Enter the NHL Playoffs. Three games in and I'm about as big a Flyer fan as I've ever been (and I used to be a pretty big one, back in the days of Eric Lindros and Keith Primeau and Mark Recchi and Chris Therien and Dan McGillis and Robert Esche). I've watched every minute of games 1 and 3 and I followed game 2 on twitter and the ESPN app because I was at the Phillies game (fuck the Mets, by the way).
And I have two takeaways from the series thus far:
- Playoff hockey is fucking great, especially when two teams legitimately hate each other.
- Sidney Crosby is the biggest bitch in professional sports (European soccer included).
The first period of last night's game really captures the first point: six goals and seventy-two penalty minutes. Defense does not win championships in this case; both starting goaltenders have actually looked really shitty so far. But goals getting tallied like crazy, big hits around every corner, and more fistfights than (something that has a lot of fistfights) makes for awesome TV. I'll come back to the chippy playoff atmosphere in a little, but now on to point number two:
I can't stand Sidney Crosby. Throw out the fact that he's playing against the Flyers and we still have all of this:
- The "push the glove out of reach of Jake Voracek" move. Total douchebag thing to do.
- The "pretend that you want to fight (my new favorite player) Brayden Schenn and then act like you're the bigger man and decline the fight while letting the referee step in between you and Schenn" move. Pussy.
- The "wrap up Scott Hartnell and let your scumbag teammate come over and fight Hartnell for you (and your teammate pulls his hair during the fight)" move. Pussy doesn't even describe it.
- The "be heavily favored to win the series because the so-called best player in the NHL was out for most of the season but now he's back so the Pens have a great shot at the Cup but then go down to the 5-seed team that nobody gave a shot to" move. Eat a bag of dicks.
But the worst thing for me is that the media still considers Crosby their darling. Take, for example, the front page of today's USA Today Sports section:
The picture itself is awesome. It was a really physical game, and this photo captures it. The problem I have is with the caption:
"Take that: The Flyer's Claude Giroux, left, holds on to the Penguins' Sidney Crosby on Sunday as teammate Kimmo Timonen, right, lands a punch to Crosby's jaw during the first period of Game 3."
After all of the shit that Crosby has pulled in this series (and his life), the media still portrays him as the victim. He's a fucking scumbag. He knows that he can practically get away with anything because the NHL has a vested interest in his standing as the darling of North American hockey.
An example: how would the NHL look if the player that they focused all their attention on - not most (like the NBA does with LeBron or the NFL does with... Brady?), but all - did shit like this:
Like if LeBron (having a below-par game and a below-par series, in which his team was about to down 3-0) took the ball during a stoppage of play and pulled that dick move where he just sets the ball down like ten feet in front of the person it was going to. But that doesn't even describe it, because that move has happened before. This glove-push shit is just a whiny little bitch throwing a tantrum because his team was losing. I don't expect a lot out of Sidney Crosby, but this is actually the scummiest play I've seen that didn't involve smashing someone's face into the boards or punching someone repeatedly for absolutely no reason. Absolute slimeball, pussy, (other negative adjectives) move.
And then, this happened (he was saying it to Claude Giroux):
Really, Sid? Claude is a pussy? Because I'm pretty sure you were offered a minimum of 3 fights in Game 3 (Brayden Schenn, Scott Hartnell, Giroux). I don't blame you for not fighting Hartnell - he would literally tear out your eyeballs and eat them (probably). I was really hoping you'd fight Schenn - as was Chris Therien, if anybody was listening to the WIP radio broadcast (more on Therien later). I'd put money on Brayden in a normal fight, but I get the sense that after one punch the refs would jump in and preserve the face of the (demise of the) NHL. I hope and pray that we get to see a real Crosby fight in Game 4, but I know deep down that it's doing to be Crosby starting shit and then letting his goons (ex. Letang or Adama) jump in to fight the battles... Just like it always has been.
Okay, more on Chris Therien (former Flyer defenseman/bruiser who is now the radio color commentary guy for Flyers games): here's what he said about the Crosby situation:
"You know what? Crosby is the one who started that thing. What is to say someone can't just punch his lights right out? Concussion or no concussion, punch him in the face as hard as you can. He went after Timonen, so you drop a bomb right at his beak and you let him know, 'I don't care about your head, kid, if you're going to pull this stuff in our house.' He's going to whine all night and cry all night for penalties, yet he goes after Kimmo Timonen."
I've always loved Chris Therien (despite the fact that if you ask my dad, he was solely responsible for like half the goals the Flyers gave up during his time there) and I think he would personally punch Sid's lights out if he still played. I thought he was going to try to suit up for Game 4 and get back to his old ways of crushing skulls. He continued:
"Crosby is an absolute joke right now"
"Look at Crosby and Schenn. Come on Sidney, drop the gloves. Don't hide behind the linesman. Crosby is giving it to Schenn behind the linesman. Get out in the open and drop your gloves. Go!"
In conclusion, I'd like to nominate Chris Therien as an honorary bench coach for Game 4. What could possibly go wrong there?
|Nope, not a mugshot.|