Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sidney Crosby: Doing It for Himself.

Wayne Gretzky had Marty McSorely and Dave Semenko, Mario Lemieux had Ulf Samuelsson (injuring opponents in the most dirty way) and Kevin Stevens.

Yeah, Gretzky had real protection while Mario Lemieux often to put up with more crap than he should of.

Sidney Crosby? He's got...Jarkko Ruutu... Yeah, it's up to Sidney to basically defend himself from all of the extra attention he gets in a physical manner.

Damien Cox has a special for ESPN that looks at this very issue.
Article Link:

If you were to believe the recent hysteria, most of it emanating from a fairly (but not wildly) rough-and-tumble match between Pittsburgh and Montreal last week, you'd think Crosby is under an unrelenting assault by NHL muggers, forced to walk the gantlet every single night against opponents determined to dismember and disembowel him with fiendish fouls and dark, medieval practices.

Well, it's kinda like that, except not really.

Compared to the abuse Bobby Orr and Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy dealt with over the course of their splendid careers, young Mr. Crosby is being treated with velvet gloves.

People love to repeat the silly NHL cliché that players used to respect each other in the good old days and don't now, but talk to players who played then and they laugh at the very notion.

To them, modern NHLers are all chummy, well-fed union brethren who share golf games, and sometimes accountants, between playoff contests. Back in the day, they'd have fights in All-Star Games. These days, the only sign of anger in the midseason "classic" comes when somebody misplaces his BlackBerry.
For once, Cox has it right. Today's players arent' nearly as goony and cheap as the the players in previous eras. There isn't nearly as much hitting and contract and fighting, and the most dangerous thing seems to be errant high-sticks, rather than serious kneeings and slashes.

Still, Sidney gets a lot of extra attention every game, and just about no protection from anybody on his roster. What happens when somebody really nasty goes after Sidney?

Still, there are those who believe Crosby's very life is in danger every time he steps on the ice, and to remedy the situation, the Penguins need to immediately acquire a, ahem, "policeman."

For those unfamiliar with hockey talk, that's another word for a complete moron who likes to fight and can't play at all and steals the job of a real athlete who is good enough to be in the NHL but has to toil in the minors. A cement head. A thug. Cro-Magnon Man on blades of steel.

This isn't a new matter for discussion in hockey. Rather, like the beanball in baseball, it's a vestige of cruder times that just won't go away, no matter how the sport matures and develops and evolves.
One can be a policeman and still be a good player, just like Bob Probert, John Ferguson, and Paul Laus.

You can read the rest of the article if you like, but only if you like Cox's total assholery.

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