PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby's mini-vacation after the latest triumph in his remarkable career lasted four days.
Sorry, but the process of defending a Stanley Cup waits for no one. So there Crosby was Tuesday skating in line rushes with the rest of his Penguins teammates, just five days removed from leading Team Canada to the World Cup of Hockey title as the tournament's MVP.
And no, Crosby didn't complain of being tired. Besides, his electric performance in the World Cup offered plenty of proof he's fresh as the Penguins look to become the first team since the 1998 Red Wings to repeat as NHL champions.
"When you're playing a lot of hockey it's more comfortable," he said. "You just have to balance rest and recovery and making sure you're ready to play."
Crosby certainly looked ready while piling up 10 points during Canada's clinical domination of the eight-team tournament featuring the world's best players. He was a unanimous selection as tournament MVP just a few months removed from being named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner after guiding the Penguins to their fourth championship.
And he is well aware of the challenge that awaits: "There's a reason why it hasn't been done for a long time. Everyone wants to beat you. Everyone wants to measure themselves against you."
Jackman retiring: Barret Jackman, who played all but one of his 14 seasons with St. Louis, signed a one-day deal so he could retire as a member of the Blues.