Penguins Notebook: Therrien has a few questions for Capitals' Semin
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While Sidney Crosby continued to brush aside unflattering comments by Washington's Alexander Semin, Penguins coach Michel Therrien stuck up for his center.
In an interview last week that has been widely discussed, Semin questioned Crosby's stardom and abilities.
Therrien had some questions for the Capitals winger.
"Is he talking about the youngest guy to get 100 points in the history of the National Hockey League?" Therrien said yesterday. "Is he talking about the [second-youngest] guy to win the Hart Trophy and [the youngest] leading scorer? Is he talking about the youngest captain in the history of the National Hockey League, and to bring his team to the Stanley Cup final?
"That's all I have to say."
Mob mentality for Crosby
The Penguins followed a fairly standard home-game routine last night against Edmonton at Mellon Arena.
It was anything but that the last time the teams met, in December when the Penguins played on the road against the Oilers -- especially for Crosby.
It was Crosby's first trip to Western Canada, coming in his third NHL season. That meant he was in high demand by fans and media during stops in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
"Busy, yeah. Probably one of the busiest trips I've been on. But it was fun," Crosby recalled of the trip, when he had two third-period assists in a comeback win against the Oilers en route to a three-game sweep in Alberta and British Columbia.
"That was a great trip for us. That was a pretty big turning point in the season when you look it."
Crosby was the subject of at least one news conference every day of the trip and was escorted everywhere, including through side and back doors.
"Nothing too crazy," he said. "I just didn't really leave my hotel. It was fine. That's Canada. It's a great environment when you're playing there."
The Penguins are expected to play in those three cities again next season. In addition, the next Winter Olympics are in Vancouver in February 2010.
At 800 games, Gill grows
Hal Gill's next game -- presumably tomorrow night against the New York Islanders -- will the 800th of his NHL career.
"I used to get excited when you hit the milestones like that," the Penguins defenseman said. "Now your goals get a little bigger -- not to play in more games, but to win more games.
"It's an honor to be able to play this long and stay healthy enough to do it. It's exciting, but at the same time I want to get those wins."
Asked if 1,000 games is reachable, he said, Gill laughed.
"I don't know. I'll play until they tell me not to."
Gill, 33, who was acquired from Toronto in February, broke into the NHL with Boston in 1997-98 after playing at Providence College.
Robert Morris vs. Ohio State
Robert Morris will play Ohio State at 8 p.m. next Friday in the Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase at Mellon Arena. The Robert Morris women will play Niagara in the preliminary game at 5 p.m.
Tickets, $15 for reserved seats, $10 for general admission, are available at Ticketmaster outlets, the Mellon Arena Gate One box office or by calling 412-323-1919.
Winger Ruslan Fedotenko, who missed the previous game with an undisclosed injury, returned to the Penguins lineup. They scratched defenseman Mark Eaton and winger Paul Bissonnette. ... The Oilers placed defenseman Denis Grebeshkov on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury and recalled Theo Peckham. Their scratches were defenseman Ladislav Smid, winger Zachery Stortini and goaltender Dwayne Roloson.
First Published November 7, 2008 12:00 am