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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sidney Crosby Wants More Philly Hatred

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Penguins official website, Sidney Crosby stated that his team's lack of intensity on Saturday was their downfall. Crosby went on to say that the team "didn’t hate Philly enough on Saturday."

I think we can all agree that it's pretty much impossible to hate the Philadelphia Flyers enough. You can always hate them more. Always.

"You have to have that intensity. You have to have that willingness to go out there and compete on every shift because they certainly did. If you don’t match that, especially on the road, you’re going to be in trouble," said Crosby.

"That’s the bottom line. I don’t think it had anything to do with the game before. We don't hate them enough right now. They outworked us early and we had it tough getting back into it."

It's hard to believe the Penguins had trouble getting themselves hyped up for a game against the Flyers. This is the place where fans thirst for blood, where the players are taunted and threatened, where fans throw things at the Penguins' bench. This is the home of "Crosby Sucks."

Last season Evgeni Malkin was asked about Philly and he responded with "I don't really like playing against them. I don't like that team."

The hatred is there. It just didn't translate into effort on Saturday.

I also don't think the Penguins lack of intensity had anything to do with the 9-2 victory against the Islanders on Thursday. That game wasn't really emotional, it was more of a celebration. Though perhaps the Penguins players celebrated a little too much following the win. They did have a day off between games though. Besides, earlier this season, the Penguins followed an even more emotional 7-6 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings with a 5-4 shootout win against the Flyers two days later.

Maybe it was their recent schedule that caused the Penguins to look so flat. The Penguins recently played seven games in 10 days, and they lost five of those games. Maybe the injuries are piling up for the Pens, but it wasn't just a lack of talent that caused the loss in Philly, it was the lack of effort.

The Penguins are still a relatively young team and they are a very inconsistent team. If they want to win the Stanley Cup this year they'll need to learn to play in tough situations. When they are tired and injured and emotionally drained great teams reach that next level. They dig deeper and they find ways to complete.

That's what the Penguins did successfully last year and what they're not doing this year.

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