Crosby flying high

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

TORONTO -- While the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins enjoyed a day off yesterday, Sidney Crosby held a news conference at the team's hotel to accommodate all the media requests.

Such are the demands of a superstar, even if he is just 19 years old.

Crosby leads the NHL in points with 116 and appears en route to the Art Ross Trophy. But he receives more satisfaction at the fact his Penguins are battling the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division crown.

"To be fighting for a division title is a great way to show the progress we've made," said Crosby, whose club plays the Maple Leafs tonight at the Air Canada Centre. "We've been playing with a lot of energy. Guys have been feeding off each other collectively.

"We're looking forward to our first (playoff run)."

Not having to deal with questions about the franchise's potential move to Kansas City or Las Vegas doesn't hurt, either.

"It's nice to know we are staying put (in Pittsburgh)," he said. "It's been a roller-coaster ride but, now that it is settled, we can move forward."

Crosby was very complimentary of the roles played by veteran teammates such as Mark Recchi, Georges Laraque and Gary Roberts on such a young team.

"We have some guys with experience who have been through (the playoff wars) before," he said. "We're leaning on them. As for the young guys, we're all growing together. It's a great situation."

Having grown up a Habs fan, Crosby could really aid the Montreal Canadiens by beating the rival Leafs tonight. Both the Leafs and Habs are vying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Helping the Habs is not something I'm thinking about," he said."We want to win the division."

NOTES: A healing Kyle Wellwood hopes to play in the Leafs' back-to-back games this weekend. "Right now, I feel great," he said after a 10-minute skate yesterday ... Leafs coach Paul Maurice is not worried that Mats Sundin has scored only one goal in the past 15 games. "He's getting chances and we've won some games," Maurice said.


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