Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

“The Stupidity Is Back”

from John Steigerwald of the Indiana Gazette,

Maybe Sidney Crosby should just quit.

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. He shared a home with the former Best Player in the World, who quit when he was 31 years old.

Yep. That’s what Mario Lemieux did after the 1996-97 season, and when he did it, everybody understood. They knew he was fed up with the stupidity of the NHL. If you were around back then, you remember that Lemieux made it known that he was going to retire after that season, so it wasn’t a shock when the guy who led the league in scoring with 50 goals and 72 assists decided to pack it in.

Think about that for a second. This wasn’t a broken-down player who was struggling to play up to the ridiculous standard that he had set for himself. This was a 50-goal scorer saying he’d had enough with the NHL’s refusal to enforce the rules and was walking away. Not to become a team executive or owner. That would come later. He was headed for the golf course and as far away as he could get from the game he loved.

That just doesn’t happen in sports.

The most talented player ever to pick up a hockey stick just couldn’t deal with the stupidity anymore.

Well, guess what? The stupidity is back. Big-time.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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“The Penguins lost to the Florida Panthers in seven games. Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr scored a combined two goals in the series.”

I watched that series. They lost not because refs didn’t call penalties, they lost and Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr scored a combined two goals in the series because the Panthers played a trap defense and Pens couldn’t play their game. The trap makes for a terrible game to watch unless it is your team playing it. It also must be terrible for skill players to play against the trap. Maybe Lemieux quit because he was tired playing against weak teams employing a trap defense or because of the refs but regardless they lost the series because of the trap not the refs.

Posted by Puckbubba on 05/20/14 at 12:18 PM ET

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Interesting, I thought he retired because of his back and cancer treatment.

Posted by weswolverine on 05/20/14 at 12:28 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

While the article will fall on deaf ears, there are good points to be taken away. The whole double-standard of officiating has to go. A penalty is a penalty, whether is is preseason, game #463, 3 minutes left in the third or the playoffs. The fact that the refereeing is inconsistent is probably the biggest issue I have with the on ice product as a fan.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 05/20/14 at 12:29 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

inconsistent officiating is problem #2 for me. Ownership lockouts are the #1 problem with the NHL, with Iggy’s points verbatim pasted directly below in a close second.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/20/14 at 12:40 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Think its hilarious that Crosby gets roughed up a little and we start getting “the league is stupid” stories, meanwhile Zetterberg gets his head bounced off the glass last year by Weber, and nobody but Wing’s fans say a damn thing.

While Cbus took some liberties with Crosby for sure, the Rangers just plain outworked the Pens, and when the going got tough, Crosby got to whining instead of putting in the effort that would win games.

Having said that, the officiating in the league is a complete joke all season long, not just the playoffs.  But until Bettman is gone, this is what you have to deal with if you want to watch NHL hockey.

Posted by Hootinani on 05/20/14 at 12:46 PM ET

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I support the first six words of his article

Posted by SlimChance on 05/20/14 at 12:49 PM ET

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Amen!!!

Posted by Joe on 05/20/14 at 12:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Maybe a player who isn’t as stigmatized as Crosby should just quit.

Hockey would be a worse sport without Crosby in it, but man do people love to hate on that guy for shit that’s understandable for other players to complain about.

Maybe Toews should just quit.

Because if we’re looking for a guy to tell the NHL that this shit isn’t as fun to play or to watch without the league letting teams do little more than get in the way of or otherwise cheaply target the skill guys (which are actual valid concerns), we probably can’t use a player where the vast majority of that message would come across as “just another whiny whine by the whiner” instead of the ACTUAL message.

man I *#$%@& hate having to feel sorry for Crosby.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/20/14 at 01:10 PM ET

awould's avatar

What I’ve just read is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. Everyone on this board is now dumber for having read it.

Posted by awould on 05/20/14 at 01:16 PM ET

awould's avatar

man I *#$%@& hate having to feel sorry for Crosby.

You don’t. Fact is, if Crosby wasn’t a whiner, he could complain about these things and people would take him seriously. He sleeps in the bed he’s made.

On the flip-side, Crosby is the only player (that I know of) to blatantly spear someone in the playoffs and not get fined or penalized. He’s on tape sucker punching someone in the back of the head a couple years back. So maybe there’s other reasons he isn’t the right guy to complain about cheap shots. He still strikes me as a petulant child.

Everyone’s complaints about the refs sucking is accurate of course. Crosby did get abused, to some degree. Not enough to explain his total lack of production. Nearly every star player on every team in the playoffs gets abused. If Yzerman or Gretzky or Messier came out and commented on the refs letting too much go, nobody but the other team would’ve called him a whiner.

The fines and suspensions need to be maxxed out for egregious violations, such as most of what Matt Cooke is famous for, but the chippy cross-checks to shut down the stars should just be handled by the refs and teammates. The failure is in not calling 2 minute penalties for that stuff, and for his team not paying back in kind. It’s not systemic to the style of play, but to the quality of the refs. But this article makes it sound like Crosby should just throw in the towel to make a point because all of it is just making it impossible for the league leader in points-by a wide margin to score, apparently.

Posted by awould on 05/20/14 at 01:29 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

if Crosby wasn’t a whiner, he could complain about these things and people would take him seriously. He sleeps in the bed he’s made.

That’s true, and I’m not exactly crying over the fate of poor Sidney Crosby here, but this playoffs moreso than in previous years seems to be a circus more about how hockey players do dirty shit to one another than it is about how good anybody is.

Crosby absolutely should have been punished for spearing. The fact that he wasn’t actually makes it worse for him because it’s that much harder to take him seriously when the league blatantly overlooks the shit he’s doing.

I guess an alternate plan of action based on that would be that Crosby should go full-on heel mode next season and elbow, spear, slew-foot, and low-bridge guys every chance he gets.  Whenever asked about it, he could use this playoffs to essentially say “it’s clear that the standards are different, I’m just taking advantage of it.”

That would certainly be more entertaining.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/20/14 at 01:50 PM ET

awould's avatar

this playoffs moreso than in previous years seems to be a circus more about how hockey players do dirty shit to one another than it is about how good anybody is.

Pretty much. The story lines from most games contain a fair amount of who got away with what and how will they respond. But the thing is, Crosby complaining or Toews or Datsyuk…. it’s not like the hockey world doesn’t know. It’s being discussed and written about. Coaches have complained. Not sure why the league doesn’t address it… they act as though any admission of issues w/ the refs will somehow ruin their credibility when the very opposite is true.

Posted by awould on 05/20/14 at 02:23 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I didn’t see every game of the columbus/Pitt series or the Rangers series. I did see both of those teams make sure to ” pester” #87 at every chance. A extra hook here, a face wash there, but not out of the ordinary. I also saw two teams finish every check they had a chance to on #87. I did NOT see a head shot, or a late shot against the boards.

I did see a player get frustrated and cross check his opponent, and I also saw a player blatantly spear a guy in the nuts and I heard crickets from the NBC d-bag announcers when it happened.

In the back to back finals against Detroit, Hank & Pavel stole this guys lunch almost every shift. They were in his face and shadowed him all over the ice. I recall #87 being frustrated similarly to the way he was against the rangers.

Guess what, Gretzky didn’t win the cup every year. Even with Mc Sorely & Semenko riding shotgun.

This kid lived under the roof of the biggest whiner of all time. Any surprise he is behaving in a similar manner???

Posted by Down River Dan on 05/20/14 at 02:52 PM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

John Steigerwald also wrote an article condemning a fan who was attacked and killed in the parking lot at a baseball game. He essentially insisted it was the fans own fault for wearing a visiting teams jersey in a baseball stadium…

Posted by Russian Rocket on 05/20/14 at 03:14 PM ET

Avatar

Crosby sucks! 

- am i doing it right Paul?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 05/20/14 at 03:28 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Not sure what you are getting at GTL.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/20/14 at 03:29 PM ET

awould's avatar

Not sure what you are getting at GTL.

He implies that all comments regarding Crosby are knee-jerk and sheepish and, basically, just toe the line that Crosby sucks. Even though, you know, nobody has ever said Crosby sucks.

Crosby whines. Crosby floats. Crosby spears. But Crosby doesn’t suck. And any implication that Crosby may contribute to what ails Pittsburgh just doesn’t compute to their fans. He is above reproach.

Posted by awould on 05/20/14 at 03:54 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I didn’t see every game of the columbus/Pitt series or the Rangers series. I did see both of those teams make sure to ” pester” #87 at every chance. A extra hook here, a face wash there, but not out of the ordinary. I also saw two teams finish every check they had a chance to on #87. I did NOT see a head shot, or a late shot against the boards.

Not defending Crosby as I can’t stand him, but I did see head shots on Crosby when Pittsburgh played the Rangers during the second round. Overall Columbus and NY checked the hell out of Crosby and frustrated him, which is great. However head shots on any player should be penalized with fines and/or suspensions. No place for it in the NHL.

Posted by bigfrog on 05/20/14 at 04:23 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

I remember Marc Staal taking liberties on two occasions with Crosby’s head. I did not watch every game but I did see that happen on two occasions.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 05/20/14 at 04:35 PM ET

Avatar

I remember a certain Pittsburgh player repeatedly instigating in the final 5 minutes despite a very public campaign and rule change by the league (that supposedly doesn’t kowtow to Cindy and pals) threatening automatic suspension for any player doing such. Is the League super stupid regarding officiating, obviously!
Does it hinder skilled teams, absolutely!
Is it highly suspect how officiating is allocated in the playoffs, again pretty obvious!
Having watched hockey for over twenty years I lived through at least 3 distinctly different officiating regimes and that is incredibly stupid.
Lemuiex retired because he had fookin lymphoma but the mid-90’s and its no holds barred no penalties style was a farce-led by Buttman and his cronies who don’t give a fook.

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 05/20/14 at 08:23 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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