"Dustin Brown and Patrick O'Sullivan progressed almost despite Crawford, not because of him. Anze Kopitar was brilliant as a rookie and seemed to plateau this season when opponents realized how good he is and tried to pound him into submission. The defense was a mess and Crawford's relentless rebukes of Johnson, among others, only made things worse."
, LA Times
That seems a little harsh. Say what you want about Crawford, but there's no denying that our young players (including Frolov) have gotten much better the last two seasons. I don't really think Crawford played a big part in that, but he did play a part. O'Sullivan especially seems to have completely changed his game and blossomed into a legitimate NHL player thanks to Crawford. Kopitar added 10 points to his point total and changed his game to counter the scouting reports of other teams. And what "relentless rebukes of Johnson?" Crawford never said anything in the press about him. If he was brutal to him in the locker room then a source needs to be acknowledged.
That's one thing that bothers me about reporters. They'll always say shit like this after a coach gets fired or a player gets traded. If you knew that Crawford had yelled at Johnson, you should tell your readers. That's your Goddamn job. Don't keep it quiet because you're worried about your access being restricted (which Elliot shouldn't have to worry about since she's been writing about other sports all year) and then kill the coach with innuendo after he's gone. It's unfair to Crawford and to the public. And just implying something like that without even giving it a source seems cowardly to me. It's something I could do and I have no access whatsoever. Since Rich Hammond has not made any mention of an abuse of Johnson, and since I ultimately think this season was a very important one in Johnson's development, I'm inclined to not believe it. Crawford wasn't a good coach for the Kings, but to criticize him for the one thing he did well kind of sucks.