The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t met in the playoffs in about 20 years, but the hate’s revving up as if Ulf Samuelsson was on the ice.
A physical first period gave way to a controversy-soaked middle frame as Matt Cooke was ejected for hitting Adam McQuaid from behind, but that was just part of the zaniness. The bitterness really boiled over when Brad Marchand received a two-minute minor penalty for boarding James Neal with about 30 seconds left in the second:
Both sides were at each others’ throats as the seconds ticked off. We’ll get you video of some unlikely adversaries such as Evgeni Malkin vs. Patrice Bergeron in the near future.
It all opens the door for what could be a wild finish.
“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).
Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16