Sidney Crosby Drops Gloves For Fight With Pierre-Luc Dubois
•Oct 5, 2019
Uploaded by: Martin Arnold
Follow the leaders: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin are pulling out all the stops already
By Josh Yohe
Oct 5, 2019
It took 60 minutes of hockey for Evgeni Malkin to call out his teammates Thursday.
Two nights later, Sidney Crosby dropped the gloves against Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Between the two stars, they’ve played in 29 NHL seasons, but their passion clearly remains. Crosby rumbled with the Blue Jackets and, along the way, found his game as the Penguins delivered a convincing 7-2 knockout to Columbus on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena.
“I just didn’t want him to get hurt,” Mike Sullivan said of the altercation.
Understandably so, especially when considering Malkin left the game earlier with an injury after sliding on his knees into the boards before being unable to protect himself from a Vladislav Gavrikov hit.
The toughest of the Penguins, Erik Gudbranson, was not on the ice in the second period when Crosby dropped the gloves. A high hit to Jake Guentzel’s head set off Crosby, who won a wrestling match with Dubois after both players agreed to go at it.
Was Gudbranson worried about Crosby’s health? Or inspired?
“A little bit of both,” he explained. “Initially, I’m looking at it, and my first inclination is, ‘Oh my God, yes; they’re going to fight.’ I got so excited.”
Then, reality struck.
“Yeah,” Gudbranson said. “Then you realize: ‘That’s our captain. That’s Sid. Take care of yourself.’”
Crosby did, though Gudbranson vows he might not have to worry about this in the future.
The Penguins aren’t a team blessed with much in the way of heavyweights, and a troubling tendency has developed in recent years. When violence and stepping in for teammates are required — the game isn’t anything like it was in decades past, but these things still happen — it is almost always Crosby, Malkin or Kris Letang who steps in.
Letang was injured last season in Philadelphia while coming to Brian Dumoulin’s defense. Malkin has a long history of losing his mind and entering frays when a teammate has been wronged.
Crosby came to Guentzel’s aid, something he’s done often.
Gudbranson said things probably would have transpired differently had he been on the ice. Of course, the problem there is it’s usually Letang and Dumoulin on the ice with Crosby, and this was the case when he dropped the gloves.
“If I were on the ice, I’d probably have put a stop to it,” Gudbranson said. “But I wasn’t. And you know what? Tempers flare sometimes. You don’t see Sid drop the gloves that often, but he does sometimes, and it meant a lot to all of us. It was a hell of a job by him.”
Crosby acknowledged that nothing about the fight was premeditated. The Penguins were ahead 3-1 and playing well. It was simply a reactionary play after his linemate was hit.
“I didn’t really see it besides live,” Crosby said. “I just wanted to stick up for him. It wasn’t much, more of a wrestling match. I was lucky to get a five (fighting major) out of it.”
Crosby was asked about his fighting technique.
“I don’t really know what I’m doing, to be honest,” he said. “It was just one of those things. It just happened. It wasn’t planned.”
Gudbranson applauded Crosby’s strategy of turning things into a wrestling match as opposed to trading haymakers.
“When it comes to fighting,” Gudbranson said, “if you’re a strong individual, you can tie a guy up early, and he did a good job of that. He just overpowered him. Do that, you can stay relatively safe.”
Gudbranson said the entire team appreciates the leadership that has been on display from Crosby and Malkin. It was Malkin who unleashed a verbal barrage after Thursday night’s porous opener against the Sabres.
Crosby came through with a barrage of his own on the ice, from dropping the gloves to dishing a few of his patented, magical passes.
“You notice it when they do stuff like that,” Gudbranson said. “And it all started with practice the day before. That practice was tense. Really tense. It had a serious edge to it, and I think we took that into this game. Everyone came prepared. We were embarrassed with what happened on Thursday, and it was our best players who were leading the way.”