It's been a few days, but one story that is still persisting across the NHL blogosphere is Sidney Crosby and his alleged slew foot on New York Ranger's forward Ryan Callahan. Earlier this week, the NHL's Poster Boy - Sidney Crosby - was the subject of some pointed comments by Rangers' forward Brandon Dubinsky,
Here's a replay of the play in question:
Brandon Dubinsky's comments were captured during an interview between periods as the Rangers and Penguins battled it out.
"That's a dirty play," Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky said of Crosby in a broadcast interview during the first intermission. "He's a guy who tries to get away with a lot of that stuff. He complains a lot."
"It's a play that the NHL has tried to get rid of," said Rangers Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch, who now serves as a studio analyst on the team's broadcasts on MSG Network. "It's a dirty play."
When Crosby was interviewed about Dubinsky's comments, he offered the following:
"How many penalty minutes do I have this year?" Crosby asked. Answer: 15. "I'm not dirty. Please. Show me all those dirty plays. It's a battle. He falls. I think [Dubinsky] has done his fair share of things out there that are questionable. I guess he's talking again. I'm not surprised...It's a battle. He's holding me going up ice, and I'm trying to push him off. Is it that calculated? I'm trying to get to the net. I'm not worried about that kind of thing. I'm trying to get to the net and push him off. If I tripped him, I tripped him. But am I a dirty hockey player? Come on. I think [Dubinsky's] smarter than that."
Enough debate has been made about the Crosby play. It seems pretty tame overall. Perhaps it was a slew foot but it does not seem incredibly pre-meditated. The more interesting story here is the development of a rivalry between two players playing out through the media.
Similar to last year when Canucks' forward Ryan Kesler called then-Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd a 'coward' for his opportunistic hit on Kesler during the 2009 playoffs. Ladd caught Kesler without the puck with a hit to the head that went unpenalized.
These comments may be justified or unjustified in both cases, but without the likes of Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, and Jeremy Roenick, the NHL desperately needs some personality. Media and fans grow weary of the boiler plate questions and answers in nightly post-game scrums, so little rivalries generated from these sound-bites make the games within the game all that more interesting.