Maybe Sean Avery has rubbed off on some of his teammates.
Many thought going into the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Penguins and Rangers that New York's super-pest would try to get under Sidney Crosby's skin, but during Sunday's game it was Jaromir Jagr, not Avery, going after No. 87.
At the 13:54 mark of the first period, Crosby and Rangers defenceman Fedor Tyutin were battling for the puck behind the Rangers net when Tyutin pushed Crosby down. Referee Dan O'Halloran called a holding penalty on Tyutin, and that set Jagr off. He skated over to Crosby and had some choice words for the Penguins captain. According to the New York Daily News, witnesses near the bench where the exchange took place say Jagr told Crosby to stop diving and stay on his feet.
Jagr continued his trash talk later in the period.
When asked about it after the game, Crosby didn't have much to say. "Just ask him. I wasn't the one talking," Crosby said.
Jagr also tried to remain tight-lipped when asked about the situation.
"Nothing. Just play hockey. That's all."
When pressed again by reporters for more details, Jagr said: "I'm not going to tell you. Besides, did it help us? Probably not."
After a March 30th Penguins-Rangers game in which Crosby drew a penalty that had some questioning the call, Jagr said he believes refs give the young phenom preferential treatment because of his staure in the league.
"I don't know if it is right or wrong, but that's the way it is and that's the way it's most of the time been," Jagr told reporters. "I remember when Mario (Lemieux) was here, we were getting some calls. I had more advantage seven years ago. They give you more respect. But maybe that's the way it should be."