Chippy game between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, as the two Western Conference finalists and rivals went head-to-head in San Jose Wednesday night.
The Sharks don't much care for the Canucks (they're not alone there), and were willing to stop at nothing to win -- even going so far as to try rattling the Sedins with some schoolyard shenanigans. Check out Sharks captain Joe Thornton pulling the ol' pokey-poke on Canucks' captain Henrik Sedin during an exchange with the official:
I like Henrik Sedin's bemused chuckle near the end there. He's like, This is so stupid.
Remind me never to accept a chocolate-covered pretzel from Joe Thornton. If he's not above the smell my finger approach, he's not above an old-school stinkpalm either ...
But one wonders: Since much of this bad blood stems from last year's postseason, was Thornton simply being a cheeky monkey, or was he paying homage to the finger-focused shenanigans of the Stanley Cup Final? Was this an invitation to bite right in front of the referee?
If so, Henrik Sedin's not your guy. You want his winger, Alex.
You'll recall, last spring, Alex Burrows accepted one such invitation, "allegedly" chomping down on Patrice Bergeron's digit like it was a trois mousquetaires barre de chocolat. (That's a Three Musketeers chocolate bar, if you're Randy Cunneyworth.)
This, of course, led to Bergeron extending his bloodied finger to the referees like Seymour feeding Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, and when none of the officials would bite -- pun fully intended -- we got two games of finger-wagging not unlike Thornton's above.
First, there was Maxim Lapierre, offering Bergeron the even-up nibble:
Then the Bruins took to the meme with aplomb, as both Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic got into the act. Here's Recchi:
And here's Lucic:
Shortly after all of this, Mike Murphy issued a decree that the next guy pulling this crap would be suspended. And considering the free-wheeling way with which the interim disciplinarian dealt with Aaron Rome, well, it was enough to end the practice. (He was totally unpredictable. How many games for a finger taunt? One? One hundred?)
But that was then. Now? Joe Thornton's bringing the finger back.