Last year, the Penguins played Boston at Mellon Arena in a game that got fairly heated. Marc Savard took some liberties with the Penguins players, and Sidney Crosby challenged him to man up and take account of what he had been doing.

Savard responded to Crosby by making a snide comment about the young captain’s visor. Motioning that if Crosby were to remove the visor, Savard would love to have a go.

Crosby skated to the bench, obliged, and Savard never held up his end of the deal.

That, my friends, is answering the bell. Sidney Crosby has done it on numerous occasions.

Has Sid done regrettable things in his career? Absolutely. As an 18 year old, he was ostracized for his constant whining and on-ice theatrics.

Since then? He’s been busy winning. The Stanley Cup and two Eastern Conference titles, respectively.

Where Crosby matures, his counterpart in our Nation’s capital seems to regress.

Last night’s knee on knee hit by Alex Ovechkin was his third (and maybe fourth) questionable offense in the last fourty games.

We have the hit on Kaleta, the knee on Gonchar, the blind side on Heward, and now the infamous knee on Gleason.

Finally, after all of these transgressions, Ovechkin has been suspended by the league.

The next time that we hear from Colin Campbell on a questionable Ovechkin offense, we’ll hear the words “repeat offender” used an as adjective to describe Ovechkin.

Sidney Crosby, meanwhile, is plugging along without much attention. ESPN Insider’s will tell you he was hurting the Penguins, but Crosby was just being Crosby. He hasn’t lost a step, he isn’t losing his flair, he’s learning where to go to score goals, and he already has 17 of them on the year.

Just as it always is with Sidney Crosby, his moment will be one unnoticed by the hockey community. Just as it always is with Sidney Crosby, he’ll continue to plug along and dominate the ice. It’s become so routine to see Sidney Crosby do what he does, that in some remotes of the hockey world, not producing at a constantly high level gets him flamed by virtually every armchair general manager in North America.

It’s almost as if people have become spoiled with Sidney Crosby. If I said it once, I’ve said it a million times. There will be a day where Sidney Crosby retires from this game. People in Pittsburgh, as they did with Mario, will slouch back and wonder what happened to the time. There will be a day where you cannot go to the Consol Energy Center and watch Sidney Crosby play hockey. In that moment, and only in that moment, will those spoiled people in Pittsburgh and throughout the hockey universe rue the day they spent their time criticizing Crosby versus enjoying what he brought to the table on a nightly basis. Friends, readers, do not let yourself fall into this trap.

Ovechkin will be sitting in the box with a banged up knee watching the Capitals play without him. Crosby will be on the ice, blazing the path and leading the Penguins to the win column.

When it comes down to situations like this, Penguins fans will do just as they did last year when the birds eliminated the Capitals from the playoffs.

We’ll sit back, fold our arms, let out a big sigh, and enjoy our Pittsburgh Penguins.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Capitals fans are scrambling for excuses faster than the politicians that share the district with them.