Sidney Crosby loves a challenge; this we know from his recent history. And Tuesday, when asked all sorts of questions - about his level of frustration, about how the Penguins have lost three games in the series in which they've held a lead - Crosby just sounded defiant, as if he were ready to rise to the occasion again.
"I feel good," said Crosby, one of three players along with coach Dan Bylsma to take a turn at the podium on the off-day before Game 7. "You can always analyze things a lot of different ways. If you saw it as frustration, what was the frustration? There's frustration throughout most games. I think that's pretty typical in a playoff series for things to get heated after a game. If that's the way you want to look at it that's fine. But I think that's pretty typical as far as I'm concerned. Things are emotional. That's what happens at the end of playoff games. That's pretty common."
Crosby scored 14 points in the opening playoff round; he's just had five since then, although two of them came in the Game 6 loss to the Canadiens the other night.
Thus far, the offensive star of the series continues to be the Montreal Canadiens' Michael Cammalleri, who chipped in two more goals. No matter what the Penguins have done to limit him, Cammalleri has repeatedly and resiliently found a way to produce timely scoring.
"We're all aware of his skill, his speed and everything that he creates," Crosby said. "He's got a great shot. He makes the most of his chances. I don't know if that's a lack of preparation or a lack of not knowing where he is. We've made a few mistakes, we haven't gotten a few pucks deep and he's capitalized. That's what great players do. They find ways to score. He's made the most of his opportunities but that's not a lack of effort or not knowing where he is. He's just executing well."
Defenceman Jordan Leopold said he played with Cammalleri in Calgary last year at this time and described him as "a guy who can put the puck in the net [whose]done that repeatedly. He always finds the spots and the situations to do that. Now all of that is in the past. We have to look to one game, and we have to win one game - and [Montreal]is thinking the same thing."