DETROIT - The Red Wings can accept that Pittsburgh is the Stanley Cup champion. Getting snubbed by Sidney Crosby is another matter.
After watching Pittsburgh hoist the Cup on Detroit's ice, the Red Wings lined up to shake hands with the Penguins as is custom in the NHL playoffs.
Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom was up front, followed by alternate captain Kris Draper, congratulating many of the new champions while waiting for Pittsburgh's captain.
"Nick was waiting and waiting, and Crosby didn't come over to shake his hand," Draper told an Associated Press reporter a couple of hours later as he was leaving Joe Louis Arena. "That's ridiculous, especially as their captain, and make sure you write that I said that!"
Crosby eventually skated over to shake hands with the Red Wings, but many had already headed for the dressing room. Detroit forward Johan Franzen and Crosby exchanged words and Crosby then shook hands with goaltender Chris Osgood and some other Detroit players.
The Penguins were unhappy with the accusation, especially since Crosby was photographed going through the line.
"Nobody respects the traditions of hockey more than Sidney Crosby," team vice president Tom McMillan said. "It was a young team celebrating its first Cup and some of the guys might have been a little late getting into the handshake line."
The losing team almost always leaves the ice quickly following an elimination loss, especially during the Finals, and it was uncertain how long Lidstrom waited.
Pittsburgh didn't need Crosby to finish off the Red Wings, beating them, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals without the superstar healthy enough to play for the whole game.
Detroit was bitter about blowing 2-0 and 3-2 leads in the series, but the previous champions gave the Penguins their due.
"You've got to give them credit," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. Goaltender Chris Osgood agreed. "We're not stunned," he said. "They had a good team."
The Red Wings were good, too, just not good enough to overcome hurt or misfiring stars in the Finals.
They swept Columbus, survived a seven-game series against Anaheim, and skated past Chicago in five games as MVP finalist Pavel Datsyuk missed several games with a foot injury and Marian Hossa scored in just three games.
But the Red Wings couldn't hold on to hoist the Cup for the second straight year and fifth time in 12 seasons when Datsyuk was out early in the finals and Hossa mustered only three assists against his former teammates.
"Any time you win three games in a final, you have a chance," Babcock said. "We just didn't have enough to get it done.
"The guys that were injured on our team this year never got their game back to the level it could be. And they were significant players for us."
Hossa wasn't hurt. He was just ineffective.