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Crosby, Metro players have informative, entertaining video chat

Crosby joined Claude Giroux and Jordan and Marc Staal to answer questions and exchange chirps

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

On Thursday, the NHL hosted a video conference call with players from four Metropolitan Division teams: Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, Marc Staal of the New York Rangers, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and, of course, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The call lasted for about half an hour, and while the players answered some tough questions and addressed some serious topics, there was also plenty of lighthearted chirping and banter. Here's what went down. 

Video: Listen to Crosby discuss the NHL pause 

* Crosby said he is in Pittsburgh right now and like everyone else, just trying to do what is recommended. "It's not like anything I've ever experienced before, so just trying to make the best of it and doing all that we need to do here to get through it," he said.

* Many people have been wondering how the players are staying in shape. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said on a conference call Wednesday that the strength and conditioning staff gave all of the players workout programs to do at home because they want the players to stay at home. That's exactly what Crosby is doing.

"You just make the best with what you have and try to be professional as best we can and make sure we're in the best shape we can possibly be in given the situation," he said. "There's nothing like skating, but I think you've just got to make the best of it. 

"I have a bike, (been doing) pushups like Claude said. It's kind of old-school at this point. Whatever you can get done, you get done. That's basically what I've been doing."

* One of the more lighthearted moments came when NHL senior vice president of communications John Dellapina, who was moderating the Q&A session, posed this question: 

"If the league were to resume this season, which we're all hoping and planning on, how would you like it to resume? Let's start with Sidney. How many regular-season games do we need to play, what kind of playoffs? Go ahead, be commissioner and scheduler for a minute."

At that point, all of the players started laughing. 

"Couple of guys are looking at me pretty hard right now, I see," Crosby said with a grin before turning more serious. 

"You try to get in as many games as you can. But I wouldn't mind starting right at the playoffs. I think that there's a lot of guys in different situations and I mean, the more games that you can play, the better when it comes to the integrity of everything. That's a big part of it. So yeah, I just think you get as many games as you can depending on when and what that looks like."

* The Penguins were scheduled to play the Blue Jackets in Columbus on March 13 with restricted attendance. A statement from the Blue Jackets said that admission to the game would be closed to the public and limited to home and visiting club personnel, credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff and NHL officials. 

After that was announced, Crosby said that's when he started to realize the magnitude of the situation.

"I think right away your first impression is that this is pretty serious, and we've got to take this serious right away," he said. "I think with that, right away, that kind of hit me going through that. So, we found out halfway through that day that we weren't playing and right away, you just try to stay informed and do everything you need to do to help out. I think everyone is really taking this serious and for good reason. I think we've just all got to do our part and hopefully we can get through this here."

Dellapina mentioned how it can be tough to make people follow directions to do anything, but that it seems like most people are really following directions with this. Crosby agreed.

"I think that's huge," Crosby said. "I think seeing everyone take this serious and do what they need to do, not only for their own health but people around them too - that's really the key part of all this. If a big chunk of people do it and others don't, then we're not going to get much accomplished. I think seeing that is definitely important and motivating, too."

* The players were asked to pick a teammate to be quarantined with. Crosby said if he had to be stuck with someone, he'd go with Kris Letang, who recorded a message to Penguins fans a while back. 

Tweet from @penguins: "Stay home. Be safe."

"I feel like (Letang) is in the know," Crosby said. "I feel like he'd get all the info first. I feel like I'd have a better sense of what was going on if I was stuck with him."

* While the players are currently being self-quarantined, they're still in communication with each other via group chat(s).  

"Nowadays it's pretty easy to kind of keep in touch with everybody and everyone's got a group chat, so it's nice that way," Crosby said. "You can kind of use that to keep in touch and keep things light. And also, if you need to get something done or figure something out it's easy to get ahold of everyone. Just been trying to do that."

The Penguins might not want to try a group FaceTime call, though, considering how the Flyers' attempt went.

"It didn't go very well," Giroux admitted with a smile. "Everybody just started screaming. So, couldn't hear anybody. We're just trying to keep the group chat going and staying busy with that."

* The best part of the call came when Dellapina asked Marc Staal, the lone defenseman on the chat, what he missed the least about playing against the other three guys. Needless to say, the chirps started flowing from there…

Marc Staal: Sid's always slashing me in the back of the legs, so I don't miss that. Claude's always chirping on the ice, so I don't miss that. He doesn't stop talking. And then Jordan, I don't miss pushing his 230 pounds around in the corner, or at least trying to. That's the most annoying thing out of anything.

Giroux: I'll go next. I don't miss Marc's stick always in my way. I don't know, just get it out of my way next time. Jordan and Sid, they cheat so much in faceoffs. I don't miss that.

Crosby: That's funny, I was going to say the same thing about you.

Giroux: I knew you were going to say that. That's why I said it. 

Crosby: Yeah, I think just Claude cheating in the circle. My back is getting some rest now, I don't have to deal with (Marc) Staalsy's crosschecks in front. And for Jordan, just having to contain that big body and fight him off all the time. He's just everywhere.

Jordan Staal: For the bro, just annoying long stick in the way all the time.

Marc Staal: It's not that long. 

Jordan Staal: It's long enough. For G, if he stopped talking at the faceoff circle, he'd probably win a lot more. Then Sid, just your insane amount of cutbacks in the corners. It's just too much. Makes me dizzy sometimes. That's what I don't miss.

* The players were asked to share what TV shows they are currently binge-watching, and Jordan went first. He said he was watching the second season of Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix, which is about NASCAR. 

As he was talking, Crosby smied. And when Jordan was done, Crosby exclaimed, "I'm watching the exact same show! I might have to pick his brain a little bit, see what he's thinking here. I've been glued to that show. I'm all for the F1. Anyone would be interested to see the behind-the-scenes stuff and how their teams work and competition between drivers and all that stuff. That was pretty interesting, not knowing a lot about it."

They were also asked what album they would listen to if they could only pick one. Crosby chose the band Great Big Sea.

* And finally, the call ended with each player giving a message to their fans. Here's what Crosby had to say to the Penguins faithful…

"I hope everyone stays healthy and stays safe. Obviously, we miss playing, but just appreciate your support through all this and we'll get through it. Hope to see all of you back out there at some point here down the road. But just to stay healthy and safe through all this."

Tweet from @PensInsideScoop: Here���s a message from the captain to all #Pens fans. -MC

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