Credit where it’s due to Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby for one of the most dramatic high-sticking embellishments we’ve seen in recent memory.
It’s the kind that would make soccer players or WWE jobbers proud. It all happened in the final minutes of Saturday afternoon’s 7-5 Boston Bruins win over the Penguins as the B’s were clinging to a 6-5 lead late in the contest.
“It was right down to the bitter end to the last whistle,” said Bruce Cassidy of the nail-biting fashion of the game. “Maybe we needed a little bit of that today.”
The Penguins had just closed it to a one-goal game on a Crosby shorthanded strike, so Crosby sold the penalty call for a power play with gusto as he and Patrice Bergeron lined up for the draw at center ice.
Sidney Crosby LeBron James
Flopping like they’ve been shot
— Petrov McGuire (@McguirePetrov) April 3, 2021
Replays show Crosby’s stick first rode up on Bergeron and then Bergeron’s stick briefly came up on Sid, who then dramatically snapped his head back in the kind of move that almost always guarantees a penalty call when it’s one of the NHL’s superstars. Predictably the ref went up with the hand and Bergeron was hit with a four-minute high-sticking double-minor for a play that didn’t even look close to that level.
In fact, if anything the refs missed an actual high-stick by David Krejci on Jared McCann during the same draw as Sid the Kid was going through his soccer-like histrionics at center ice.
As it turned out, the angling for a Penguins power play didn’t matter in the end as Brad Marchand potted an empty netter to finish off his hat trick in the high-powered victory and iced the winning effort against his fellow Nova Scotian in Crosby.
“It’s in the room,” said Bruce Cassidy of the goal-scoring outburst for the Boston Bruins. “It was all our top guys today. Obviously, you’re going to have games like this where, with the type of resumes that guys like Pastrnak, Krejci etc. have, I thought all of the goals that we scored were excellent. They were high-end plays by high-end players.”
But credit where it’s due to Sid the Kid for picking his spots with the 12 penalties that he’s drawn this season. It’s clearly not a surprise as Sid the Kid has been considered one of the preeminent “divers” in the league over the last 15 years. The NHL’s most recognizable superstar wasn’t afraid to go big with an epic head snap when he’s playing things up for a penalty call with a valuable two points on the line.