If there was a signature moment of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ need for a tougher, more physical game within their lineup, the first period against the Buffalo Sabers provided the posterization. Buffalo defender Rasmus Ristolainen planted Sidney Crosby, and he altered the course of the game, even as the Penguins finally clinched a 4-0 victory.
And don’t think for a moment that the president of hockey operations, Brian Burke, didn’t see it. Burke has already told some colleagues in the media to expect some toughness along the way.
Early in the game Thursday night, Crosby had to fight off some chips and punches from the Buffalo Sabers forwards. Then defender Rasmus Ristolainen leveled Crosby near the left wing wall like an old skyscraper.
The Penguins almost had a couple of chances to score on the inning, but Crosby was not only slow to get up, he was also slow to rejoin the play.
This is where you and I tend to part ways. There’s something embedded in the penguin fandom that refuses to be able to do that to opponents like it’s not going to help.
“The players are playing the game the way they are going to play,” Mike Sullivan said. “The teams play against us in a certain way during my entire stay here. You have to play through it. That’s the nature of the game. “
But wouldn’t it be nice not to have to play with that? Don’t you have to bear it? It would be beneficial for the penguins to bring the physical game to the other team and do they answer questions about how to play through it.
On Wednesday night, it was Buffalo’s Brandon Montour who pulled out the straw to punch, punch and irritate Crosby.
Now, imagine if the penguins could hit back. It really hits back. We’re not talking about the ability to complete checks that Brandon Tanev excels at, nor are we talking about a bully. In the middle of the extremes, the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have a guy in their lineup who can devastate the opponent with one punch and cause the opponent’s star to get hurt in the second period.
Crosby had three assists Thursday night. See, Kingerski, you are wrong!
“If you look at Ristolainen, he plays a pretty physical game regardless of who’s in the lineup,” Crosby said of his shots. “He’s a guy to watch out for when he’s on the ice. Montour is the same. He is a good skater. He can get there to make hits, so … there are always guys who are trying to play hard against you, get you out of your game and make the night long for you. “
Crosby is a poor example of a “star” in need of protection because he is perhaps the strongest superstar since Jaromir Jagr. Maybe stronger. Crosby had enough later in first period, and he threw a real hip check on Ristolainen, which sent the defender to the ass over the kettle.
If you watched the game, you will also know that Sidney Crosby also played a little differently after the hits. Crosby knew the whereabouts of Ristolainen.
Hitting does not prevent hitting. But being able to hit back or defend the team yes change The hit.
How can I know?
Ask a hockey player.
Look at the bench after a big hit. The aggressor gains energy as Mario Bros. chasing mushrooms. The hittee feels aggrieved. Salty.
Which do you prefer: the rush of energy or the irritation?
Pittsburgh Penguins – Looking Ahead
Count PHN and this writer as someone who thinks the Pittsburgh Penguins are MUCH better than we expected, at least when the DL doesn’t look like a Tolstoy. When fully healthy, penguins don’t have much room to add, but they do have some spots.
“We are going to try to dictate the terms. We’re going to try to play the game that gives the Penguins the best chance of success, ”Sullivan said, saying the Penguins need to hit back.
But, if the Buffalo Sabers can beat Sidney Crosby, imagine what the Boston Bruins or Washington Capitals will do in the playoffs.
Do you want to know the true secret of having more cunning, toughness or punches in your lineup? It allows your best players to more easily play that game that gives your team the best chance of success.
If the Sabers can get to Crosby, a better team will make better use of that power.
By the way, those playoffs are six weeks away. The Penguins hold a 10-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for the last spot in the playoffs. Maybe we should stop worrying about Philadelphia and start watching the New York Rangers, who are also 10 behind.
If the Penguins can survive the next few weeks without Evgeni Malkin and Kasperi Kapanen, the playoffs will be almost assured. Then you can see how to protect Crosby, or Malkin, and Guentzel would benefit the team.
One thing is for sure, being able to interfere with Sidney Crosby cannot continue, or he will be watching with Malkin and Kapanen.