PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s no secret that Pittsburgh is a die-hard sports town. The fans eat, sleep and breathe their Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.
So, if should come as no surprise that the players on those teams all pull for one another as well.
Earlier this spring, the Pirates all wore Penguins jerseys during a road trip while the Pens were in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Now, the Penguins are returning the favor.
After today’s practice at the CONSOL Energy Center, the Penguins took the ice in Pirates shirts, jerseys and more to play an impromptu game of Wiffle ball on ice.
“It doesn’t feel anything like it does on grass, put it that way. No slides,” Sidney Crosby said.
The team also hung a Pirates flag in the locker room to show their support.
After the game, Crosby spoke about the camaraderie between the professional athletes in Pittsburgh.
“I think it’s great. This is an awesome sports town. I think the athletes here, they all pull for the other teams and can all kind of relate to playing here and how lucky we are. But, also just how tough it is just to get to the playoffs and win and all the expectations that come with that. It’s a small community, but we’re all pulling for one another,” Crosby said.
The Penguins have been involved in several Game 7 scenarios over the past few seasons, which is what the Pirates are facing tonight. The difference is that the Pirates are starting with a Game 7.
“No, I can’t imagine that. I think some of our players and some of us have been in college hockey where you play one game to move on to have it feel like this. But, in terms of our team, pro hockey, you just don’t get to fast forward to a Game 7 immediately and that’s what the Pirates have tonight at PNC. It’s tough to imagine what that’s going to be like having that one game and move on type of playoff scenario for the Pirates tonight,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.
Crosby offered some words of advice for the Pirates and is confident they’ll bring home a win tonight.
“I think you just have to be your best at this time. I mean, it’s hard to treat it like a regular game because it’s not. But, I think you just try to do that and I think that’s gotten them this far. So, I’m sure they’ll find a way to pull it out here,” Crosby said.
As for Bylsma, he’ll be rooting on the Pirates in person inside PNC Park tonight.
“I’ve got my seat and I’ll be at the match tonight. I haven’t decided what color face paint I’m going with,” Bylsma said.
You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sheavedice