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Tales of the Tape: Florida Panthers 4/5/09, Sidney Crosby vs. Keith Ballard

What is going on here? A few days ago we get a Bill Guerin fight and today Sidney Crosby drops the gloves? I'm fully expecting Chris Kunitz to be dropping the gloves in Tampa on Tuesday.

After Keith Ballard sent Malkin tumbling head-first to the ice, he fully expected for someone to come after him, and Sidney Crosby was the one to do so. No hard feelings, though. Ballard's comments after the game (from Empty Netters):

"Usually after something like that you have to expect that someone is coming. He kind of just came to me, so I got my gloves off quick. I think it's a clean hit, I don't know if they do or not. But that's part of it. They were on the power play, so they didn't have a bunch of tough guys out there. I expected someone to come, I didn't know who it would be. He's their captain and he understands that no matter who it is, you have to do something. He's an intense player, competitive. At that point of the game, that was pretty much the right thing to do."

Well, Crosby did come hard at him - so hard, in fact that he got an additional two minutes in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct (which was served by Petr Sykora). Of course, if you were watching the game on the Flordia feed like I was, you heard that Crosby was so evil that he should have gotten penalties for instigating, game misconduct, and banned from the NHL for all of this lifetime and most of the next. Fortunately, the refs are still in the tank for the Penguins, so no worries.

So the fight itself? Some jersey tugging, then a missed shot from Crosby gave Ballard an opening to start punching his helmet, but Crosby quickly pulled him down to the ice and that was that. It wasn't much, and I'm calling it a draw, but then again, I too am in the tank for Crosby (before anyone accuses me of such). That's why I keep two sets of Win/Loss/Draw records - what do you think?