Sports Sidney Crosby’s reputation shouldn’t be the thing that defines his incredible career

01:51  20 may  2017
01:51  20 may  2017 Source:   For The Win

Is Sidney Crosby this generation’s ‘Rocket’ Richard?

  Is Sidney Crosby this generation’s ‘Rocket’ Richard? TVA NHL analyst Renaud Lavoie joined The Jeff Blair Show to discuss what makes Sidney Crosby this generation’s Maurice “Rocket” Richard.The Pittsburgh Penguins captain has already snagged the 2017 award by leading the league with 44 goals this season, but that isn’t the reason his name may be more deserving of a spot in conversations of the legendary Richard’s legacy.

What will Crosby ' s reputation be when his career ends? What is Sidney Crosby ’ s legacy as of right now? It’s a question probably worth asking if the Pittsburgh Penguins dig themselves out of a 2-1 Eastern Conference Finals deficit against the Ottawa Senators and give Crosby a chance to win a

Sidney Crosby ' s reputation shouldn ' t be the thing that defines his incredible career . Bieber wore a Cavs jersey at his concert last year before they won the title. reply 176 shares.

What is Sidney Crosby's legacy as of right now?

It's a question probably worth asking if the Pittsburgh Penguins dig themselves out of a 2-1 Eastern Conference Finals deficit against the Ottawa Senators and give Crosby a chance to win a third Stanley Cup.

But there's no time like the present, especially after what we've seen from him in 2016-17. For those of you who immediately think of Crosby as one of the all-time greats, you're good to go.

But I wonder how many fans or current/former players out there immediately associate Crosby with phrases like "whining" or "cry-baby." Or that he's "boring" because he's not animated in press conferences or on social media. Or that he's a habitual diver.

Key head-to-head matchups in NHL conference finals

  Key head-to-head matchups in NHL conference finals It’s easy to guess that the Anaheim Ducks spent part of Thursday scheming to minimize the impact Nashville Predators defensemen are having on the score sheet. The Pittsburgh Penguins have seen plenty of video of how defenseman Erik Karlsson can dominate a game. The Ottawa Senators have to be wondering what to do with the Penguins’ speed. Predators coach Peter Laviolette has to be pondering his options against Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf. Here’s a look at some individual matchups that could decide the Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh and Nashville vs. Anaheim conference finals: Anaheim center Ryan Kesler vs. Nashville center Ryan Johansen Nashville general manager David Poile’s midseason 2015-16 trade of defenseman Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen has played a major role in helping the Predators reach the Western Conference final for the first time. With nine points in 10 games, Johansen has been a true No. 1 center. But he will receive another stern test in this series if Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle opts to match up Ryan Kesler against him. Nashville fans are quite familiar with Kesler because he almost single-handedly beat the Predators in a 2011 playoff series when he played for Vancouver. He was involved in 11 of the Canucks’ 14 goals. Then-Predators coach Barry Trotz called Kesler’s performance "incredible." Kesler still has offensive capability, but these days we talk about his all-around game, particularly his defensive work. He plays with a sense of dislike for his opponent.

Sidney Crosby ' s reputation shouldn ' t be the thing that defines his incredible career . What will Crosby ’ s reputation be when his career ends?

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USA TODAY © USA TODAY USA TODAY

And maybe that's an attempt to get under his skin and throw him off his game, and yes, I'd say earlier in his career, he would interact with referees plenty.

But if that's how we're going to remember Crosby when he's done with hockey, that seems absurd.

Check out this resume:

1. He's totaled 72 or more points in nine of his 12 seasons.

2. He's won a scoring title twice, including this year with 44 goals, which is nuts given that he hasn't scored more than 40 since 2009-10, when he led the league with 51.

3. He's had the most points in a season twice.

4. He has 152 total points in 138 playoff games.

5. Most importantly, he's got two Stanley Cups. Along with that hardware, there are the two Hart Trophys (regular season MVP), one Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) and two Olympic gold medals.

Crosby showing why a 2017 championship would be his greatest victory

  Crosby showing why a 2017 championship would be his greatest victory Crosby showing why a 2017 championship would be his greatest victory“Good job,” the head coach whispered to the sweaty superstar. A quick, congratulatory butt pat and he walked out.

His teammates agree, calling it a “dirty” play. (The league declines to discipline Steckel, and Sports Illustrated‘s Stu Hackel writes that “fair or not, Sidney Crosby ’ s unfortunate reputation as a whiner won’ t be fading anytime soon.”)

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6. He's only 29.

As of right now, that all makes him arguably a top-15 player - USA TODAY Sports' Kevin Allen ranked him 14th, just behind Nicklas Lidstrom and Patrick Roy, which seems about right … for now.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports © USA TODAY Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

But what if he wins another couple of Cups? What if he ends up in the top 10 in all-time points (he's 77th right now with 1,027)? I'd say the top-10 - with hallowed names like Messier, Lafleur, Lemieux and "Rocket" - is deserved.

And here's the key point of this exercise: For all of that whining talk or whatever you want to call it, there's the fact that he's given his all with his body and his head over the last 12 years. You can't argue about his passion and heart, and the sacrifices he's made, not to mention how hard he plays on both ends.

Would a whiner put his body on the line at the end of a long shift with a blocked shot that leads to a goal, as Crosby did in Game 2 against the Capitals to then feed Jake Guentzel?

Call him whatever you want, but if you're not stepping back and appreciating seeing one of the greatest to lace up the skates play in your lifetime, you're missing out on something truly special.

Sidney Crosby's reputation shouldn't be the thing that defines his incredible career © Getty Images Sidney Crosby's reputation shouldn't be the thing that defines his incredible career

How Sidney Crosby's genius defines the Penguins .
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports The goal that delivered the Pittsburgh Penguins to this Stanley Cup Final is the same goal they’ve scored a zillion times since 2005. Sidney Crosby went after the puck in the corner. He came away with it cleanly. A fortunate teammate moved to a prime shooting position. Crosby put the puck on a platter, and soon, it was in the net. We want the Cup. pic.twitter.com/TBmwo3SZ90 Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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