PITTSBURGH -Midweek news and commentary:
n The NFL owners have locked out the players.
Have you noticed the difference?
Probably not, because there isn't any.
Aside from the name calling going back and forth in the media, it's no business as usual for NFL teams. Things are always pretty quiet in March under any circumstances.
Training camps don't open in July, so nothing will seem out of the ordinary until then.
Agent Ralph Cindrich recently said that he thinks there will be no disruption of the regular season.
His reasoning is both sides have too much to lose to go that long without an agreement.
That's still the best bet.
n Sidney Crosby skates again
Crosby was on the ice for two consecutive days this week.
That's the first encouraging step since he was knocked out of the lineup on Jan. 6 by a concussion.
He's still not close to returning. Skating alone is a small step, and it remains to be seen how Crosby responds to this first bit of exertion.
If things go well, he can start some light workouts off the ice.
There's still a long way to go until he gets back in the Penguins' lineup.
But at least there's some positive news after two months of inactivity.
n Wisconsin reaches the NCAA Women's Frozen Four for the second consecutive year.
This is notable because Wisconsin is coached by Mark Johnson, the former Penguins forward who is also the son of the late Badger Bob Johnson, who coached the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup in 1991.
Mark Johnson went after the head coaching job with the Wisconsin mens team, but was turned down.
He signed on to coach the women, and he's built a powerhouse. He coached the USA women's team in the last Olympics.
Johnson played for his father at Wisconsin, then was a member of Herb Brooks' "Miracle on Ice" 1980 Olympic team.
Someone interested in a coaching career couldn't have two better mentors.
n The Penguins had their 200th consecutive sellout over the weekend.
It's an amazing streak, even more incredible when the cost of hockey tickets is considered.
How much has hockey grown? The first 200 sellouts in Penguins history came over the course of the franchise's first 24 seasons.
Mehno can be reached at: johnmehnocolumn@gmail