Couture: 'Everyone cheats on faceoffs'

Associated Press
San Jose's Logan Couture skates against Pittsburgh during the first period in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday.

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose center Logan Couture says Sidney Crosby isn’t the only player cheating in faceoffs in the Stanley Cup Final.

Couture said that he, Sharks teammate Joe Thornton and just about every other player who gets in the faceoff circle tries for any sort of edge they can get, legal or otherwise.

“Everyone cheats on faceoffs,” Couture said Friday. “I cheat, Jumbo cheats. That’s how you try to win draws. He’s one of the best at it. He wins a lot of faceoffs.”

Couture caused a bit of a storm after Game 2 when he accused Crosby of cheating on faceoffs. It was a faceoff win by Crosby in overtime that set up Pittsburgh’s game-winning goal by Conor Sheary that gave the Penguins a 2-0 series lead.

Crosby said he was surprised when he heard the accusation and said he doesn’t do anything other players don’t do.

“I think we are all doing the same thing in the faceoff circle,” Crosby said.

Crosby and Couture both said they don’t think this dispute will have any bearing on Game 3. Crosby said it won’t add any fuel for him and Couture said he wasn’t trying to lobby linesmen to kick Crosby out of the circle in future games.

“Not at all,” he said. “These guys are the best in the world at what they do. I have no complaints of the officials throughout these playoffs. They’ve been very, very good.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan didn’t even want to respond to Couture’s allegations but does agree with the Sharks center on one aspect: Everyone is cheating to an extent.

“That’s all part of being a center iceman, trying to figure out a way to get an edge and be successful,” Sullivan said. “Sid isn’t doing anything their guys aren’t doing.”

Crosby won 26 of 40 faceoffs the first two games, none more important than the clean win in the offensive zone against Joel Ward in overtime in Game 2 that set up Sheary’s goal.

Couture wasn’t in the faceoff circle for that draw and Ward took the blame.

Couture is one of the few Sharks to hold his own against Crosby in the faceoff circle this series, winning four of seven draws. But San Jose has struggled as a team on draws this postseason.

Ice chips

Pittsburgh police say two Massachusetts men printed up bogus Stanley Cup Final tickets and tried to sell them outside the Penguins arena.

Police say John Green and Ronald Seeley were spotted Wednesday outside Consol Energy Center, where the Penguins were hosting the Sharks in the second game of the best-of-seven series.

Police say the men, who remained jailed, tried to drive away but were caught with nearly $1,400 in cash and 18 fake tickets.