The NHL lockout has wiped out training camp and early games in the 2012-13 season, but readers can keep up with the Penguins with an occasional question-and- answer session. First up is center and team captain Sidney Crosby, the face of the NHL. Because of a concussion and neck injury dating to the Winter Classic Jan. 1, 2011, he has played in just 63 games, plus the six-game loss to the Flyers in the playoffs in April, over the past two seasons. He's healthy now and skating with some teammates fairly regularly at Southpointe.
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Q: What are you doing in your spare time during the lockout?
A: I've been watching the baseball playoffs. I don't really have a baseball team [I follow], but it's been exciting. And I've kept busy with my house [being built here]. It's getting closer, but it still keeps me busy, picking out all that stuff. It's a lot of stuff to think about. You don't realize it when you're going into it. I'm finding that out right now. That tells you how things are [with no season] -- that's the joy of my day right there.
Q: Do you follow and keep up with the young stars coming up, guys like 2013 draft-class leaders Nathan MacKinnon from your hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and Seth Jones, or 15-year-old Connor McDavid, who is playing in Erie?
A: I find it's a little bit harder to keep track here. In Canada, they're under a microscope a little more, especially from a young age. In Canada, they constantly show highlights from their games. But I try. I'm interested in seeing young guys coming up, especially Nathan from my hometown. It's easy to relate. It's very similar to what I went through.
Q: Did you see that Philadelphia's Claude Giroux, pictured had offseason surgery on both wrists and said it was from you slashing him in the faceoff circle during the playoffs?
A: Yeah. That was hilarious. I don't know. I didn't think I slashed him that hard. I just think he's looking for a reason to say something about me.
Q: Can you describe how good a shape you are in, and how would it compare with how you felt just before you got hurt, a stretch that included a 25-game point streak?
A: It's really hard to tell without playing, to tell where you're at. But I feel like practice-wise and off the ice, I'm where I need to be. The funny thing is, when I look back to last year, I felt like I was at that point [when I came back late in the season], but I really wasn't. Now, after a good summer working out, it feels a lot better. I'm not bigger. I've probably lost a few pounds because I've had five months to train. I started late May. I don't ever remember having five months. Leading up to when I got hurt, that was the best shape I'd been in, the best I've probably felt.
Q: Do you cook?
A: I do a little bit, yeah. I try to keep it simple. I cook a lot more in the summer when there's a lot more time. A lot of chicken and fish, stuff that's pretty easy. That's my go-to. I try to eat pretty healthy.
Q: What's your favorite meal?
A: Breakfast. I like a big brunch or breakfast. I like to make it, too. I like to make omelets and stuff like that. I'm a big breakfast guy. As for the kind of omelet, as much as you can put in there. Anything and everything. That's my favorite.penguins
For much more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly. First Published October 18, 2012 4:00 AM