Capitals, Steckel not worried about Penguins seeking retribution
In the days following the Winter Classic, many members of the Pittsburgh Penguins spoke out about the collision between the Capitals David Steckel and Sidney Crosby. Defenseman Brooks Orpik called it "definitely dirty" and Mike Rupp said if the Penguins saw the contact when it happen "there would have been a reaction".
Roughly a month later though, the Penguins appear to have softened their opinion on the collision and the Capitals aren't worried about the possibility of retribution, though they will be prepared for anything.
Asked about the collision between Steckel and Crosby by reporters in Pittsburgh this week, Orpik said: "I think everyone has got their own opinion on whether or not that was a cheap shot. I've played against that Steckel a lot. For as big as he is, he's not all that physical. I've never really seen him stick out as a dirty player. They don't have a lot of dirty guys on that team, to be honest."
That change in attitude goes along with what the Capitals have said about the inadvertent contact since the Winter Classic and since it was announced that Crosby would miss time with a concussion, which may have stemmed partially from the collision with Steckel.
"Anybody that knows Dave Steckel knows that it was totally accidentally, whether Don Cherry wants to say it wasn't or whomever," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It likens to when Sidney Crosby slew-footed Ryan Callahan early on in the year and Sidney said: 'Hey, that's not the way I play. You know I didn't do that on purpose.' Same as Dave."
Pittsburgh's "Matt Cooke knows him he knows that there was no intent there," Boudreau continued. "I don't see retribution. Deryk Engelland's played with him they know that's not Dave Steckel's style. I wouldn't think that that would happen."
For his part, Steckel said he couldn't be concerned about what, if anything, the Penguins might do to seek him out to exact revenge.
"I'm just going to go out there and play," Steckel said. "Like I've said before it was incidental contact. I'm just going to go out there and play and whatever happens, happens."
The Capitals said they are aware that the Penguins might try to start something, but added if there are any extra-curricular activities between whistles they'll be ready to come to the defense of any teammate.
"It's their best player, obviously they miss him. So, I'm anticipating something will happen," Jason Chimera said. "It wasn't a dirty hit. If they try to do anything we have guys that can handle that and we will stick up for each other. We're not worried about that.
"I think the biggest thing is just to stick together as teammates, strength in numbers," Chimera continued. "If you see someone pushing a guy, get in there and help your teammate out."
In other news this morning, Joe Beninati will no longer be a part of Versus broadcasts. That change will not affect his position as the Capitals' play-by-play man on Comast SportsNet broadcasts though. Beninati signed a three-year extension for his position on CSN's Caps broadcasts this offseason, I'm told.
| February 6, 2011; 11:42 AM ET
Categories: David Steckel, Pittsburgh Penguins
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