Sidney Crosby Says Punch From Zdeno Chara ‘Part of the Game,’ Adds ‘Refs Can’t Always See That Stuff’

It’s been almost two months since the Bruins swept the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals, which is apparently enough time for Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby to begin the emotional healing process.

It’s also enough time for him to begin the physical healing process, as his surgically repaired jaw continues to mend. Shortly after the series ended, Crosby’s camp made news after his agent claimed Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara punched Crosby in the face during a post-whistle scrum in Game 1. The two captains eventually got into a jawing (no pun intended, but then again, kind of intended) match at center ice after the second period ended, as Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin fought a few feet away.

The Penguins submitted slow-motion video of the Crosby-Chara incident to TSN, who gladly ran with it. See the play in question below.

Crosby is in the midst of preparing for next season, but CTV was able to catch up with the former Hart Trophy winner, and the jaw injury came up. It’s probably not much of a coincidence that so did Chara.

“It’s part of the game,” Crosby said. “Refs can’t always see that kind of stuff. There’s nothing you can do. It’s part of the game. Guys are going to do that, I can’t do anything. If Zdeno Chara’s going to decide he’s going to punch me, what am I going to do? So, you kinda hope it gets called and if it doesn’t, you play through it.”

It’s a Crosby-esque response, for sure. The center has never been afraid to speak his mind, especially when it comes to officiating.

“They’re letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate,” Crosby said after Game 1 of the conference finals. “You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope. That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that.”

Now, however, Crosby is singing a bit of a different tune in regards to the physical play of the series.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t score,” he told CTV. “I don’ think it had anything to do with the physical play. If anything, I think we did a pretty good job of imitating that. Maybe we were more physical than they were at certain points. We didn’t score. It’s something that we’ve turned the page, we’ll learn from it, nothing we can do now.”

One thing is for sure at this point. If and when the NHL ever does release its 2013-14 schedule, hockey fans should certainly be circling Bruins-Penguins as a must-see event.

(Stick tap to Puck Daddy)

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