“Lady in blue! Coming through!”
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain received an errant smack to the jaw from a linesman and later followed it by taking a hockey stick to the papa pouch.
GIFs of the physical comedy affronting Crosby were crafted by Mike Darnay of Pensburgh.com and GoldAndOrSmith.com (h/t Pete Blackburn of NextImpulseSports.com). The pain began with the lineman slap, which seemingly threatened to lay Crosby low.
Was the linesman wearing a class ring? Did Crosby have a toothache?
No one likes getting slapped in the face, but the Penguins captain nearly dropped to the ice after the seemingly innocuous accident on the official’s part.
Fans can question the sincerity of Crosby’s reaction in this instance, but it’s hard to look at the groin-stick incident he encountered afterward and see anything but authentic pain.
Carolina’s Manny Malhotra accidentally caught Crosby in the groin with a stick later in the game. The incident occurred after a faceoff and left him doubled over on the ice.
On the bright side, Crosby managed to assist Chris Kunitz in the first period for the Penguins’ only goal of the game, giving the Pens captain a 100-point season for the fifth time in his NHL career.
He also applied a mean "Rock Bottom" maneuver to Carolina's Jay Harrison, according to ThePensBlog.com.
According to CBSSports.com, Crosby wasn’t exactly in the mood to celebrate this takedown or his points after his team’s 4-1 loss.
“There’s not much good to take out of it,” Crosby told reporters. “So we’ve just got to make sure we respond the next game.”
A win over Carolina would’ve wrapped up the Metropolitan Division title for Pittsburgh, but instead, they move on with hopes to bounce back against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Look for the Penguins to come out with a vengeance. Crosby might have to sit on an ice bag on the flight to Winnipeg, but these are the sacrifices that must be made if Pittsburgh wants to get this train back on track for the postseason.
Join me on Twitter for more sports news.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!