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Crosby Opens Up in Podcast Appearance

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recently joined his former teammates Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette for a candid interview on the podcast Spittin' Chiclets. During the appearance, which lasted for over an hour, Crosby opened up on a variety of topics and shared a lot of great stories. Here are a few of the highlights…

* Crosby talked about what it was like when he first moved in with Mario Lemieux, which wasn't without its…accidents.

"One of the best stories I have from my first couple weeks there, they convinced me to get a dog right away," Crosby said. "So I was like, I don't know if I need a dog right now. I can barely do my own laundry. But they convince me to get a dog. I have a puppy, still have the puppy to this day, fourteen-year-old Sam. But anyways, so I come back after a game and I smell something. I'm like, 'What is that?' The puppy definitely (pooped) somewhere in the house, and I've got to find out where this is. So I'm looking everywhere, like all over the house. Finally I come around the corner, and (Lemieux) is cleaning up all of this (mess), like everywhere in the kitchen. I'm like, 'Oh my God.' So embarrassing. Mario Lemieux's cleaning up my dog (poop), Like, this is so backwards, this should not be happening."

* Crosby had a handful of other roommates over the years, and he singled out forward Matt Murley as one of the best. They roomed together on the road during Crosby's rookie year.

"You couldn't get a better first roommate than 'Murls,'" Crosby said. "Just always had something set up. You get in and he's like, 'Meet in the lobby in 10,' and you don't know what you're doing but you just follow him because you knew it was going to be good." Apparently Murley would set up dinner, where to watch Monday Night Football and games of mini-golf. "Murls is a big-time set-up guy," Whitney said. "It's a guy you need in every crew." Crosby agreed, calling Murley a "glue guy."

* Crosby's favorite sport other than hockey is baseball, though his career came to an abrupt end during his sophomore year of high school at Shattuck-St. Mary's. Crosby attended the school to play hockey, but athletes were required to play another sport in the spring semester, so he chose baseball - as did current Penguins teammate Jack Johnson. And one game, Johnson lost his cool - and it turned out to be the last baseball game they'd ever play in competitively.

"I was pitching and the other team was kind of chirping," Crosby said. "That happened every game though, it was just fun, guys were going back and forth. Then (Johnson) gets up to bat and he starts saying stuff to their pitcher, but the guy starts brushing him off. And (Johnson) kind of moves in a little closer, kind of showing him hey, I don't care if you're brushing me off. I'm going to get tighter to the plate. So I'm on deck and I'm like, this is not going to be good. You can tell. He's going to charge the mound here at any point. Sure enough, the pitcher brushes another one back. (Johnson) goes out there and just starts beating the crap out of the pitcher. Like within two punches, that guy's down. First baseman comes over, that guy's down. Second baseman throws his glove at him and he's done. (Johnson) is basically standing on the mound, two guys are down. I remember I ran with the hockey mentality and grabbed the catcher, because I'm thinking he might blind-side him. I'm like, what just happened? The athletic director came up to us after and said you guys are going to have to sit out the rest of the season."

* Crosby also likes to golf, with his first-ever club earning the nickname "The Spin Doctor." He procured it when he was a teenager - estimating that he was about 14 years old - after a fellow golfer chucked it in frustration at his play.

"He threw it, he was (mad)," Crosby said. "I was like, 'Here's your club back, sir.' He's like, 'Keep it.' I'm like, 'You're sure?' He said yes and I was like, okay. So it's a 60-degree with one of those huge faces. Super illegal. I had that in my bag forever. I knew it was illegal, but I didn't know to what extent (laughs). This thing, it stops a ball on a dime, wherever you are. You can pretty much just put the ball wherever you want to put it with this thing. It doesn't move.

"So fast forward to a couple years ago, we're golfing at Oakmont. (Tyson Barrie) is there with Nate (MacKinnon) and Brayden Schenn was there too. I'm in, like, the thick rough at Oakmont. So I bring out the Doctor. This is late in the round, too. This is a huge shot. I'm in trouble. And I just stick it. Like two feet, doesn't even move. And Nate is snapping. Just losing it. He's like "Bull(crap), you're done with that!" So I was like okay, okay, this is my last shot with it. I retired it. I haven't used it since that round."

* While Crosby touched on a lot of topics outside of hockey, there was still plenty of discussion about the game itself. He revealed that the area of his game he is focusing on the most right now is speed. "That's just part of getting older, is you slow down a little bit," Crosby said. "You just got to slow that curve. That's the biggest thing. The game is getting faster and faster and obviously as you get older you start to slow down a little bit. The more you can slow that process down the better."

There's a quote from Muhammad Ali where he says "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." Crosby epitomized that when he scored the gold-medal winning overtime goal for Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics, which turned out to be a play long in the making.

"It's cool because I used to do this drill growing up, I remember probably like when I was 12, 13, 14 years old," Crosby said. "It was 10 pucks and you shoot all 10 into the net, the pucks were scattered all over the offensive zone. So you didn't necessarily know where the net was sometimes, you're just like trying to get 10 pucks in the best time that you can get. It's pretty hard, because when you get tired, you're skating out to the blue line, you're turning, you're firing. You miss, the puck goes in the corner, you've got to go chase it down, it's just annoying. It's kind of like a bag skate at the end of practice. But anyways, that drill used to get those bad angles all the time and you don't really look at the net a lot. You just kind of let it go. It was just one of those things where that puck just kind of popped out and for whatever reason, I shot it. It wasn't a great angle. Most times you take that to the net and I think that's what (Ryan) Miller probably thought I was going to do. Nine times out of 10, I probably don't shoot that right away. It was just weird the way it worked out."

* The crew also spent a lot of time talking about winning Stanley Cups, with Crosby saying that what surprised him the most is everything that comes after.

"You think of winning, you think of that feeling of hoisting the Cup, being with your teammates," he said. "The parade probably is in your head just from seeing it on TV, that kind of thing. But whether it's coming back home and seeing everyone huddle around wanting to see the Cup - I don't know. It's also the people that are part of it as you got older and made the NHL. It's you winning it, but it feels like it's such a bigger group that wins it."

* The podcast also featured plenty of funny stories about other teammates, like Evgeni Malkin, and plenty of chirps. Crosby caught some flak for his superstitions, his inability to buy jeans that fit and just how hockey-obsessed he is - as evidenced by him going to Rimouski during the 2006 Olympic break instead of on a tropical vacation.

For Pens fans looking for more podcast content, a special summer episode of The Scoop featuring Josh Getzoff and Michelle Crechiolo with guest Colby Armstrong will be released on Friday.

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