Sidney Crosby’s game against the Buffalo Sabres encompassed everything we love about the NHL as presented in three exhibits.
Exhibit A: Spearing of an opponent.
OK. This might not be something we all enjoy when it happens to someone on our favorite team. Yet, when it happens to a guy of questionable intestinal fortitude, we might (MIGHT) be slightly OK with it.
Less than five minute into the game, Crosby plays a game of ‘dirty pool’ with Ryan O’Reilly.
The Sabres forward has his back to Crosby when the Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain takes an upward swing at O’Reilly’s, ahem, sack of pucks.
(OH MY HOW O’REILLY PERSEVERED THROUGH THAT MOMENT. Someone give him an award.)
No penalty for Crosby on the play. Probably no fine from the NHL, too. Like either of those two statements are shocking.
After the game, O’Reilly didn’t stick around to talk to the media. Dan Bylsma was asked his opinion.
Watch as the lights go out on Disco Dan’s mirrored ball(s)…
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) March 22, 2017
Exhibit B: Scores a spectacular goal.
There are few words for just how insane this goal by Crosby is.
He appears to mystify the defenders as he’s barrelling past them. Knowing Josh Gorges won’t catch up fully and anticipating Zach Bogosian is going to try to take away space with his stick, Crosby simply controls the puck entirely with his stick in his right hand.
For the added flourish, he backhands the puck past Robin Lehner for goal No. 41 on the year.
Exhibit C: Tooth loss
With the game in hand for the Penguins at 3-1, Crosby attempts to get his second tally of the night on the Sabres open net.
Upon initial inspection, Evander Kane appears to give Crosby’s face the same love tap Crosby gave to O’Reilly’s undercarriage. To which Crosby throws his face back, gloves off and collapses to the ice.
Turns out it wasn’t just Crosby playing it up for the referees as he’s ALLEGEDLY been known to do.
Crosby’s front teeth are, well, partially missing.
After the game, coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that Crosby had indeed experienced tooth loss on the ice. Crosby was unable to talk with reporters because he was already in the dentist chair getting his grill coated in platinum and diamonds as the kids do (unconfirmed).
To top off Sidney’s ultimate hockey night, his team clinched their eleventh straight trip to the post season as they attempt to be the first back-to-back Stanley Cup winners in nearly twenty years.
Regardless what you think of him, the man has a sense for the dramatic on the ice.
Your move, Connor McDavid.