Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban have gone back and forth throughout the Stanley Cup Finals, and that aggression boiled over in Game 5 on Thursday, when Crosby repeatedly banged Subban’s head into the ice during the first period of Pittsburgh’s 6-0 win.
“That was awesome,” NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “That was an awesome confrontation. Two superstars that are battling for a championship, they’re jawing at each other, P.K.’s been in Sidney’s face, and P.K. can’t sit there and think Crosby’s not going to give him a bunch of whacks and a bunch of hammers into the face with his glove and his stick when he has the opportunity to. That guy’s a champion. He’s a champion for a reason. That’s playoff hockey to a tee right there.”
But what about concussions and head injuries? Wasn’t that a dangerous play from Crosby?
“It’s no big deal,” Roenick said. “They respect each other, and if you take them way from the arena, they like each other. This is all about competing to win a championship, and when it comes to championships, friendship takes a big, big, long backseat.”
The Penguins can win their second Stanley Cup in as many years with a win in Game 6 this Sunday. There’s just one problem: the home team has won every game of this series. In fact, the home team has won every game by at least two goals. Pittsburgh’s 5-3 win over Nashville in Game 1 was the closest game of the series. Since then, the Penguins and Predators have authored games of 4-1, 5-1, 4-1 and 6-0.
Game 6 is in Nashville, where the Predators are 9-1 in the playoffs. Indeed, Bridgestone Arena has provided quite the home-ice advantage.
“It’s way better,” Roenick said, when asked to compare Bridgestone Arena with old Chicago Stadium. “I hate saying that because Chicago Stadium is my favorite building of all time. But the intensity, the sound, and the noise and the people screaming and standing up – they don’t sit down in the course of a whole hockey game in Nashville. The chants that they chant, everybody’s in unison. Everybody is there on the same page. It’s an experience that I can’t put into words. You have to be in the building to experience it and understand it. (For Game 6), I am anticipating this building being the loudest building I have ever heard or maybe that’s ever been built.”