Don Cherry got it right. It was a “cheap” and gutless play.
If you can’t beat him, slash him across the neck with your stick and then have your teammate crosscheck him in the face.
Well done, Alex Ovechkin, Matt Niskanen. You are in Game 4 of the big series against the Stanley Cup champions.
Sidney Crosby is not.
There seems to be something about getting creamed by two dirty plays that brings on a concussion for a guy with a history of them.
It worked. The Capitals won the game. They knocked out their enemy’s best player while keeping themselves all in the series.
“That was a cheap shot,” Cherry said on Coach’s Corner on Tuesday night.
All hockey fans would agree, it’s not easy seeing Crosby sidelined, but what makes that more difficult is that the guys who attacked him are still on the ice.
Don Cherry speaks out on Ovechkin/Niskanen tag team on Crosby pic.twitter.com/ViePdiTCuI yep. yep. yep— bill peduto (@billpeduto) May 3, 2017
Fans who pay the freight all want to see the best players out there on the ice.
And the ones who go out of their way to hurt them? Not playing.
“He should’ve gotten at least four games,” Cherry said of Niskanen. “(Crosby is) the best hockey player in the world right now and he’s out.”
Many hockey commentators have said they believe it was more of a series of unfortunate events colliding together and there was no intent to hurt Crosby.
Cherry is not buying it.
Ovechkin “hits him in the head, that’s why he falls down,” he said. “Now watch (Niskanen) coming across. He cross-checks him (and is) looking right at him. Are you kidding me?”
Man, is it good to hear from Cherry on this. After the first-period hit on Monday, I was wondering what Don would say about it, but Rogers and the CBC have him doing the Ottawa-New York series instead. My feeling is Don should be on every night. And, certainly, call him in when there is such a controversial play like that.
He is very upset about this - and his comments on Hockey Night in Canada on Tuesday night where picked up by both the Washington and Pittsburgh media.
Another look at the Crosby injury. Ovechkin also got him with the stick up high & took out his leg just prior to the Niskanen hit pic.twitter.com/Z0TAbKJXyv— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 2, 2017
“Hockey play, anybody that says this is a hockey play is out of their mind,” yelled Cherry. “This guy meant to do it, in my opinion,”
I agree with Don that it was a deliberate attempt to wound or slow down Crosby. Nothing wrong with hitting star players hard, but to try to flay them with a swinging stick or to have his head cross-checked like that, is not what fans want to see.
Cherry says if more enforcers were in the game to take care of weasels who take advantage of an opponent’s superstars, you would not see as many sneaky shots like that.
We would love to know your view on this one and answer our poll on it. You can email me at [email protected] and I will share some of your thoughts on the controversial situation.
My feeling is with two referees on the ice they should have called a slashing or high-sticking penalty on Ovechkin for such cavalier use of his stick that it would appear to hit Crosby’s head twice.
While it all happens so fast out there, Niskanen sure seemed to land a good, near-lethal blow for a guy supposedly making a mistake.
“He knew what he was doing,” said Cherry.
Man, there’s nothing better than hearing the Wrath of Grapes.