Crosby and Malkin: Class Acts

Joel JarviContributor IJune 1, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 31:  Referee Marc Joannette tries to break up a fight between Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins fights and Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings as their teams fight in the background towards the end of Game Two of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on May 31, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Just wanted to take a moment to prop out two of the classiest young players in the NHL. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Both were hand-chosen by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to be the face of the League. And really, who could ask for two classier guys...

Take the end of Game 1. As the Red Wings exhibit their typical brand of thuggery by not allowing Sidney Crosby a point, they stream off the bench to congratulate their victorious goalie.

Incensed at the audacity of the Wings, Sidney responds in only the classiest way possible, slashing the foot of Kirk Maltby.

I mean, what else could he do?

The game was over. The final buzzer had tolled. It's not like we could expect Sidney to suck it up and make the Wings pay in Game 2. No way. Not from a guy as classy as Sidney.

And now take the end of Game 2. With 19 seconds left, while attempting to score the elusive (and often underrated) 2 point goal (you know, where you get one goal for actually scoring and then another goal awarded for going after the opponents best player?

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You've never heard of it? Hmmm. I think it's a brand new rule for this series...), Evgeni Malkin starts swinging his stick at Henrik Zetterburg's head.

I mean, what else could he do?

Everyone knows that when you fight in hockey, you ALWAYS try to pick a smaller guy not known for fighting and you NEVER drop your stick at the onset. No way. Not from a guy as classy as Evgeni.

And as for the NHL, they quickly corrected the ref's miscall giving Evgeni an instigator penalty resulting in an immediate one-game suspension.

Colin Campbell was burning up the phone lines with the Commish and got that suspension rescinded IMMEDIATELY.

I mean, what else could he do?

Malkin was so obviously baited into fighting (not to mention struggling to attain the aforementioned magical two-point goal), it's not like you could expect the NHL to follow its OWN RULES.

Even though the rulebook clearly states "a player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident...", they see through the transparency of the Red Wings vile attempts to cheat their way to back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Colin Campbell took a good solid 20 minutes to thoroughly review the call and set things right with the world.

With thugs like Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper flying all over the ice-taking cheap shots, the NHL had to take action.

So, way to go, Crosby and Malkin! And in the immortal words of Ron Burgundy, "You stay classy!"

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