Don Cherry blasts Nick Bonino for embellishment vs. Capitals

Puck Daddy

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Nick Bonino did a sneaky, underhanded thing near the end of Game 4 against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night that may have won his team the game.

With less than two minutes left in regulation, and the Penguins up 3-2, Capitals winger T.J. Oshie’s stick went high on Bonino in the attacking zone. Bonino snapped his head back and put a glove to his face.

Everyone in the building, and everyone watching at full speed on TV, though the stick caught him on the mug. It wasn’t until the replays when it became apparent that Bonino had embellished on the play, with Oshie’s stick catching his shoulder.

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The Capitals finished the game shorthanded, lost Game 4 and are down 3-1 in the series.

Was it sneaky? Yes. Underhanded? Totally. Unsportsmanlike? Uh-huh. But was it a definitive play in the game that helped the Penguins to victory? Absolutely.

And it was also something Oshie himself did, against Bonino no less, in last year’s playoffs.

Pretty shrewd move, eh? If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’, right?

Well, tell that to Don Cherry, venerable Hockey Night In Canada commentator and creator of a series of VHS tapes that celebrated illegal acts on the ice.

Here’s Ron MacLean and Don Cherry on Thursday night on Nick Bonino’s embellishment. Ron is the one on the right with the eyes bulging out of his head during this rant:

A transcript:

“Now look, kids, watch this here. I first saw this I thought ‘I don’t think he saw it.’ And now we come in, and we’re big heroes in the slow motion as they say. Look at this phony guy. The referee’s back. It does look like he’s hit. We have to see it in slow motion. Kids, never … we’re Canadians, we don’t do that. We don’t fake injuries. And you’re going to say, ‘Sure, what about Billy Barber? What about guys falling down?’ You do … you get a little tug, you go down, that’s what you do. But we never fake injuries. This guy’s a faker, right from the word ‘go.’ We’re Canadian, we don’t do it, we wear shirts and ties, we’re not soccer players or trying to get into soccer. Now this guy really bugs me.”

Cherry proceeded to show two icing calls on Bonino when the Capitals had the goalie pulled, and said “that’s how dumb he is.”

“He’s a ragdoll. This guy is not a good hockey player, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll tell you what kids: You never act like this guy. You never fake an injury. IT’S NOT THE CANADIAN WAY!” said Cherry.

Nick Bonino is a native of Hartford, Connecticut who played at Boston University.

This is a Canadian:

And so is this:

Also Canadian:

No word if they wear shirts and ties.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.



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