DETROIT -- A healthy Gary Roberts is seething, having been scratched from the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
Roberts apparently confronted coach Michel Therrien -- with a few choice words being exchanged -- after learning yesterday that he wouldn't be playing tonight.
Roberts name was left off the lineup sheet posted in the Penguins dressing room.
"I'm not happy about not playing in Game 1," said the veteran winger. "I still think I have some game left in me. Hopefully, I'll do what Lanny (McDonald) did."
Roberts was referring to the only time he won the Stanley Cup, with the 1989 Calgary Flames. The legendary McDonald, scratched for some playoff games, came back and scored the final goal of his career in the Cup-winning game.
"It was supposed to be my shift,"Roberts said. "He took my place. It turned out OK."
According to at least one Penguins source, the decision to not dress Roberts was twofold.
On the one hand, Therrien didn't want to tamper with a winning lineup and Roberts missed the end of the Eastern Conference final with pneumonia. On the other hand, Therrien wants to use Roberts' inspirational leadership to bring him off the bench if need be.
Pens GM Ray Shero was asked yesterday why he didn't acquire a goaltender during the season when many questioned how slowly Marc-Andre Fleury was developing. The general manager said: "There was none available."
Veteran Kris Draper insists the Red Wings have to stay out of the penalty box if they hope to win the Stanley Cup. "I've seen their power play. Very dangerous."
WINGS SUIT FAILS
A federal jury yesterday rejected a request to award former Detroit Red Wings defenceman Vladimir Konstantinov and a former team masseur nearly $300 million US for a 1997 limo crash that left them with disabling brain injuries.
The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before deciding that Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury, the Ohio dealership that sold the limo, was not responsible for the injuries the two sustained.
40 YEARS OR 4 YEARS
Wings GM Ken Holland was complaining about how long it has been since the Wings have been in a Stanley Cup final. "It seems like a long time," said Holland. "It's been four years."
Actually, it's six years and five seasons ago, but who's counting?