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Dupuis, Cooke talk the end of #CrosbyWatch


Reaction from Penguins players on the impending return of team captain Sidney Crosby, who will play Monday night for the first time since Jan. 5:



ON HOW HE KNEW IT WAS TIME: “We’ve been, as you know, thinking it was close forever. I guess he’s had some really good days and it’s just time. I think he’s just perfectly fine now. Winning like we did gave him some time to get to where he needs to be. The last week and a half, after the West Coast trip, I could see the level go up a couple of notches. It’s intensity, that battle level. He was getting into those close one-on-one battles, poking pucks away with the stick, and just doing everything with that Sid intensity. That’s when I knew he was close, closer than ever.”

ON HOW THIS AFFECTS TEAM DYNAMIC: “We can’t get caught up thinking, ‘Sid’s back, he’ll score five a game and that will be it.’ He’s one piece of the puzzle, maybe the biggest piece, but just one that makes our system successful.”

ON HIS EXPECTAIONS FOR CROSBY’S FIRST GAME: “You know, honestly, it’s Sidney Crosby. He has that history of doing big things in big moments. This is a big one for him. Ask me about it after the game, but I don’t think anybody is going to be disappointed.”



ON HOW HE LEARNED THE NEWS: “I found out on the Pens web site today. It’s been my impression he’s been close for a long time, that it could be any day. I don’t think he was leading people on. It’s my opinion he was close and at end of the day he would know when it was time.”

ON THE IMPACT ON THE TEAM DYNAMIC: “There’s going to be some people that have less ice time. That will have to be an adjustment. It doesn’t change anything. He plays the way we want to play the game. Without question he does it with more skill, more flare than the rest of us. At end of the day we’re all trying to accomplish the same thing. That’s been a huge thing, our mentality, the last year and a half. We’ve just played the way we knew how to play.”

ON FINALLY HAVING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER: “Everyone just kind of almost succumbed to the fact that we had a three-headed monster and we’d just be without one of them all the time. That’s how it felt the last 14 months because (Jordan) Staal didn’t start last season. But it’s exciting to have all three in the lineup. I’m not going to lie.”

ON THE OPPORTUNITY AT HAND: “I truly believe that since before the salary-cap era, and especially after, that there is so much movement, and to have a core group of guys together for this many years together – that goes almost unheard of. Management has done a great job keeping this together, maintaining a success level. Winning in 2009 and having the last two years finish the way they did, it only makes this that much more, not urgent, but there is a realization within this group there is no better time than now. Who knows what happens next year?”





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.


  1. Shawn says:

    Forget hockey. Forget the league. Forget the team. Forget his teammates. Forget us even.

    I’m just really happy for Sid.

    Best of luck. Welcome back.

  2. It’ll be good to see him back. And if he stays healthy and nothing else happens to him, it’ll be even better, especially if we start winning with him again.

  3. sjb says:

    Am I the only one not as excited as I should be about this and not as excited as I would have been say…two or three weeks ago?

    Seems I’d be more pumped up about the team when they figure out a way not to lose in Florida.

    Anyway, I guess I’m happy now so we don’t have to deal with the soap opera the whole thing had become. Keep your head up Sid.

  4. Vic says:

    Welcome Back Sidney Crosby, your dedication to the team, the interaction with your team mates and the spectacular moves on ice that you can create makes it such a pleasure to watch a Penguins game. Good luck on your return.

  5. Jay Walker says:

    If we could just dump Fleury and Staal and their jumbo contracts and add a 30-plus-goal sniper, I’d like our chances. (Oh, yeah, Martin and Michalek, too.)

  6. Dejan Shortpants says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. How ’bout Staal for Toews even up (lol).

  7. Dejan Shortpants says:

    Sid’s back. It’s safe to watch the Pens again.

  8. Dejan Shortpants says:

    What does Steve Sullivan do for a living?

  9. Jay Walker says:

    What does Paul Martin do for a living?

  10. espo33 says:

    How is it that this blog is not updated after the game from Monday?

  11. Jay Walker says:

    The Trib-Review is playing shorthanded permanently. Very slow to move stories of any kind on this site.

  12. G Money says:

    Why haven’t I read that Martin and Michalek are a combined -16 this season? Because Rossi isn’t allowed to say anything bad about his buddy Shero probably.

  13. Jay Walker says:

    What does Rob Rossi do for a living?

  14. Dejan Shortpants says:

    Rossi needs a haircuit.

  15. Paul says:

    Its just too bad Sid will be suspended for that elbow to the head. We’re so against head shots…what, oh yeah, right, that was Sid doing the elbowing … and Dan Bylsma said it was OK…sorry, I forgot…but that guy that got Letang…10 games minimum. No place in the game for headshots like that…

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