One of the most indelible images from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Eastern Conference Final Game 1 loss to the Boston Bruins was Zdeno Chara craning his neck like a brontosaurus eating low-hanging fruit, getting in the face of Sidney Crosby as the two barked at each other after the second period ended.
Thankfully for Sid, his jaw and anything in low Earth orbit that it would have hit had Chara nailed him with a haymaker there, the situation didn’t escalate.
However, the Penguins captain believes the on-ice officials did allow plenty to escalate in Game 1, as the Bruins agitated Pittsburgh players with no recourse.
Via Shelly Anderson of the Post-Gazette, Crosby’s comments on the officiating:
"They're letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope.
"That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that."
The first ingredient for the Bruins’ recipe of success was getting under the Penguins’ skin and agitating the hell out of them. As you can read in Crosby’s comments and see here, mission accomplished in their Game 1 win: