All-Star. Hart Trophy. Stanley Cup. Gold Medal Olympic Hero. Golden Boy. Nobody can deny the special talent of Sidney Crosby. At 22 years of age, the Penguin leader has accomplished plenty already, silencing cynics like us that can't stomach him along with co-bloggers Hasan and Brian.
While the ever popular "Crosby Sucks" spreads to every arena outside Mellon Arena who hear no evil see no evil from their hockey God, frustration mounts at what he's allowed to get away with daily. In between all the goals, assists and points, Sid The Kid shows off his bad side getting underneath opponents' skin, which usually involves using his stick illegally. Most would agree that's putting putting it mildly. It doesn't seem to matter who he faces. The league co-leading finisher loves to chop opponents while programmed referees turn their backs. Fans in the metro area who rarely get along can at least agree one this sore subject. Crosby sucks. The missed slashes and repeated hacks that are just as reckless and disrespectful as an Ovechkin shove from behind are ignored.
Nobody will ever accuse Sidney of being a dirty player. However, such antics like he childishly displayed at the conclusion of tonight's nationally televised Versus game in a Cup rematch at Detroit show a different side than the lovey dovey character we get shoved down our throats. While it's true his success benefits the NHL and NBC which most feel stands for Nothing But Crosby, would it kill the powers to be to take a closer look at the wonder boy following another stick incident? His team lost 3-1 to Henrik Zetterberg, who flat out dominated finishing with two goals and an assist while shutting down Sid. It's easy to talk Crosby-Ovie 24/7, but it's this writer's opinion that Zetterberg and Red Wing teammate Pavel Datsyuk are better overall players. This isn't a knock on the super-hyped rivalry. Just an objective take that the guys who wear the Winged Wheel along with ageless wonder Nicklas Lidstrom don't take a back seat.
Apparently, Sid vehemently disagrees. How else to explain the latest cheap shot, repeatedly shoving his stick into a furious Zetterberg as the buzzer sounded at The Joe, signaling the latest big win for a Detroit outfit who refuse to go away. Perhaps their inspired play which saw a heroic Zett backhand rifled past Roberto Luongo with 0.3 left to spare in Vancouver has intimidated San Jose and Chicago, who've eerily lost enough allowing the miracle Coyotes to catch up. As for the Pens' captain, maybe he was just taking out his frustration following a no point, minus-two game against one of the best two-way players we've ever seen. After being stifled by Calder front runner Jimmy Howard seconds earlier, his latest tantrum didn't sit well with the rookie netminder who defended his teammate by challenging Crosby, who typically backed off.
"I knew it was him without turning around,” Zetterberg pointed out while Sid retorted, “I don’t think that’s where he [Howard] should be. “I don’t know what he was doing over there.” The same thing even Henrik Lundqvist did following your continued lack of respect for your peers.
Pittsburgh roughing - 2 min 20:00, S. Crosby Detroit roughing - 2 min 20:00, J. Howard Detroit roughing - 2 min 20:00, H. Zetterberg
So, what do you think happened? All ref tandem Tim Peel and Brian Pochmara saw fit to do was handout matching roughs to Zetterberg and the guilty party who got away with crosschecks while also giving Howard two as well. You guessed it. Somehow, the Red Wings wound up with two extra minutes. Even if it was only a matter of book keeping, it summed up the serious double standard that few have the gall to write about. When will Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell finally take action against their guy? Is it going to take one of those unnecessary whacks which finally injures another to penalize the face of the league?
Between you, me and the lamppost, that day probably will never come. In a game that's pushing radical changes to prevent head shots like the one Crosby's teammate Matt Cooke delivered and got away with on poor Marc Savard, they refuse to notice what Sid does after whistles. No discipline. Not even a warning. Makes plenty of sense given how it's run.
If you didn't know any better, you'd swear Bettman and Campbell are the real life version of Lloyd and Harry. Who knew? Dumb & Dumber truly do exist. No wonder their kid runs a muck.