I suppose one of the main drawing points to another Penguins-Capitals series was that it was always likely to generate controversy, given how often these two teams have met, how hyped it’s been, and how the fanbases feel about each other. Make no mistake, a lot of the furor over Niskanen-Crosby: In Your House is one set of fans/media reacting to the other and then ratcheting up over reactions to that.
This isn’t just about this particular incident, and we’ll get to the others. As far as this one, I’m just not buying Eddie Plugs’s or any Caps fan/coach’s excuse on it, and it isn’t just about this one in particular. Yes, things happen fast on the ice. Why we love it. But the reason those dudes are out there and we’re sitting here is because they have the reaction time to deal with how fast things happen out there.
Sure, it happens too fast for Niskanen to plan it all and consider the consequences and the particular angle he’d like to take to Crosby’s face. But don’t tell me after watching him follow-through on it he didn’t see a window to Crosby’s head and take it. I just don’t buy anything else. And Niskanen’s previous behavior in this series does him no favors either.