It has been a hot topic around the NHL today: Sidney Crosby’s slew foot on New York Rangers forward Ryan Callahan in the first period of a game at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
While Callahan was called for interference on the play, it was clear after looking at the replay that Crosby did indeed kick the left foot out from under Callahan. It was a textbook slew foot and was a missed call by the refs.
During the first intermission of this game, Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky voiced his displeasure about the play and ultimately called Crosby a dirty player.
Sidney Crosby is many things, but I think it is a little bit of a stretch to call him a dirty player. He works extremely hard and plays with an edge that puts him in the line of fire more often than not.
Hockey is a physical and emotional sport where the line between clean and dirty is crossed very often throughout every game. To compete at a high level, you have to be able to dish it out as much as take it.
Crosby is considered by many to be the best player in hockey, and with that target on his back he is on the receiving end of many questionable plays. To compete at the level that he does night in and night out, he has to play on the edge.
This article is not intended to defend Crosby. I do believe that the slew foot should have been called. I am, however, defending all highly skilled players who are on the receiving end of this play repeatedly throughout their career.
One play in one game should not determine how we view Sidney Crosby. He is in the spotlight constantly, and every play he makes is going to be dissected and scrutinized. But his history speaks for itself.