At the start of the Pens-Caps match-up, I wrote a piece about the superstars playing in this series. As one might have expected, one man again has risen above all of the rest. Sidney Crosby has been outstanding in this series. The captain has been able to bring his A-game to the ice on most every shift. He leads the league in goals and points and is proving that he is a superstar. Players’ careers are ultimately judged by their playoff performances, and Sid has certainly proven that his best comes out at playoff time. Crosby’s greatness extends beyond the game as well. The way he handles the media, his willingness to be involved in the community, the type of captain and teammate that he is. It is never about him. He goes out of his way to compliment and stand behind the play of his teammates. Sid is the consummate professional. He will hit you, he will outwork you along the boards, he will make a great pass, he will score a key goal, and he would NEVER deliberately intend to injure another player. One of the other superstars in this series, Alexander Ovechkin has done just that, and in his gutless style refused to accept the responsibility for the dirty play. Ovechkin has none of the qualities as a man or a teammate that Crosby has. Got Malkin said it best — the two are separated by 2 letters — C and L — Crosby has CLASS, Ovechkin is an ASS. The year Ovechkin and Malkin were drafted first and second overall, there was debate over who the Penguins would pick if they had to choose between them. Thankfully that didn’t happen. After seeing the type of person and player that Ovechkin is, I could not be happier that he is NOT a Penguin. (I’m not sure what replay Boudreau saw, but after watching different replays several times, it is impossible to come to any other conclusion, except that this was a deliberate intent to injure.) A supposed shoulder check gone bad – an ‘accident’. Ovechkin’s shoulder went to the left. He not only stuck his knee out, he propelled it into Gonchar’s knee – not something a normal human being would do to a ‘friend’.
Now that incident must be forgotten as we approach Game 5. Win the game, and wrap it up Monday in Pittsburgh. That’s the view from E-11.