Logan Couture Accuses Sidney Crosby of Cheating in Faceoffs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 21:  Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks in game four of the Western Conference Finals against the St. Louis Blues during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 21, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Emotions were still raw for San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture immediately following the Pittsburgh Penguins' 2-1 overtime win Wednesday in the Stanley Cup Final. 

After the game, Couture accused Sidney Crosby of using less-than-legal means of getting an edge as the puck drops, according to Sean Leahy of Yahoo Sports:

On Thursday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan responded, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press:

Stephen Whyno @SWhyno

#Pens coach Mike Sullivan on Logan Couture's saying Sidney Crosby cheats on faceoffs and potential impact on series: https://t.co/1h607U6LBG

"I think we are all doing the same thing in the faceoff circle," Crosby added on Friday.

Crosby helped set up Conor Sheary's game-winning goal by winning a faceoff against Joel Ward at the 17:30 mark of overtime, per the NHL:


Makes the crowd go wild. Gives the @penguins a 2-0 series lead. #StanleyCup https://t.co/qU3o7OrC9X

If Crosby is indeed cheating, the strategy hasn't been entirely effective. According to NHL.com, he is second in faceoff wins (245) this postseason but 15th in success rate (52.7 percent) among players who took at least 100 faceoffs. He was also 23rd in regular-season faceoff success rate (51.7 percent) among players with at least 1,000 faceoffs.

Whether or not Couture's criticism is valid, he and the Sharks can't afford to dwell on the issue for too long. San Jose is down 2-0 in the series with the Stanley Cup Final shifting to the SAP Center for two games. Should the Sharks drop Game 3 at home Saturday, they'll have bigger concerns than Crosby's faceoff tactics.