Players like Rinaldo, Cooke, Avery (when he played), etc. have a target on their back. Referees go into scrums looking for those players. I don't think Rinaldo would've gotten the boot had Asham not come over to confront him anyways. That had more to do with that than the fact Crosby was out there.
Again, Malkin isn't afraid to get dirty. Refereeing has sucked in this league for a long time. If you want to frame that as some sort of conspiracy, be my guest. There's a difference between crappy reffing and some sort of fix. There's plenty of teams in the league with history and prestige that the NHL would be happy to see win the Cup, and Philly's one of them.