FanDuel - WFBC

November 22, 2010

Sidney Crosby: The Most Underrated Player in the NHL: "Crosby has become to his sport what Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is to his: underappreciated."

posted by MeatSaber to hockey at 01:15 PM - 19 comments

Rob Rossi seems to have succumbed to the pressure of deadline. A reasonable response.

posted by Mookieproof at 01:33 PM on November 22

There is a HUGE difference between underrated and under-appreciated. The fact that the NHL and Reebok have attempted to make everyone think that Crosby is the greatest thing since sliced bread, or at least the NHL equivalent to Michael Jordan, when in actuality he is just an extremely talented player. I believe that the backlash against Crosby is that most people see this and act accordingly.

The reason that Kobe is under-appreciated is not because of his talent, I do not think there is anyone out that doesn't feel he is his generation's Michael Jordan, but the fact is that few will ever fully get past the fact that he was accused of rape and is believed by many to have bought his way out of the charge. Based on this factoring, I do not think that putting Crosby and Kobe in the same category is warranted.

Kobe had his chance to be his generation's Michael and blew it. Crosby will never get the chance to be his generation's Gretzky because there is a more talented pure scorer out there, he is limited to being Mario Lemieux, a great player who makes those around him better, but not the best player in the game.

posted by Demophon at 01:46 PM on November 22

All that got him was a third-place finish in the Hart Trophy voting, his 720 points behind Henrik Sedin's 894 and Alex Ovechkin's 834 even though Ovechkin and Sedin played with a teammate in the top 15 in scoring.

Malkin finished 19th in scoring, five points away from 15th.

Anybody who calls Bryant under-appreciated is out of their mind. Poorly written article, I second the response Mookieproof linked to.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:48 PM on November 22

he is limited to being Mario Lemieux

Wow that is a bad statement. Being Mario is a pretty GREAT guy to be. Mario may not have all the records, but I would start a team with him over gretzky any day. Mario was the only player on a lousy team for most of his career and still managed amazing numbers. Gretzky had Hall of Fame linemates. Not Rob Brown.

posted by Debo270 at 01:58 PM on November 22

Debo, I know if only we all should aspire to being limited to being Mario Lemieux. I did not mean that as a smack to Lemieux. I was always a much bigger fan of Lemieux than I was of Gretzky, but I do believe that many of the Hall of Fame linemates that Gretzky had would have only been good players if they hadn't played with him. Plus Lemieux still played with some good players, but he never really brought them to greatness the way 99 did. If we hadn't been robbed of the middle of Mario's career I may feel differently but you can never know what those missing games would have brought about.

posted by Demophon at 02:47 PM on November 22

Speaking of Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh TV announcers said that Crosby said that Carolina has the best ice in the NHL. Weird, huh? Sneaky Pete brought Hartford's ice guy down with him when the franchise moved. The guy lives in an RV in the RBC Center parking lot.

posted by NoMich at 03:04 PM on November 22

Mario was the only player on a lousy team for most of his career and still managed amazing numbers.

Like those Jagr/Francis years?

posted by fabulon7 at 03:39 PM on November 22

Crosby underrated? I think not. Kobe Bryant underappreciated - wonder what the author was drinking when he penned that story.

Most underrated in the NHL? Johnathon Toews, hands down.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:54 PM on November 22

I do think that ESPN has moved on from Kobe to LeBron as the main talking point for the NBA.

Which as this year has shown yet again, is a mistake.

posted by brainofdtrain at 05:36 PM on November 22

Crosby's not underrated by any standard, but what he's doing may be a little bit under-appreciated after reading Demophon's comments. I assume Demophon is referring to Crosby being the Lemieux to Ovechkin's Gretzky.

I disagree. I think Crosby is the better player (I didn't used to, admittedly, but things change) by a good piece. He has a slightly higher points-per-game than Ovie over his career, but what's more important/impressive is that he's currently fifth, and Ovechkin sixth, all-time. Behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy and Orr. That is all-time great shit. We're watching a couple seriously all-time greats right now. What a treat!

But the point is they're about quits for offence in different ways. Except that Crosby scored 51 last year. That's a bit shocking considering he really didn't score a lot previously. 39 his previous best in his second year. But then, the Penguins lost some firepower and they needed him to score more. So he did. He just changed his game, that's all.

Do you think Ovechkin could ever do that? Change his game if his team needed it? Become a pass-first set up guy in the low corner on the power-play? Take a face-off - even as the second guy - and win it? I'm not sure.

God I'm rambling.

But that's more impressive to me then the Cup and the gold. He could do that. He could become the best goal scorer in the NHL last year. He could win a Rocket Richard. That's crazy.

Speaking of that, and by the way I agree this article is fucking terrible, did you hear that Scotty Bowman compared Stamkos to Mike Bossy the other day? Scotty Bowman doesn't say that shit lightly. That's pretty scary if he's right. We'd be sitting is a newish Bossy, Bossy, Liemieux era. Which is not quite as good as a Gretzky, Liemeux, Yzerman (brief overlap while they all were good - but only last three years tops), but better than anything over the last twenty years.

Actually Crosby reminds me more of Forsberg than any other player I've seen. Little bit more fancy, little less nasty Forsberg. Anyone?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:43 PM on November 22

Underrated, really? I'd side more on the overrated side. Sid is an incredibly skilled skater, scorer, passer, but not all around hockey player. Ovie scores, passes and hits. Sid takes some hits, but does not deliver them. I'll take a guy that plays both ends, scores, assists, and hits over someone like Sid. If you're truly looking for underrated, look no farther than Mike Richards.

posted by tnip23 at 07:22 PM on November 22

Sid is an incredibly skilled skater, scorer, passer, but not all around hockey player. Ovie scores, passes and hits. Sid takes some hits, but does not deliver them. I'll take a guy that plays both ends, scores, assists, and hits over someone like Sid.

Ah, but Sid fights. If it was just one or two fights, I'd write it off. But he's dropped the gloves five times (and won 4 of them, according to the voting here)

And I think you are VASTLY diminishing Crosby's ability to play defense.

I agree with Weedy that Crosby's most underrated skill is his ability to adapt. Switching from playmaker to goal scorer last year made me adjust my mental ranking of Crosby/Ovechkin.

In terms of "thrills per game", Ovechkin is the king, no doubt about it. But if I'm building a team from scratch, I take Crosby first.

Most underrated in the NHL? Johnathon Toews, hands down.

I think he's underrated like Yzerman was underrated during the Gretzky/Lemieux years.

did you hear that Scotty Bowman compared Stamkos to Mike Bossy the other day? Scotty Bowman doesn't say that shit lightly.

I think a better comparison is Brett Hull, but Bossy isn't a bad comp either.

I really hope hockey fans realize that this current crop of players is the best it has ever been since 1985-1990. This is a once-in-a-generation collection of talent. All that is missing are a few legendary goaltenders (I don't think Luongo, Fleury, Price or anyone else is at that level (yet)).

posted by grum@work at 08:51 PM on November 22

All that is missing are a few legendary goaltenders

Brodeur, that it seems he's breaking down. Something about playing every minute of every game the past 74 seasons.

posted by jmd82 at 09:22 PM on November 22

Sid is an incredibly skilled skater, scorer, passer, but not all around hockey player. Ovie scores, passes and hits. Sid takes some hits, but does not deliver them. I'll take a guy that plays both ends, scores, assists, and hits over someone like Sid.

Whoa, who are you watching? Crosby is number 87. He kills penalties and wins faceoffs at a rate higher than almost anyone else. And I'm sorry, but Ovechkin has now forgotten to back-check and disappeared in too many big games (The Caps have lost three straight game sevens in a row... AT HOME.) to rate higher than Crosby now. Crosby has elevated his game in the last 100 and Ovechkin hasn't responded, and has presently lost the current "best scorer" title to Stamkos.

I think a better comparison is Brett Hull, but Bossy isn't a bad comp either.

Yes, apt as well. Especially on those down-on-one-kee one-timers from the circle on the power play. Pure Hull.

But Stamkos is a way better skater than Hull ever was. I do remember Bossy, but I was pretty young. I remember he could wheel and had a lazer beam like Stamkos. Puck on the stick for an eye-lash of a hearbeat.

You're totally right about the goalies too. No one has really separated themselves. Certainly not Luongo and Fleury. And Tim Thomas is just weird.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:25 PM on November 22

I'll take a guy that plays both ends, scores, assists, and hits over someone like Sid

I can count the times I have seen Ovie play Defense on one hand.

Sid is the better overall player, hands down,
Leading the league in faceoff wins,
Plays the penalty kill,
Plays defense,
Sets up other players,

Ovie is still the better
Pure goal scorer/shooter I will give him that
Checker
Cherry picking

Thats it, thats the list

posted by Debo270 at 09:03 AM on November 23

All that is missing are a few legendary goaltenders (I don't think Luongo, Fleury, Price or anyone else is at that level (yet)).

I'm hoping Jimmy Howard can reach that status.

Brodeur is certainly a legendary goaltender. I don't see him having many years left though.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:19 AM on November 23

Sid is the better overall player, hands down,

I resisted this for years, largely due to having him being force-fed to me by the NHL as the next Gretzky. I can't resist it anymore, he probably is the best player since the Great One. But the words underrated and underappreciated just don't come to mind. Maybe just not as overhyped as I once thought he was.

Brodeur is certainly a legendary goaltender. I don't see him having many years left though.

This long-time avid Devils fan, with a nod to this year's debacle, completely agrees with you.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:05 PM on November 23

Brodeur, that it seems he's breaking down. Something about playing every minute of every game the past 74 seasons.

Oh, for sure. He's legendary. He also isn't really in the same "generation" as Stamkos/Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin/Toews/etc.

Brodeur is the hold-over from the previous generation, since he's thirteen years older than anyone else in that list.

posted by grum@work at 12:44 PM on November 23

I would love for John Taveras to make his way onto that list. His 11 points and -15 plus/minus is doing wonders for my fantasy team.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:15 PM on November 23

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