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Sportress of Blogitude

Penguins amused by rabid Rangers backer Nick Mangold’s trash talk

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Nick Mangold attracted a lot of attention earlier this week at Madison Square Garden due to his overly demonstrative and extremely passionate support of the hometown New York Rangers during their playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

So much so, in fact, that MSG security staff reportedly approached the New York Jets star on more than one occasion to tell him to cool it.

The reason for security becoming involved in the first place was primarily due to Mangold, seated a few rows behind the Penguins bench, taking it apparently way too far with his trash talk of the opposing team. The football players purported main targets were Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet and superstar Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins, when asked for their reaction to Mangold’s antics during their 3-1 Game 3 win, seemed more amused by his rabid histrionics than anything.

“He’s into it. He had the Rangers jersey on and stuff like that,” Tocchet said following practice Wednesday, via the New York Post. “It’s harmless. He’s a good football player.

“I love when you get into opposing buildings and you get the rowdy fans. I just don’t like the smashing on the glass. That was the only thing we were getting pissed about. But, look, he’s fine.”

Crosby, who said he only noticed Mangold’s behavior once, weighed in on the events of the evening as well.

“If he comes to the game and wants to do that, he’s got his ticket, he can do what he wants,” he said. “It’s not typically what you’re used to, but at the same time, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s all part of the intensity of the game.”

Tocchet, meanwhile, seemed a little more perturbed over how close Mangold got to the Penguins tunnel before the third period than the trash talk, saying, “I think we got to maybe address that.”

The assistant coach and onetime NHL bruiser and brawler admits Mangold got to him once, prompting him to respond, although he wouldn’t say what he said. When asked if he would ever consider “dropping the gloves” against the gigantic offensive lineman, it elicited a chuckle.

“There’s only one chance: If he has skates on,” he said. “If we got cleats on, I got no chance.”