FanDuel - WFBC

February 05, 2007

Sticking it to Sidney: It's tough to take Montreal's complaints about Sid the Kid's diving seriously when lunkhead Aaron Downey's delivering the message. By sportsfilter's own wfrazerjr.

posted by justgary to hockey at 02:14 PM - 31 comments

Small point, but it's Canadiens, not Canadians. But, yeah, hard to argue with any of that.

posted by fabulon7 at 02:49 PM on February 05

Nice column, fraze. Not sure how many Pens' home games you've seen, but from where I sit the Pens get an extremely favorable shake when it comes to the whistling of their opponents. Personally, I chalk it up to my personal pet conspiracy theory that Bettman wants, nay, needs the Pens to make the play-offs this year. I picked the Pens to make the dance in the pre-season, but they are getting more help than I expected from the zebras. Of course, I'm merely speculating. Though I'd be surprised if the Pens' weren't in the top-5 for home PP opportunities ratio...a long with the Devils. As for the Habs complaining, it sounds more like a team looking for an excuse, or a rallying point, or what have you, to remedy an extended losing streak.

posted by garfield at 03:23 PM on February 05

I guess that i'm confused about something here. Isn't high-sticking illegal, whether you're caught for it or not? Same with end-butting someone? While Sidney shouldn't dive, players can by and large avoid this crap if they play according to the rules. I know that i sound like everyone's mom here, but i guess that when i hear players whining about sid's diving, can't they just not give him a reason to? If they do things correctly, he'll have no excuse. Maybe the rest of the professionals should act like professionals as well. [Great column by the way fraze]

posted by brainofdtrain at 03:46 PM on February 05

Much of the discussion in the aftermath seems to be centering around why the Penguins haven't picked up a thug of their own to protect their kids. That's the problem with some of these players today. If they can't compete on the stars' level, then they start beating on him. I love a good fight, but not the cheap shots like the spearing and knee-on-knee hits that can really mess a player up. I can think of a couple of teams in the league (cough cough, Red Wings) that could use an enforcer on their team. But like you say, fraze, today's game doesn't favor those kind of players. It sucks, but they're a dying breed. There aren't too many Shanahan's and Iginla's left out there that can both score and fight. Awesome article, fraze.

posted by wingnut4life at 03:47 PM on February 05

Without having seen this particular play, I have seen a lot of players get hit with high sticks. Rarely do they fall to the ice. Unless Sid got a tooth knocked out or was cut bad enough to receive some stitches, I think he was embelishing it. If an official did not see the stick hit him in the face, falling to the ice is not going to help him get a call, except for maybe an unsportsmanlike. Those shifts have made no-tool Neanderthals such as Downey a vanishing breed in NHL arenas Oh how true. Even the Devils sent heavyweight Cam Janssen down to the minors and basically told him, "come back when you learn to score." So far Cam only has 1 assist in 9 games in the minors, so none of the Devils fourth liners are worried about losing a roster spot yet.

posted by MrFrisby at 04:07 PM on February 05

I'm sure I'm way against the tide but I'd like to see way less violence in hockey.Players like Aaron Downing are just thugs next to a classy kid like Crosby.I know the fans love the blood but how is it helpful when someone is injured? If you want gore watch boxing or some other martial art.

posted by sickleguy at 05:25 PM on February 05

Without having seen this particular play, I have seen a lot of players get hit with high sticks. Rarely do they fall to the ice. Find a way to watch the play. The stick comes up fast, and from directly under his chin. He never sees it coming, so he can't react until it hits him. The natural reaction would be to spin away as fast as possible. That's what makes him fall to the ice.

posted by grum@work at 06:27 PM on February 05

speaking of teams that need an enforcer, the rangers just got sean avery.

posted by goddam at 06:55 PM on February 05

Sean Avery can be as annoying as hell but he is good at what he does. He is a good enforcer/pest who can also put the puck in the net.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:45 PM on February 05

Do the Rangers think if they bring Avery in they have a shot with Elisha Cuthbert? It still wouldn't be worth it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:04 PM on February 05

He's sure reached Superstar status if were sitting around debating the merits of a minor penalty against him. It's your league Sidney - the rest of them are just watching. It's become popular to label the Kid as a diver - really the only part of his game that's even remotely up for ciriticism - and similar trends have befallen the offensive stars of other eras. But he's not soft and he doesn't shy away from contact. He's confronted with cheapery virtually every game now, as Pittsburgh stays more competitive and improves and he'll face more - but it looks plain to me that this kind of stuff will continue until it's proven compeletely ineffective. Which is really, just a matter of time. I think he's the league MVP at 19 and easily the best player hands down. I watched that Montreal game and he could've had set up 4 goals in the first ten minutes. Just a completely different pace than everyone else. The Avery deal is a bit of a weird one for me - The Rangers need a centre who can play up front and deliver pucks. Avery, while a good player, doesn't strike me as that guy. Maybe he can be - but he really hasn't been anything resembling a consistent offensive guy save for the first couple months of this season. Are they better with him? Probably - he found ways to contribute on those Championship Detroit teams. Are they a playoff team with him? Still a question.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:38 PM on February 05

Find a way to watch the play. The stick comes up fast, and from directly under his chin. I just watched it on TSN broadband. Sure, it looks like it would hurt, but if Sid didn't embelish, then he has a glass jaw. I would give him a break if dropped to his knees and grabbed his face, but the way he flopped you would think he was on the wrong end of Ken Masters uppercut. I couldn't tell where there refs were, but even though it does not look intentional at all, it was still a high stick and therefore should have been a penalty. I don't know what's up with that Avery deal either. If the Rangers wanted an agitator, they have Kasparitus. I guess Avery can fulfil that role in front of the opposing team's goal.

posted by MrFrisby at 11:28 PM on February 05

I think the Pens should go out and get a thug, just as protection. I know it means they have to free up a roster spot, but they have other young stars besides Crosby and other teams need to know there will be a price to pay if they want to take the low road. I agree with the others, nice column Frazer.

posted by carolinared at 05:20 AM on February 06

I'm a big critic of Sid's embellishing, but this is a high stick. Everyone embellishes high sticks. You get players falling like they were shot when a stick taps their visor so I won't get on Crosby for this one. That said, you reap what you sow. Weedy, I think you hit on what irritates me most about Crosby. We know he's tough, we know he can both give and take hits. So when he falls like he was shot when a stick taps his belly, it drives me bonkers. That said, his first game against the Flyers he took a Derrien Hatcher highstick that broke his two front teeth and he didn't get a call. So I suppose I can see the frustration. (He's scored 30 points in 14 games against the Flyers, so perhaps the stick in the mouth was the last great act of defiance.) And Fraze, Elisha Cuthbert is totally worth Sean Avery.

posted by SummersEve at 05:20 AM on February 06

If the Rangers wanted an agitator, they have Kasparitus. Actually, they don't. They put him on waivers and shipped him to Hartford a few weeks ago.

posted by fabulon7 at 07:48 AM on February 06

i don't watch too much hockey, but Sid has me interested again. From the article, and these responses, it sounds like the refs have the same control of the game as Bettman does of the league.

posted by 2 time mvp of the shittiest team ever at 08:42 AM on February 06

kansas city penguins...coming soon

posted by nymetsfan at 11:13 AM on February 06

Just watching the highlights of that Habs-Pens game. Did anyone else notice that Crosby handed the Habs the game winner with some selfish play? Looked for a minute there that Sid really believed all the hype about himself right up until the point when his hot dogging cost his club the game. I'm just sayin'.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:01 PM on February 06

Avery's first game as a Ranger is going to be tonight against New Jersey and the Devils just called up Cam Janssen. Coincidence?

posted by MrFrisby at 01:29 PM on February 06

Probably. I can't see a talented GM like Lamorello making a knee-jerk move in response to a non impact player like Sean Avery. I don't see the Devils having the success they've had over the years if that's the kind of player who strikes fear. My guess is that there was something else Lou saw to help the decision.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:47 PM on February 06

Just watching the highlights of that Habs-Pens game. Did anyone else notice that Crosby handed the Habs the game winner with some selfish play? Looked for a minute there that Sid really believed all the hype about himself right up until the point when his hot dogging cost his club the game. I'm just sayin'. It's also should be pointed out that he had helpers in two other goals, so what the greatness gives, it sometimes taketh away. In the long run, I want his "hot-dogging" to keep on happening because he generates more scoring chances for his own team than he does for the other team. It's like complaining that when Barry Sanders would get stopped for a loss because he was juking'n'jiving too much at the line of scrimmage, and forgetting that he made two Chicago Bears defenders trip over themselves a couple plays ago when he busted out a 20 yard run. When you want creativity from a player, sometimes (especially when they are still under 20 years old) you see a mistake pop-up. Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Richard...I'm sure they all had their growing pains when they were still maturing as superstars.

posted by grum@work at 04:14 PM on February 06

Yeah, I know Crosby is just a kid, but he needs to understand that he is making himself look like the boy who cried wolf. That hurts his cause more than it helps. Summerseve hit the nail on the head, we know he's tough, so when he goes down like that, it does look like acting. The accidental high stick just happens in hockey, he needs to learn to suck those up. The end butting and spearing are dirty plays though, and the Penguins probably should get an enforcer to take care of the culprits while Sid is maturing.

posted by MrFrisby at 06:52 PM on February 06

what the greatness gives, it sometimes taketh away Can't we at least feel a little schadenfreude when the much heralded hockey saviour makes a garage-league play like that? Also, I don't mind Sidney "embellishing" a high stick. As SummersEve says, everyone does it. Fall down and flop around if you must. But if you don't get a whistle, you better get back up and skate to your bench or resume play. Which is not what Sidney did. There's nothing I hate more than a player arguing with the refs during play. Sidney should tear off those pages from his Mario Lemieux bible.

posted by qbert72 at 08:18 AM on February 07

He needs to move the F out of Mario's house already.

posted by garfield at 09:06 AM on February 07

Can't we at least feel a little schadenfreude when the much heralded hockey saviour makes a garage-league play like that? Oh, most definitely. Especially when it's against your favourite team. If he did that against Toronto, I'd be dancing around the room while mocking him. If I was a Penguin fan, I'd have a momentary feeling of "Damn you, Sidney!" before I'd remember "Thank you, Sidney!" for all the other things he did in the game.

posted by grum@work at 11:39 AM on February 07

every star in the league embelishes a little. He is 19 and in my mind MVP Has he made a few hits look worse than the were?? YES (he has been spending to much time with Mario) Has he taken a beating every game and cheap shot after cheap shot and kept coming often defending himself?? YES He is the best in the game. So much so that we are arguing A SINGLE penalty. and for every "dive" there have been 4 cheap shots not called.. For those who have not been hit in the face with a stick, If it almost knocks out all your teeth, or just grazes you, reflex is to drop. if you don't beleive taht have someone swing one at you GO SID THE KID PS:: for those out there who will now feel it is needed to correct my grammer and spelling, PISS OFF

posted by Debo270 at 12:51 PM on February 07

I'd be dancing around the room while mocking him /me looks over shoulder for grum's surveillance camera in my living room.

posted by qbert72 at 01:36 PM on February 07

Debo270 Your posts read like a Hemingway novel.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:10 PM on February 07

For those who have not been hit in the face with a stick, If it almost knocks out all your teeth, or just grazes you, reflex is to drop That took long enough. I guess I need to go a doctor and have my reflexes checked out. I have taken more sticks to the face than I can remember (that's probably why I'm so pretty). One cut me under the chin, one gave me two fat bloody lips, but none of them dropped me flat to the ground, not even to my knees. My reflex was dropping the f-bomb and grabbing my face. I can't be that messed up can I? If I am, I'm not the only one. Why it was just this past Saturday, Adam Mair took a two handed baseball swing at a puck in the air. The follow through hit Rod Pelley square in the face. Pelley's reaction, yelped and grabbed his face, but he stayed on his feet and continued to play. If you go down and there is no call, guess what? You have taken yourself out of the play and pretty much left your team shorthanded.

posted by MrFrisby at 02:38 PM on February 07

I have met MrFrisby in real life. While I can't verify his entire story, I can say with 100% certainty that he has been high-sticked, and also that he is not pretty. And also that even though he is ugly, he still makes a good point.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:25 PM on February 07

When will the NHL get a national TV contract so this will all become important again?

posted by Knuckles at 09:40 AM on February 10

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