Crosby, the Penguins feel the Stanley Cup window is still open to enter the season

Cranberry, Pennsylvania – Sidney Crosby Not interested in the fairy tale ending of the Pittsburgh penguins.

Instead, the captain wants to go back to basics after his fellow center Yevgeny Malkin and defenseman Chris Letang New contracts were signed this off season.

“It’s not necessarily about a Cinderella story,” Crosby said at training camp on Friday. “It’s about winning hockey games. I think these players play a big role in that. I hope we can all, as a group, do our part and help the team win.”

To Crosby, as well as forward Brian Rust And general manager Ron Hextal, the Penguins feel they have a chip on their shoulders after failing to advance after the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the past four seasons.

But these losses did not cause additional stress. Crosby said his desire to win hasn’t changed from any other season.

“Every year, you have to have that mindset,” Crosby said. “It’s a new team.” “It’s nice to have some guys who were here last year and have had that for sure. But it’s a new group and we have to prove ourselves again. I think the experience is great, but that’s what you do with it.”

A 4-3 loss in overtime against the New York Rangers in Game Seven of the first round of the Eastern Conference after leading 3-1 last season was the latest setback.

“I think you should take that approach every year, no matter how it ends,” Crosby said. “You have to learn from that. We feel we haven’t shut down the Rangers and maybe left a stinging taste. Everyone has a chance to start over, learn from that and be their best.”

Video: Top 5 Sidney Crosby Plays from season 2021-22

Rust, who has played on Crosby’s right wing in past years, is one of those with a chance for a fresh start. He signed a six-year contract worth $30.75 million ($5.125 million average annual value) on May 21.

“I think everyone wanted another chance,” Rust said. “I think the last two years, we were close. Obviously, we didn’t get the results we wanted. But we had really strong teams going into the playoffs. Winning the playoffs is very good. The line between winning and losing, I think we were there.

“But this team is good. This team is capable of doing a lot of good things…I think everyone comes with a chip on their shoulder, knowing we’ve got better, knowing we can do better.”

However, there are only so many penguins willing to focus on the past.

Even with two owners aged 36, Crosby and Letang each having 35, Hextal said he’s still confident the core could be the catalyst for another deep run. If he’s right, it will be the first time the Penguins have won a playoff series since Hextall was named GM on February 9, 2021, and their first win in a series since 2018.

“There is an urgent need. Every year is a new year,” Hextal said. Like, ‘Well, we lost the last two years in the playoffs, since I’ve been here. “We felt we could have won both series for sure, but I think that’s what gives you hope that he’s still around. These guys are still very good players.

“We felt like this group can still run and do a lot of damage. We are happy with our group. I am really excited about where we are now, as a team. The feeling around the room, there is a lot of hunger… I love where we are. So it’s hard to win In this league. It’s hard to win a playoff round. It’s definitely hard to win the Stanley Cup, but that’s our mission.”

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