Crosby says calling him a whiner is “garbage” and “uncalled for”

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You might say Sidney Crosby is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore.

Okay, that might be overstating things a tad.

A more accurate phrasing would be something like “Sidney Crosby is moderately annoyed, and doesn’t want to answer questions all the time” — which was apparent on Friday, when he spoke to Pens TV:

“I don’t know when this all started, if this is part of the new tactics in the playoffs, but it’s garbage,” Crosby told the media after Pittsburgh’s practice on Friday. “The game’s played on the ice. You get all this stuff going on. It really is garbage. It’s nonsense and if they want to do it great, but I’m not going to waste my time answering questions about it all the time.”

It’s understandable why Crosby’s gone on the offensive. Following Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, Flyers assistant Craig Berube said Crosby “whines to the refs all day and all night.”

Following Thursday’s game against New York, Rangers head coach John Tortorella said the Penguins had “two whining stars” — referring to (we assume) Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

That’s two whiner accusations in a four-day span. Haven’t seen a pro athlete so aggressively tagged with that label since John McEnroe was berating chair umpires.

To be fair, No. 87 agreed that — in his early years — he often rode officials hard (gotta be a better way to say that.) But he also says he’s since mellowed out on the complaining tip and doesn’t think his reputation is deserved.

“I’m nowhere near where I was then and to get those kinds of remarks every day is uncalled for and not warranted,” Crosby explained. “I don’t really know how much I can say. I don’t need to sit here and defend myself for something that’s not going on.

“But if they want to try that garbage, try it.”