We’ve all seen David Steckel’s collision with Sidney Crosby during the 2011 Winter Classic that left the Penguins’ superstar sidelined with a concussion. In fact, we’ve all seen it over and over and over. It’s basically the Zapruder film of the NHL, except with multiple angles.
I still have no idea if Steckel meant to make contact with Crosby or not. I’ve leaned towards Don Cherry’s theory that it was intentionally unintentional, though not malicious. Which is the same way I saw Wojtek Wolski’s hit on Daniel Alfredsson. But maybe that’s because I used to do stuff like that when I played. “I’m going to keep skating in a straight line, and if you get in the way, that’s your own fault.”
As Crosby gets closer to returning (possibly this Friday), Steckel continues to claim his innocence.
“I’m sure for as many people who thought it was an accident there are as many people who think it was intentional,” he said, as reported by Sportsnet’s Mike Brophy. “Obviously people who are with me say they think it was an accident, whether they actually believe that or they’re just trying to make me feel better.”
If Steckel’s telling the truth, you have to feel for the guy. Being accused of something you didn’t do is bad enough when it’s just one person doing the accusing, not thousands. Millions even. There’s nothing he can do about it either. People are going to buy his story or they aren’t.
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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