Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby isn’t worried about his matchup against Leafs center Nazem Kadri as the two teams meet up Saturday night.
On last season’s HBO’s 24/7 cameras caught an exchange between Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf and Crosby during a break in the play. Phaneuf is heard telling Crosby, “You hit Nazem from behind, Sid.”
Crosby replied by saying Kadri was a “(bleeping) joke.”
Kadri admitted following Thursday’s workout that the verbal jabs were likely to continue on the ice.
“Yeah, maybe. It depends on what Randy (Carlyle) wants, but he’s a guy you have to watch, and if you can get under his skin, get him off his game, then you have to go after that,” Kadri told the Toronto Star.
“I’m an agitator. I try to get someone off their game,” continued Kadri. “He (hit me from behind) and he thought I embellished it a bit. Words were exchanged and that’s pretty much what happened.”
For his part, Crosby wasn’t too concerned when asked of the altercation Saturday following the team’s morning skate.
“You just have to be ready to compete. No matter if it’s a (defenseman) or a center you matchup against, that’s what you get excited, for those match-ups. That’s why it’s fun to compete,” he said.
Crosby added that he doesn’t plan for the verbal game.
“It’s hard to predict. I don’t really have a plan that way. I don’t typically go in to a game looking to talk to anybody. I try to go out there and play and worry about what you do on the ice. That won’t change.”
In 28 career games against the Leafs, Crosby has 43 points. While playing in games against Kadri, Crosby eight points in six games.