MONTREAL -- There has been a ton of talk since this series moved to Montreal that the Canadiens' in-your-face defensive style has frustrated Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby.
Now, there are assertions that the fans are doing their part, as well. There is a feeling in these parts that the rough ride the Bell Centre crowd gave Crosby in Game 3 Tuesday -- his first playoff appearance in Montreal -- shocked Crosby, who grew up supporting the Canadiens and is considered a national hero after scoring the gold medal-winning goal against the United States in the Olympics less than three months ago.
On more than one occasion Tuesday, the crowd chanted, "Crosby Sucks" -- a chant that is all too common in Philadelphia and some other Eastern Conference cities, but very rare in Montreal.
Crosby also talked Thursday about the changes his team must make in the upcoming game, the preponderance of too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties plaguing this postseason and the bitterness this series with Montreal has started to generate.
Question: Someone in the Montreal (locker) room, by saying you took exception to the chant you sometimes get in Philly or here. Do you take exception? Did you notice it?
Crosby: I didn't. Honestly, I've heard it in Philly before. Last game, I didn't hear anything. I'm not afraid to say whether I have heard it or not. It's not something that I am dealing with for the first time. But, honestly, last game it wasn't even something I noticed.
Question: You have a tendency to play well in Philly. Does it have any correlation?
Crosby: I have no idea. I think Philadelphia is a rivalry, so I think as a team, we recognize that and we prepare and both teams know each other pretty well. Hopefully that's something that helps me individually, just knowing the team and getting up for that game. Whether it's because of that, I don't really think so. I honestly don't think I need more motivation or look for more motivation anywhere. When I'm out there, there's a lot of challenges and a lot of things you are trying to focus on.
Question: You were in front of the net and blocking Halak's vision on the goal the other night. Is that something you want to try to do more as the series goes on?
Crosby: He's stopping what he's seeing, so if we can create traffic -- I don't think we are going to get stupid, I don't think we're going to really crowd or anything like that -- we have guys that are good around the net. If they can create a little bit of traffic and find some loose pucks, that's the main thing. Sometimes you get caught up in trying to screen and you are not worried about those rebounds, too, and they do a good job of blocking out. So we've got to make sure we do a good job with those pucks.
Question: They will probably change their game for Game 4. Do you do any adjusting?
Crosby: I think you are always adjusting. I think the structure of your game doesn't usually change a whole lot. You don't try to reinvent things or change a whole lot; but there are always little adjustments going on and I'm sure we'll make them and they will, as well. That's a challenge everyone faces in the playoffs and that is what you have to deal with. That's part of success, too.
Question: There's been a plethora of too-many-men penalties in these playoffs, but you guys don't have one. Is that just discipline or the way Dan (Bylsma, coach) works the bench?
Crosby: You need some luck, too. It's one of those things that can happen and sometimes it's nobody’s fault. Guys are changing and it's possible they are five feet from the bench and the puck hits them. What can you do? That's part of focus, too. You have to know who you have and being sharp, too. Like you said, there have been a few this playoffs, so hopefully that is something we are aware of.
Question: You mentioned the rivalry with Philly. Is this series turning into that kind of rivalry?
Crosby: Yeah. I would say right after Game 1 it heated up and I would say it is that way with every series. It is just kind of a natural progression. It's normal to have that and it's a good thing. You need to have that edge and that intensity. They were coming off a Game 7 there and we hadn't seen them for a while there, so sometimes, that is the best explanation for why Game 1 is not as good as the rest. With each game, I think, you always see that grow.