The last time Sidney Crosby set foot on the ice in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Penguins were beaten in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals by Montreal. That was the final game played at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh and for Crosby, it was the last time he appeared on hockey’s grandest stage.
With the Penguins dropping the puck tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at CONSOL Energy Center for Game 1 of their first round series, Crosby tells Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he can’t wait to get back at it again.
“I crave that atmosphere,” Crosby said. “The playoffs are why you play this game.”
Of course, the Penguins were in the playoffs last season without their captain, losing in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning, getting stonewalled by Dwayne Roloson. The Lightning made for an ironic opponent given that it was Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman who knocked Crosby out for the season.
Crosby tells Yohe that he wants all the highs and lows that come with competing in the postseason.
“It was so tough not being out there last year,” he said. “When you`re winning, you want to share it with the team. When you`re losing, you want to feel the same things the team is going through. There is nothing like being out there.”
Being out there against the cross-state rival Flyers should help set the stage for an incredible series that has most fans tickled to see the hate pour out on the ice and translate into great hockey. With Crosby this fired up for the postseason, having one of the league’s best playing at his best should make this series one to remember.