Monday, 9 April 2012

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin dirty?

Great article by Cathal Kelly on the hatchet job being perpetrated against Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins have been identified as a threat to win it all by the ‘muck and grind posse’ in the media, which is seemingly dominated by former Flyers and Bruins. These guys have an agenda to maximize the chances of their former teams to win the Stanley Cup, and also to justify the ‘style’ of hockey that they played when they were active in the league. So the Penguins, led by players such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, skilled scorers and skaters who play a spectacular, fan-friendly brand of hockey, must be vilified as not playing the right way, like Terry O’Reilly or Moose Dupont used to. So now somehow, we’re supposed to believe that Mr. Malkin and Mr. Crosby are villains, instead of the league’s poster boys, as they rightfully should be.

It’s a smear job similar to that against the Canucks last year, when they were dubbed ‘The Most Hated Team in Hockey’ and also branded as divers and whiners. This enabled the Bruins to spear and crosscheck and mug them down to their level and eke out a win, and the refs to overlook even more infractions from the dark-jerseyed and black-hearted Bruins than they normally would have. The table had been set for an institutionally-condoned bias against the Canucks, epitomized by the disparity in punishment received by Aaron Rome and Johnny Boychuk for the season-ending hits they delivered. Mr. Rome knocked Nathan Horton out of the series with an almost borderline late but clean hit, one that was reminiscent of the hits that put Scott Stevens in the Hall of Fame, but which resulted in a suspension for the rest of the playoffs for the perpetrator. Meanwhile, Johnny Boychuk interfered with Mason Raymond and drove him bent over into the boards, breaking his back, with all this occurring with the puck nowhere near and Mr. Raymond never having possession of it. Mr. Boychuk skated away scot-free, and Mason Raymond was helped off the ice to the jeers of the Boston crowd, and wasn’t ready to return to action until midway through this season.

We see the hypocrisy in the criticism directed at Sidney Crosby for attempting to give as good as he gets, with Neanderthals like Don Cherry trumpeting that this justifies the treatment he is getting and will surely receive during the playoffs. So really Sidney should turn the other cheek and be a pacifist, like Daniel Sedin did in last year’s playoffs when he was being bolo-punched by the reprehensible creep Brad Marchand. We all remember how the media lionized Daniel Sedin for his patience and courage and strength of character, and how the league and its officials rushed to the aid of an NHL scoring champion, pillar of a community and true gentleman.

I’ll empower myself to speak on behalf of Mr. Malkin and Crosby, and make a deal with Flyer assistant coach Craig Berube, he of the 1000 game, 60 goal, 3000 penalty minute career: if his guys don’t crosscheck or facewash or rabbit punch or spear or headlock or slash or chirp them constantly after the whistle sounds, neither will the Penguins stars. How’s that for a deal? Let’s really ‘let them play’, as in, let the talented players play, instead of letting the no-talent pluggers hang on for dear life to the stars and clutch and slash them down to their level, as that expression has come to mean. Let’s let Evgeni Malkin swoop into the opposition zone without a Flyer trailing a full stride behind, slashing away just below the ridiculous threshold that needs to be met before a ref finds the whistle in his zippered pocket, knocks the cobwebs and lint off it and actually calls a penalty. Let’s let the stars play, as the NFL and the NBA and Rugby Union do, by allowing the stars who bring us out of our seats to flourish, instead of favouring the Mike Houghs and the Dwight Fosters of this world.

Somehow I suspect Mr. Berube won't agree to my deal.

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