Sidney Crosby has been the face of the NHL for nearly a decade now and has done a masterful job, particularly in his dealings with the media. It’s almost unbelievable to think that he’s done countless interviews since he’s broken into the league and you would be hard pressed to find a sequence where he lost his composure. It’s almost as if he’s reading his answers off a prompter, but in reality there is no script…just a mob of reporters sticking microphones in his face night after night. Sure, he’s been coached on what to say and how to handle himself, but such logic usually goes out the window when people get emotional. There’s been numerous instances where athletes fly off the handle and say things they regret minutes after an emotionally charged contest. The worst Crosby has said is: “I don’t like anyone on that team,” when referring to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 playoffs. Other than that, he’s remained even keel in his dealings with the media and a solid ambassador to the sport.
His behavior on the ice, however, has received some criticism.
(If you’re not a fan of “Grapes”, skip until 2:15 and John Tortorella chimes in)
Most people feel (including yours truly) that Crosby gets hacked and chirped more than any player in the league and that’s it’s only natural for him to get frustrated at times. Others feel that he is a brat that loves to whine and take dives. Now, keep in mind, it’s a minority that loathes Crosby. But there is some comical evidence that proves their point. He doesn’t dive all the time, but I do concede that when he does, the judges need to be ready with their scorecards. Here are the top Sidney Crosby flops!
8. Crosby Flops vs. Chicago
There’s two key factors in this instance where Crosby takes a flop in the outdoor game at Soldier Field. Firstly, when one of the most revered captains in the league tells you to “stay on your feet,” it’s probably a truthful statement. Secondly, this fop was extremely recent, which demonstrates that Crosby’s diving prowess wasn’t only apparent early on in his career. So much for the Olympic love between these two stars.
7. Crosby Flops vs. Montreal
Crosby here takes a major dive to Former Hab, Maxime Lapierre. Lapierre is no stranger to this kind of stuff as he takes embellishment to a new level. In this particular case, Crosby flips the switch on “Mad Max.” It’s difficult to understand the timing of this flop. Crosby cleanly wins the draw against Lapierre (no surprises to this point). As Lapierre begins to chase the puck, he and Crosby rub shoulders and it looks like Sid the Kid has been shot!
6. Crosby Flops vs. The Linesman
Not even the officials are safe from Sid’s antics! The linesman makes an over aggressive “no offside” motion and his hand meets Crosby‘s face. It appears as though Crosby gets hit below the visor but he clearly over exaggerates. The point of embellishing is to try to get a call. That point becomes moot when it’s the linesman you’re embellishing upon. I guess it was just a reflex.
5. Crosby Flops vs. Philadelphia
To say that Peter Forsberg isn’t a fan of Crosby would be an understatement. They went at each other hard during Crosby’s rookie season and had numerous scrums and altercations. Forsberg was particularly fond of Crosby’s chirping and diving.
In this flop, Forsberg’s stick grazes Crosby’s mid section as he’s trying to regain control of the puck in the corner. There is certainly some contact made, but Crosby was already falling like a tree that just got chopped down. As the commentator so poetically put it: “The stick was there, but he fell down… before the stick was there.” Forsberg immediately does the universal “dive signal” and is not happy.
4. Crosby Flops vs. Montreal (again)
It was hard to judge where this one would rank on the list, because in order to judge the embellishment, there actually has to be a degree of contact made! Upon watching this replay over and 0ver (1:10 in video), it’s difficult to comprehend what made Crosby go down.
This occurred in the 2010 playoffs, during a face off in the Canadiens’ zone. Crosby and Gionta apparently get tangled and Crosby ends up doing a belly flop. Once again, the timing for a dive was questionable as Gionta is pint sized. As we’ve seen many times, a player from the opposing team skates by and tells Crosby to stay on his feet and in this case it was Josh Gorges.
3. Crosby Flops vs. New York
Marc Staal certainly interferes with Crosby on this play, but the embellishment was top notch and the look of anguish on his face as he sits up against the boards is what gives him bonus points. The facial expression of pain and despair, turns into a look of anger when the usually mild mannered Henrik Lundqvist comes out to confront Crosby. Sid the Kid doesn’t take Lundqvist’s words too kindly as he delivers a nice cross-check to King Henrik and a little melee ensues.
2. Crosby Flops vs. Detroit
Crosby ups the stakes for this one as the flop occurred in the 2009 Stanley Cup finals. Pittsburgh went on to win the Stanley Cup this year to cap off a fantastic series, but unfortunately for Sid, this one is going to go down in infamy. Kirk Maltby nudges the back of Crosby’s leg (7 seconds into video) and he throws his hands up in the air, then proceeds to glide on his stomach as if he’s on a Slip ‘n Slide. Maltby’s reaction on the bench at the end says it all.
1. Crosby’s Meltown in Philly
This one is not a physical flop, but it’s a flop in regards to his behaviour on the ice and certainly one where he’d like a mulligan. Pittsburgh was trailing 2-0 in the 2012 playoffs against Philadelphia. Down 3-1 early in game 3, the Pens needed some leadership out there to prevent the train from going completely off the rails. Instead, for no apparent reason, Crosby decided to whack Jakub Voracek’s glove away (2:30) as he was attempting to pick it up. A mini brawled ensued, Crosby ended up beating on Claude Giroux while Kris Letang whaled on Kimmo Timonen.
This string of events completely dug the Pens into a hole that they could not get out of. Letang (their best defenseman) got ejected, and Crosby was sitting in the box for 5 minutes while the Pens were in desperate need of a goal before the end of the period. As Pierre McGuire points out, The Flyers were just standing up for their teammates and ended up rallying around this. The Pens went on to lose the game, and the series.