Hockey fans are in an uproar after last night’s Capitols/Penguins game took an ugly turn that left many fans wondering if players’ behavior has gone too far. The deplorable conduct of two players during the game made national headlines, and some fans are demanding that changes be made to National Hockey League rules.
The incident occurred late in the second period, when Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby tripped Washington Capitols’ left-winger, Alexander Ovechkin, sending him sprawling onto the ice. The two met center-ice, ripped off their gloves and then, to the disgust of fans, Crosby apologized to Ovechkin. Ovechkin did not accept the heartfelt apology, instead taking off his helmet and throwing it to the ice, then admitting that he, too, was at fault.
After five minutes of this shocking display of diplomacy, the two players shook hands and promised to keep in touch. Fans booed and threw trash at the two players. After a 15-minute delay, play resumed.
Following the game, Crosby said, “It was totally my fault. I wasn’t paying attention and I reached out for the puck and didn’t make it. He’s a great guy and I’m sorry for what I did.”
Ovechkin’s post-game statement was equally contrite. “I was going too fast and I was reckless. I didn’t want to share the puck. I feel bad that he feels bad, but I’m glad we worked it out.”
Fans were outraged by the unprofessional display of sportsman-like conduct. Penguins fan, Theresa Kimball, said that she will never go to a hockey game again after witnessing the deplorable behavior of the two players.
“I think it’s awful. What are my kids going to learn from this? That it’s okay to kiss and make up? That it’s okay be civil to your opponents? Do they want my kids to grow up to be pussies? I think it’s terrible for professional athletes to behave in such a despicable manner. This is how kids become gay.”
Both players have been suspended without pay while NHL officials review the incident. A NHL press release stated:
“We are looking into exactly who started the diplomatic exchange. Game tapes will be reviewed and players are being tested for any illegal game-performance-enhancement methods. We have found that some players are taking AMC (anger management classes). If we find that these two players have taken AMC, they will be fined. We can’t have the sport dragged up by this type of behavior.”