This interview is available in streaming video, audio and the text transcript below. Penguins radio host Bob Grove moderated the session.
INTERVIEW PART 1
BG: We've got a question here from Jim in Reno. "Hi Sid, Have you played in international tournaments with or against Evgeni Maklin and what are your thoughts about now being possible teammates?"
Sidney Crosby: I played against him in the World Juniors this past Christmas in North Dakota. He is a great player, I mean, he's incredible fast, great skill, great passer, can shoot. He seems like a guy who has the total package- so we'll have to see what happens. Hopefully we get him because he'll help the team a lot.
BG: There's no question that Penguin fans are keeping their fingers crossed that we can get Evgeni Malkin signed. This question is from Jim in Ligonier, PA. "Sidney, are you any good at bubble hockey?"
Sidney Crosby: I'm not really that good (laughing), I'm not going to lie. I've played the odd game and I don't usually win, but I do love to play the odd game of bubble hockey when I get the chance.
BG: This comes from Craig right here in Pittsburgh. "Sidney, what are your favorite bands or style of music, and welcome to Pittsburgh."
Sidney Crosby: I don't think there's one certain style- I like everything. I became a little bit of a country fan when I was going to school in Minnesota, so I guess I am a Tim McGraw fan and I like pretty much everything. I don’t think there's one band that really sticks out. I like music and I pretty much listen to everything.
BG: When you get a chance during the season, when the schedule permits, do you try to catch a show?
Sidney Crosby: Definitely. I have only been to one before, which was Tim McGraw at the Excel Center in Minnesota, but I would definitely love the chance to catch a show here.
BG: Kate in Ontario says, "Hey Sidney, any superstitions before the game?"
Sidney Crosby: A lot. I always put my right-side equipment on first, usually always eat at the same time before games- sleep at the same time. I usually don’t let anyone touch my stick before the game. Just one of those things where after it’s taped I just like to have it by my stall and I don't like guys shooting around with it or anything like that.
BG: What kind of meal do you eat? What’s your favorite pre-game meal?
Sidney Crosby: Spaghetti, like most guys. I try to get some pasta.
BG: This question comes from Matt in Raleigh, North Carolina. "Sidney, I am curious what facets of your game you would like to improve on."
Sidney Crosby: Defensive play. I think anytime you’re an offensive player it’s easy to get caught on the wrong side of the puck. I think for me just making sure that I stay in my own zone, don’t get caught. Especially in the NHL every guy is good. Defensively, if you make a mistake the puck is going to be in your net. I'd say my defensive play is something I'd like to work on.
BG: As you know Sidney, Coach Eddie Olczyk is pretty high on making sure people are responsible. Everyone talks about your offensive skills, but guys that play at your level know that it’s a two-way game.
Sidney Crosby: Exactly.
BG: This question comes from Andrew in Madison, CT. "Dear Sidney, I was wondering if you could tell me some off-ice conditioning drills that you do everyday to keep your physique up?"
Sidney Crosby: For me I do a lot of sprinting. I think it’s different for everyone depending on what you need to work on. For me speed is something I try to focus on, definitely in the summer to improve that in the season. Coming from Junior to the NHL that’s a big step with the speed of the game, so skating has to be better, so I think doing a lot of sprints is something that has helped me get better foot speed. I need agility drills or foot speed drills- that's going to help you a lot.
BG: This question comes from Dave in Welland, Ontario. "Sidney, what NHL player or players do you model your playing style after and why?"
Sidney Crosby: I think Peter Forsberg or Steve Yzerman. Someone who's an all-around player, not just someone who scores goals or gets assists but someone who does everything to the best of their ability and makes an effort to be a leader out there on the ice. I think those two guys definitely do that when they are out there. They block shots, they win face-offs when the need to, so that the type of player I'd like to be. Someone who's dependable no matter what the situation is.
BG: And Sidney, with Peter going to Philadelphia, you’re going to see a lot of him this year. That will be a thrill for you.
Sidney Crosby: Exactly, I'm hoping to battle a little bit with Peter Forsberg. That would be nice.
BG: Our next question comes from Brett in Ambler, Pennsylvania. "How do you feel about the new rule changes in the NHL and how do you think they relate to your experience in the Quebec league or how do they differ?"
Sidney Crosby: I think the rule changes are great. With the crack-down on obstruction that’s going to be great for offensive guys. To be able to skate and move the puck without worrying about a guy being all over you with the no red line just making a pass that might change the game, that’s going to help, and give guys a chance at break-aways. That will definitely make it interesting for fans. It’s different than the Quebec league. We never really had that opportunity. There was a red line...there was a lot of obstruction, but we'll see how it goes. Definitely if they crack down on the obstruction that’s going to change a lot.
BG: Sidney, before we close I had a question of my own. Of course many Pittsburgh fans already know that your father was a goaltender that was drafted by Montreal the same year that Mario Lemieux was drafted in 1984. I'm wondering if you had a penalty shot against your dad would you be going five-hole or top shelf? How would you beat him?
Sidney Crosby: I would go five-hole. I have always scored on him five-hole. I can remember being younger shooting on him. We had an area where we could shoot and he would go in sometimes. Never shot on ice before on him, but in the basement I have been known to score a few five-hole on him.
BG: Sidney, thanks for taking the time to answer the fans questions and I want to remind everybody to continue to go to pittsburghpenguins.com and all season long we will be doing more Q&A's