CHEATERS NEVER WIN(ISH) Pens center Sidney Crosby drew up the team’s game-winning goal in overtime of Game 2 off of a faceoff win.
Crosby was dominant in the circle in that game, going 17-7 on the night. Apparently, he was so good that San Jose’s Logan Couture accused him of cheating.
“I didn’t expect that one, but I have one good game in the faceoff circle and all of a sudden I’m cheating on faceoffs,” Crosby said. “Probably not a coincidence there.
“I think we’re all doing the same thing in the faceoff circle. I don’t think anyone’s found a habit or a tendency someone else doesn’t do. I think we all do the same thing. So I don’t know what to say, really.”
Couture semi-walked back his statement. He told the Los Angeles Times: “Our centers do it. (Anze) Kopitar does it. (Jeff) Carter does it. Everyone does it. I do it. Some guys get away with it. Some guys, the refs will stop. That’s what happens on faceoffs.”
Crosby was asked if the comments were adding fuel to his desire to beat the Sharks.
“I don’t need any more fuel,” he said. “At this stage, we’re all motivated by the end result. I don’t need any extra motivation and I don’t think anybody needs to say anything to spark that.”
THIS ‘N AT *Head coach Mike Sullivan on the team’s depth: “When you look at the makeup of our lines you pick your poison. Any particular line on any given night might be the best line of our team depending on who is playing well. What we like about the makeup of our forward lines is the balance. We have threats on every line. That presents potential challenges for our opponents from a matchup standpoint.”
*Sullivan on the HBK line: “It starts with their chemistry. They’re feeling it right now. Their confidence is at an all-time high.”
*Matt Murray on people comparing him to Ken Dryden: “There is no comparison to Ken Dryden. It makes me pretty uncomfortable actually to hear that.”
*Murray on his concentration technique: “The biggest thing for me is focusing on your breathing. I think that brings you back to being in the moment. It’s something I do a lot, work on a lot. It’s something so simple. But it definitely helps.”
*Kris Letang on the Pens’ forecheck and cycle: “The forecheck is good when you’re able to use your speed, have good dumps. The cycle is a matter of making the right play, don’t be too cute and protect the puck, use your speed and ability to open up lanes.”
*Phil Kessel on how things have changed: “It’s a big difference. For a couple years it was early summers. This is a short summer. We’ll just keep going and it’s a lot of fun.”
*Carl Hagelin on staying out of the box: “It starts with us having the puck a lot. You don’t have to take many penalties. Check with your legs, don’t use your stick. Our discipline has been good. We haven’t taken any stupid penalties so far.”
*Nick Bonino on what the Sharks will bring in Game 3: “We expect a really hard start and a good team. These last two games have been decided very late. They’re a great team. They’re going to come out really hard and we’ll have to be able to match that.”
*Brian Dumoulin on the Pens’ neutral zone play: “They’re forwards are good. They like to get up ice and their D are good at moving pucks. We’ve had a lot of forwards back clogging up the neutral zone and causing them to dump a lot of pucks. Us D, we’ve focused on trying to quick up pucks as much as we can, use our forward speed on their defensemen.”
*Sharks head coach Peter Deboer: “This isn’t over until one team wins four games. You’re dealing with two very good hockey teams that beat some very good hockey teams to get here. We’re not reading a lot into where we are sitting right now. We have to take care of business here at home.”
*Deboar: “When you’ve got Kessel, Crosby and Malkin on three different lines, all three of those guys make more than anybody on our team. That’s matchup problems for everybody in the whole playoffs.”