Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby craves the playoff atmosphere again


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.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.