CBC: Mike Milbury calls out Crosby for role in Penguins-Flyers brawl
Speaking on Sports Radio 94WIP Monday, Milbury ripped Crosby for his role in instigating a game-ending line brawl in Sunday's game between the Penguins and Flyers. The chaotic scene resulted in 52 minutes in penalties being assessed between the two teams.
The fighting was touched off in part by Flyers forward Brayden Schenn's cross-check to Crosby.
"Little goody two shoes [Crosby] goes into the corner and gives a shot to Schenn. Schenn was late to the party, he should have turned around and drilled him right away, but I guess better late than never," said Milbury, who is an analyst on CBC and NBC.
"So you know, Crosby gets cross-checked, big whoop. He said after he came back from his 35th concussion, 'I'm not going to do this anymore, I'm not going to get into this scrums, I'm going to stay away from that stuff.' He couldn't help himself because there's a little punk in Crosby.
Let's get two things out of the way. First of all, making fun of concussions is just stupid. Do remember Chris Pronger. Secondly, Milbury's remark about Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma's "skirt" is stupid and reprehensibly sexist. He deserves to be censured for it, but his employment at CBC is probably secure, given the kind of people they employ on their hockey broadcasts. It's really not too hard to see that Milbury's main motivation in all the nonsense he gets up to is to secure his position as Don Cherry's successor to Crazy Loud-Dressing Shouty Bigot's Corner. He's going to need to amp up the wardrobe, though. Not looking forward to it. Frankly, I shouldn't have called Crosby "Cindy" either; it was stupid and sexist of me and I apologize. It's tough to not lapse into sexist language when talking about sports, especially about the most homophobic and misogynist major team sport of them all. I shall try to do better.
Having said all this, there are two larger points that shouldn't be overlooked. Firstly, as this blog has maintained for years, Sidney Crosby is, on the ice, a disgusting punk. He slashes and cross-checks other players, takes monstrous dives when someone as much as touches him, and cries about it to the media afterward. They, having enshrined him as the Messiah of Hockey, lap it all up. Milbury knows what he's doing when he goes after Crosby; he can only raise this big a shitstorm by attacking the Anointed Next One. So in my opinion, apart from the stupid concussion remark, Milbury is right on the money about Crosby.
Not too long ago, Milbury was still drinking the same Kool-Aid as the rest of the media, because just last year he called Crosby "the perfect face of the league". Either he's come to his senses, or this is just a publicity stunt. Funnily enough, Don Cherry also doesn't have a very high opinion of Crosby. He may be a bigoted nutcase, but at least he's called Crosby out on diving and crying to the refs. The dive Crosby takes on Schenn's cross-check is vintage Sidney.
The second point is that although talking about Bylsma's "skirt" is appalling, the point Milbury is trying to make in his particular knuckledragging caveman idiom is that by the standards of hockey, Bylsma's no innocent. Sending out your fourth-liners to go after Danny Briere like that is asking for a fight, and Bylsma must know it. The Penguins have lost the game, and Bylsma's using his last change to get the fourth-liners out there to injure the Flyers' stars. That's just not cricket, and Bylsma deserves to be called out on it. Philadelphia has completely outplayed Pittsburgh this year, and Bylsma's resorting to dirty tricks to get a leg up in the almost certainly upcoming playoff series.
So on the whole, if Milbury hadn't delivered his message in such a classless, sexist and plain dumb way, I'd completely agree with him. But I suppose he really is gunning for Cherry's job, and so there's really no other way he could have delivered it.