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It’s time for Sidney Crosby to grow up

March 26, 2010

To those not familiar with The Good Old Hockey Show, I will disclose right now that I was born and raised a Detroit Red Wings’ fan.  From the earliest I can remember I was a fan of the Winged Wheel.

When it comes to this website and radio show, I always do my best to separate my bias towards the Wings from the rest of my views.  I like to be objective and look at the entire picture.  Sometimes my bias creeps in.  At the end of the day though, above all, I’m a hockey fan.  I love the game.  I love everything about it.  Even with all the things that Gary Bettman and Co. have done to hurt the NHL, I still come back.  And I’ll always come back.  As long as there is a sheet of ice and two teams battling for every inch, I’ll be following the action.

I’m going to use my blog as a way of getting some hockey related items off my chest. I’ve written a series of articles that are strictly my opinion on some topics that I felt like writing about. Everything I express in these series of columns are my views and my views only.  They in no way reflect the views of my co-hosts Jesse Liebman and Brandon Fox nor The Good Old Hockey Show as a whole.

Where do I begin?

Well that’s an easy question to answer.

———

I begin with Sidney Crosby.

I don’t like Sidney Crosby.

There.

I said it.

Now don’t get me wrong here.  In no way am I saying that Sid isn’t a talented player, but I don’t think the NHL’s golden boy is just all that he is cracked up to be.

Quite frankly he annoys the hell out of me.

I’ll cut him some slack on the whining argument.  He used to whine ton when he first came into the league.  There is no doubt about that.  These days he has scaled back his whiner attitude. But to all the Crosby defenders out there, last year ESPN did a poll of NHL players and the guys on the ice – Crosby’s own peers – voted him the biggest whiner in the entire league.  To me, if there is anyone that knows the most about the NHL and what guys are really like…it’s the players.

And you know what? Maybe it’s not Sidney’s fault that he annoys me so much.  Maybe it’s the league’s fault.  Maybe it’s the fact that they shove him down our throat.  If I weren’t’ a hockey fan I’d think there were only two players in the entire league.  Alex Ovechkin is shoved down our throat just as much.  He just seems to have a more likeable factor to him.

Fans can argue, “But Jeff! Sidney has a Stanley Cup, MVP, and Olympic gold medal and he’s only 22 years old!” Yup, no doubt about that.  He does have a very impressive resume for a 22-year-old.  And I’ll say it again.  Crosby is a very talented player.  It doesn’t bother me one bit that he’s so successful.  What bothers me is that when people talk about those accomplishments they fail to recognize that he didn’t do it all by himself.  The commercials make it seem like Sid won game 7 on his own.  Last I checked he missed half the game and only had one goal in the entire series?  His gold medal winning goal was clutch as it comes, but where was he before that shot?  Did you even notice him on the ice the entire game?  And where is the love for Jerome Iginla?  It was his dirty work and pass that set up Crosby.  Spread the love.  Crosby should be praised for what he’s done at such a young age, but let’s not act like he did this all on his own.

Crosby is a competitive guy, but being competitive isn’t an excuse to go after guys with cheap shots.  Henrik Zetterberg has been a thorn in Crosby’s side since the 2008 finals.  Zetterberg has shut down Crosby and held him virtually off the score sheet.  How does Crosby respond?  Cheap shots.  Teams battle.  Scrums happen.  Whacking a guy with multiple cross-checks after the game has ended is not what the face of the NHL nor the captain of a NHL team should be doing.  I still remember a few years back when Sid sucker punched an opponent during a scrum against Atlanta.  Kris Letang is holding a guy during the scrum and Crosby comes around and take shots at the unsuspecting guy’s head.  Make sure to notice his last sucker punch is a shot right between the legs in the family jewels.  And, we can’t forget Crosby jumping the Panthers’ Brett McLean right off the faceoff.  You can see McLean initially has no idea what’s happening.  Seriously, who does that?

I wish he would just call a spade a spade too.  When you get beat.  Be humble.  Admit it.  Zetterberg has shut him down.  Yet how does Crosby respond when the media asks him about it? “There are a lot of guys who don’t have Rafalski and Lidstrom on the backend either.” Now, that is true, but come on! Just call a spade a spade.   In the NBA, Joe Dumars was one of the few guys that could slow down Michael Jordan.  And what did His Airness do? He called Joe Dumars the best defender he ever played against.  He didn’t say, ‘Well, yeah, but anyone would be good defensively playing in front of Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman.’

I seriously wonder sometimes if anyone outside of Pittsburgh and over the age of 10 likes him?  Please leave a comment if you know someone who does.  I feel like as years go by, more and more fans become sick of him.  And it’s a shame too.  I wish I could like such a talented player.

For those who say I’m just jealous or bias.  I thought Joe Sakic was a hell of a player.  He played for the team I hated most growing up, the Colorado Avalanche.  Yet, I can sit here today and say how great of a player Sakic was and one of the ultimate captains in NHL history (right behind Steve Yzerman of course).  I personally don’t recall Sakic ever taking cheap shots after a game at someone.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

Crosby just needs to not take his Sid the Kid nicknames so serious.  It’s time to grow up.

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