Game 1 between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins was physical but not particularly malicious. So was Sidney Crosby's(notes) postgame slash on Wings veteran grinder Kirk Maltby(notes), which had Maltby chasing after the Penguins captain as Pittsburgh skated to the locker room, a harbinger of nastiness for Sunday night's Game 2?
Crosby discussed the incident in his postgame press conference:
"Yeah, Kirk, he was doing what he always does. Giving guys lip service and things like that. I two-handed him I think on top of the foot there as we were skating by. He felt it was necessary for him to keep talking after the game, and I thought I'd whack him."
The fact that Crosby was asked about this situation either speaks to the lack of headlines generated by Game 1 or that the slash was, in some way, indicative of a larger theme developing in the series; as Matt Saler of On The Wings wrote, "you have to wonder if the Wings aren't back in Pittsburgh's collective heads."
It'll take more than a frustrating loss in Game 1 to provide evidence that Crosby, who's otherwise been unflappable in this postseason, and the Penguins have been rattled by the Wings. This was gamesmanship. Unfortunately for Crosby, it was captured by cameras and is now being held up as a symbol his his anger and frustration after a scoreless effort.