PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby was in a situation Friday that has been unfamiliar to him recently -- answering questions about what went wrong and packing for a long summer.
Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, champions of the Eastern Conference the past two seasons and of the entire NHL last year, were bounced in the second round by the Montreal Canadiens. Buoyed by strong play from goaltender Jaroslav Halak and a "nobody believes in us" attitude, the Canadiens toppled the defending champs in seven games.
After a scorching start to the playoffs, the Canadiens were able to keep Crosby in check. He had 1 goal and 4 assists in the series, and finished the 2010 playoffs with 19 points in 13 games.
When asked if it was Halak's play or if he didn't finish some opportunities he should have, Crosby said it was a little bit of both.
"There were a couple chances I missed that I still think about, but there are also a couple that I think, 'What would I have done different?' Nothing -- he got there and made the saves," Crosby said. "If anything I think you always want to generate more and that's the way I feel. I look back and there were times that I generated things, but I wanted to do it more consistently.
"Whether it was, what I was doing or what they were doing, it just didn't happen. You always think, 'Well, if I had a few more chances than I would have scored more.' It happens. Everything doesn't always work out perfect. Hopefully I will better for going through that."
Crosby also fielded questions about an uncertain summer ahead for the Penguins as General Manager Ray Shero tries to keep the club among the League's elite as it moves into the new Consol Energy Center across the street next season.
Q: Is this weird -- the last day at Mellon (Arena) before you leave?
Crosby: I don't know if this will be the last day. I'm sure I'll be back at some point, but yeah, it is never fun when you don't win at the end of the year. It is disappointing this was the last game we played here at the Mellon and that goes through your mind. At the same time, you look forward to a new rink and hopefully some new memories.
Q: Will you watch the playoffs or will you try to step away from it?
Crosby: I don't think I'll watch much of it. I think my first couple years I always enjoyed watching it and learning about the intensity and getting a feel for that. This year I don't see myself watching too much. The one thing I think that never gets old is seeing someone lift the Cup every year, so I'll be tuned in to see that, but outside of that I don't think I'll watch too much.
Q: Can you remember back to the (Stanley Cup) Final loss from two years ago and how does this compare?
Crosby: They're different. Losing is losing, but I don't know -- you go to the Final and you never know if you're going to be back there again. That was pretty devastating. This time it was different. They both don't feel good, but they are different.
Q: There're a number of free agents that Ray (Shero) is going to have to look at. What are your thoughts on guys like (Sergei Gonchar), who may or may not be back?
Crosby: That's the challenge you face now every year, especially this year. We've got obviously a lot of guys and some decisions to make. I think it is kind of early now. I am sure there will be a lot of conversations between now and July 1 with those guys, but I think we all really like the group of guys we have and we've come a long way. The more familiar we can keep it, obviously, the better, but at the end of the day both sides have to agree on that. We'll see with time where that brings us.
Q: How are you feeling physically as you wrap things up?
Crosby: OK. Pretty good, considering the amount of hockey we've played the last few years. It has been a lot. If anything, you don't like losing or being out, but to get a full summer in -- that is something I haven't had in a long time. Right now I am looking forward to just trying to make the most of it and healing and trying to gain as much as I can in the upcoming months before next season.
Q: Do you get any sense from Billy (Guerin) if he wants to play another year?
Crosby: I think he does. Yeah, that's the indication that I got, but again, that's another thing that will be discussed. It is another thing on Ray's list. I think that is something that he'd definitely love to be back.
Q: When you look at the make-up of the roster of this team compared to the Cup team, how does it compare?
Crosby: I don't think it was much different. I think the identity of our team was pretty similar. There's really not a big difference when you break everything down. It is really minor, minor details and one mistake here or there. The fact is, we went to a Game 7 in the exact same situation last year (against Washington), and we could have lost that game and been here at the same time last year, so there's not a lot of difference. I think guys played with a lot of character and a lot of guts. I think the past few years have been pretty long and some of the guys were pretty beat up. I don't think you can ever question the character in this room. I think that is something that has been proven time and time again. That's an important trait for any team if you want to win consistently.
Q: Can you talk about how hard it will be to leave this building with what you've achieved here, and also some of your superstitions?
Crosby: There's going to be a lot of new things, that's for sure. That is tough, because your first game -- all those memories you have. But at the same time, not too many people have the opportunity to go into a new building. It is a building that is going to be state-of-the-art. Especially here in Pittsburgh, with the support we have, that is going to be exciting. It is mixed emotions -- all of my firsts associated with the NHL are tied in with the Mellon, so there is a part of me that is going to be sad, but at the same time I am looking forward to the new rink, as well.