The Top-10 Mama's Boys in the NHL Playoffs
The Stanley Cup playoffs are always a catalyst for emotion—some players decide to handle their feelings in an appropriate fashion, while others decide to talk to the media and make mama's boys out of themselves.
There's a certain amount of jobbing that goes on in every series as teams look for even the slightest edge over the opposition. In this digital age when every word is recorded, played back and turned into a story, it's easy for things to get blown out of proportion.
Still, there have been several instances in the 2013 NHL playoffs that had us rolling our eyes. Whether a given player or coach was being a sore loser, a whiner or a baby, here are the biggest mama's boys from the playoffs so far.
There's the right way to alleviate frustrations through a fight and a wrong way. Throwing your gloves on a smallish forward and sucker punching him in the face when he doesn't expect it is a tad bit classless and cowardly.
P.K. Subban became the embodiment of the term "sore loser" during an emotional Game 3 against the Ottawa Senators. This was just the boiling point of some heat that was developed in Game 1, but at least square up with a guy and let him get ready before you slug him in the jaw.
To ignorant onlookers, the NHL and UFC are very much alike. Subban did nothing but prove them right with his assault on Kyle Turris.
Michel Therrien gained some notoriety during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins for coming off whiny to the press, complaining into a microphone instead of trying to coach his team through the issues he had.
Some people just can't resist the temptation of amplification.
After the Canadiens starting the line brawl of Game 3, Therrien had the audacity to accuse Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean of being classless for calling a timeout with less than a minute to go in a blowout hockey game.
Clearly, it wasn't because Therrien had totally lost control of his bench or players as they ran around hacking and slashing away at the Ottawa Senators like every infraction was good for a quarter goal, and that was the way to get back into the series.
No, it was just to rub salt in the wound of a 6-1 thrashing during which the Canadiens had their butts handed to them in every facet of the game.
MacLean didn't need to call a timeout to embarrass Montreal. They did a good enough job of that themselves, indeed.
The ridiculousness of Kevin Bieksa's comments towards the San Jose Sharks—Logan Couture and Joe Thronton in particular—after a Game 3 loss is almost too much to comprehend.
Up to that point, the Vancouver Canucks had taken 21 minor penalties across three games, and to Bieksa that didn't have anything to do with the Sharks being bigger, faster or stronger than his Canucks. No, it was all about Thronton and Couture and how they lacked integrity as Canadian hockey players.
Did you know that players from no other country in the world have any sort of integrity out on the ice? The implication that he'd expect this kind of behavior from a European player, but (gasp) not from a Canadian is maddening in and of itself.
The fact that he is a leader on that team and refused to take ownership for the thrashing Vancouver took from San Jose is indicative of how the series went, as the Sharks finished off the Canucks in Game 4.
Henrik Sedin (Take One)
Quick bit of background here before we proceed: Prior to the Vancouver Canucks losing Game 4 in overtime on a questionable call on Daniel Sedin, they had lost the three games prior to that, thus putting themselves in the position to be the victims of one bad call ending their season.
To borrow some UFC/boxing logic, if you put yourself in the position to get screwed by the judges then you're the one to blame. If you want to control the outcome of the fight, then finish the fight yourself and take it out of the hands of others.
This is something that the Canucks didn't do. This is also something that the team, as a whole, seemed to have issues accepting. They didn't lose the series because they weren't good enough. They lost the series because the refs had it out for them.
That's the kind of thinking and lack of accountability that lands you out on a golf course in a hurry, and that's where the Canucks find themselves after being swept out of the first round.
Henrik Sedin (Take Two)
It was a rough span of a few days to be Henrik Sedin. After losing in the first round to the not-Canadian, embellishing, ref-paying San Jose Sharks, Sedin found himself as a member of Sweden's World Championship team.
Where—lo and behold—the refs had it out for his team yet again. He accused Mike Smith of diving (translated here by Uffe Bodin, managing editor of HockeySverige.se), giving his team an unfair advantage when it comes to power plays.
There may or may not be a theme developing here. You decide.
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Alex Ovechkin finally had a media meltdown after his Washington Capitals dropped Game 7 to the New York Rangers in decisive fashion. For those of you who are unaware, Ovi went pointless after Game 2, and his Caps failed to close out the Rangers not once, but twice.
They were also shut out in those games where they had a chance to move on to the second round by Henrik Lundqvist. Six straight periods of goalless playoff hockey, but that isn't the fault of Ovechkin or anyone else in Washington.
It's a conspiracy. A conspiracy for escrow, no less.
On top of his "one guy can't win a championship" comments to the Washington Post, the Great 8 seems to have finally boiled over after eight years of playoff disappointments. Maybe he'll come back so fired up in 2014 that he won't coast back into the defensive zone as the opposition sets up a huge goal.
Update: The news that Ovechkin played the final two games of the series with a hairline fracture in his foot broke after this list was published. He's officially off the hook (this time).
When you see your teammate laying face down and bloody on the ice, emotions can get highly charged. And they should. Eric Gryba's hit on Lars Eller should make even the toughest hockey fan cringe. Regardless of what you think of the hit (read: who you were cheering for in the series), there's a right way to go about things and a wrong way.
Dropping the gloves with Gryba and avenging the fallen Eller would have been fine based on hockey's strange and sideways "code."
Making fun of the opposing coach's weight and calling him bug-eyed? Not the best way to go about things, especially for a guy that can handle himself as well as Prust.
Raffi Torres had me fooled. Not even a week ago I wrote about a seemingly reformed Torres and his new identity with the San Jose Sharks. I wanted to believe the man could change and carve out a new place for himself in the best hockey league in the world.
Then this hit on Jarret Stoll happens, and Torres is on his way to New York for a sentencing from the disciplinary committee.
There are few players who have the same headshot resume as Torres, and this is another example to add to it. It's at least a mild cheap-shot, regardless of who you're cheering for, and considered with the rest of his body of work, Torres has established himself as the most gutless player in the NHL these days.
Congratulations to him, and to whoever continues to employ him.
Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was just one of many pointing fingers and accusing the opposition of cheating on faceoffs in the first round. And not surprisingly, everyone who went to the press with these accusations are now out of the playoffs.
Add Yeo to the list, as he aired concerns to the Chicago Sun-Times that the Chicago Blackhawks were cheating on draws throughout the first two games of the series. The Wild were clearly losing because of the 'Hawks cheating in the faceoff circle.
And not because they were out-shot by a total of 85-55 through Games 1 and 2 and couldn't buy a power-play goal against Chicago (who are still perfect on the kill, by the way).
The general notion among hockey fans is that the higher up the front office food chain you go, the less hockey IQ there is. That isn't always the case, but sometimes it holds true.
Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators, grabbed some attention when he accused Pittsburgh Penguins fans of being classless on Twitter. For cursing. Hockey fans cursing on Twitter and talking smack about an upcoming series?
It's the playoffs, bub. If you can't stand the heat, stay off the Twitter.