Crosby cheats on faceoffs, Couture cheats on faceoffs, everybody cheats on faceoffs

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SAN JOSE — And in the end, they all agreed on one thing.

Everyone does it.

“Everyone cheats on faceoffs,” San Jose’s Logan Couture said Friday. “I cheat, [Joe Thornton] cheats. That’s how you try and win draws.”

Couture, of course, started this whole mini-controversy after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final when he accused Penguins captain Sidney Crosby of cheating at draws.

He also insinuated that Crosby receives preferential treatment from the linesmen, because he’s, well, Sidney Crosby.

I wasn’t expecting that,” Crosby said. “We’re all trying to do the same thing on faceoffs.”

Couture had a rough night in the circle on Wednesday, which might explain why he said what he did. He went 6-for-15 overall and just 1-for-4 in head-to-head draws against Crosby.

“Listen, all centers that go in there to take a faceoff are trying to get an edge,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “That’s just the reality of it. They’re doing the same thing our guys are doing. The way I look at it, that’s all part of being a center and trying to figure out ways to get an edge and be successful.”

It’s worth noting that Crosby’s faceoff technique is predicated more on timing than power.

“I kind of go for quickness more than strength or overpowering a guy,” he said.

Because of that, there’s an advantage to be gained by moving early, as long as the linesman allows it.

Here’s a screenshot of Crosby beating Joel Ward in overtime, right before Conor Sheary scored to win Game 2:

Crosby

As you can see, the linesman has not yet dropped the puck and Crosby’s left skate has already slid over to the right.

For the record, Ward only blamed himself for losing the draw.

“It was my fault on the play,” he said. “I lost a pretty key draw and I’ve just got to be better and that’s the bottom line.”