In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals the Pittsburgh Penguins tried to play the Bruins game, a move that didn’t work out very well for the East’s number one seed. The Pens showed up to Game 1 and played a physical game, something they’re not known for.
Things really got going in the second as Matt Cooke was handed a game misconduct for a hit from behind on Bruins defensemen Adam McQuaid. Later in the contest Brad Marchand was given a minor penalty for boarding Penguins forward James Neal, a hit that wasn’t nearly as bad as Cooke’s but the Penguins don’t see it that way.
“I don’t think it was a rough hit,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said regarding Cooke’s hit. “I’m not sure I thought it warranted a five-minute penalty.”
Captain Sidney Crosby had the same feeling as his coach.
“I don’t see the difference, really.” -Sidney Crosby
“It’s tough they’re letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope. That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that.”
Speaking of Crosby, the star forward wasn’t shy about getting in the faces of certain Bruins as Crosby exchanged shoves and words with Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara and even goalie Tuukka Rask.
As the buzzer sounded after the second period, Crosby and Rask skated by each other, exchanged words and a quick little love tap with their sticks. After the game Rask was asked what Crosby said to him.
“Just great job” said Rask with a straight face before cracking a bit of a smile.
While Crosby was pumping Rask’s tires, a fight was breaking out between two unusual combatants as Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin dropped the gloves.
“I mean it’s the playoffs right” said a cut up Bergeron. “You know we know that the emotions are high, intensity is high and games are big. So I mean I don’t know if I am really surprised but at the same time it just happened.”
As much as the Penguins wanted to be and tried to be physical, seeing one of the best players in the game getting into a fight is not a easy thing for the Penguins to watch.
“Hopefully he doesn’t get hurt,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “That’s the first thing. He’s a pretty valuable guy to the team.”
The Penguins outhit the Bruins 34-19 led by Pascal Dupuis and Brenden Morrow who had a game-high four hits.
At the end of the night Jarome Iginla and the Penguins know their emotions may have got the best of them in Game 1.
“We, myself included, probably got into a couple of scrums that we don’t need.”