Ottawa versus Pittsburgh; The Battle of Words
Who would have thought that the Crosby-Foligno elbow fiasco wouldn’t die by now? Well, that is not the case in this situation as the Ottawa Senators GM swooped in with his battle of words and then today Penguins’ Bylsma chimed in as well. But lets get Ottawa’s version to this story first.
Murray was seething after Sidney Crosby elbowed Ottawa’s Nick Foligno in the head Friday night. But when Crosby and Pens head coach Dan Bylsma accused Foligno of running goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Murray went on the offensive.
Here is what Murray had to say: “The rules are very clear now. If you fall into a goaltender and touch a goaltender, an elbow to the head and a butt end to the head is fair game. Dan Bylsma said that’s OK for them. Sidney said Nick Foligno is that kind of player.
“I wish (Foligno) was that kind of player. I thought the referees in that game, watching it and hearing the comments, it was 2-on-2. He fell over the goaltender. He was cross-checked four times. There was no question, did he get pushed? I don’t know. He got cross-checked, I thought he got a butt end, but it might have been a full elbow. (Chris) Kunitz comes in with a cross-check and the penalties were even.
“So, (NHL disciplinarian Brendan) Shanahan said that’s a good play. That’s a hockey play. Dan Bylsma said it’s good for them and Pittsburgh were the biggest ones on the head injuries. I’m remiss. I made a mistake. We didn’t have (Chris) Neil and (Matt) Carkner play in the game. We didn’t have enough toughness, so when we play Pittsburgh that’s something you can bring up to me again.”
Yikes, but what was Murray’s boiling point in all this? Well it was when Crosby accused Foligno of “making a big deal out of nothing” on the play. “He’s [Foligno’s] probably lucky it was me that was handling it and not someone else,” No. 87 added. ”I think if he’s going to do that, he should be ready to expect a response.”
Foligno more or less called Crosby a hypocrite for doing the exact thing he railed against during his recovery: delivering a hit to the head.
Wow! Heated right? Well now I don’t believe that Crosby’s elbow actually touched Foligno and I seriously have been studying the footage for the last few days to make sure of it. Now we heard from Ottawa and Crosby so lets hear from Bylsma!
Dan Bylsma was “visibly annoyed” by Foligno’s comments.
“We’re talking about a player that bumped into our goalie three times,” Bylsma said. “With the score 5-1 and intentionally going into our goalie, he can expect more than Sidney Crosby coming at him and talking to him during the game. That’s how we feel about those situations. He was in our net falling over our goalie, and I don’t think there was any question about the intent.”
Crosby distinguishes himself as a star player who frequently goes into the dirty areas; some might even say that he feeds off of contact. Of course, with that commitment comes a physical toll and plenty of feisty moments. The Penguins star hasn’t always handled those situations in an ideal way and even Bylsma would likely admit that his response to Foligno wasn’t perfect.
That being said, Crosby remains a big target. In an age in which enforcers are simply too big of a liability to regularly protect those marquee talents, the Crosbys of the world must stand up for themselves every now and then. Who knows, maybe next week he will be fighting someone but; yet I don’t believe that we will see a Crosby Fight anytime soon. But Which side do you agree with?