After trying their very best to lose a game in which they held a 2-0 lead with under two minutes left, the Caps allowed us to hang onto the tiniest sliver of optimism by winning Game 3 early in overtime. Certainly, our souls will still be crushed later in the series, but for now, there’s hope.
Of course, that’s not the big takeaway from Monday night. The injury to Sidney Crosby is the talking point du jour, and the takes are coming in hot and heavy.
The most absurd of which comes from this guy:
— upgr?v (@upgruv) May 2, 2017
This is Rob Rossi, who I’m not convinced isn’t Darren Rovell’s brother. He used to write for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and now pens opinions like this for something called Upgruv.com:
Makes you wonder what that closed-door meeting called by Capitals players was really about after their blowout defeat in Game 2, huh?
If they say it wasn’t about eliminating Crosby, the Capitals are liars. And if that sounds like an unfair accusation to make of the Capitals, then please consider my decade of experience covering a sport I love and a league I really, really, really want to give the benefit of the doubt.
(Or maybe consider their coach publicly saying his players must go places they hadn’t gone before?)
Sorry, but I cannot give the Capitals, or the NHL, any benefit. And I doubt very much there wasn’t an intent to injure Crosby when this series shifted to Pittsburgh.
The plan to injure Crosby, which was devised in a closed-door meeting, worked to perfection: Give him a scoring chance, then have Ovi make just enough legal contact to cause Crosby to lose his balance so he falls directly into the waiting cross-check of Niskanen. And it looks like they’re totally going to get away with it — Nisky won’t be suspended.
But this wasn’t the only take coming from Pittsburgh suggesting the play was possibly intentional. Kevin Gorman of Triblive.com offered this:
Maybe you’d be more willing to buy [Niskanen’s] explanation if it wasn’t from the Capitals, the same organization against which Crosby suffered a concussion on a blindside hit by David Steckel in the 2011 Winter Classic, an injury that caused him to miss 63 games over two seasons.
So the evidence being used here to suggest intent on Niskanen’s part is that a guy who hasn’t played for the Capitals since that 2010-11 season hurt Crosby six years ago. There’s your smoking gun, folks.
There are still at least two games left in this series. Let’s hope everyone continues to remain calm and rational.