I've been as vocal as anyone about my distaste for Sid Crosby. I had him pegged as a petulant whiner, a wretched diver and a general jerk. I am revising that opinion after two games in this series.
First, on the ice he has been absolute nails. I've been impressed by his strength on the puck, his willingness to go to the net, his balance, his puck possession and his desire to win. Simply put, he has played impressive hockey. Skilled, but also rugged and fearless. The kind of hockey, in short, that all hockey fans ought to like.
Regarding his demeanor, the fact that it's the playoffs has given me the opportunity to watch his pressers. He says some stuff - notable here is the hat incident - that puts your teeth on edge. But getting to watch his interviews, his main problem is that he doesn't have a filter. He just comes out and gives a direct answer to the questions they ask him.
I think the media has figured this out, and asks him questions to lead him into a potentially embarrassing answer.
What the kid needs (and he is really and truly a kid) is some instruction on giving a graceful non-answer. I once heard David Wells (of all people) interviewed side-by-side with some kid who'd just signed a big contract. The interviewer asked the kid a leading question, and the kid was beginning to stumble through and answer when Wells cut him off, and actually told him, "this is what you need to say when they ask you questions like that." And he proceeded to give a diplomatic but vague response that ended the discussion. I was kiknd of impressed, actually.
That's what Crosby needs.
But I for one am inclined to give him a break, at least for the present. His play has been compelling enough to merit it, I think, and his grating quotes are largely due to his trying to do the right thing and be accessible to the media.
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