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Jimmy Howard takes on Sidney Crosby

Mar 23, 2010, 11:43 AM EDT

Last night’s game between the Red Wings and Penguins felt like it was
played between two teams that have battled in the Stanley Cup finals in
two straight seasons. It was intense, it was emotional and in the end
it got a bit out of hand. (Video
here
)

As time expired in Detroit’s 3-1 win, Sidney Crosby took the faceoff
and immediately began to cross check Henrik Zetterberg. Again and again
as the seconds ticked down, he went after Zetterberg who was trying to
actually play defense.

As expected, the Red Wings weren’t too happy. Zetterberg went right
after Crosby, Bertuzzi got a couple of requisite shots in and then Jimmy
Howard stepped in and did his part. Here are some good quotes from both
sides on the incident, via
Ansar Khan of MLive.com
:

Jimmy Howard - “Just helping out a teammate, that’s all. It’s
become quite the rivalry, and we stick together out there. He does that
stuff all the time. Somehow he gets away with it. Z doesn’t take any of
that. He went right back at him, and I stepped in there, too.”

Sidney Crosby – “I don’t know what [Howard] was doing. It was
one of those things, a couple guys battling at the end. I knew the
linesman was in there. I don’t know whether (Howard) wanted a free
shot, but I don’t think it was any place for him to be.”

Henrik Zetterberg – “I don’t know if he gets away with it. He
plays with a lot of emotion, a lot of heart. Sometimes, it comes out
the wrong way. I might be doing the same thing if (the score) were the
other way. I saw Jimmy coming in with his glove and Crosby wasn’t there
anymore.”

Of all of these, I love Zetterberg’s reaction the
best. He could have come off the ice, spouting how Crosby is spoiled, a
dirty player and how never penalized, yadda, yadda, yadda. Instead, he
talked of Crosby’s competitiveness and the intense — and professional -
rivalry that has built between the two players. Personally, I prefer
that sort of rivalry over one that is built through hate and discontent.
But that’s just me.

As far as Crosby’s take on Howard’s reaction:
What did he expect to happen?

  1. mike devol - Mar 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    my thoughts exactly. i like the rivalry and if detroit makes the playoffs they will be on fire. they have been playing playoff style hockey since the olympic break. I would love to see these teams play again in the finals.

  2. Joe Segris - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    >As far as Crosby’s take on Howard’s reaction: What did he expect to happen?
    Are you serious? Have you never watched a hockey game before? Goalies don’t get involved unless in someone else’s scrap because there’s an uneven number involved. If they do, the other goalie comes in. NBC: Please get someone to write about hockey that actually understand hockey.

  3. Jason C - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Joe, are you for real?
    Have you never seen Hextall, Belfour, Roy or an endless list of others aid a teammate who is getting cheap shotted in front of his own crease?
    Crosby is a moron if he didn’t know Howard would respond.

  4. Bruce - Mar 23, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Absolutely right Jason. A goalie that holds opponents accountable for the cheap shots in front of the net is just doing his job, I think. Crosby’s just so used to getting protected by the NHL, he probably couldn’t believe it was actually happening to him.

  5. Brandon Worley - Mar 23, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Joe, you cannot be serious. I’ve seen countless goaltenders protect their teammates countless number of times. In fact, I didn’t even think anything of it when I saw this. What was interesting about it is that Howard is a young, rookie goaltender who impressed his older teammates.

  6. Rudi - Mar 23, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    I agree. Just because Crosby is the NHL’s posterchild does not mean that other players are going to allow him to get away with cheap shots. To think that goalies are not going to feel the intensity and passion that hockey incites is unrealistic and I applaud Howards actions.

  7. AJ S - Mar 23, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    As a goalie, we get involved based on our loyalties, not by numbers. Frankly, I’d be in there too.
    Good on yah Jimmy. Hit his smug little face in.

  8. Bobby - Mar 23, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    Jimmy did the right thing, he stood up for his teammate. Crosby cross checks Zett MULTIPLE times with the game over and he doesn’t expect a retaliation? What’s he smoking?

  9. Nathan - Mar 23, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    First off, I really love how everyone who tries to stick up for Crosby’s actions is put down, instantly, for knowing very little about the proper conduct of the sport…
    Second, I agree with the article; Z’s comments were very classy and professional. Exactly what I’d expect from a Red Wing… part of what makes me so proud to be a fan of this team.
    Finally, I was at this game. They announced roughing penalties on Crosby, Zetterberg, and Howard after the buzzer. Crosby was booed loudly (much like every time he stepped on the ice that night) and Z’s penatly was met with almost as much disdain, but at the announcement on Howard, the arena errupted in cheers. Just goes to show, we in HockeyTown appriciate team loyalty (and the sight of the much-disliked poster child put in his place…hah!)

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