First Star, Worst Star: March 21st, 2016


Can you hear that? It’s the sound of golf courses all across Canada starting their lawn mowers in anticipation for every Canadian NHL team to descend on them all at once. What a time to be alive! And what a time for this weeks edition of First Star, Worst Star!


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Remember all those articles that started to come out around December, when everyone was all like “WOW IS THIS THE END OF SIDNEY CROSBY??” Yeah…. About that… 

After last night’s route of the Capitals, Crosby has now extended his point streak to 12 games, with 6 goals and 14(!!) assists during that unbelievable run. He’s now third in NHL scoring, just 4 points back of Jamie Benn, and has broken the 30 goal plateau for the sixth time in his career. Yeah, turns out Crosby still has a little left in the tank after all. 

And the most impressive part is he’s basically taken the entire Penguins team on his back after the injury to Evgeni Malkin, and with the team in the middle of an intense battle for a playoff spot out East. We all know the Hart is basically Patrick Kane’s to lose, but you have to think Crosby is going to get some serious consideration, especially if he keeps this torrid pace up. So let this be a reminder to everyone; Crosby is still Crosby until further notice. 


I believe there is still a place in the NHL for fighting, but if THIS is the type of thing we’re going to see more and more of in the future they may has well just ban it entirely. 

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So here we have the Sens Alex Chiasson battling with the Sabres Rasmus Ristolainen. Chiasson takes a solid crunch along the end boards, and lets Ristolainen know he’s not super cool with that by giving back a solid hack and a smattering of cross checks. It’s a clean hit and I hate when guys have to fight after those, but I understand why Chiasson wouldn’t want to deal with that for the rest of the night, so he’s trying to make Rasmus think twice next time. Perfectly acceptable. 

They make their way to the front of the net and now it’s Ristolainen’s turn to show Chiasson HE won’t be backing down, and he politely returns his own cross checks as the two continue to battle. We’ve got some pushing and shoving, and Chiasson has finally had enough and flips the mitts!

And then he….. turtles? I mean, it’s not a Claude Lemieux level of turtle, but WHAT THE HELL MAN?? You were challenging this guy to a fight for the last 20 seconds, YOU dropped the mitts first, and the second he drops his you immediately turn your head and try skating away? And amazingly it continues downhill from there as Chiasson manages to get himself tied up in his own jersey like a straight jacket, Ristolainen hangs on for dear life as if Chiasson is a door from the Titanic, and Rick Jeanneret keeps screaming Mark Stone’s name for some reason. There were less punches thrown than when Connor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo, and somehow each guy still got five minutes for fighting. 

I’m not saying we should go back to the days of Bob Probert and Tie Domi giving each other life altering neurological damage every night, but at least make it look like you’re trying out there boys! People have been throwing out ideas for how the NHL could decrease fighting, but at this rate it’s going to die out naturally in a few seasons, which may not be the worst thing in the world. I think we’re just going to have to get used to a world in which a fight is an even rarer occasion than an Oilers goal NOT being called back after a coaches challenge.