Last night’s Pens-Caps game from Pittsburgh not only generated a lot of talk because of Arron Asham’s take-down and taunting of Jay Beagle, but also thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s big words after the game calling out Asham for his tactics.
Asham declared that the “rivalry is back” between the Capitals and Penguins and that Ovechkin is a “hypocrite” for what he said relating to the situation. Those are some big words coming from a part-time enforcer and full-time grind line player like Asham.
This is nothing new in the grand scheme of things. One guy does something the other team doesn’t like at all and the opposing team responds to the verbal quips in kind. The talk of the Pens-Caps rivalry being “back on” is a bit surprising on its own since… We had no idea it was actually off.
It’s not like this is Red Wings-Avalanche in the grand scheme of things, the Pens and Caps are still as cutthroat as ever. Just think to last spring when Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke caught Ovechkin with a questionable knee-on-knee hit. The blood boiled over just as much then as it is now. If you thought these two Eastern superpowers had gone quietly into that good night, you’ve been paying attention to the wrong people.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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