Former NHL head coach and general manager Mike Milbury labelled the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby a “goody two shoes” after Sunday's brawl between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Penguins.
Tempers were raging and Flyers coach Peter Laviolette had to be restrained from going after Penguins coach Dan Bylsma in the last few minutes of the game. Penguins forward Joe Vitale levelled Daniel Brière shortly after the ensuing faceoff, starting a brawl between all 10 players on the ice.
Milbury slammed Crosby for “adding drama to the game,” saying that Crosby was hardly the “perfect gentleman.” Shortly before the fight, Brayden Schenn cross-checked Crosby.
“Little goody two shoes goes into the corner and gives a shot to Schenn,” Milbury told Philadelphia radio station 94WIP. “Schenn was late to the party, he should have turned around and drilled him right away, but I guess better late than never.
“So you know, Crosby gets cross-checked, big whoop,” Milbury said of the hockey star who sat out games for more than a year after a concussion.
“He said after he came back from his 35th concussion, ‘I'm not going to do this any more, I'm not going to get into these scrums, I'm going to stay away from that stuff,'” Milbury continued. “He couldn't help himself because there's a little punk in Crosby. He's not the perfect gentleman. He's not the sweet kid you see in interviews with his hat pulled down over his eyes. I'd say screw him, hit him.”
NHL on NBC analyst Milbury is known for his brash language and gloves-off approach to hockey talk.
“It's not totally uncommon,” Milbury also said of Laviolette's behaviour. “I can remember being on such a perch, or at least trying to climb over the boards to get at somebody to make a point. And I thought Dan Bylsma should have taken off his skirt and gone over there,” he said.
While he ripped up the two teams for their bad blood, Milbury said he liked the on-ice drama.
Laviolette was fined $10,000 (all currency U.S.) Monday after calling out Bylsma for sending out his checking line late in Philadelphia's 6-4 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Penguins assistant Tony Granato, who stepped on the top of the side boards and in between the two head coaches, was fined $2,500.
The incident occurred at 18:57 of the third period. Fine money will go to the NHL Foundation.
Laviolette was upset that the Penguins' fourth line took a shift shortly after Jakub Voracek's empty-net goal concluded the scoring.
During the shift, Vitale levelled Brière shortly after the ensuing faceoff, starting a chain of events that included Laviolette smashing a stick over the glass.
“Those guys hadn't been out there in 12 minutes,” Laviolette said in his postgame press conference. “It's a gutless move by their coach. It's gutless.”
Bylsma didn't quite see it that way, claiming Vitale's shot on Brière was clean, unlike the cross-check Crosby received from Schenn shortly after Steve Sullivan's second goal of the game pulled the Penguins within 5-3 late in the third period.
“It's clearly a cheap shot,” Bylsma said. “It's clearly a guy targeting a player that was well after the whistle.”
Crosby, who has missed all but 19 games this season due to concussion-like symptoms, agreed.
“It's pretty cheap,” Crosby said. “He skates 10 feet in between the whistle. I don't know. If that's a sign of what's to come it's going to be a pretty tough playoff series.”
One that won't even start until the teams meet again in the regular-season finale next Saturday.
With a report from The Associated Press