Johnny Boychuk was unhappy with a non-call late during Thursday's game against the Penguins that occurred right before Sidney Crosby's go-ahead goal.
With the score tied, 2-2, with 2:55 left in the third period, Crosby hit Boychuk high behind the net with what most Islanders felt was an elbow to the head. Boychuk lost his stick and Crosby then potted the goal that gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead.
"It's frustrating when you get elbowed in the head and that guy scores the goal," Boychuk told Newsday after the game. "I'm sure if it was reversed, I'd be getting a phone call from the league and a suspension."
Head coach Jack Capuano was also upset.
"It was a high hit, no question," Capuano said. "The disappointing thing is the official is right next to [Boychuk]. He didn't even have the puck."
Boychuk told Newsday the referee closest to him asked if he was ok.
"And their players were asking me," Boychuk said. "I'm fine, so I guess that's good. But if it was anyone else, they'd be getting a call from the league."
Should the hit warrant a suspension? No, definitely not. But it should have been a two-minute minor, and that's compounded by the fact that it led directly to a critical goal.
Boychuk is right. There is a double standard in the league, and had he laid that kind of hit on Crosby, he's getting a trip to the sin bin, at the very least. But that's life in the NHL. Star players get preferential treatment, and there's no bigger star in the game than Sid.
I think a lot of the consternation, both from the Islanders and their fans, is why John Tavares doesn't seem to get similar protection. This hit in a vacuum isn't that big of a deal, but when the Isles have their star player constantly slashed and taken down, often without even getting a power play out of it, it sends everyone into a fit of rage when a guy like Crosby gets a pass.