Crosby makes no apologies

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby has been called boring by Jeremy Roenick.

He's been dubbed a whiner by fans who prefer Alex Ovechkin's dramatics.

The Penguins captain makes no apologies.

What you see is what you get with Sid the Kid -- and what you get is one of the league's best and most modest playmakers.

In the wake of Ovechkin's notorious 'hot-stick celebration' following his 50th goal, Roenick said over the Toronto airwaves he wishes Crosby would put his personality on display.

"I think a Sidney Crosby interview is as boring to watch as possible," Roenick said recently.

"As great a hockey player as he is and as much as he's taken this league by storm, I don't think he goes on a limb and says what he really feels.

"I think he's too quiet, too hum-drum, too cliched. I love the kid as a hockey player, but I think he can be more spectacular if he steps up and shows a little personality."

Telling Crosby about the comments drew the kind of honesty Roenick would have appreciated.

"You can't be something you're not," said Crosby, who wouldn't dream of celebrating a goal the way Ovechkin did.

"I love to score goals, don't get me wrong, but that's not the emotion I get when I score a goal.

"I'm happy, but I don't feel like I have to do anything special."

Call him quiet. Call him hum-drum. Call him cliche.

Better yet, call him classy.

"What you see is what you get," said Crosby. "Sometimes, I'll give a fist pump maybe or something like that, but there's no forcing anything, there's no rehearsing anything. That's me.

"Some people like that, some people are different."

Following in the footsteps of some of the greatest to ever play the game, Crosby chooses to emulate the men he idolized.

"That's not how I grew up celebrating. That's not what I saw," said Crosby.

"I watched Steve Yzerman, (Mario) Lemieux, (Wayne) Gretzky."

It's a mistake to call him boring. Teammate Bill Guerin says his play speaks volumes, and no extras are needed on the ice.

"He's his own guy, just like Ovechkin's his own guy and he's gonna do his thing. That's not his style," said Guerin.

"He's not going to light his stick on fire or anything, but he plays the game with an enormous amount of emotion and passion.

"Emmitt Smith didn't pull a Sharpie out of his pocket and sign every football that he scored a touchdown with. He didn't even spike the ball, and nobody gave him grief over that."

Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf knows Crosby pretty well from their days at the world juniors. They see each other on the East Coast from time to time in the off-season, as well.

Like Phaneuf, Crosby chooses to save his lighter side for the locker-room.

Come game time, he puts his smile in his pocket.

"Like he said, what you see is what you get. That's his way of going about his business. He lets his actions speak in the way he plays the game," said Phaneuf.

"I guess you'd say we're similar in that aspect. I like to have a good time with the guys and joke around and have fun, but when it comes time for the game, it's all business."

As much as he avoids the dramatics for which guys like Ovechkin and Roenick have been both praised and panned in the past, Crosby believes there's a place in the game for every approach.

He doesn't have a problem with Ovechkin's recent celebration, or Roenick's past performances -- he'd just never do it.

"No, I think that's important. You need to have different personalities. Not everyone fits the same mould," Crosby said.

"Those guys are great, they bring a lot of different things to the game.

"For me, I don't want to do something to bring attention upon myself just for that factor. I have fun at practice. I'm a little more serious when it comes to games.

"I don't think I should have to apologize for that."

No apology necessary, Sid, but Roenick might want to send one your way.


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