Sidney Crosby resumes skating


Sidney Crosby resumes skating

From Comcast SportsNet
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby skated with his teammates for the first time in more than a month on Friday but still has no idea when he'll be cleared to practice, let alone see action in a game. Crosby skated for 27 minutes at the end of the Penguins morning skate before their game Friday night against the Florida Panthers. It was the first time he's been on the ice since developing concussion-like symptoms following a loss to Boston on Dec. 5. "The symptoms are getting a lot better, but I wouldn't say (I'm) symptom free," Crosby said. "But I'm allowed to lightly exert, and that's a positive." The 24-year-old Crosby suffered similar symptoms last January and missed more than 10 months. The Penguins have struggled without their captain, losing six straight games over the last two weeks to fall into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. Doctors have cleared Crosby for "light exertion," and he was clearly out of breath when he addressed reporters shortly after leaving the ice. While acknowledging skating is "better than being on a bike" there are restraints on what he can do. Crosby joked with coach Dan Bylsma when he skated onto the ice, with the coach saying it was good to see Crosby with his teammates. Though the injury-ravaged Penguins have looked dismal over the last few weeks, Crosby shot down any discussion that the silence surrounding his condition -- he hadn't spoken to the media in a month -- was causing a rift in the dressing room. "I've been around hockey long enough to know this stuff goes on when you're losing," Crosby said. "I don't think we'd be talking about it if we'd won five straight."

Morning Update: Cubs tie up World Series with Game 2 win; Bulls begin season against Celtics

Morning Update: Cubs tie up World Series with Game 2 win; Bulls begin season against Celtics

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Cubs offense settling into World Series groove

Cubs offense settling into World Series groove

CLEVELAND - It doesn't take long for the 2016 Cubs to rebound.

Their American League-style lineup is just simply too talented to keep down for an extended period of time, especially with Kyle Schwarber now added back into the fold.

They Cubs hitters are so confident, they even left Progressive Field feeling good about themselves despite being shut out in Game 1 of the World Series.

The Cubs got on the board early Wednesday night, plating a run on the third batter of the game as Anthony Rizzo doubled home Kris Bryant.

"Take the momentum away. Take the crowd out of it," Bryant said. "It's nice to score first. Especially when you're the visiting team, to get out there and score within the first three batters is huge."

The early lead helped the lineup settle in and keep their foot on the gas for a 5-1 victory to take the series back to Wrigley Field tied one game apiece.

"Especially with a young lineup, I think when you see a few guys go up there and take some good quality at-bats, one happens after the other and the other guys seem to do the same thing," Ben Zobrist said. "It takes a lot of pressure off. When you see other guys having good, quality at-bats, you don't feel like you have to take pitches and you can be aggressive early on. 

"Oftentimes when you're aggressive in the zone is when you take the tough ones. We did a good job tonight laying off some good pitches. When they made mistakes in the zone, we really hit the ball hard. Even though we scored five runs, obviously we had a lot of baserunners on and we could've scored a lot more."

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Zobrist has a point.

The night after leaving nine runners on base and going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, the Cubs left 13 runners on base and tallied just three hits in 12 tries with runners in scoring position.

Between nine hits and eight walks, there were Cubs on base all game. Indians pitchers didn't retire Cubs hitters in order in an inning until the seventh.

The Cubs also forced the Indians to throw 196 pitches in nine innings and worked starter Trevor Bauer to 51 pitches through the first two frames.

"That was good for us," Bryant said. "We saw a lot of their bullpen, so we have a lot of information to learn from and hopefully use in the next game."

Anthony Rizzo summed up the lineup's mentality simply:

"Grind out at-bats, work the pitcher's pitch count up and get the next guy up," he said.

That "pass the baton" mentality is what drives this offense and after a brief lull in that regard in Los Angeles when they were shut out in back-to-back games in the NLCS, the Cubs leave Cleveland feeling pretty good.

"When we're able to [get pitch counts up], you can kinda feel it - our offense really feeds off of that," Zobrist said. "We believe that we're going to break through eventually."