Pittsburgh Penguin's superstar center Sidney Crosby cannot win no matter what he does. On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Crosby had been playing with an injured wrist during the postseason and that he is now set to have arthroscopic surgery on his wrist. It is reported that Crosby tried to heal his wrist via physical therapy, but that apparently did not work.
Of course, given the daily overreaction on social media to any type of news, the reaction to the Crosby story did not disappoint in that aspect. As soon as the Crosby news was announced, a slew of hatred towards Crosby and the Penguins' organization came out. People calling Crosby a "pussy" and saying that he's "soft", and people even saying that Crosby and the Penguins are announcing this now as some sort of public relations spin.
The narrative that Crosby isn't a good leader and that he is soft are extremely lazy and terribly incorrect. If you listen to and/or read quotes from some of his teammates, you will hear nothing but the exact opposite. Crosby played 80 out of 82 games during the regular season, as well as winning a gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in February, and won the Hart and Art Ross trophy. Crosby then played in all 13 playoff games, which we now know he played with a bum wrist. Not once did Crosby say he was injured. Not once has Crosby used that as an excuse for his lack of production in the postseason. Yet, people are now criticizing the Penguins and him for announcing it now in July. I have a feeling these same people would have been calling him soft and criticizing him for using the injury as an excuse.
Stay with me on this logic here, but perhaps Crosby and the Penguins didn't want to disclose the injury during the postseason because they didn't want his wrists to be targeted. Especially considering how often he was already being targeted by opposing players....(See Marc Staal) Aside from that, had Crosby disclosed the injury and then had his wrist healed through therapy, people would have downplayed the injury, saying that it couldn't have been that bad if he didn't even need surgery. As far as Byslma and Shero goes, Crosby's injury really doesn't truly come into play, other than he probably plays better if he hadn't been playing injured. So maybe the Penguins end up advancing to the conference finals, it's not Crosby's fault he was injured, and I highly doubt that this is some big cover-up so spite Bylsma and Shero, although you can believe what you want.
The fact is, in today's world of 24/7 news and social media sites, you truly will never win. Especially if you are a polarizing figure like Crosby. No matter how Crosby dealt with this situation he was going to be criticized, and the criticism was going to be mostly unfair. To those that will suggest that Crosby should have just not have said anything, remember that he didn't. Crosby did not hold any dramatic presser to announce that he was indeed injured, this was handled by the Penguins and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported it. It is not like a guy like Crosby can have wrist surgery without anyone finding out. Had Crosby said he was injured during the playoffs people would have said that he was making excuses and not taking accountability. Crosby ended up playing through his injury, and now there are conspiracy theories and people calling him a bad leader. Crosby was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.
- Chad Nolan, follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/MadChad412