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Off-Day May 14 quotes: Sidney Crosby

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Q.  Some of the guys you got at the deadline said it took a couple of weeks to realize how special this group was. At what point towards the end of the season did you realize this is a team that maybe we could do something pretty special just because of the components of it?


SIDNEY CROSBY: I think right away when we got those two guys, you know, we realized we're going to be a little bit deeper. I think just tougher to play against. We added some key elements there with Hossa and score, and Dupuis' speed, and a guy who can penalty kill. So we just added elements that we thought would certainly push us farther.

Q.  You said throughout the playoffs that you're only taking it one game at a time. Not looking ahead, but you're one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup final. Has that changed at all? Is anybody in the room thinking that?

SIDNEY CROSBY: Sure, it's on their mind a bit, but you really can't afford to look ahead. We've learned here in the last couple of series, especially the last one, that the last game is always the toughest one to win. So I don't think we can afford to look ahead. We just need to make sure we continue to do the good things that we've been doing and hope that we're rewarded for that.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about specifically how Gill's impact, and the defense has done for the team?

SIDNEY CROSBY: He's been great for us. He's played a huge role especially on the penalty kill. Especially on the road where you don't get match ups a lot of times. Gonchar and Orpik have been against top lines. But on the road he's out there a lot of times against other team's top players and does a great job. He's a big guy. I don't think he gets enough credit for how good he is with the puck, making that first pass. He does a great job. He's not an easy guy to get away from down low. So he's been a big help to our team.

Q.  The way Marc Andre's playing right now has been pretty well documented. But have you noticed a change in him at all, his personality or anything in him at all, as his confidence has risen and as his confidence has changed?

SIDNEY CROSBY: To be honest, he's the same guy to me. We were hurt at the same time and kind of going through that together. I don't think he's changed over that time at all. As for his confidence, I think it was always there. As I said before, the whole season he was playing well, and he came back and obviously wanted to make sure that he didn't miss a beat. And he did that. He came back strong. He's raised his level here in the playoffs.

Q.  Guys dream of hoisting the cup. Do they dream of being one game away, one win away of reaching the finals?

SIDNEY CROSBY: You need to get there to get that opportunity. So, definitely, we need that next win to get that opportunity. Like I said, we know it's not going to be easy. We need to match that desperation that they're going to have knowing that there's no tomorrow. We've worked really hard as the playoffs have gone along. But we need to continue to do the same things.

Q.  You talked about the players that came over in the deadline deals. When that first happened, this is obviously what you expect or hope to have, but that's never a given. Can you just kind of talk about the process they went through, because it wasn't always like this from the point they were traded until now?
    
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, I think it's just a matter of getting comfortable. The great thing about our team is we have a great group of guys. Made everyone, I think, feel pretty comfortable early on. I think Gill's a guy that can feel comfortable anywhere, doesn't matter where he is. We've added some good people, and when you're doing that and they see the attitude and the way guys are on our team, it's an easy adjustment. As for the on ice stuff, I'm sure it takes some time.

Q.  Going back to Coach Therrien's famous tirade two and a half years ago when he had just taken over. I was just looking at the quotes again today, it had to do with lack of defensive commitments and so on. That was just two and a half years ago. How far do you feel this team has come since that night that he unleashed it?

SIDNEY CROSBY: I think we've come a ways. I think we all look back. He was obviously emotional, but what he was saying wasn't necessarily off. I mean, we weren't strong in that area. If we wanted to be a good team, that's definitely something we had to improve on, and it needed to be everyone. It wasn't specifically defensemen or forwards or goaltending, it was everybody. I think we all realized pretty early when he came in that we all had to buy into the team defense. You know, we realized, especially through the playoffs, that that's been a big part of our success.

Q.  Did you realize when Hossa came over what kind of a backchecker he was, and the way he plays two ways? Can you just comment on the defense he's played.

SIDNEY CROSBY: I knew he was a responsible guy. But I think his speed is something that surprised me. I always thought he was a pretty decent skater, but he's powerful. You know, he skates just as hard offensively as he does coming back, and that's a great trait to have as a player and as a line mate it's great to play with a guy like that. I knew he was responsible, but to see it every single game consistently like he does, it's something that as a teammate you really respect that.

Q.  You talked about the team buying into the defensive concept, but now it seems that it's almost like a prideful thing that you weren't just buying in. You believe in it and really enjoy doing it. Do you think that maybe catches teams off guard who come in figuring they have to not only shut you down, or Geno down, but have to get offense themselves?
    
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, maybe. I know that going into games we know if we take care of our own end, hopefully, our skill will take care of itself. But like you said, you have to believe in it, and you have to believe in what you do is going to work, and we do that. We have that belief, and I think that's the most important thing. There are some times where you can go out there and you know you're doing something right, but you're not sure if it's going to work, but that's not the case with us. We really believe in what we're going to do and we're going to have success in what we do.

Q.  You're obviously so involved in this and difficult to separate yourself. But when you get down to this stage of the playoffs and you have the four best teams remaining in the cup semifinals, is it at all surprising that both series are 3- 0 right now?
    
SIDNEY CROSBY: No, I mean the margin for error is so small, to be honest. It could be 2-1, it could be completely different. It could be the other way. It's one goal here and there, it's one mistake. It's just the way it is. I don't think it's always relevant of the way teams are playing. It's just who makes the least amount of mistakes or who gets a break, and you work for your bounces obviously, but it's really so tight. I don't think as players you really pay attention to that too much, because it is really a small margin for error.

Q.  How chippy do you expect the series to turn with Philadelphia at 3 0?

SIDNEY CROSBY: I'm not really sure. It's been pretty physical, but nothing too crazy. You know, it's a matter of teams wanting to win. They know that they don't want to take those bad penalties that are going to cost them. So I don't see it getting too much more chippy. I really think you're going to see two teams who really want to win, and are going to play physical and do whatever it takes to get that win.

Q.  Back to the speed of this team, how is it affecting the series against the opponents you've played? How has it affected what they've done, and what you've been able to do against them?

SIDNEY CROSBY: Well, I think when you skate, you're able to do a lot of things. You're able to draw penalties offensively. You're able to create chances. And even defensively, you know, you can get the loose pucks, you can cut passes off and be able to take away time and space. So I think skating is something that is so important, especially in the game today. And that's allowed us to do a lot of different things with our game.

Q.  Back to Marc Andre Fleury, you've mentioned or critics have mentioned before that he wasn't going to be able to get it done in the spotlight. He had some failures earlier in his career. What's changed with him? Is it a mental thing or just a maturity that's allowed him to excel?

SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, I'm sure he's got a little bit more experience now. So his confidence is there. But we're all in it together. I don't think he's the only one who feels like he had something to prove. We have a lot of young guys on our team, and a lot of these situations. So I think the great thing about our team is we have a lot of veterans that have been through it. But we have some young guys who can also help each other out too and learn from those guys. So we have a great scenario with our team. But I don't think he feels like he's alone. I think he knows there are a lot of guys that want to prove that they can perform in these kind of situations, and we're all there to help each other.



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