Digging Into The Archives: Larry Murphy Turtles

Elf, chicken or turtle?

Still watching / converting old VHS tapes to DVD, and still on the same tape of the Penguins / Chicago Stanley Cup Finals series from 1992. Most of you know of my hate for the Penguins. Mario Lemieux drew my ire in the first "Archives" post for diving like a fiend. This time it's another Penguin: Larry Murphy.

Larry Murphy, to his credit, was an awesome defenceman back in the day. But he did three things wrong:

1. He played for the bloody Penguins. It's my party and I'll hate if I want to.

2. He did this in game 3 of the 1992 Finals:

Hey, I know Chris Chelios was known for

his temper, and he let it get the best of him in that moment. But Larry, who was feeding crosschecks to Chelios' neck and back repeatedly to start that sequence off, deserved what he was getting. And if he had any integrity at that moment he wouldn't have turtled like that. I mean, that was embarrassing. Hey, did you see how many Penguins came to help Murphy out while he was getting a "beating?" Fittingly, none. It's hard to call it a beating when he's ducking his chin into his chest and letting his visor protect him. Classy.

As you can imagine, Don Cherry had a lot to say about it (one of my fave Coach's Corner episodes ever):

Amen Don. Enough of the diving. Be like a Sutter!

To Murphy's credit, he didn't always act like that. Earlier that same season Chelios nailed him:

Atta boy, Larry. Took that one and got up.

Finally,

3. Larry "Weee!" Murphy scored his 1000th NHL point against the Canucks.

Nauseating. I can remember the illness I felt when the Leafs signed him in the first place. I never liked Larry Murphy the player. I can respect how damned good of a defenceman he was, but certain moments, like that chicken play in Game 3 taints the legacy in my mind.

That's just me. I don't like any player doing that crap.

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