Dawn is up in arms that I didn’t mention Handshake-Gate 2011, which I actually just forgot. Glad you brought that up! Because here is the single HBO FAIL for this whole series. They say it happened in every other Classic, but don’t believe everything you hear on TV.
The Penguins did not line up for handshakes with the Caps. Yes, this is exceedingly lame and petty. It is not, however, really that surprising. There was also no handshake after the first Winter Classic in Buffalo. The Pens won the shootout, the Sabres skated around for a minute, got bored and just left. Since the Pens are the only team to have played in a WC before and it wasn’t done then, who knows? Does something that happened 66% of the time constitute a “tradition?”
That said, I think it should happen. It is totally douche-y not to do it. People argue that you don’t shake hands after other regular season games, but that’s being pedantic: this is hardly your average game. It’s just that no one seems clear on whether or not it’s actually done. I think BB had the right reaction: Screw ‘em, we won, who cares?! See it at 5:54 of this video:
The handshake is a sportsmanlike beacon in a game that detractors call too violent and thuggish. On the biggest stage on the biggest day, the two biggest teams should be exhibiting this for the casual or potential fan. Professor Snape takes 10 points from the Penguins for skating away. As the captain, Crosby should be making sure this happens. But let’s all be honest (even me), Sid does not lose well. He’s snubbed this before and hey… they HATE the Capitals. So why kiss them goodbye when you’d rather the door hits them in the ass on the way out? Still, Crosby gets a time out for being bratty. I even put them in the Hall of Shame.
Another thing I forgot is a brief moment at the end of 24/7 that shows the Caps’ Ovechkin fighting NYR’s Dubinksi (thanks to Kimmy for the correction, my video feed sucks!). As they tumble to ice, having punched the crap out of each other, they’re both saying, “Good job, buddy.” THAT is sportsmanship, THAT is something that non-hockey fans don’t understand and THAT is what I hope they take away from this. However inconsequential, Crosby and the Pens not shaking hands is a childish mistake I hope they wouldn’t make again.