He may be making $8.7 million dollars a season, but despite his riches, Sidney Crosby is morally bankrupt. His actions in Game 3 of the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers showed the dirty, dark side of Crosby that the NHL tries to hide.
Despite being 24 years old, Sid is still just a kid.
From his post-game interview on Sunday:
Q: When you knocked Voracek’s glove on the ice and hit it away was that just out of frustration?
“I don’t like any guy on their team there. It was near me and he went to pick it up and I pushed it.”
Q: Why don’t you like them?
“I don’t like them, because I don’t like any guy on their team so.”
Q: The fighting and such was that you trying to spark their team a little bit?
“Yea, guys are emotional and there is a lot of stuff going on out there. There is no reason to explain. I don’t have to sit here and explain why I pushed a glove away they are doing a lot of things out there too. You know what, we don’t like each other. Was I going to sit there and pick up his glove? What was I supposed to do?”
Q: You could skate away.
“Skate away? Oh well I didn’t that time.”
These are the words of a man (or kid) that the NHL has deemed the face of the league. His actions during the game were even more preposterous, coming against a team that itself is usually known for cheap-shots, goonery, and thug tactics.
Crosby is the captain of his team, and leads by example. As the Flyers were busy exposing Marc-Andre Fleury for the piece of swiss cheese that he is, Crosby continually grew frustrated, and instigated numerous scrums. He wrestled with Giroux after knocking away Jake Voracek’s glove just as Voracek was about to pick it up; he tried to instigate a fight with a player who has never been in a fight in his entire NHL career, Kimmo Timonen; he instigated an ugly skirmish with Scott Hartnell that ended up with Hartnell being pummelled from behind and having his ugly-ass hair pulled.
When I think of previous faces of the NHL, such as Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, I think of ambassadors for the game that helped expand the league through their skilled play and polished off-ice behavior. I would not imagine faces of the NFL, such as Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, acting this way either.
Yes, it is the playoffs, and tensions are high. Battles are expected. There is a place for legal hits and legitimate fights in the NHL. The actions of Crosby in Game 3 were over the line. A better attitude and a higher level of sportsmanship should be expected from the current face of the NHL; alas, Sid is living up to his nickname: Kid.