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“He’d Have a Five Game Suspension”: No Penalty Called on Body Slamming Move Gets Backlash From NHL Community

Published 01/28/2023, 8:00 PM EST

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Ice Hockey is a full-contact sport where players often clash with one another while chasing the puck. Sometimes the pushing and shoving result in physical altercations between players on the field. An NHL fan is no stranger to full-blown fistfights on the ice. However, sometimes players get away with tackles that many fans would count as fouls. On January 26, Pittsburgh Penguins center, Sidney Crosby got away with one such move. During their game with the Washington Capitals, the camera captured Crosby nearly body-slamming Capitals right winger Tom Wilson.

However, the referees didn’t call for a penalty for what many fans called a “dirty” play. After a Facebook fan page for Alexander Ovechkin posted the clip, fans commented on Crosby’s move against his rival team’s player.

A nail-biting contest between NHL rivals

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On January 26, 2023, the Pittsburgh Penguins faced off against Washington Capitals. It was a high-stakes game for the Capitals since they had lost against the Penguins 4-1 in November 2022. Ovechkin scored the opening goal. However, the Penguins equalized to tie the score at 1-1. While the Capitals took the lead, again, the Penguins forced the game to overtime. They equalized with seven minutes remaining in the third period.

At one point, when the Pittsburgh Penguins trailed their rivals, Crosby slammed into Tom Wilson after Wilson successfully cut off the path to goal for Crosby. While the referees didn’t stop the game, many fans thought the Penguins’ center committed a foul.

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Many fans lashed out at the ice hockey player

“If u watched last night’s game, u would see so many missed calls on Pens,” commented one fan. Another fan alleged bias. “If Wilson did that he’d have a 5 game suspension,” the fan commented on the post“Dang that’s a dirty play,” another fan wrote. “He’s lucky he didn’t throw into the boards and his (Wilson’s) neck hit,” commented one concerned fan.

“Caught on camera refs must be blind lol,” one fan called out the referees. “That was an intent to injure move,” wrote another concerned fan. “He (Crosby) can dish it (but) most certainly can’t take it,” wrote one fan.

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However, not all fans agreed. “Definitely not a penalty,” wrote one Facebook user. “I guess you have never watched a Bruins game… that was mild,” wrote one fan. “Looked clean to me,” commented a third user.

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What did you make of the clip? Do you think the move warranted a penalty? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi

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One take at a time

Sagnik Bagchi is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. He has completed his Bachelor's and Master's in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. He has experience working as a freelance MMA writer for Sportskeeda.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare