Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Flopping Column

You know you're expecting a terrible Shank column about Game 3 of the Bruins / Penguins series when it starts out like this:
“We were not just beating this team. We were destroying it. As much as I wanted to win that championship, I remember being disappointed that the Lakers were not playing better.’’

— Bill Russell, recalling a 1965 title-clinching game in which the Celtics scored 20 consecutive points, running to a 36-point lead over Los Angeles.

Welcome to Boston, you Pittsburgh Penguins.
This is just another irritating example of Shaughnessy having to interject some other sport into a given column; in this instance, it may well have to do about his, um, lack of expertise in the area.

Because we read him so you don't have to, he redeems himself later in the column, since he has a chance to take a dump on someone:
All eyes will certainly be on Sidney Crosby. Now that LeBron James has rescued the Heat in a Game 7, Crosby is the sports star with the most to prove in the spring of 2013. His reputation has taken a massive hit in the first two games of this series and he risks morphing into a Wilt Chamberlain/A-Rod pinata if he continues to pout and put up zeroes.

The sub-headline in Sports Illustrated’s May 13 cover story on Crosby reads, “You can’t keep Sidney Crosby down. You can only marvel at how hockey’s best player keeps coming back even better than when he left.’’

Well, the Bruins certainly have kept him down for two games. And the only thing to “marvel” about is the new notion that Crosby is a baby and a no-show on the big stage. He’s supposed to be the face of the NHL and the successor to Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux, but thus far in this series, he’s not nearly as good as Torey Krug. And let’s not embarrass him with the numbers about his faceoff failures against Patrice Bergeron.
And the coup de grace:
When an infant was heard crying on a JetBlue flight out of Pittsburgh Tuesday, the pilot asked whether it was Crosby crying in the back of the plane. This is not the image you want to take into Game 3 when your highly favored team was just outscored, 9-1, in the first two games of the conference finals.
A mixed bag, indeed.

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