PITTSBURGH - Like many NHL observers, Penguins star Sidney Crosby has noticed the rabid fan response in Winnipeg this season.
“It’s been awesome,” Crosby said, Tuesday. “I haven’t played there, obviously, but I’ve watched all the games on TV. And it’s an awesome atmosphere every time I’ve watched. The team has played well obviously, too. It’s been a real success.”
A smiling Crosby suggested some of the heckling, though, might be backfiring.
At least, based on what he saw of the Jets and Carolina, Sunday, where fans targeted Hurricanes star Eric Staal.
“I think they were saying Jordan’s better. If anything, that probably motivated Eric a little bit. He ended up having a good game. You never know how that works out.”
Eric Staal scored twice and set up the winner in the Canes’ 4-3 victory.
Two days earlier, it was Washington’s Alex Ovechkin who heard it from the Winnipeg crowd, with a “Crosby’s better” chorus.
More creative than the “Crosby sucks” chants often heard when playing in rival Philadelphia’s barn?
“They’re both trying to help their team and get on the opposing players,” Crosby said. “I’m not going to sit here and critique somebody’s heckling ability. The main thing is they’re pretty passionate fans.”