Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban got into a tussle during the first period of Game 5 on Thursday, so naturally NBC’s talking heads discussed the play during intermission. Mike Milbury, never one to shy away from controversial comments, not only defended Crosby for his actions, but said Subban “had it coming.”
To be clear about what Subban had coming, apparently it’s cool to push someone’s head into the ice repeatedly now.
Here’s a better look at the play being discussed:
Milbury has been known to criticize Subban in the past, most notably for his dancing prior to a playoff game in late April. At the time, Milbury called the Predators superstar a “clown” for his approach to warmups, which came before Subban led his team all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
That postseason success has been enough to quiet the criticism of Subban’s antics for the most part, but Milbury apparently had no problem with Crosby going overboard a bit by pushing the defenseman’s head into the ice repeatedly. In fact, he indicated he enjoyed the play, describing it as “cagey” before saying Subban had it coming.
There’s just one problem with it, and it’s that what Crosby did was totally illegal. Even if Subban had repeatedly done minor things that added up to Crosby losing his cool — it appears he’s holding Crosby’s leg during the tussle — that doesn’t justify Crosby pushing an opponent’s head into the ice. Both players got penalties, so it was literally against the rules. Still, Milbury thought it was an appropriate response.
This is where playoff hockey needs to reel itself in a bit. Maybe we can’t prevent every play like the Crosby-Subban tussle, but when one happens, we probably don’t need to see analysts on NBC talking about how great it was, and how the guy getting his head pushed into the ice over and over actually deserved it.