Todays SlapShot

From The Ice

Logan Couture says Crosby cheats during faceoffs

(Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

There’s always a bit of gamesmanship that goes on during the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Final is no different. With the stakes as high as they can be in the sport, players and coaches usually aren’t afraid to let their thoughts be known following each game.

After the San Jose Sharks dropped Game 2 in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Logan Couture was asked about Sidney Crosby’s ability to win faceoffs–particularly in the offensive zone. He didn’t hold back in his assessment of No. 87’s tactics when it comes to winning draws, laying into the face of the NHL by saying the following:

Those are some strong words from Couture, and the quote immediately found traction on Twitter.

In Game 2, Crosby was able to win 71 percent of his draws and his faceoff win lead directly to Conor Sheary’s overtime winner. With the faceoff coming in the Penguins’ offensive zone, Crosby was able to beat Patrick Marleau clean. He got the puck back to Kris Letang, who hesitated before making a sneaky-good pass to Sheary.

The undrafted rookie made no mistake with the shot, and now the Penguins have a 2-0 lead and are just two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup. After the game, Crosby and Sheary both said that the winner came on a play that was set up just moments before the puck was dropped.

Emotions always run high after a big loss like this, so it isn’t too surprising to see Couture try to plant this particular seed. Who knows, maybe the officials will give Crosby the boot once or twice in Game 3 now that they’ve been made aware of an apparent problem. It’s unclear if Sharks center Joe Thornton will be forced to play faceoffs clean in light of Couture’s lobbying after Game 2, but it’s worth noting that “Jumbo” won 63 percent of his draws in the contest.

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