Sidney Crosby scored a hat trick for the second game in a row, but this one wasn’t on the scoresheet. His triple play against the Buffalo Sabres was more just a trio of notable highlights that will surely add fuel to the fire of the love him or hate him debate. In no particular order:

Exhibit A was an absolutely disgusting goal. I can’t describe it so here it is.

Video: SPORTSNETCANADA

Exhibit B was a high stick to the teeth that everyone is going to say he embellished because his head snapped back. Have you ever touched a hot burner for less than a second and pulled your hand back? That’s a normal reaction. Have you ever had a fly go in front of your eyes and flailed around like you were dodging Mike Tyson haymakers? You look ridiculous but it’s a natural instinct.

There’s a line, I know. If the stick hits your chest and you flagrantly look to the skies while putting your hand to your mouth, that’s probably too much. When you’re minus some teeth as a result, your head would probably snap back too.

IMG_3548

That brings us to the piece de resistance. Exhibit C. It’s what’s been affectionately or not so affectionately dubbed “the nut shot”. Crosby blatantly and unnecessarily reached between the legs of Ryan  O’Reilly, from behind, with his stick, and tagged him.

The cheap shot of the season. The smoking gun for Crosby’s dirty ways. The reason we hate him. He’s no different.

Video: kridssS Ram

Sure it was cheap. Sure it was sneaky. Sure he deserves something similar back. But what’s similar? Not what you want to be. Really it was just annoying. He didn’t turn his stick and drive the toe up in a spear. He didn’t thrust hard. It wasn’t dirty.

It does change my perception of Crosby a little bit, but not in the validating kind of way most of you are hoping for. This isn’t the game changing “I told you so” moment it’s being made into.

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