There weren’t a lot of highlights for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night – one of these duds that teams on a roll just know are going to arrive eventually.
But Sidney Crosby, in a brief little moment, provided one.
Penguins forward Patric Honrqvist lost his stick after taking a bump from Jiri Hudler. It landed near the skates of Crosby. Now, we know Sid’s got one of the best backhands in the NHL when he has the puck. Welp, turns out it’s pretty wicked when he has a stick on his stick, too – Crosby flipped the lumber back to Hornqvist, as the Flames fans let out an audible “whoa” watching the highlight.
Pretty awesome. Totally illegal!
Scouting the Refs points us to Rule 10.3 of the NHL Big Book Of Rules That Are Subjectively Applied By Humans:
A player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to a teammate on the ice, or if he picks up and plays with an opponent’s stick. A player may not participate in the play using a goalkeeper’s stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.
Crosby wasn’t penalized on the play, but in fairness to Chris Rooney, Frederick L'Ecuyer, it was soooo cool.
While it may seem like a minor infraction, flying sticks can be dangerous on the ice for both players and officials. With skaters already watching for pucks and bodies, an unexpected stick in the air can do some serious damage. While Crosby made a terrific stick return, other players attempting the same move – were it legal – would likely not see that kind of success. Ask Patric Hornqvist if he’d be as open to having Nick Bonino try the same move.
Sort of a mean thing to say about a guy who has more goals than Crosby this season …
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