Simply put the Winnipeg Jets are the garbage pile of the league. Even before their move from Atlanta they've never amounted to anything. Remember the Ilya Kovalchuk point? Yeah, same team.
The previous time the two teams met there were dicey hits thrown on both sides (from Malkin on Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien on Justin Schultz that left him with a concussion). The Jets would want retribution because they have nothing else going for them. With little shot at the playoffs once again, settling some needless grudge was all they had.
It came as no shock that Tom Sestito, goon, pest, and poor NHL forward impersonator, got the call up and then was penciled in to the line up. In theory this is a deterrent. He'll stop your star players from having anything done to them (something anyone with common sense will know is false).
As soon as Sestito was inserted in to the line up it signaled that one of the best teams in the league, one of the best franchises on league history, would be playing the game of one of the worst franchises the NHL has ever seen. And there's no excuse for that.
Despite Testito's presence in the line up Evgeni Malkin was forced to answer for his hit. Some deterrent Sestito is. Risking injury to one of the most important players in the league, Sestito's presence did nothing to stop Malkin from fighting Wheeler as pay back.
Not long after Sestito fought former Penguin Chris Thorburn for... some reason?
And oh by the way, Dustin Byfuglien never answered for his hit on Justin Schultz.
Tom Sestito, in the locker room after injuring himself in the needless fight with Thorburn, had not only stopped nothing, he did nothing to even the score on those whose score needed evening by the stupid "Code."
Not to be outdone in a night that featured a whole lot of stupid going around, once Sestito emerged from the training room he immediately went out and fired off one of the ugliest, most blatant boarding calls that has been witnessed.
Simply put: this is bush league. Not only is there no place for this on the Penguins, there's no place for any of it in the NHL. As soon as they dressed Sestito the Penguins waved the white flag and said they were playing Winnipeg's way, instead of their way: the way that has them as one of the best teams in the league.
Sestito's penalty saw him tossed from the game and the Penguins playing short handed the rest of the way.
The Penguins started the first period out skating the Jets, drawing a penalty right away. Then the Jets drew them in to their game, caused two meaningless and needless fights, then took over the first period. They led 3-2 after 20 minutes and could have easily led by more as the Penguins spent the rest of the period chasing.
After that the Penguins played their way, the way they should have the whole time, and thoroughly embarrassed an already embarrassing franchise by outscoring them 5-1.
Letting Winnipeg dictate how the Penguins would play could have cost the Penguins the game had they not had immensely more talent than the Jets. That a team as good, as strong, and as talented as the Penguins even let Winnipeg dictate the rules of one period is shameful enough.
After last night's pathetic display, ever playing Tom Sestito, and what his brand of hockey means, ever again would be far worse. Enforcers protect no one. Muscles stop nothing. All they do is serve as a side show that has no business in the NHL. Especially on one of the premier teams in the league.