Crosby tilt talk of hockey world

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:52 PM ET

Anyone who says stars like Sidney Crosby shouldn’t risk breaking a hand, jaw or orbital bone in a fight has a legitimate argument. It’s not an opinion shared by Cheapseats — or by Senators coach Corey Clouston, captain Daniel Alfredsson or Islanders tough-guy Zenon Konopka — but it’s an understandable stance.

“I’m all right with that,” Clouston said when asked about Crosby’s scrap with Dallas defenceman Matt Niskanen Wednesday. “I’m sure (Penguins coach) Dan (Bylsma) is fine with that. To me it sends a pretty strong message to your team, that (Crosby) is trying to do whatever (he) can to help. Sometimes you do what you have to do.”

And if Alfredsson wants to fight? “If he thinks he has to drop the gloves, go ahead,” said Clouston. “I don’t think it’s going to happen, but ...”

Alfredsson has had one documented fight in his NHL career. Apparently, he was angry after being “undercut” by Doug Gilmour, and went after the Leafs captain with fists a flailing. Alfredsson missed with an overhand right that put Gilmour off balance, then glanced a left off his opponent’s face before both players tumbled to the ice.

“It’s not something I’m looking for,” he said of dropping the gloves. “If it happens, it happens.”

He didn’t see the Crosby-Niskanen tilt, but he heard about it. Of course, it was the talk of the hockey world Thursday. “I don’t think he’s going to drop his gloves for the fun of it,” Alfredsson said of Crosby. “It’s probably the heat of the moment. I don’t know what the score was in the game, (if he was) trying to rally the troops or whatever the situation was, if he would do it I’m sure it was pretty well thought of.”

Konopka, formerly of the 67’s and who led the NHL in both PIMs and fighting majors last season and also held the same distinctions heading into Thursday, applauded Crosby after a morning meeting at Scotiabank Place.

“I thought it was great,” Konopka said.

STARTS AND STOPS

If Jason Spezza doesn’t wake up Friday morning with a bad back, the Senators should consider themselves lucky. It looked like he was going to snap in half when he was hit from behind into the boards by Matt Martin in the third. Spezza didn’t miss a shift after the incident, but he also had the adrenalin pumping at the time ... Chris Campoli jumped Martin right away, but Zack Smith figured there was much more score to settle, so he dropped the gloves with Martin nine seconds from the end of the game ... Surely David Hale had a funny line on the bench after scoring a goal in the second period. The fourth marker of his career, he didn’t have any in 146 games (over three seasons) with the Devils, or any in 69 games (over two seasons) with the Flames or, after collecting three in 48 games with the Coyotes, any in 39 games last season with the Lightning ... Spezza and Sergie Gonchar are starting to heat up offensively. Maybe that means the Senators can finally win a Saturday night game.

BETWEEN PERIODS

Filip Kuba knows his NFL. For instance, he knows why the Randy Moss experiment didn’t work in Minnesota. “I guess he didn’t like the food they had there,” Kuba said, chuckling, in reference to a rant (“Who ordered this crap? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog,”) Moss had after a catered, post-practice meal in the Vikings dressing room. Kuba also knows when Reggie Bush fractured his fibula. It was one day after Kuba fractured his. Bush is expected to sit out another two weeks (this one and next, when his Saints are on a bye) while Kuba could possibly play Saturday in Montreal. He says his leg is getting better every day, but his ankle is still a little weak. “The light you see at the end of the tunnel, you get closer and closer to it,” he said of his road back from the injury list, which he started along after back surgery last spring and had to relocate once he recovered from the unfortunate break he encountered on the first day of camp. “I was pretty close, then it got away. I’m just working at it again to get there. It’s like a light that drives me, to get there. I’m with the team, but I want to be on the ice with the team.”

THINGS I THINK I THINK

Brian Elliott doesn’t have to fall on his face before Pascal Leclaire gets a chance to get back in the net. “We don’t want to wait to that point,” said Clouston. “We also want to make sure that, if and when, Pascal goes in, he’s confident and playing well.” Elliott was a difference maker against the Isles ... Jesse Winchester hit himself in the head with his stick after he Dwayne Roloson made a good glove save off him in the second. After seeing the David Hale and Spezza goals, he no doubt was shocked not to score.

C’MON MAN

Elliott stopped not one but two shorthanded breakaways with his team up by a pair and less than seven minutes left in the third. Good for him, but how does your team give up those chances?

2 MINUTES WITH KONOPKA

On “staged fights”: “I don’t label it that way. Something happens for a reason. We’re on a (six) game losing streak. Some people might call it staged fighting, but for us it’s not. We’re playing for our lives right now.”

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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