There has been a lot of talk over whether Matt Niskanen’s cross-check was one of reflex, intent, or accident, and there will be more. The fact remains, however, that Crosby’s absence Super Cheap Jerseys for the Penguins — however long or short — hurts.
Obviously, it hurts Pittsburgh’s chances in this series. Crosby, no matter how deep the Penguins are, makes them better by almost 100 percent. He’s special and it hurts to lose such an incredible playmaker in such a tightly contested series.
Maybe more so, Crosby’s injury hurts the entire NHL. When Crosby is playing, the NHL is better off for it. Love him or hate him, guys. Search your feelings, friends, you know it to be true.
And don’t forget, Crosby himself has been plagued with concussions throughout his career. Whether this is a head injury or not — or a serious injury or not — remains to be seen, but the Penguins road to the Eastern Conference Final is tougher without him.
That might be terrible thinking. Certainly, Wall has shown he’s somewhat of an offense all by himself. But if you stay home on shooters — like Beal and Porter — and dare Wall to drop 35 points by himself, will that work for Washington? Atlanta may be willing to sacrifice some one-on-one scoring if it means Wall can’t cleanly pick apart their defense with his passing out of the pick and roll.
Washington could also beat this by running in transition aggressively. We shall see. These are also the same journalists who will wring their hands and clutch their figurative pearls about the lack of protection afforded to Crosby, while at the same time arguing that the Pens should seek “retribution” for the hit, or at the very least that the “code” demands that Washington should be “forced to answer” for such actions.
The same journalists who will enter debates with a straight face over whether Alex Ovechkin is choosing to shoot at an opposition defenceman’s head rather than the net even though the net is available, and argue that Pens should “make him suffer” for it.