Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Crosby: Longer Break Is a Relief

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Crosby: Longer Break Is a Relief

Article excerpt

OTTAWA -- As part of the latest collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players, the league will shut down over Christmas for three days rather than two, as before.

League and team activities are prohibited for today, Wednesday and Thursday.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby said the longer break dovetails nicely with the condensed schedule that goes with an Olympic year.

"It's been busy," said Crosby, who sat out Sunday's practice but played Monday night against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

"This month especially, you start to feel it a little bit more. You just try to use your days off and rest when you can, but it's a lot of hockey. Probably even more mentally than physically, you just have to make sure that you get away from the rink for a day and then get back at it."

One extra day for the Christmas break makes a difference, Crosby said.

"When you talk about guys going home or [wherever], that's one whole day where you don't have to travel and you get to rest," he said. "Before, you had two days, but you were traveling for one, pretty much. It's nice to get that extra day, especially this time of year. I think we can all appreciate that and be with our families."

A sight for sore eyes

The Penguins could get a player or three back from injury Friday at Carolina.

Winger Tanner Glass (hand) was close enough to be a game-time decision Monday night against the Senators but missed his 15th game in a row.

Defensemen Rob Scuderi (ankle) and Brooks Orpik (concussion), like Glass, are practicing and appear to be close to returning.

Center Evgeni Malkin (leg) has not practiced but is skating. Coach Dan Bylsma pointed out that Malkin's recovery evaluation will essentially go on hold during the break, but he added that Malkin is getting better, has had no setbacks and is expected to skate Friday.

Spezza at the helm

Jason Spezza was 17 when Daniel Alfredsson became Ottawa's captain. It was a 13-year reign. With Alfredsson now in Detroit, Spezza has inherited the "C. …

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