At his post-game press briefing, Washington Coach Barry Trotz absurdly called Matt Niskanen’s cross-check to the head of Sidney Crosby a “hockey play.”

Rob Rossi of followed up by asking Trotz if Alex Ovechkin whacking Crosby – which put the wheels in motion for Niskanen’s cross-check – was also a “hockey play.”

Trotz got bent out of shape. He wouldn’t answer the question. He instead talked about Chris Kunitz’ “predatory hit” on the Caps' T.J. Oshie. When Rossi kept up his line of inquiry, Trotz said, “That’s a terrible question.”

Rossi went over the top in his column when he accused the Capitals of deciding at a players-only team meeting to hurt Crosby. That’s ludicrous.

But his questioning of Trotz was perfectly reasonable, as was not allowing Trotz to wriggle free after his non-answer.

Some of the “respectable” hockey media is miffed at Rossi, as are the D.C. homers. F them. If they want to tongue Trotz’ backside in a show of faux respect, they can do it when it’s their turn to ask a question. Rossi’s interrogation was entirely legit. Tough questions provide intriguing response.

The Capitals are obviously ecstatic that Sid got hurt. I don’t blame them. I wanted Ovechkin to stay down forever when he appeared to injure his knee in the Caps’ first-round series against Toronto.

That’s how it really is in sports. It’s the pretending that nauseates.

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