The setup: Last night during the Panthers huge 4-2 win over the Penguins Keith Ballard laid an even huger (and clean) hip check on Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin, sending him tumbling head-over-heels and wondering just where the hell that truck came from. Then, as often happens when someone gets wallpapered (clean hit or not), in comes said paper’s teammate to, I don’t know, exact some sort of pseudo-revenge.
Enter Sidney Crosby.
Now here’s my two-part question to you fine folks: Was there any inherent nobility in Crosby’s “fight” with Ballard and why, for the love of Christ, do the players think that every bit of contact on the ice warrants some kind of retaliation?
Has the game we all know and love sunk to new depths where even a clean hit is taken as some kind of affront? I mean if you want to compare apples and oranges here the hit on Malkin could have been a lot worse. If you watch close Malkin did have his head down, and if Ballard really wanted to put the hurt on him he could have done it.
I totally understand trying to protect your star players, but to me going after a guy because he knocked your teammate on his ass is just plain silly. Get his number, lie in wait and return the favor later.
Or don’t and just accept the fact that your teammate should have known better and the hit served as a jarring reminder.
Crazy as that might sound.