Penguins remedy Stanley Cup hangover with solid start

The Stanley Cup celebrations were barely two weeks old when Sidney Crosby started thinking about a remedy for the championship hangover.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87).

PITTSBURGH — The Stanley Cup celebrations were barely two weeks old when Sidney Crosby started thinking about a remedy for the championship hangover.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain went on vacation with teammate Max Talbot shortly after the Game 7 victory over Detroit and was already looking ahead to this season. Just like that, another long championship pursuit had begun.

“I remember that trip with Sid,” Talbot recalled Tuesday. “It was a celebration and everything, but (he was saying) ‘Let’s do it again’ — that was his first thought. That’s a big reason why we don’t have a hangover right now.”

Indeed, the Penguins are off to a start that suggests they’re as hungry as ever to win the Stanley Cup. With only today’s game against Ottawa remaining before the Christmas break, Pittsburgh is hovering around the top of the Eastern Conference with a 25-11-1 record.

There’s no doubt in Talbot’s mind why things have gone so well.

“This guy, Sid,” he said, motioning towards Crosby’s locker. “Sid is the main reason.

“He would never let himself or let us have a bad start. I don’t think we’re satisfied as a group in winning one.”

It’s interesting to see how few reminders there are of last year’s championship season.

Another banner hangs in the rafters of Mellon Arena and a small Stanley Cup adorned with “2009” has been put up in the dressing room, but there aren’t really any massive tributes to be found.

The Penguins appear to have turned the page.

While the team’s roster experienced a few changes over the summer, the core remains the same — Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury, all signed through at least the 2011-12 season.

“Our chemistry is still the same, it’s still solid,” said Fleury. “The guys that came in are great fits.

“Everyone is getting along very good with everybody. On the ice, I think we’ve shown we’re built to win again — that’s the main thing.”

A major hurdle in winning another championship appears to be the New Jersey Devils, who beat the Penguins 4-0 on Monday night. The league-leading Devils have already won three games against the defending champs this season.

Even still, the Penguins were upbeat at practice Tuesday and appeared to have put the latest defeat behind them.

“I think our attitude and our preparation was all there,” said Crosby. “We’ll forget about it.”

Staal isn’t likely to forget an incident during the second period of Monday’s game when he was struck in the nose with the puck. It was a scary moment for the 21-year-old centre, who left a trail of blood while being helped off the ice by a trainer.

He got stitched up and returned in the third period with a full face shield.

The incident might prompt him to put on a visor once the cut heals.

“It’s obviously something that I’ll think about a little bit more,” said Staal.

Just Posted

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

Innisfail Eagles win Senior AAA provincial semifinal, earn final spot in Allan Cup

For the first time in their 71-year history, the Innisfail Eagles will… Continue reading

AP FACT CHECK: Trump hails an exoneration not offered

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is misrepresenting the conclusions of special counsel… Continue reading

Long-awaited video service expected from Apple on Monday

Apple is expected to announce Monday that it’s launching a video service… Continue reading

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

VANCOUVER — Justin Trudeau delivered a feisty, campaign-style speech in Vancouver-Kingsway Sunday… Continue reading

Svechnikov scores in overtime, Carolina beats Montreal 2-1

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes struggled to beat Montreal goaltender Carey… Continue reading

Canadian men’s soccer squad off to Gold Cup with 4-1 win over French Guiana

VANCOUER, B.C. — Canada’s men’s soccer team is looking to the future… Continue reading

Inquest into fatal Radiohead stage collapse set to get underway in Toronto

TORONTO — An inquest is set to get underway today into the… Continue reading

The Latest: Streisand apologizes for Jackson comments

NEW YORK — The Latest on Barbra Streisand’s comments about the sexual… Continue reading

Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have… Continue reading

France investigates after older protester is injured in Nice

NICE, France — French authorities are investigating the case of an older… Continue reading

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Most Read