Wednesday night, Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen will return to action after being ejected early from Game Three. Niskanen received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for concussing Sidney Crosby.
After the Caps morning skate, Niskanen revealed that he would be ready if the Penguins target him early in Game Four for injuring the league’s best player.
“Possibly,” Niskanen said to The Washington Times’ Nora Princiotti when asked if there would be retribution. “It’s a hockey game. Hockey players are emotional guys.”
“I regret that it happened but I am adamant that I’m not sure, at that game speed, what I could have done different,” Niskanen continued. “Obviously in super-slow-mo and in hindsight, I wish I had one hand on my stick and my hands were way down but the collision happened fast.”
In the Penguins locker room, Penguins defenseman Ian Cole turned philosophical and, uh, slightly barbaric, when discussing the pros and cons of injuring an opposing player.
“If you do retaliate and you take a penalty and they score on the resulting power play, how much did it really help your team, getting that chunk of flesh?” Cole said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Did it make you feel better? Great. But your team might have lost the game because of it.
“You obviously want to get retribution for Sid — you want to stand up for your teammates — but you have to be smart about how you go about it. Often, the best way to do that is to win hockey games.”
During the 2014-15 season, Niskanen faced a similar issue with the Philadelphia Flyers. On January 14, Niskanen destroyed Scott Laughton with a huge open-ice hit. Weeks later, Niskanen dropped his gloves, a rarity for him, and fought Laughton, who sought retribution for the play.
While Penguins players played coy about their response, their fans are actively looking for blood. One fan shared a photo of another’s new tattoo on Twitter.
— Travless (@knuckle_puck87) May 3, 2017
A Pittsburgh Facebook fan page entitled PittsburghMeme412 published this graphic announcing a Matt Niskanen Bobblehead night.
This Penguins fan openly talked about how the Penguins should hurt Alex Ovechkin.
— Action Jackson (@ActionJackson66) May 3, 2017
And finally, a popular Buffalo Wild Wings commercial got a remake.
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