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Web site names Sidney Crosby, Dustin Brown and Sean Avery among its ‘top 5 actors’

Dec 2, 2010, 9:20 PM EDT

crosbytopfiveactors

For the most part, hockey is a sport of honor. Just look at the way enforcers conduct themselves; they can be menacing monsters on the ice and gentle giants when they are away from the game.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some regrettable moments, though. One of the worst offenses a player can be guilty of is “diving.” In case you’re not familiar, diving is a divisive term used when a fan/commentator/general observer believes a player appears to embellish an infraction in hopes of earning their team a power play.

After a while, certain players earn a reputation for being divers. Sometimes it’s fair, sometimes it’s a matter of people picking on a player they already held some prejudice against.

The Pegasus News often takes an interesting and sardonic look at hockey with its “Thursday Morning Cupcheck” feature and today’s piece was a good example of that. Today’s off-beat subject was the NHL’s “top five actors” which included ratings for how effective their antics really are.

Fifth place went to Philadelphia Flyers pest Daniel Carcillo, who was penalized for his tendency to be more of a curse than a blessing to his team. New York Rangers agitator Sean Avery earned fourth place, as Todd Maternowski notes that “The Avery Rule” ruined his credibility with referees. Much-reviled Anaheim Ducks power forward Corey Perry came in at third, earning comparisons to ’90s villain Claude Lemieux.

It gets really interesting once the list pairs down to the final two, though.

2. Sidney Crosby: To be honest, Sid probably dives at roughly the same clip as any other #1 center playing 22 important minutes a night. But because of the NHL’s single-minded campaign to feature him as “God, But Better-Looking” –not to mention the (unspoken?) requirement that every play-by-play announcer highlight Sid whenever he’s on the ice, even for uneventful shifts– means the microscope will always be on Crosby, whether he’s really diving or not. Of course, this, this, this and a whopping helping of this don’t help matters much.

(snip)

Effectiveness Rating: A+. No player, perhaps in any of the major sports, gets the Benefit of the Referee more than Crosby. Not even Dwayne Wade. At least, until Sid reaches an unmarketable age, at which point the NHL will inevitably abandon him in favor of the next dashing #1 overall pick. That’s when Flyers-Penguins games will really get interesting.

For such a talented player, Crosby earns a lot of heat for possibly being a dirty player and his occasionally misguided decisions to get into various fights. Is it a matter of the talented pivot being a brat or is that just what comes from being hyper-competitive? Either way, his play on the ice isn’t nearly as squeaky clean as his public image.

To be honest, I thought Crosby would be the top guy, but I think that their choice for No. 1 is appropriate … to a point.

1. Dustin Brown:

Even Manu Ginobili screams at Brown to “GET!! UP!!” when watching Kings broadcasts. Eastern Conference fans might not know about this guy, but they should: no one even comes close to drawing as many penalties as Brown. Not Crosby, not Ovechkin, not Briere. Rank amateurs. And it’s every year. I’ll believe Crosby is the league’ biggest diver when he piledrives himself to the ice twice in one shift.

OK, I’ll admit that I like Brown’s game in many ways but there’s no denying that he draws a lot of penalties.

Does that mean that Brown (or Crosby, Avery, Carcillo and Perry) really deserve their reputations as “divers” or “actors”? Well, I’ll let you decide that one in the comments.

Click here for the article, which also includes some amusing honorable mentions.

  1. stakex - Dec 4, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Cindy Crysby is by far the biggest diver in the NHL. He goes down WAY too easy for somone who is suppose to be so strong on his feet, and there is ample video evidence to support it (not to mention ample video evidence to support that hes a dirty player).

    However its not exactlly the fact that he is the biggest diver in the NHL that makes people (including myself) hate him. Its the fact that he:

    B. Will never get called for diving. I know there aren’t a lot of diving calls to begin with… and I would bet the league tells the refs not to make any unless they are very very very very obvious. After all, if every obvious dive was called, it would look really bad for the NHL. So if refs are told not to call many diving penelties as it is, you can bet the refs are told NEVER to call a diving penelty on the NHL’s poster child. In fact the refs are so bad when it comes to Crosby that during his last game agaisnt the Rangers he slew footed Callahan, and Callahan was given an interference penelty. So when Crosby is on the ice, the refs are not impartial… and thats very very sad.

    B. Is the biggest on ice baby the NHL has ever seen. I haven’t watched one Pittsburgh game in which Cindy isn’t constantly whining to the refs looking for a call… often after some really lame dive. If he just put on his act and left it at that like Avery does, then it wouldn’t be as big a deal… but he whines and whines about not getting calls allllllllll the time.

    Put bluntly Crosby might have some skills, but if he didn’t have the full weight of the NHL press machine behind him he wouldn’t be known for his ability… he would be known for his lack of ability as an actor.

  2. tomahawk12 - Dec 5, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    stakex,

    The NHL press machine is required to publish the league statistics. All of which he usually leads!! It’s so easy to go after the best when you’re supporting losers. It’s a cross Pittsburgh teams must carry each year. You wouldn’t be from Seattle would you? Put bluntly, you whine like those losers. Yeah right, Crosby wouldn’t be known for his ability, don’t make me laugh. Have you ever seen a hockey game?

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