Sidney Crosby has been called a whiner before by antagonistic Flyers fans, but the timing of this attack was harder for him to accept.

Maybe six years ago it held a little more truth, but not now, he said.

"I`ll be the first one to admit (that during) my first couple years I was pretty hard on the refs," said Crosby, one of the "two (expletive) whining stars" that Rangers coach John Tortorella criticized Thursday. "I`ve come a long way since then."

Crosby addressed the coach`s words following Friday`s practice at Southpointe, a few hours before Tortorella was fined $20,000. Crosby said he expected Tortorella would apologize for "blowing up" and "everything will be forgotten."

But Crosby also discussed the root of any "whining" perception he might carry, saying he has changed his approach since his rookie season.

"I`m nowhere near where I was then," he said, "and to get those kinds of remarks (now) is uncalled for and not warranted. … I don`t need to sit here and defend myself for something that`s not going on. But if they want to try that garbage, try it."

Crosby suggested having one camera follow him and Evgeni Malkin, the other so-called "whining star," while another camera watched Rangers captain Ryan

Callahan.