I’ve been away from Faceoff-Factor for a while – but as I’ve taken time to focus on my newborn daughter, I haven’t forgotten my true passion: hockey.

It’s been an enjoyable experience to watch the games and get away from a lot of the drama read online that, really, has nothing to do with the game.

Instead of talking about highlight reel goals, beautiful saucer passes, and amazing saves, fans across the country are talking about “Sindy Crysby” and his concussion.

Some popular quotes I’ve read and heard in the last week since Crosby was hurt in a game against the Boston Bruins:

  • “He’s milking it.”
  • “If he’s going to get concussed that easily, he should just retire.”
  • “Who cares about Crosby? Why aren’t we talking about Marc Savard?”

Now, this morning, I find this gem from Michael Felger of CSNNE:

“[Crosby] is once again showing himself to be whiner in this,” Felger says. “He’s blaming David Krejci for a play that happened in a game against the Bruins two weeks ago. “Krejci never gave him an elbow. Crosby’s saying Krejci gave him an elbow.”

First, the game was last week, not two weeks ago. Second, Krejci did hit Crosby with an elbow, albeit unintentional and modest. Third, I have yet to find a quote from Crosby saying Krejci gave him an elbow, nor have I found a quote from Crosby blaming Krejci for his rekindled concussion symptoms.

And that’s a problem.

You see, false information, such as that suggested by supposed-professional Felger, catches on quickly when people read/hear it and fail to check the facts.

Crosby has had a setback, and he has missed two, going on three, games. But he’s been upbeat, even smiling during interviews – and only said his discomfort is not a result of a collision with teammate Chris Kunitz, which also took place during the Bruins game.

But many supposed hockey fans around the league won’t bother to look at the facts, and instead will see/hear “whiner” and will use that as further evidence that Crosby is an unlikable character.

And it goes well beyond the “whiner” label.

Following a failed elbow attempt by Evgeni Malkin during last week’s Penguins versus Philadelphia Flyers game, many Flyers fans had the audacity to suggest that Malkin and Crosby (who didn’t even play) should be the target of dangerous plays as payback.

The rationale? “They need to get what they have coming.”

Ah, right.

As if Crosby hadn’t suffered enough throughout the last year.

And as if the NHL hadn’t suffered significantly in the absence of, arguably, its best player.

It’s baffling to me how fans of a sport – strike that — how human beings could wish other human beings physical harm.

Hockey is a dangerous sport that often results in questionable hits and plays – most of which take place in the heat of the moment.

The fact that professionals can make false claims without ramification and that fans suggest certain players should be targeted for injury is, to put it mildly, repulsive.

With the advancement of the media through means of the Internet, more and more “nobodies” have an opportunity to spread their word and claim it to be fact – and more and more people have the opportunity to read this drivel and believe it to be true.

Fortunately, however, those spouting tend to find a soapbox within message boards of similar like-minded Neanderthals. Those in the NHL – you know, the ones playing the game – understand the importance of star players and understand that being hurt isn’t synonymous with being a whiner.