Oct 18, 2012, 1:05 AM EDT
When Claude Giroux required off-season surgery on not one, but both of his wrists, the reason he gave was fairly straight-forward: Sidney Crosby. When pressed for comment on his predisposition to hacking the limbs off of opponents, a petulant Crosby was unapologetic for the damage.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via CSN), the Penguins’ captain responded to the Flyers centerman’s claims that he repeatedly and intentionally hacked the wrists of Giroux on faceoffs throughout their first-round playoff series last season. Now it would be one thing if Crosby simply went with the cliche, “I don’t play dirty, just doing whatever it takes to win.”
Instead, he went the route of full deniability.
I really like to win the faceoff. I don’t try to go after his wrists but if I caught it, I’m not sorry for it. I think it’s hilarious I hear that stuff from Philly. It’s comedy to me to be honest with you. They’re probably involved in that stuff more than any team in the league and they’re the ones always talking about it. I guess I’m not apologetic. I was trying to win a faceoff and if I caught his wrist, then I caught his wrist. He seemed to play okay so I couldn’t have hurt him that bad.”
Did Giroux exaggerate? Probably. Does Crosby have a reputation for underhanded play? Little bit. That said, the whole If I hurt a guy, I’m not sorry for it, and it’s actually funny talk seems a tad over the line. I suppose That’s a REAL rivalry for ya.
Among other things the face of hockey is not handling well: getting knocked out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Flyers. Crosby was specifically asked about the hit Giroux landed in Game 6 — the “primary highlight” of the series according to the Post-Gazette interview — and he just couldn’t hide those sour grapes.
The odds of a guy making a hit like that at home and then having the puck end up on his stick two seconds later and scoring a goal…. That probably is the whole series in a nutshell.
Really? Because I thought the whole series in a nutshell was one team showed up to play hockey, and the other team showed up for a fight. Guess which team won a best-of-seven hockey series?
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