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April 26, 2008

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Are we STILL talking about Crosby?

Hey, don't blame me, it was the Pens' coach who brought it back up again.

finally, i really want to see prucha play, especially because he might be gone by next season. of course, it takes a playoff loss to realize that he should be in the lineup, i know everyone was clicking with him gone but if everyone was clicking without straka i'm sure he would get a place when coming back. let's see what you got prucha!

Renney and the team have to be careful. If they're perceived as whiners by the league then we'll get no calls in our favor, or worse, even more of the crap that happened in Game 1.

The league itself has to be careful of what is quickly becoming obvious favoritism for it's big marketing tool. People on both sides of the aisle seem to be talking about it more and more. If they keep going in this direction, it's going to be obvious to everyone on the planet and they're going to look even more ridiculous than they already do.

Unfortunately, this is one of the things that goes under the adversity umbrella that any team will need to learn to deal with to become a Stanley Cup Champion. If we get too wrapped up in this Crosby stuff, we'll take away our focus of good solid defense which is what brought us this far in the first place.

Hammer the snot out of Mary Crosby every time he touches the puck.

No penalty on the cross check from behind on Straka 30 seconds earlier. It is just plain sickening.

Hey Dubi,

Don't worry, I'm not planning on consistently stalking your blog, but there is one thing that I thought was worth mention in this whole episode - this comment by Shanahan:

"All the guys on this team - and in the league, for that matter - have a lot of respect for Sidney, and the work ethic he brings. There were a couple of calls that were made that were not necessarily dives on Sidney's part, but ... it's ice hockey. It happens. We fall. He's around the puck a lot, and he makes second and third efforts that are going to sometimes drop him down to his knees, and that's just the way he plays. I don't think he's necessarily diving, but he's the kind of player that will dive for loose pucks, and I think he plays an all-out, all-effort style that sometimes referees can confuse with someone fouling him."

I personally think Shanny's a pretty straight shooter... you can argue (as I'm sure some will) that he was being generous to Crosby in the interest of being a gentleman and not stirring the pot anymore, but I think he might be pretty close to the reality of the situation. Crosby plays with a style that will inherently draw a lot of penalties. As long as he doesn't do things with the sole intention of drawing a penalty, and I don't think he does, then he's only helping his team by getting all these calls, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. On the other side of it, if some officials are slightly biased towards him for whatever reason (and I really can't say if that is or isn't the case) then that really isn't his fault. For the sake of the integrity of the game, I'd like to think that every official out there with the honest intention of calling the game as evenly and fairly as possible, but who knows.

One last comment: I think Therrien was basically just trying to provide motivation for his team. Whether it works is debatable, but it's a pretty common coaching tactic.

I don't recall if you linked it Dubi but this article on the diving penguin Crosby is pretty on the mark ... what I do like is that the author does say that after only 1 game Crosby's own coach might have brought greater attention to Sidney's antics than anything the Rangers have said on the matter, which is next to nothing really ...

Here's the link http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/nhl_experts/post/Sidney-the-Diving-Penguin-begins-war-of-words;_ylt=AjHhlno4XGZ9nj2Pcw3mPoQyNbgF?urn=nhl,79149

I'm reliable you can copy and paste folks =P

As you can see, comments from Penguins fans who want to discuss real issues are welcome -- those from people who just want to hurl insults will not be posted.

Justin -- I thought Avery sticked him in the face on purpose, having seen Aves do that before, but the refs obviously thought he was trying to play the puck. I wouldn't be arguing that call had that been made against Avery. As for outworking Straka, did you look at the replay and hear what Crosby said? Straka tried to get position on him, he was successful at getting position on him, and Crosby skated into Straka's skate -- even if there was no dive, it was still not a penalty, and the call was a Crosby call.

Nevertheless, I'm still going to have to disagree with you on Crosby's intentions in going down on one knee. I'm also going to have to disagree with you that it's that great of a hockey play -- it's a basic drill that even beginning hockey players are taught, skate to the blue line, drop your left knee to the ice until the red line, then get up and drop you right knee, and then skate to the other end. I can do it with ease, and I'm a terrible hockey player.

Bryan -- Should I quote what Shanahan said the night before about the call? I'm sure you heard it already. But as for the comments you quoted, I guess we both agree then that referees are fooled when Crosby goes down to the ice when not necessarily fouled. The difference of opinion remains where you stand on what Shanny meant when he said Crosby is "not necessarily" diving -- to me, that sounds an awful lot like sometimes he's diving and sometimes it's the extra effort, a sentiment I agree with.

Look, in general, I expect Penguin fans to see past Crosby's dives, just like Penguin fans should expect Ranger fans to excuse Avery's unsportsmanlike antics. That's what fans do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The fan in me wants to say that Avery is just trying to do what he can to win, the journalist in me says I don't care why or what he does as long as he keeps feeding me such great stories, and the objective person in me understands how despicable it can all seem to the opposition, which is how it would seem to me if he were on the other side.

But here's the bottom line on Crosby: if he keeps doing it, he's going to get called, just like Brodeur was finally nabbed. And just like Brodeur, Crosby and his coach and his fans will howl bloody murder when the call is made. But it will be made, unless Crosby is smart (which he is) and recognizes that it's time to lay low and just do what he does best, which is just about everything.

But if the Rangers lose another game on a bad call like that, the acrimony will grow exponentially and it will forever reflect poorly on Crosby no matter what else he accomplishes in hockey.

Look, if they're going to call penalties anytime a Ranger so much as breathes on Cindy, then the Rangers should make sure to get their money's worth whenever they do foul him. If we were back in the days of the Broad Street Bullies or the Big Bad Bruins, any diving or embellishments would be handled by the players themselves. But I guess with the advent of a strong union, and a general lack of true physicality in the game today, those days are gone forever. Pity. Maybe, if a player had to worry about on-ice retribution for a dive, we wouldn't have to waste space on blogs complaining about said dives, and the incompetant refs who fall for them, every time!

Bryan:

You got it right. Shanny simply wanted to say the right thing. Despite what coach Therrien said in his rant, Renney never accused Sidney of anything. The only people that said the word "diving" were reporters, fans and Therrien. We Ranger fans have griped all year about Renney not calling out officials after games, and not ragging on then during the games. So who is it that is playing the officials here? ANyway, I bet both teams have moved on, let's see what happens tomorrow.

Cindy crosby is a diver ,hes a girly -boy , Shanny knows it , he not gonna say it and pull a Avery and say something wrong , cuz he did tell Avery to watch it , Any way you paint it Sissney Crosby is not going to be pulling his flip flop now , the ref are on 'em , sweet!!

Here's my last word on the subject for today, then I'm calling it a day (though I will check from time to time to approve comments and delete nastiness):

Read my original post on the subject -- I thought the game was well called other than the two calls for Crosby after the whistles had been put away for everyone else. The call on Straka and subsequent PPG does not excuse the Rangers for blowing the lead and putting themselves in a position to lose on that play. By the same token, their blowing the lead does not make the poor call that lost them the game a just call -- it works both ways. If Crosby continues to try to draw those kinds of penalties, whether by intent or through hard work, I expect to see the refs start to pay more attention to it and not get fooled by it too much more.

And I give you this Mark Messier guarantee -- not one single comment will get through onto this site that is insulting or abusive.

Dubi:

Perfectly stated.
Can we *please* move on to a different topic? (and come back to this one after the same BS calls go down in Game 2??)

If Prucha is indeed coming in, who is he going to replace? IMHO, I'd like to see him replace SHANNY. I know, I know, Renney would never make such a bold move ... but look at the wonders it did for Roenick in SJ's last series. It won't happen I know, but swapping him with Orr or even worse - Sjostrom - would be pointless. He'll be looking at about 7 mins of playing time.


I don't know why you guys are so obsessed with Crosby...more things happened in that game then two penalties. In sports you can always look at a game and find things that did or didn't go your way, but does it really help to focus on those moments? If I were a Ranger fan I would be talking about my defensive system, not the judgment of the refs.

my post from the last article

I have to say one of the only things that bothers me about the fans reactions here are the knee-jerk reactions to bench people. Especially players that barely see the ice! News flash guys, it doesn't matter who's on the 4th line right now, you can sit Orr, you can sit Sjostrom, and you can sub in Hollweg or Prucha or anyone from hartford, the fact of the matter is that line gets about 5 to 10 minutes of ice time MAX at even strength in the playoffs, and off-hand I'd say they probably have a +/- of -1 or -2 at the worst. Also, the crtisicm of Backman, who was great against the Devils. One bad game and we want Strudwick in, like Strudwick is some kind of savior in disguise. Our third D-pairing also doesn't seem to get nearly as much ice-time as the first two pairings. Strudwick and Malik are not much better than Backman and/or Mara if thy're better at all. What we should be focusing on is the defensive lapses when our top 3 lines and top 2 D-pairings were on the ice. Tyutin and Girardi had weak games. Toots had a few nice hip checks but other than that he was very sloppy. Roszival and Staal were not much better. The centers didn't communicate well with our d-men in our own zone. There were a few times it didn't cost us but there were guys WIDE open in the slot and they got the puck from passes in the corner where everyone was. But a quick fix to the 4th line and 3rd d-pairing is clearly the answer. lol.

It's a shame that the NHL doesn't go by the theory set forth in a little story called "the boy who cried wolf". After a while, the refs would simply get tired of watching Crosby flop all over the ice and instead of giving him the calls, they'll just look the other way no matter how egregious the foul is against him. That would be a pretty good deterrent on his part.

I love how Crosby falls after admittedly stepping on Straka's skate a draws a penalty. Meanwhile someone like Jagr can get mugged and stay on his feet, and never draw a penalty. It seems to penalize the player who is stronger and can stay up, and favor the smaller players who get manhandled. Looks like Sid the Kid needs to hit the weight room. It's even more laughable that Straka, the guy who so easily knocked Crosby over, is the smallest guy on NYR at 5'9" 180 lbs.

Good thing he didn't run into Shanahan or Orr, his head might have flown off!

While I do not blame Pen fans for wanting people to stop thinking that Sidney is not a diver at the same time they need to blame their own coach for his remarks as why this remains such a hot button topic.

If you want it to become a non-issue then you try to steer focus away from it instead of forcing the refs on the spot. What I see as happening is that to show that they are calling the game fairly if it even looks suspect then one has to expect to see a diving call just so the NHL can show that they are not "protecting" Crosby.

Odds are also good that the refs will of course pick the weakest of possible dives and screw the Pens.

And the Pen fans can thank their own coach for all of this too.

Dubi - quick post from the west coast to say thanks for all your work over last 48 hours. BB is a great place for ranger fans and thats why I'm a subscriber.

As far as tomorrow goes, it all rests with the Ranger forwards, particularly the top 9. They need to be better in every zone of the ice. If so, we're right in the mix.

Wow, seems the animosity has kicked up to the next level, and the blame game has started.

In my opinion this was Game 1:
Pens gave up a few soft(lucky?) goals in the beginning and Lundqvist was understandably a beast. Rangers began to rest on their laurels with the lead. Second period Pens woke up and realized that they not only were, infact, playing hockey, but second round playoff hockey at that. Goals were scored, the game was tied. In the end a hard fought, back and forth, rhythm-less game that should have probably went to OT ended up as a Pens victory.

Bad calls (and non-calls) went back and forth during the game, as they have all season, all throughout the NHL. And it certainly is not going to stop anytime soon.

I'm not in any way displeased with the result of the game, however, because I'm unabashedly a Pens fan.

I just think way too much is made of arguing points before, after, and during games that aren't even very hockey related.

People like to criticize others for being biased, but that is something that is hard to overcome for anyone, whether it is your job or not.

Tomorrow's (well later today actually) game is what we should be focusing on predominately. It's my belief that it will be an exciting game, as would demonstrate the skill and determination of both teams.

Of course my completely biased pick is for the Penguins to take it, as I believe the win on Friday will be just what they need to maybe force them to play a full 60 minutes for once. At this point, and trying to say this with as little bias as possible, the Rangers seem to be the team lacking in sheer determination after that meltdown on Friday. The game tomorrow (and as many games are needed in this series for that matter) will all be hard-fought to say the very least, but unless the Rangers pull it together a bit more, and as long as the Pens continue to play lights out hockey, I'm not seeing the the Rags getting out of this round.

Good luck of course, but... GO PENS!

i'm going to make a bold prediction and say shanny will have a big game tommorrow

i really didnt think Crosby dove on that last penalty called. No one in NY seems to acknowledge that Crosby had a great game. Hes really hard to hit, and he does fight through a lot of checks.

No power play for the rangers after the midway point of the 2nd period, of course. 1 penalty in the 3rd and it decides the game; on a crosby-call. lets hope the Rangers play a smarter game tomorrow.

sheesh...Pens fans are like cockroaches. It’s 4:50 AM and these mornings New York Post article just came online about 20 minutes ago & they’ve already started a colony there. They literally ALL show up on EVERY single article/blog that's written in the New York media.

I have strong feeling that they'll be eating massive crow after today's game.

Interesting how tsn had that particular angle that makes it completely obvious what a dive Crosby took when that angle was, of course, somehow not made available on the national television broadcast.

No the Rangers have no business blaming this call after blowing a 3-0 lead. But after watching that TSN feed, how anyone can say that play by Crosby was anything but a dive is beyond me. I guess since the angles shown us by Versus were never that clear, thats how.

Of all the bad things that occurred during game one, we were a goal post away from tying the game in the waning moments. I think the boyos should go back to the 1/4 defensive coverage and beat the Pens on the counter attack. Why is Renny tinkering with the fourth line when he, all season long, extolled their physical/defensive prowess? The Pens out hit us by a wide margin. I think we need to be more physical on them, especially the NHL Poster Boy.

Dude it seems that much longer than just 2 days have passed since game 1 ... I'm ready and excited for game 2 ...

I'm just ready to move on to chapter 2 of this story ... lets see what the Rangers give us to play with :D

Lets Go Rangers!

We've got a gal from Holland who plays pick-up hockey here and her name is Cindy. She wears a Penguin jersey. She hits harder than Crosby. We call her Sidney Crosby. She stays on her feet and is a helluva defensewoman.

Time to move on. The Rangers have to play through it. The story that was not told enough from Game 1 was the comeback that the Rangers made, despite their loose play, and found a way to tie things up and then again even hit the post in the final minute with an empty net. That close.

In my heart, I love the Rangers . . . Go Blue!

Here’s a Link to an article with Avery's father.

http://winnipegsun.com/Sports/Hockey/2008/04/27/5399161-sun.html

Avery's agent mentions about them entertaining a contract offer from The Maple Leafs in the summer.

Bitch, moan, dive.....Be a Penguin. =)


LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!

Matty that was a great article, i read it right after I learne how to cut and paste!!!!

if anyone here is a mac user I wanna know how do you cut and paste, I tried to figure it out at the mac store but after 20 minutes my son got bored and started to whine a little bit.

Great story here on Avery. Yes his mama said he made a mistake in breaking up with Elisha. http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Hockey/2008/04/27/5401516-sun.html

Rodney Dangerfield had a hilarious comedy in 1986 called "Back To School" which culminated when he made the high dive of all ages. Is that when they named the Pittsburgh arena after his character "Thomas Melon" in honor of the Penguin tradition?

Speaking of upholding tradition, too bad fans couldn't vote for the Conn Smythe winner as we do for all-stars. I'd choose Al Sobotka. In the old days fans twirled the octopus instead of having the octopus, Bettman, twirl them.

Speculation is Shanahan on the fourth line and Prucha on the second. Not a bad idea in theory if Prucha can reconstitute his game. And Shanahan is as good with his fists as Orr if push ever came to shove, although it never does in the playoffs anymore.

THORNTON Mellon.

THORNTON Mellon (ne Melloni)

I don't really understand what the big deal is about diving and whether or not Crosby does it. It doesn't determine a hockey game. I used to play soccer all the time, where diving is done more frequently than in hockey but is not looked down upon so much. You can get carded for it if you're caught, but if you get away with it, it's just like getting away with any other penalty.

Are the good people of New York insinuating that Crosby getting away with a dive or two is more of an abomination of hockey than Avery making racial slurs?

2-0 Penguins in the series. I know its best of 7, but seems it's over. When the Rangers can score they cant avoid penguins goals and when they can avoid it they cant score.


Crap :(

So let me get this straight...Sean Avery's antics in the opening round are A-OK...but because Crosby gets mugged and falls down on the ice, he's the one who should be ridiculed? How can anyone defend what Avery blatantly does but then get upset because someone allegedly dives? There is no proof that Crosby dives, but there is proof that Avery is a bush-league player...I mean, seriously? And you wonder why everyone hates the New York sports fans and their teams.

Who said Sean Avery's antics were OK? No one has ever denied that Avery plays the game a certain way -- you hate it when he's against you and you love it when it's for you, just like you guys with Ruutu or the Devils when they had Claude Lemieux or any agitator that's ever lived. Plus, Avery pays a price for what he does -- new rules against him, fines for diving, calls against him when Brodeur takes him down, people hitting him freely without him getting many calls. He's willing to pay the price. He makes no apologies, but he doesn't deny it.

But Crosby denies it, he doesn't want to be known as a cowardly diver and a cheater, and as fans, you fall right into lock-step. We're opposing fans -- we despise him for it and will ridicule him for it as long he keeps doing it. We don't need your approval.

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