PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and general manager Ray Shero responded Tuesday to controversial comments made by NBC hockey analyst Mike Milbury following several fights and a shouting match between coaches Sunday against the Flyers.
Crosby spoke before the Penguins 5-3 win at Boston and said he was surprised by Milbury’s remarks, but added he’s not surprised, as Milbury has a way of bending the truth.
“I don’t know what he’s looking for, if he’s looking for attention or what it is,” Crosby said. “I don’t have much to say there.
“I really don’t know where that came from. You can twist something a certain way, and he’s obviously shown he’s more than capable of doing that. He’s pretty good at twisting things around, that’s for sure.”
Crosby went on to explain that his game gets grittier against the Flyers and said that style of play is common when Pittsburgh and Philadelphia play each other. He said his game doesn’t change, but he will react to different things as the game progresses.
Philadelphia’s rough nature causes him to react with a similar edge.
“My style is not different than a lot of guys, to be honest,” he said. “If you’re to look at the way I play, I play the game to create offense and score goals.
“If you are to dissect everything and show my response to certain things sometimes, yeah, I do do things out there. But they’re usually in response to probably two or three things that were done to me prior to that.”
Crosby’s remarks came in response to Milbury calling him a “punk” and mocking, as he put it, Crosby’s “35 concussions.”
Milbury also commented on Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, suggesting Bylsma should have engaged in a fight with Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
Shero issued a statement on the topic and clearly wasn’t happy with what Milbury said.
“It’s fine to have an opinion on players but when you’re making light of concussions, that’s not right,” Shero said. “I’ve gone through this with my own kid, obviously we’ve gone through it as a team with Sidney Crosby and saw what it took for him to battle back from it over the past year, there’s nothing funny about post-concussion syndrome. I don’t think it would have been very funny had he made fun of (Flyers captain) Chris Pronger in that light. There’s nothing funny about (former Flyers captain) Keith Primeau having to retire from it. This is an issue that is at the forefront of our league right now and to make light of these concussions is a real lame attempt at humor. He should know better than this.’’
Milbury issued an apology Tuesday for his comments. You can read that here.
The Penguins and Flyers face off in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday at Consol Energy Center.