So the first 30 minutes of this game were honestly pretty boring, although by no means should that absolve the Penguins of playing most of the period and a half in their own end and allowing Fleury to be peppered by shots. In the end they allowed 42 shots on Fleury while managing 26 on the other end. That's not a winning formula.
At some point midway through the second period the boring 0-0 game deteriorated to a complete gongshow. It's been a long time, nearly 4 hours to be exact, since I've watched a game that proved how much of a garbage league the NHL truly is.
Obviously did you think it would be anyone other than a complete and utter thug Brandon Dubinsky who would flush this game down the toilet.
Crosby left the game after this crosscheck to the neck pic.twitter.com/prWrhFWE4N— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
Unbelievably, Dubinsky got two minutes for what surely is a fiver and a game. Look at this from another angle. He cross-checks Sid to the back of the neck, then while he is down one more time to his lower back and breaks his stick.
Crosby went down the runway to the dressing room and wouldn't return for the remainder of the period. On the ice, the game escalated quickly, and next thing you know Malkin was swinging at Jack Johnson and earning a 5-minute fighting major.
this game has gone fully out of control pic.twitter.com/vp1VoTB5of— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
Thankfully, the second period ended and Crosby was back to start the third, looking no worse for the wear. Malkin served out his fighting major and returned as well. The Pens power play looked hapless and haphazard earlier in the game, but in the third they got it together and finally Crosby, down on his knees passed it to Malkin behind his back and Geno blasted it past Bobrovsky.
Malkin goal pic.twitter.com/BL6Zc3FXQ1— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
The Pens weren't able to add to their lead and eventually ended up allowing a game-tying goal to Ryan Johansen.
Johansen goal pic.twitter.com/LwtcxygnOC— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
Mike Johnston challenged the call on the account of Scott Hartnell interfering with Fleury, but the challenge was overruled and the game was tied. Too bad Fleury doesn't have Lundqvist's acting chops. He would have been writhing in pain until the call was overturned and a penalty awarded.
Pens used coach's challenge pic.twitter.com/ZXLxvNGI4G— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
The game would go to OT, which had every wrong personnel combination possible. Crosby and Dupuis were defending haplessly with Ben Lovejoy (!!!) while Dubinsky was setting up Atkinson for the game winner.
Atkinson OT winner pic.twitter.com/54lmzHpMP2— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
So the Pens got a point and most importantly Crosby said after the game that he's feeling OK. It's a November regular season game against a worthless bottom-dweller of a team, so a lost point isn't really a big deal.
What is a big deal, though, is that the NHL allows this thuggery to go unpunished day after day. Crosby was able to walk away from this one, but whether it is his or another star's career that gets cut short because of predatory hits, a criminally negligent Department of Player Safety (what a joke), and a garbage league remains to be seen.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a terrible outfit coached by a bona fide jackass. However that may be, the real culprit is the NHL, which should act on this but we all know it won't. It will simply let this blow by because Crosby was lucky to escape uninjured, trash receptacles like Dubinsky will be rewarded, and the status quo will go on.