Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette said he was perplexed by the officials’ decision in the first period of Game 5 on Thursday night, when Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby repeatedly slammed the head of Predators counterpart P.K. Subban into the ice during a scrum behind Pittsburgh’s net.
Crosby and Subban both got matching minor penalties for holding.
“I don’t understand it,” Laviolette said after Pittsburgh’s 6-0 win. “I really don’t understand the call.
“I saw my guy get his head crosschecked into the ice 10 times. I don’t even know what he did, P.K. I disagree with the call.”
Referee Brad Meier was right over both players watching the scrum unfold.
After the game, Crosby said Subban “lost his stick and he was doing some UFC move on my foot there. I don’t know what he was trying to do.”
When asked if it’s getting personal between him and Crosby, Subban said, “It’s hockey, man.”
“I’m not an official, so I’m not going to judge what’s over the line and what’s not,” Subban said. “I mean … at the end of the day, I just gotta play the game and play the game. If those opportunities come when someone does something that warrants a penalty, then it’s up to the officials to call it. If they don’t, then we just gotta move forward.”
Crosby also avoided a penalty in the second period. While on the bench, he threw a water bottle in the direction of Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm after Ekholm swung his stick and missed Chris Kunitz behind the play.
Crosby looked to be upset a penalty wasn’t called on Nashville, but told officials the move was unintentional.
“It’s just one of those things, it slipped out of my hand,” Crosby said. “I had a gesture with my hand, and before I knew it the thing was flying across the ice. I know you’re not allowed to do that, so I’m not going to start doing it in the Stanley Cup Final.”
The Penguins now lead the Stanley Cup Final 3-2.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.