One place you won’t catch Sidney Crosby diving is from the top of the all-time list of NHL greats.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain cemented his legacy with back-to-back Stanley Cup wins after Monday night’s series-clinching 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators. And he scored back-to-back Conn Smythe trophies as the most valuable player in the playoffs—a feat only two other players (Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent and Penguins superstar Mario Lemieux) managed beforehand.
ESPN is making the case that Crosby belongs in a pantheon that only includes Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, and Lemieux.
But fans outside Pittsburgh certainly aren’t ready to embrace him. Crosby has a hard time out-skating a reputation as a “crybaby” and a serial diver no matter what he accomplishes in the history books.
Those who watch him play regularly, however, say he he’s selfless with the puck and elevates his play when it counts.
“We’re watching greatness,” NBC analyst Brian Boucher told ESPN. “For people to hate on it, I get it, because maybe you’re not a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But if you’re a fan of watching true greatness, to me, that’s it.”