‘They’re doing the same things our guys are doing,’ says Sullivan after Crosby accused of cheating on faceoffs

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In the mind of Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, the accusations that his captain Sidney Crosby cheats in faceoffs aren’t worthy of a response.

Yet, Sullivan did eventually respond, when asked if the comments coming from members of the San Jose Sharks — “He cheats,” on faceoffs, according to Logan Couture. “He gets away with that. He’s Sidney Crosby,” and Crosby “times” the draws and doesn’t get kicked out of the circle — following Game 2 will have any impact on how draws could be officiated as this series goes on.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic also suggested it took Crosby “a while” to get into the faceoff circle for the draw that immediately led to the overtime winner for Pittsburgh.

The NHL Rule Book, under Rule 76 – Face-offs, does state:

If the center is back from the face-off spot, is “quarterbacking” or refuses to come into the face-off area when instructed to do so by the Linesman, or the center is simply slow getting to the face-off spot when the five (5) seconds has elapsed, the puck shall be dropped. If the center attempts to arrive at the face-off spot just as the five seconds elapses in an attempt to gain an advantage to win the face-off, he is to be removed from the face-off and replaced, resulting in a face-off violation.

With the Penguins leading the series 2-0 as it shifts back to San Jose, Sullivan responded to those comments on Thursday.

“Listen, all centers that go in there and take faceoffs, they’re trying to get an edge. That’s just the reality of it. They’re doing the same things our guys are doing,” Sullivan told reporters.

“The way I look at it, that’s all part of being a center iceman, trying to figure out a way to get an edge and be successful.  Sid isn’t doing anything their guys aren’t doing.”

It should be something to keep an eye on for Game 3 on Saturday.