive or embellishment play. It is something that does not need to happen on the ice. If the NHL wants to preserve its image by fining dive or embellishment plays, it should do the same with unnecessary spears and slashes. Players need to play the game with integrity, and spearing someone from behind can only make a guilty player look cowardly. It is time for the NHL to clean up some more bonehead plays across the league.
By: George Foussekis