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Penguins Report: Crosby Shrugs Off Semin's Comments

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
If Sidney Crosby was bothered by the recent comments of Washington Capitals' star Alexander Semin, he kept it to himself.


“I would be better off keeping my opinion to myself, I think,” Crosby said. “(Semin is) free to say what he wants. I’ll keep mine to myself about him.”

Semin didn’t keep his comments to himself when he spoke with Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports.

“What’s so special about (Crosby)?” Semin was quoted as saying. “I don't see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else.

"I think that if you take any player, even if he is dead wood, and start promoting him, you'll get a star, especially if he scores 100 points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let's say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in, and he scored 50 goals - everyone will say, 'Wow!' and then hand him a $10-million per year contract. That's what they like here.”

Crosby brushed off the incendiary comments with a shrug.

“It’s not like I need a reason to be motivated,” Crosby said. “I feel like I’m a pretty motivated person anyways. I don’t feel like that kind of stuff changes the way I play. I’ve been criticized before. It’s one of those things I have to deal with. I don’t read into it a whole lot.”


> Pittsburgh conducted a normal practice at Southpointe on Tuesday after the team held a limited practice - that included a pickup soccer match - the day before.

Ruslan Fedotenko was the only player not to participate in practice. He is listed as day-to-day after suffering an undisclosed injury during practice on Saturday.

Pascal Dupuis, who was retroactively placed on injured reserve on Oct. 28, will be eligible to return for the Penguins game on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers at Mellon Arena.

Dupuis skated on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora. Dupuis should transition well with the skilled Malkin, considering he’s played on a line with Crosby during the majority of his time in Pittsburgh.

“They’re two great players,” Dupuis said. “Geno likes to shoot a little bit more. Sid likes to pass the puck, makes some plays. They both bring a lot of attention to themselves so if you can get open you’ll get the puck.”
  
  
     
 

 
     

> The Penguins lack of power-play production was the hot topic to start the season. Pittsburgh went 0 for its first 13 opportunities this season. However, the Penguins have since converted 11 of 40 chances for a 27.5-percent ratio.

One of the keys to the turnaround has been rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski, who mans a point on the top power-play unit.

“He’s not playing like a rookie out there,” assistant coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s showing great composure when he gets the puck. He’s making some great reads.

“Every team plays differently and you have a bunch of different options out there. It’s up to the player to choose the right option and he’s done a great job with that so far.”

Goligoski scored the Penguins first power-play goal of the season with one second left against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 5. It was also Goligoski’s first career NHL goal.

“On the power play, we’re starting to move it around a little better,” Goligoski said. “The last couple of games, we’ve been pretty good. It’s a learning process. I’m out there with some really good players. I’m not highly relied on with those guys (on the ice). It’s been going pretty well.”

Goligoski has adjusted quickly to the level of play in the NHL. In 11 games this season, Goligoski has three goals and three assists for six points. Two of those goals came with the man advantage.

“Everything is a little bit better,” he said of the NHL. “It’s a little faster, a little more physical, a little smarter. Everything is a level up. I can’t specifically point to one thing but the overall game is just better. It’s going as well as expected, I guess.”


> He said it: Crosby on if he has followed the 2008 Presidential Election:

"I haven't followed it consistently but it's hard not to. It's on every channel."



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