‘Tis the season to be spearing other players in the groin. The latest incident in the Stanley Cup Playoffs involved Sidney Crosby who caught Dominic Moore between the legs with his stick as time expired in the second period of Game 6 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.
Here's a GIF of the incident via @PeteBlackburn:
The Penguins captain was then greeted by a couple of Rangers including Moore, who tried to confront Crosby before Chris Kunitz stepped in. Crosby got some attention from defenseman Dan Girardi who threw Crosby down. Meanwhile, goaltender Henrik Lundqvistgave Crosby a squirt with his water bottle as he skated by and lastly Brian Boyle dropped by to knock Crosby's helmet off, much to the captain's displeasure. The rest of the players on the ice joined in as well for a full-on scrum after the final buzzer.
You can see the water bottle squirt here (also via Pete):
Crosby got a cross-checking penalty out of it based on the pile above, while Kunitz got a roughing minor for clubbing Moore and Boyle got a cross-checking penalty, giving the Rangers a power play to open the third period.
There have been several incidents where players have been speared below the belt this year. Some of those spearings have resulted in fines, like the $5,000 Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic was docked for his upwards slash between Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser's legs.
Will Crosby draw the ire of the league? It's tough to say, but there's a precedent and that was clearly a low blow delivered with some malice.
That wasn't the only thing Crosby did that was perhaps outside the law in the game though. In the third period he appeared to slew-foot an unaware Girardi. GIF via @myregularface:
That's a pretty dirty play from Crosby. I don't think there's an argument that he was just taking that angle to make his turn. That leg is way out there and right in front of one of CBC's cameras.
The odds of the league suspended Crosby without an overt illegal hit for a potential Game 7 seems slim, but for the spear and possible slew foot, seems like he should probably get some sort of punishment doled out, even if it's a fine. Not a great night for the league's best player.