Crosby Injury Gives Platform to Hack Reporters

Posted May 2, 2017

If you think Niskanen intended to injure Crosby, you don’t know hockey. (Caps Outsider)

There’s no sequence in hockey that’s been analyzed in the last 24 hours more than the Sidney Crosby injury in Game 3 of the Capitals/Penguins series. That’s to be expected. A star player getting hurt from a hit to the head – no doubt that’s a topic of conversation, especially since slow-motion video can turn a simple reflex into a vast conspiracy.

Many folks are understandably upset that Crosby was hit and injured on Monday. Alex Ovechkin could’ve gotten a penalty for his slash, which I couldn’t argue, but the easier call was on Matt Niskanen, who clearly braced himself with outstretched arms as Crosby unwittingly slid into him, only for Crosby’s head to take the brunt of the collision.

While I believe anyone who thinks Niskanen’s hit was ‘cheap and dirty‘ has little understanding of ice hockey, and likely has never played the sport, I also get that frustration plays a role in subjective analysis of these matters, and columnists will column about it. See Dan Steinberg’s article on this – “There is no such thing as objective truth. Just look at Sidney Crosby’s concussion.” The Caps also went through this before with Crosby when Dave Steckel bumped into him during the 2011 Winter Classic. In that case, Steckel either accidentally bumped into him or purposely targeted his head.

BTW, this is what actual intent looks like:

Some of these ‘reporters’ took the analysis of Monday’s incident to another level by accusing the Caps of planning the hit on Crosby like the Tattaglias planned to kill Sonny on the causeway. “Did guys happen to notice that when it actually happened, absolutely no one on the Washington side, so much as raised a pinkie finger or their voice whenever Niskanen was sent off?” said former Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Dejan Kovacevic, one of the conspiracy theorists. No, nor did the Penguins attack Niskanen following the play, as one does after a dirty hit. Does Kovacevic honestly believe the Caps would risk having their top defenseman or goal-scorer get suspended if this were planned? If Niskanen was really trying to take out Crosby, wouldn’t he have added extra umph to the hit by driving Sid’s head to the ice instead of pulling away and regaining his balance? “Nobody but the Capitals knows what was said in that meeting, but it makes you wonder, doesn’t it?” said Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, before audio was released:

Rob Rossi, who now writes for a site that no one has ever heard of, is a credentialed ‘reporter’ who asked Caps coach Barry Trotz a ‘gotcha’ question during Monday’s press conference, only for Trotz to call it a ‘terrible question.’ Following that, Rossi called Trotz a loser (this is coming from a writer who himself failed at his job at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and is even despised by Penguins fans, who have no issue attacking his credibility). Rossi also accused the Caps of plotting to take out Crosby in a closed door meeting following their Game 2 loss. These aren’t merely routine opinions on sports, these are unprofessional rantings meant only for attention. His site’s response to our criticism: “Be sure to check out all of the things we have going with our whole staff!”

While there are usually no repercussions for being a troll on the internet, there should be if you’re a credentialed reporter and a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Rossi should lose his credentials, his PHWA membership, and his job. Cheap shots and dirty hits have no place in hockey, nor do conspiracy theories and blatant lies have any place in journalism, no matter how desperate a site is for clicks.

via Puck Daddy: Pittsburgh columnist wants Ovechkin banned, calls Trotz a loser