“I Was Shocked”: Reacting to First Misconduct in Almost Two Decades, NHL Superstar Questions Official Decision

Published 02/13/2023, 4:30 PM EST

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Sidney Crosby is an NHL legend. He has been playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins as their center since he was drafted by them in 2005. His ingenious skills on the ice have won him many prestigious awards and accolades such as the Best NHL Player ESPY Award, Conn Smythe Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, and many more. But a recent performance given by him on the ice has stirred the NHL community and raised some eyebrows.

For the first time in his two-decade-old career, Crosby was asked to leave a game due to alleged misconduct. This was a surprising first for Crosby, and he couldn’t believe the occurrence either.

Sidney Crosby gets scolded by the ref


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Crosby along with his team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, was playing against the Los Angeles Kings, which the Penguins lost with a score of 6-0. According to a report on the incident by ESPN, Crosby received a game misconduct in the middle of the third period during the match.

This is the first time in his 18-year-old career that Sidney Crosby has had to face misconduct charges. And his reaction for the same was understandable, “Honestly, I was shocked that I was getting kicked out of the game. I had no idea.”


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Sidney Crosby and Michael Anderson of the Los Angeles Kings were battling on the ice for an advantageous position before the net. Crosby was cross-checked by Anderson, which caused him to fall towards the skates of another Kings’ player. What ensued was a heated conversation between Crosby and Anderson.

Crosby recalls the situation saying, “I could tell he (Anderson) was saying something. I don’t know what he was saying because we were pretty far from each other. I got closer and that happens often in a lot of scrums.” Both of them were at it for a long time, as a consequence of which the referees decided to award them both 10-minute timeouts. However, at this point, Sidney Crosby still hadn’t received a game misconduct. But that changed very soon.

Crosby gets booted out of the game


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When Sidney Crosby received the timeout from referee Garrett Rank, he was obviously unhappy. Looking for an explanation, Crosby started following the referee around the ice. He did not get any explanation, but what it did earn him was game misconduct. Which is basically a one-way ticket to the locker room. When asked about it, Crosby was clear about his opinion, “I mean, can I really say what I think anyway? Let’s be honest here.”

Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach, Mike Sullivan, was none too happy with the referee’s decision either. Sullivan’s comment on the entire situation was, “I don’t think Garrett had any interest in giving us an explanation.” Crosby has played more than 1000 games in his NHL career and has been a part of some interesting conflicts. Surprisingly, this is only the 5th time he has got a 10-minute penalty.


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But Crosby has made things even more astonishing by getting a career-first misconduct. Do you think the referee’s decision was a fair one?


Written by:

Apoorva Behl


One take at a time

Apoorva Behl is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Master's degree in Law from the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. Besides being a lawyer, she has a passion for reading and a penchant for writing.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh