STAMFORD, Conn. – May 2, 2017 – On tonight’s NHL Live, which aired from 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones, and host Kathryn Tappen discussed all elements of the injury Pittsburgh Penguins center and captain Sidney Crosby suffered in last night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
The trio discussed the actions of Capitals winger and captain Alexander Ovechkin and Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen; whether any of those actions were deliberate; whether discipline was properly levied by both the game officials and the league office; and what the impact of Crosby’s absence will have on Game 4 and possibly the rest of the series.
A video of the entire nine-minute segment can be viewed here. Following are some highlights:
Jones on Ovechkin’s actions: “It was enough to be a slashing penalty, a two-minute minor penalty. He was not targeting the head. Ovechkin was targeting the shoulder…if anything, it was a careless use of his stick, but he was trying to slow down a guy who was in a position to score a goal. That’s a common play in hockey…”
Milbury on Ovechkin: “Agree. So it’s a two-minute penalty. This was not vicious. This was not setting him up for the Niskanen hit. This was simply a guy trying to disrupt an opponent who was on a partial break in…”
Milbury on those who think it was deliberate: “They’re wrong. They’re hysterical and emotional about it. I don’t have a horse in this, and I’ve been around it a long time, and I can tell you many people would’ve slashed.”
Milbury on Niskanen’s hit: “This is a self-defense mechanism, a protective mechanism…You could read in that he’s a dirty player. I don’t think that’s the case here, neither does the league. They’re not reviewing this. This is an unfortunate play.”
Jones: “I don’t think there’s anything premeditated. I don’t think this comes out of the team meeting, the closed door meeting that the Capitals had after their last game. I think this just happened quickly…I don’t think anything about it was with the intent to hit Crosby in the head, from either player. It was the perfect storm. It’s really unfortunate.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–