Like most NHL fans I have been rooting for Sidney Crosby to come back strong after his series of concussions. The guy is the most talented player (or at least in the discussion) in the NHL and has been the face of the league. Crosby might have been booed in Philly and New York, but for the most part it was out of respect for an opponent that often tortured the home team. Sure he had his detractors that said he cried and whined every time he did not get a call, but it was hard to deny the man his place at the top of the league. Have you watched Crosby in this series with the Flyers? He has become a punk of Sean Avery proportions.
Number 87 still has the skill and the talent to score at any moment of a game and he has done that a few times against Philly. But the rest of his time has been spent playing the role of punk than patriarch. While his Penguins, a Stanley Cup favorite, have been falling apart against the Flyers, Crosby has found ways to make things worse instead of better. On Sunday he pulled moves like grabbing Scott Hartnell from behind (not a good matchup for you Sid) and challenging Claude Giroux to a fight. That came across as more frustration than anything since at least in this series the young Flyers star is proving to be a better player and certainly a better leader.
Crosby's actions have forced his teammates to come to his defense and it's done nothing but weaken a Penguins team that is wobbling towards a first round exit in a playoffs they were expected to dominated by some. The Flyers have the reputation of being the "Broad Street Bullies" but folks Dave Schultz and Don Saleski are not skating in orange and black. Philly can actually take the hockey moral high ground in this one. The Flyers are the ones standing up to the childish tantrums of the Pens, led by the guy who is supposed to be above all of this mess. Crosby came out on Monday and said he does not like one player on the Flyers. Congratulations Sid, no one on the Flyers likes you either. In fact, that circle of non friends is growing based on Crosby's actions, not his personality. The not so quiet secret around the league is that players avoided the big hits on Crosby after his return from the concussions out of respect to what the man means to the league. But Crosby has quickly lost that respect by his cheap and childish play. So at the moment someone on the Flyers takes a shot at Crosby, the Pens star will have no one to blame but himself