Sidney Crosby showcases fighting’s place in NHL

Sidney Crosby Claude Giroux fighting
(Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE)

Why is everyone upset about the surplus of fighting in this year’s NHL playoffs? Goon is a word being thrown around a lot. I guess sticking up for your teammates and playing a physical style of hockey warrants the ‘goon’ label. Yes, some of the happenings have been cheap, here’s to you Shea Webber, but overall the scraps, scrums, fights and line brawls have been warranted. Some of the fights have been the result of good, clean hard hits during the flow of the game.

TV ratings are up and the arenas are packed, two tell tale signs that people enjoy this sort of thing. When two guys drop the gloves or when five guys drop the gloves for that matter, everyone in the arena cheers as the ice turns into Wrestle Mania. They love it and I love it. And really, who has been hurt in these melees? Ottawa Senator Daniel Alfredsson did miss last night’s Game Three against New York, so for the most part, the so-called ‘goonery’ has not resulted in an injury.

In Sunday’s Game Three between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, seemingly after every whistle there was a push, a shove and a scrum. Sidney Crosby, one of the most hated players in the entire league was in the middle of it all game. From knocking Jakub Voracek’s glove away as he skated to pick it up, fighting Claude Giroux and then preventing Scott Hartnell from going after James Neal. Crosby has been labeled a ‘cry-baby’ and a ‘whiner’ by fans across North America and even by New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. That branding might have to go now. Sidney Crosby earned something Sunday. He earned more respect from his teammates, his fans and the hockey world. For as much as he is criticized, dropping the gloves for a teammate is the sign of a true hockey player. Crosby moved up a few notches in my book over the weekend.

(Tom Turk/THW)

Fighting has its place in hockey. It can intimidate, it can swing momentum in your favor and most of all, the fans love it. These playoffs have only confirmed that as every action has a reaction and it is magnified now. If you come after me, I am going to come after you, that is the mentality and that is what makes this time of year so exciting. Hockey is the only North American sport in which players consistently and openly talk about their dislike for other players and teams. In the NBA, NFL and MLB the players serve as talking heads, always praising their opponents. After Pittsburgh lost in Philadelphia, Crosby said he does not like a single player on the Flyers. In any other sport, it would serve as the so-called ‘bulletin board material’, in the NHL Crosby’s face has been up on Philadelphia’s bulletin board since October, that is what makes hockey great.

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15 thoughts on “Sidney Crosby showcases fighting’s place in NHL”

  1. As a pens fan i do agree that crosby did some fair share of whining even though he is the captain and should be the only one allowed to whine, as with Toews and Richards ive seen them all run their mouths so stop with this whiny whatever business…But game 3 was disgusting he should not have started those fights and if he did he should have finished them with a clean square off not with gloves and a helmet on, that being said it is easy to hate on the best player in the nhl and if any of you have comments or concerns on that last statement lets take it to the nhl website with the stats. 

    •  And one more thing….I’ll take Crosby on his worst day than 90% of the NHL who has slashed whacked and hacked him 1000 more times than 87 has to them.  Maybe he cannot defend himself the same way Hartnell got himself into the league as well as Asham, but his numbers do not lie and someone on here please name me a 24 year old in the league that averages 1.4 points PER GAME for his career.  Not too many and Philly, you would love “CINDY” if he played on your team, it’d be the second coming of Christ in philly.

  2. once again pens and flyers fans show how idiotic they are and are to blind to see the real issue. the writer of the article was just using the philly and pens series as an example of why fighting in hockey is apart of the game, but once again you blindly explode on eachother like children not seeing the point. your all disgraces to either team you cheer for. good job

  3. The true tale to players who are actually interested in fighting is in the hands.  The scrum with Crosby and Giroux, Crosby had his gloves on and was pulling Giroux into him.  The above picture speaks to that.  That means that Crosyb doesn’t want to get hit.  He doesn’t want Giroux the opportunity to throw punches.  He then drops his gloves and throws punches after the ref is there.  He had more than enough time before the ref got there.  The only logical conclusion is that Crosby isn’t willing.  That’s perfectly fine!  Not every player wants to fight, and let’s be honest… how pissed would everyone be if both those guys broke their hands while fighting and neither was as good ever again.  BUT… to start all that crap, and to only throw punches around the refs???  Not to mention the cowardice of letting Adams fight FOR him!  While on that subject… after Hartnell got away from Adams assault to the back of his head, what did he do?  He hugged him, pulled him in so Hartsy couldn’t throw hands, and pushed him up against the boards to wrestle.  Again, COWARD!!!  This is Matthew Barnaby cheap crap 101!  THAT has no place in the game.  Two willing combatants squaring off… i’m all for it.

  4. Sorry, but your article is horrendously wrong. The only way I would have gained some respect for Sid the Dik is if he actually dropped the gloves and fought Giroux. “There is no player who has caused more fights between opposing players and his own teammate in the history of the NHL” (Chris Therien).

    The fan’s issue is not with the fights and scrums, that is wonderful. The issue is with the cheap shots, the rabbit punches, the cross checks to the throat, and the other dirty plays. Fights are wonderful, intentions to injure are not.

    Please delete this article as it is poorly written and researched.

    Thank you

  5. I’m embarrassed that my computer has this webpage in it’s archives.  Defending ANYTHING crosby did in game 3 is amusing.  In gaining respect for him,   This guy  shows he has no idea how to be man.  A real man.  Men don’t act the way crosby did, women and children do.  Not sure what the intention was when writing this article, but the result has a strikingly similar tone to the press conferences of the child he defends: The selfish ramblings of a toddler who had his binky taken away.  Sack up or pack up Gazzale.  Oh,  by the way,  maybe you should learn before you speak instead of embarrassing yourself like this.  Can’t be that many Gazzales running around, you just sullied ALL their names.  nice work

    • Heh, and too bad the only punch crosby threw in his “fight” was a cheap uppercut only AFTER the officials had stepped in…yep, he’s a true captain.

  6. If there was any time for Crosby to gain respect in your book, it should have been after he got into a fight with the defenseman who hip-checked Malkin a few years ago (Keith Ballard?). Anyway, Crosby’s antics on Sunday were absolutely deplorable and this article is almost as much as an embarrassment as the Penguins. 

  7. Overlooking the fact that there are multiple errors in your piece that create a glaring need for an editor, as a hockey writer you should know that it is Shea Weber, not Webber. He’s not related to the former Wolverines basketball player.  But your spelling error fits perfectly well with the overall miscalculation of the article itself. First of all, Alfredsson’s concussion was due to a flying elbow from Hagelin, not a scrum after the whistle or a fight.  How is that not an “injury” in your mind? He is their captain and one of their top forwards. 
    You have gained respect for a player that had Craig Adams fight his battle against Hartnell after he started it by pulling Hartnell down from behind? Or you gained respect for Crosby after he basically bear-hugged Giroux after Giroux called him out for the glove swatting incident? Did you also gain respect for him as he slashed Bryz’s glove hand multiple times?  And you like his post-game press conferences eh? Crosby sounds like a 4 year old that doesn’t want to eat his vegetables in interviews. “I don’t like anyone on their team” he said, and when asked why he responded with “I just don’t like them”.  Wow, that is tremendous insight! I can plainly see what you like in that hockey player. 

    It’s not bulletin board talk because its worthless. The Flyers will play with the same intensity and disdain as they would have had he not said those words. They mean nothing, as does Crosby’s opinion.  Rivals are not supposed to like each other, this isn’t newsworthy.

    What are you going to write about next, how James Neal’s hit on Cooter was clean because there was no penalty called, despite the fact that he left his feet and Cooter didn’t have the puck? After all, that is what led to a majority of the third period craziness, which you say have resulted from “good, clean hard hits”.

    Please, wow me with your amazing insight. I’m impatiently waiting.

    • Neal didn’t leave his feet he merely stood up and finish through he not short he skates with a knee bend. Watch it he merely stands up if anything.

      • If Neal didn’t leave his feet than he wouldn’t have had 2 separate hearings, 1 for the Giroux hit and 1 fot the Couturier hit. When a skater stands up you are implying that his feet are still on the ground, which they weren’t when he made contact with Couturier. You’re telling me to watch it, maybe you should do the same.

  8. As a Pens fan I lost some respect for Crosby because I know he is better than that. I know most Pens fans feel the same way. There is a difference between playing physical/tough and playing reckless/stupid. He only proved his retractors right with his actions.  

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