Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is going to win the Hart trophy at the end of the season. Not only was Sid the only guy to score 100 points this year, he is also a good defensive player too. That’s why on Friday night against the New York Rangers, I was surprised to see Crosby completely give up on a play in the defensive zone.
As Carl Hagelin fishes the puck cleverly out of the corner, he finds Brad Richards wide open in the slot. Richards, who appears to be surprised by how much time and space he has, takes the puck from his backhand to forehand and slides it past a helpless Marc-André Fleury. Crosby, who is trailing the play, glides towards Richards as if the person controlling him has had his controller disconnected. That’s his man right there, and he’s not hustling at all.
#FancyGIF by me, Ian Oland.
Here is video of the goal as well.
What do we learn here? The favorable way the media treats Crosby over Alex Ovechkin is, well, kind of appalling. When I searched in Google for “Sidney Crosby gives up on goal” I got zero recent results. The only people who made mention of it was the lovely Capitals blog Brooks Laichyear (whom you should follow) on Twitter.
— BrooksLaichyear.com (@brookslaichyear) May 3, 2014
As we all can so painfuly recall, people have poked fun at Ovechkin’s defense for ages. Let’s not forget this play against the Rangers in the playoffs a few years ago , which the mainstream media feasted on.
Then, towards the end of the regular season this year, Ovechkin gave up on a play in the defensive zone, which allowed the Dallas Stars to go up 4-0 against the Capitals late in the third period. While Ovechkin should hustle no matter what, this play and the one against the Rangers a few years ago does not prove Ovi is a bad defensive player. Yet all we have heard in the media was about how terrible Ovi was and how he should be stripped of his captaincy immediately. Two days of Adam Oates press conferences were devoted to this. Was Dan Blysma even asked a question about Crosby’s effort Saturday?
Meanwhile, guys like NBCSN’s Jeremy Roenick bring out the kid gloves for Sid while Crosby endures a playoff goal-less streak of 12 games. Plus, this is the second time in the last month and a half that Crosby has not shown maximum effort on a goal.
So let’s recap:
- Sidney Crosby gives up on a play in the playoffs and no one cares.
- Ovi does the same in garbage time in the regular season, and it’s a firestorm.
- Everyone hates Sasha.
- This play does not make Sid a bad defensive player. It’s just one play in one game and not indicative of anything other than the fact that there are cameras everywhere and no one misses anything.
- I am not criticizing Crosby. I am criticizing the media, who sometimes suck.
So kids, be wary of the narrative and critical of the people who cover your teams.