Sidney Crosby: Caps, Penguins 'bring out the best in one another'
Sidney Crosby was on a conference call with reporters around the NHL Monday to talk about his point-scoring streak, the Winter Classic and the rivalry with the Capitals. One thing he made clear was that even though he appeared in the first-ever Winter Classic during the 2008 season, the novelty of the event hasn't worn off.
One of the main reasons Crosby cited was that this particular edition of the outdoor spectacle would be against one of the Penguins' main rivals in the Capitals.
A common sentiment after the teams' first meeting of the 2010-11 regular season was that each team brought out the best in the other, and if the Winter Classic features anything close to the frenetic pace and high intensity of that 3-2 shootout win by Pittsburgh, it will likely be deemed a success. Granted, it's hard to know how any weather-related stoppages or slower ice could impact the environment of Capitals-Penguins games, but those elements can't make the infectious competition between the two teams fade entirely.
"I think [the rivalry has] certainly grown," Crosby said. "You look at... the playoffs and you look at the games that we've played against [the Capitals] in the last few years; it's pretty easy to build a rivalry that's very intense. They're physical and they've been really close games, so I think that's a pretty natural progression as far as the two teams are concerned. I think that's good for everyone.... I think both teams bring out the best in one another. That seemed to be common throughout the matchups in the last few years."
Asked if he thought the Dec. 23 game was a preview of what to expect, Crosby said yes.
"It's been a game that we've seen a number of times the last few years -- exactly that," he said. "Really close, chances at both ends, physical, intense, an emotional game. That's what you get when these two teams play. So I would expect much of the same."
| December 28, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
Categories: Pittsburgh Penguins, Winter Classic
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