by Tony on 10/31/08 at 01:25 PM ET
Aaaah yes, more fuel to the Capitals-Penguins rivalry fire.
It’s a good interview with Semin, with several subjects discussed. However, the section that Penguins fans will no doubt find intriguing (some others will use more harsh adjectives) concerns Sidney Crosby.
When asked the question whether he thought that he was now on the same level as Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, Semin gives a doozy of a response:
What’s so special about [Crosby]? I don’t see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there’s nothing else. Even if you compare him to Patrick Kane from Chicago ... [Kane] is a much more interesting player. The way he moves, his deking abilities, his thinking on the ice and his anticipation of the play is so superb.
I think that if you take any player, even if he is “dead wood,” and start promoting him, you’ll get a star. Especially if he scores 100 points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let’s say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in, and he scored 50 goals; everyone will say “Wow!” and then hand him a $10 million per year contract. That’s what they like here.
And in Russia people like beautiful hockey, and not dump and chase. I just don’t get it, why when a player is skating up the ice and no one is attacking him, he dumps the puck into the offensive zone and then chases it? Why would you do this if there is no one forechecking you? I understand that if there is someone coming at you and you don’t know whether you can get past that player, then you can dump the puck, pass it or shoot. But if not, then hold on to the puck, skate forward, create a chance.
Why would you want to dump the puck and then chase after it and crash into the boards? I don’t know. But that’s just my opinion.
Of course, there will be many NHL fans, who may not agree with Semin’s comments 100%, but do agree in the promotional aspects of Crosby’s career to date. There are also some in the NHL crowd who actually believe that Crosby is overrated.
Call me a homer, however I believe I’m being objective when I say that Comrade Semin is not giving Crosby near the props he has earned in his 3+ seasons to date. Is he going to win a scoring title ?? I would have to say at this point in time that answer will be no. Crosby simply doesn’t shoot the puck enough, no matter how hard he tries to shoot “more”. He is still regularly turning down shooting opportunities, to the ire of Penguins fans.
However, that should not deflect from Crosby’s sensational playmaking abilities. There are times, often in every game he plays, that it appears that he has eyes in the back of his head. His vision of the ice is simply second to none in the NHL. If the Penguins would ever get him a decent winger for longer than a few months, they would immediately be the best 1-2 punch in the NHL.
Semin, of course, is entitled to his opinion. In addition, Semin is extremely talented in his own right. But to make a broad statement like “what’s so special about Crosby ??” is simply preposterous.
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Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
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