Sat Jan 03 05:18pm EST
Frustration, thy name is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unless you consider a Sidney Crosby fight off the faceoff and his 21 minutes in penalties to be harbingers of sunshine for the Pens in their 6-1 humiliation to the visiting Florida Panthers today:
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The Penguins' frustrations began to mount and culminated with center Max Talbot fighting the Panthers' Gregory Campbell off a faceoff at 16:59 of the second period, followed two seconds later by center and captain Sidney Crosby going after Florida's Brett McLean. It was the second career fight for Crosby, who pinned McLean and got extra penalties for instigating and unsportsmanlike conduct, as well as a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
As you can see, Crosby's fighting style resembles that of a Jerry Springer guest who bum-rushes someone while they're coming on stage.
Although "fighting" is giving this a little too much credit; the last time we saw someone get jumped like this by a Kid, Ralphie's mother dragged him off of the school bully while he was crying. And just like Scut Farkus, all Brett McLean gets are a bloody nose and a very public embarrassment.
Was this leadership from Crosby? Adam Gretz of FanHouse thinks not:
If Crosby wants to be a leader and stick up for his team -- and himself -- there are better ways to do it. Basically mugging the guy across from you and then wildly throwing punches with your visor on is not the way.
Terribly weak on Crosby's part. Is it weaker than the Penguins collective team effort the past month? That's a toss up, my friends.
We at Puck Daddy applaud Crosby's efforts. Finally, he's embracing his natural role as the underhanded, divisive anti-hero of the NHL, rather than its golden boy.
And hey, at least now he seems to know which end is up when taking a cheap shot at an opponent ...
UPDATE 6:40 p.m. EST: Two interesting reactions from after the game. First, Crosby told the media scrum in Pittsburgh that McLean indicated he wanted to fight. Said Crosby (video): "We were talking early in the first period ... I asked him to go, he said 'yes'. Usually yes means yes. I wouldn't have wasted 20 minutes in the box for that ... I guess he didn't take me serious."
Guess Nick Boynton of the Panthers didn't get the memo, as he accused Crosby of jumping McLean and called Crosby's actions "immature and childish" in chatting with George Richards of the Miami Herald after the game.