When the Penguins hosted Winnipeg Feb. 16, it was an excrement show. The Jets hit high and late all night. Justin Schultz and Olli Maatta left the game injured. Maatta is still out. Evgeni Malkin retaliated with a shoulder to Blake Wheeler’s head, and wound up at the bottom of a dogpile.
The rematch is tonight at Winnipeg, and the smell of feces is already in the air. Exacerbating the scent is the Penguins’ recall of tough guy Tom Sestito.
Does Sestito’s presence keep the Jets in line? Or does Sestito's call-up dare the Jets to indulge in shenanigans?
The answer, probably, is neither. But, of the two choices, I lean toward the latter. Whatever happened to last year’s motto: “Just play”?
Is Sestito were in the Penguins' lineup every day, or even on their NHL roster, this wouldn’t come off like a challenge to the Jets. But the Penguins summoned Sestito from the minors and flew him across the continent. His recall is obviously very specific to tonight’s game.
Whenever a Penguin gets injured via dirty or collisional play, imbecilic fanboys scream that more toughness could have prevented it. But the reality is: Toughness may answer for toughness, but toughness doesn’t prevent cheap. Sestito can’t provide a force field for Malkin, Sidney Crosby, etc.