Saturday, October 31, 2009

Penguins Game Day 14 - vs. Minnesota Wild


Minnesota Wild


7:30 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA


Comeback City, Pens win

What a game. There isn't going to be much here because I actually wasn't able to watch the end of the game due to some work obligations. This should about sum everything up:



Look at all those Pens fans.

Jump it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Penguins Game Day 13 - @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets

7:00 PM, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH

The Penguins begin their quest without Evgeni Malkin today as they travel to the crappy state of Ohio to battle the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The best thing to come out of Ohio is...well...it's...ok I got nothing. Maybe Rick Nash. He is nasty.

Jordan Staal will take over for Geno on the second line and Craig Adams will move up to play the third line for the Penguins today. Chris Bourque will also be in the lineup tongiht since half of the Penguins team is on the shelf with an injury. Chris Conner will also be on the fourth line with Rupp and Godard. Conner is a fast player but is rather small. Hopefully he can compliment the grit of Rupp and Godard.

To be honest these lines are just going to be guidelines for people. We are going to see all kinds of different line combinations so that Disco can see what he likes best and what gives them the best chance to win. I am sure Staal is going to see some time with Sid and those lines will be all over the place.

The power play is something that will look a lot different for the Penguins. With Sarge and Geno out the power play will be a little mix and match just like the other lines. Disco did say that Staal is going to get a lot more opportunities on the power play so take it for what it's worth.

This will be the third back to back games the Penguins will take a part in so far this season as they travel back to Pittsburgh to host the Wild tomorrow night.

What does that mean? Brent Johnson gets the start in net tonight. Johnson has been pretty solid in his first two starts and gives the Penguins a chance to win. It is not his fault that the Penguins don't score when he plays. He is 1-1 with with a 1.95 ERA. Not too shabby.

On the flip side the Blue Jackets come in with a 6-5 overall record and a 3-1 record at Nationwide Arena. Consequently the Penguins are perfect on the road with a 5-0 record. Should be interesting.

Rick Nash has 15 points on the season (6+9) and leads the team in goals. The other Jacket who is double digit in points is Antoine Vermette with 10 points (3+7). Vermette is pretty good defensive guy and is great on the PK.

Should see Steve Mason in net tonight. He is 5-4 with a 3.57 GAA in the nine games he has played. Mason is is a very good goaltender and if he is on it could be a long night for the shorthanded Penguins.

Here are the lines for the Penguins per the Penguins website.

Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Bourque-Staal-Fedotenko
Cooke-Adams-Dupuis
Conner-Rupp-Godard

Defense
Orpik-Letang
Eaton-Skoula
McKee-Goligoski

Netminder
Johnson

Disco is going to have his work cut out for him these next couple of weeks. especially with back to back games this weekend and next weekend. How do you juggle things without one of the leagues best players and the captain of your power play? I guess its not so bad after all we signed Jordan Staal.

Disco is the man. The Penguins are good. Lets do this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pens Win, Malkin Out


I wasn't really planning on putting much up today in terms of the Penguins win. I mean sure they beat the hell out of the Canadians 6-1 and it looked as if the Canadians didn't even want to be a part of a hockey game, but when your top line combines for 10 points then I think you are going to be ok against any team.

All is good if you are a Penguins fan. The team is 10-2, took eight of ten points on a five game home swing and are up on the Rangers and the rest of the division. It is still early in the season so much of this doesn't mean anything but there will be times when these games will mean a lot.

Like when one of your top players goes down for 2-3 weeks and you need to rally around the troops. Better to be 10-2 rather than 6-6 like the Canadians.

Hit the jump

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NFL Presents: Renegade

If anyone here knows me or has read this blog they know how excited I get when Renegade comes on during Steelers games. It is one of the best parts about the entire game.

Well, NFL Films caught on to the phenomena and did one of their NFL Presents features on the song and how it impacts the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was a little late to this and have not been able to watch it but there are a few more times this week that it will be ok.

On the NFL Network it will be on these times:

10/29 @ 4:30 PM ET
10/21 @ 9:00 AM ET and 10:30 AM ET

Oh man I can't wait to watch this.

Penguins Game Day 12 - vs. Montreal Canadians

Montreal Canadians


7:30 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

The Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice to host Hall Gill and the Montreal Canadians




The Penguins will take the ice after their second loss of the season on Saturday to the trapping New Jersey Devils.

The Penguins do not have their defensive pairings out, but you have to assume they will stay the same with Gogo, Tanger, Eaton, Skula, Orpik, and McKee. That is no official, but I would definatly put money on those being the guys we go with. MAF will be in net tonight after his only loss of the season on Saturday. Here are the lines via the Penguins website:

Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Bourque-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Adams
Dupuis-Rupp-Godard

Interesting to note that Tyler Kennedy will not be in the lineup tonight. Disco said that TK has an undisclosed injury and that he should be day-to-day. This could be a hangnail or it could be a broken ankle for all "undisclosed" means.

Also Chris Bourque will be on the second line with Malkin and Feds. Dupuis will be back down to the fourth line with Rupp and Godard. You kinda knew Dupuis was going to get dropped down due to the inconsistency that he gives the Penguins.

Don't get me wrong Dupuis is a gritty player that the Penguins need and should be a very good fourth line players but I sometimes have a better chance of hitting the net than he does. I guess if this is our biggest problem then we are alright. I am find with that.

Bourque is getting another chance. He has not made a huge splash with the Penguins since they claimed him off waivers at the end of September from the Capitals. Disco wants to give him the fare shakedown to see what his has with Bourque, which I am ok with. it might take a while for some people to get into a grove and Disco Dan is giving him all of those opportunities. I don't mind this at all, even though most of Pens nation wants him off the team. If he goes off for a week or two then he was worth the chance.

Montreal is about as new as you get. From the 25 man roster last year the Habs have gotten rid of 13 of those players. I guess that is what you get when your team builds up expectations and flops in the first round of the playoffs.

Scott Gomez will not play for the Habs tonight due to some illness.

Montreal is coming in with a 6-5-0 record so far this year and they have won their last four games after starting 2-5-0.

Jaroslav Halak will start in net for the Habs. He is 4-1-0 this year which is much better than Carey Price's 2-4-0 record. Halak has only yielded eight goals in his last four games so we will be tested tonight against a hot goaltender. Can Price make it up there with the pressure in Montreal? Who knows. I am ok with MAF.

Michael Cammalleri is a new Canadian and leads the way with 14 points (5+7) He is a good player that the Penguins are going to have to clamp down on.

Hall Gill is going to be coming back to the Mellon Arena for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup last year. I sincerely hope that the Mellon faithful give him a standing ovation. Most people thought he was too slow to play in the NHL when the Penguins got him but he was a physical force that was very good in his time here. I know there will be people that boo him when he gets announced as a starter (hopefully he starts) but it should be a standing O when he gets announced and when he is on the ice for the Habs for the first time. The USS was good for the Penguins and led them to a Cup, lets not forget that.





2009 Bloguin Awards

What do these guys all have in common?







Hit the jump to find out




Our friends over at PSAMP, The Pensblog, and WHYGAVS are up for the 2009 Bloguin Awards.

You can go to this website and vote for our Pittsburgh boys today. So get over there and vote as many times as you can, because they all deserve it.

PSAMP is up for a few awards including funniest blog, best general blog, and blog of the year

WHYGAVS is up for best baseball blog, blogger of the year, and blog of the year

The Pensblog is up for best hockey blog, and blog of the year

Just for reference Pittsburgh blogs are up for three of the eight nominees for blog of the year. Just sayin.

As The Pensblog would say, Do It.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mellon Memories - A Tribute to the Igloo


I know a lot of blogs have people submit their memories of the Civic Arena/Mellon Arena/Igloo because of it being the last year for the old lady. Originally I was not going to do anything like this because a lot of sites were doing it and I didn't want to seem repetitive. I have since had a change of heart and feel that it is only good to maybe give people even more avenues to what the Mellon Arena has meant to them.

So here is what we have. Send in your best/worst and everything in between memories of the Mellon Arena. This does not have to be just Penguin games but it can be from any avenue. You can send them into threeriversburghblog@gmail.com and I will periodically be putting them up on the site as they roll in. Just like the rest of the people try to keep the language so that most can read these. Thanks guys and I look forward to reading and sharing your personal feelings and experiences.


---------------------------------------------------

First up this year we have Jason from over at Pens Universe:

The date was December 31, 1988 and I went to an afternoon game between the Pens and the Devils with my uncle and cousin. We were way up in section E (There was no section F yet), but I was 15 years old and just being at a game was exciting. The Penguins were still a mediocre team, but they had Mario so greatness was always a possibility. And that day, Mario showed what greatness is when he became the first, and to this day, only player to ever score five goals five different ways in a game. As the game was going on, I did not realize what was going on until, late in the game, I looked down at the scorecard of the game I was keeping and figured out that the four goals Lemieux had already scored were all different types. I was just still amazed at how he had undressed Chris Terreri on the penalty shot. So as the end of the game approached, and the Devils pulled their goalie and I knew that the chance for something special was in front of me. When Super Mario netted his empty net goal, the arena exploded and I knew that I was not the only one who figured out what was going on. Of course, there has always been some speculation as to whether time had expired before the fifth goal went in the net. Personally, I know that the green light behind the net came on which was supposed to mean no goal, but at no point did anyone argue, so as far as I am concerned it was a good goal. At the time, I knew what Mario had done was special, but it was years before I knew that he was the only person in the long history of the NHL to have accomplished this feat. I still have the ticket form the game and it will be framed and hung in my “Room of Champions.” My one regret is that the program where I kept score during the game was lost years ago. To still have that part of this memory would be amazing, but alas, I am left with only my ticket and what I remember. But it is still enough.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Muppet-Penguins

Well today at Mellon Arena the Penguins took some time to try out for the next hit cartoon show/movie. (via Pittsburgh Penguins twitter page)



and



Now I have no idea what the hell these guys were doing or furthermore where they got things like this. But that is awesome. I hope there are some interviews hanging around with MAF talking about his time as Kermit. Awesome.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ohhhhhh Man. Videos of Perfection

Here are the videos of the two defensive touchdowns. Cash. Cottor over at OFTOT had these posted so I figured I would share them with yall

First the Woodley score:



Then the Fox score:



woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Steelers WIN! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings came in for a game and a lot of people thought this was going to be an offensive shootout. They were wrong. Defense and special teams were the toast of the town today as the Steelers beat the previously unbeaten Vikings by the score of 27-17.



James Harrison and his defensive teammates just were unreal today. Four sacks, a pick, a fumble recovery and two defensive touchdowns highlighted an amazing day for the Redzone defense. I have no idea where to start. I am so amped up from the game I can't even think straight. What a game and what a win going into the bye week. God have mercy on Denver playing this defense after a bye week.

On the stat sheet the Steelers were pretty well outplayed as they were out gained 386-259 in total yards but they were bend but don't break on the defensive end. They did break, but it was the hopes and backs of the Vikings fans and players as they scampered the other way in a convoy of Black and Gold for the win.


Oh, and Twitter might be the best thing ever.


First Quarter

What a pretty basic quarter. If you wanted to see what "feeling a team out" is all about then you need to go rewatch this quarter.



That is exactly what the first quarter was all about. Four combined first downs, and 53 total yards. For the first time this year AP was held to negative yardage in the first quarter. The Steelers made it very clear early that AP was not going to beat them and it would have to be Brett Farve. Good choice.

Minnesota ran a total of 12 plays in the first quarter and the Steelers had only 15. On the Steelers third drive they were aided by a 19 yard punt by Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe that set up the Steelers at the Vikings 39 yard line. The Steelers were able to pick up two first downs to set them up with a third down and four from the Minnesota seven yard line and Ben found Santonio Holmes for a touchdown. But wait, it gets called back for offensive pass interference on Heath Miller.

It was a very weak call if you ask me. It was on the other side of the field and he ran a small pick play. Even my Vikings fan roommate said it was a bad call. Whatev. Field goal and a 3-0 first quarter lead.

Second Quarter

The second quarter saw both teams swap a touchdown although the Vikings offense really came to life and the Steelers were dead until the last minute of the half.

After the teams exchanged punts the Vikings got started on the their own 24 yard line and went 76 yards in 13 plays and was capped off by an AP two yard touchdown run on third and goal from the two yard line.

The rest of the half was pretty blah as the Steelers got the ball back at their own nine yard line with 1:39 left in the half and trailing 7-3. All the Steelers did was go 91 yards in eight plays in 1:15 to retake the lead with a Mike Wallace touchdown.

Ben Roethlisberger pretty much had his way with the Minnesota secondary in that last drive as they were playing a very deep cover two with their dime backs in. Ben just worked the soft spot in the middle of the field and found Mike Wallace for 22 yards and then for 40 yards and the touchdown. Not a bad drive.




Third Quarter

The Steelers opened up the third quarter in almost the exact same fashion as their opening drive of the game. Rashard Mendenhall with a carry of 16 yards to start and ending the drive with a field goal. Kind of weird.

The really bad part of this drive came when they got to the Minnesota 8 and first and goal. They come out throwing on first down, no biggie. On second down Ben is in the gun and gets up as if he is going to throw a WR screen but never throws it. He then tucks it and runs it up the middle for a yard loss. WTF? I have no idea why there was no secondary route, why the play was not ran right or what it was even supposed to be.

I guess Hines and Mike Wallace were talking after the play to see who was wrong, but someone was and it probably cost the Steelers a touchdown. They got three.

Minnesota comes back and goes 64 yards in 13 plays and gets a field goal of their own. What a win for the Steelers Defense. Minnesota gets first and goal at the Pittsburgh one. They run AP up the middle, nothing.

There was a penalty for Casey Hampton being lined up offsides, replay down. AP up the middle, nothing. Brett Farve then goes two passing plays and throws them both incomplete and then the Vikings go for the FG and knock it down.

Why not go for it? Moreover, why not give it to the best running back in the league three or four straight times? I mean does Brad Childress have Farve on his fantasy team? I guess he does. Fail for the Vikings. Four plays inside the one and you get only a FG.

Forth Quarter

If there is a better word for the fourth quarter than epic then I have no idea what it is. What an amazing quarter. You want to know what a great defense looks like? Check this quarter out again.

The Steelers, however, get a great play by Tone to start the quarter for 45 yards and get it to the Minnesota nine. This could start to put the game away. Could be up by 10, get that two score lead. What happens? Mendenhall tries to go over the top, at the five yard line nonetheless and fumbles. Shit.




Brett Farve does what he does in the first drive for Minnesota. He takes the Vikings from their own three yard line and drives them to the Pittsburgh eight. The huge play on the drive was a 3rd and 18 that the Vikings convert when they are at their own 29 yard line. Bretty finds Sidney Rice down the sideline for a pretty unreal catch. It was initially called incomplete but Childress challenged and actually won it. Crazy.

I am thinking, wtf, Fox is all over Brett's balls like no other and I am going to have to hear about it on ESPN later. Then it happens. Brett Farve goes back to pass. Pulls his arm back to throw, and Brett Keisel makes an unreal play, forces the fumble, Lamarr Woodley picks it up and goes 77 yards, to the house, for the touchdown.




This is what twitter looked like:


What do you expect to happen next? Yea, a special teams touchdown by the Vikings. Jeff Reed gave his best effort to not tackle Percy Harvin. He went 88 yards to put the game in the same position.


The Steelers get the ball back, go five and out with 3:21 remaining giving Farve a lot of time to come back and either tie or win the game. I am not going to lie, I was nervous.

I then got a text from my buddy at the game, all it said was "Renegade again"

All I said was "Uh oh. Game. Over." I then told the TV we needed a pick and this is what goes down:

The Vikings started at their own 26 and worked their way down to the Steelers 19 in only six plays and then it happened again.

Brett Farve tries to throw a screen pass to Chester Taylor and it goes through his hands and into Fox's hands and he goes 82 yards to the house for the second defensive touchdown of the day. Heinz Field was on fire.



That was it. I was going nuts. What an effort. The Vikings get the ball back and Brad Childress takes a time out with four seconds to go and down by 10. Is there a 10 point play that you can have? I have no idea wtf he is thinking. What happens in the last four seconds? James Harrison sack. Nothing like getting your 40 year old QB hit again by James Harrison. Joke.

Overall

Not a great game for Ben, but he did what he had to do. Got the huge TD at the end of the half to put the Steelers up at the half. He only went 14/26 for 175 yards and a touch. Whatev, he is the man. The defense picked him up, hes picked up the defense before. Love it.

The defense gave up a ton of yards but they buckled down when they needed to, AND they scored two defensive touchdowns. James Harrison is a beast. I even saw something today that I thought I would never see: A penalty called on an offensive player for holding James Harrison. Holy shit, I might die happy. I thought it could never happen.

Rashard Mendenhall had 69 yards on only 10 carries. He did a really nice job of getting to the outside on this defense and having success. He was having a lot of success on the left side of the Vikings defense. He better get this fumble shit figured out. This is happeneing too often and he holds that ball like a loaf of bread. He needs to fix that up now or he will be seeing the bench more.

Mike Wallace is money in the bank. He just keeps making plays. Limas might want to take a look and see how it is done. A startling stat was that Hines only was able to get one catch for three yards and Tone only had two catches for 59 yards. Light day for the WR. Heath had six catches for 38 yards. Sure thing there.

The Steelers did a pretty nice job on AP. 18 carries, 69 yards and a touchdown. They locked him down except for a run or two but a nice job by the run defense. He also had 60 yards receiving so it was a pretty nice all around day for AP. He also ran over Will Gay on the last drive and made Will his bitch. I can admit that. What a player.

What did I talk about yesterday? Get a few turnover and we will win. What happens? Pick, fumble recovery, win. Sometimes I actually do know what I am talking about.

The last thing I have is something that really bothered me. WTF is up with Fox. This was the wrost broadcasts I have seen since I started watching football. That says a lot. The broadcasters today were all over Brett Farve like he was the founder of the free world. Yea, he is good, but you are supposed to be unbiased. I am supposed to be the biased one. Slobering all over Brett as he gave a half assed effort to tackle both Woodley and Fox were pathedic but you would have thought he ran a 4.1 40 for 75 yards and just missed tackling them. What a joke.

Also can you figure out among everyone when you are going to commercial? On more than one occasion Fox cut off a commercial to join the game when the play was being ran. I am pretty sure that should not happen. What a half assed effort by Fox. Actually makes me glad we play in the AFC and get to watch it on CBS most games. I hope I never have to see that stupid ass robot for the rest of the season.

I must give props to the Vikings. I was very skeptical of them coming in and they proved to me that they are a pretty good team. Glad we don't have to see them again till the Super Bowl if it gets to that. They have the best running back in the league and a pretty decent defense. They played really well today and I can admit when we face a good team and that was a good team.

That being said, the Steelers won. Bring on Denver.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Steelers Game Day 7 - vs. Minnesota Vikings

What a great weekend of football. The undefeated Minnesota Vikings come to Heinz Field for one of their real tests this season. Last week the Vikings needed a missed Ravens field goal to escape with a win, that was at home, this is in the heart of Steeler Country.





Last week:

Pittsburgh 27, Cleveland 14
Passing: Roethlisberger: 23/35, 417 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Mendenhall: 17 car, 62 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Ward: 8 rec, 159 yards, 1 TD

Minnesota 33, Baltimore 31
Passing: Favre: 21/29, 278 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Peterson: 22 carries 143 yards
Receiving: Rice: 6 rec, 176 yards


Offense (rank in NFL)

Total Offense

Pittsburgh: 403.7 yards/game (5th)
Minnesota: 348.2 yards/game (13th)

Passing

Pittsburgh: 296.7 yards/game (2nd)
Minnesota: 223.2 yards/game (17th)

Rushing

Pittsburgh: 107 yards/game (15th)
Minnesota: 125 yards/game (9th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 23.3 points/game (14th)
Minnesota: 31.5 points/game (2nd)

Defense

Total Defense


Pittsburgh: 275.2 yards/game (3rd)
Minnesota: 341.8 yards/game (18th)

Rush

Pittsburgh: 74.5 yards/game (2nd)
Minnesota: 93.5 yards/game (9th)

Pass

Pittsburgh: 200.7 yards/game (12th)
Minnesota: 248.3 yards/game (24th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 18.7 points/game (t-14th)
Minnesota: 20.2 points/game (18th)



First we take a look at our Pittsburgh Steelers:



Lets just face the facts. We are a passing team. Big Ben is one of the best QB's in the league and for good reason. This team rusn through him. He calls most of the shots and he knows this offense better than BA does. He is second in the league in completion percentage, first in the league in passing, seventh in passer rating and quite frankly willing this team to victory. I see these random MVP voting things on ESPN and they have Ben around 7th, they must be high. This dude just does one thing, win. This will be a huge game for Ben. Minnesota can be thrown on as we saw last week with Baltimore so Ben, along with his receivers, should have some success.



That being said Mike Wallace is going to be a huge factor in this game. Maybe not for the catches or for the yardage but for the presence he brings in the passing game. He can stretch the field and will probably be the fastest players on the field at any time on Sunday. The safties are going to need to respect that and give a few yards and that is going to open up the underneath for Heath Miller and Hines Ward. I feel strongly that this is a big reason for Heath and Hines catching a ton of balls WIDE open over the middle. Having a receiver that can get deep and catch the ball at the same time is a huge threat that the Steelers haven't had. Tone can do it but he has not been consistant with it nor does he have the God given speed that Mike does. Keeping those safties honest is huge to the underneath game and we know Ben will try a deep ball or two so it will keep that Vikings secondary honest.



Who knows what we are going to get from the run game this week. The Williams boys in the middle will really shut down the run. You will probably see the pass set up the run this week. Not saying this isn't what usually goes on but this is what will be more evident Sunday.



I think big part of the offense this week should be the no huddle offense. The Vikings do a great job of getting to the quarterback with the Williams boys and Allen on the outside so getting that defense tired with some no huddle will be good, especially when the Steelers find certain things they can exploit in the Vikings defense.



The Steelers defense is going to need to be the difference. Everyone is hyping this game as a high scoring, last person with the ball wins. If the Steelers can get in there, cause a few turnovers and make Brett Farve sweat they will be alright. LaMarr Woodley is going to be the X factor in my opinion. Everyone is going to be focusing on James Harrison on the left side and that will free up LaMarr a little bit to cause some havoc. Lets get it done.


Now the Vikings:


We all know what the Vikings are about. All day, AP. AP is having another amazing year as he is leading the league in rush through the first six weeks of pro football play. He did a pretty, scratch that, very, nice job against a Baltimore Ravens defense that people still talk about as being elite racking up 143 yards on 22 carries. He is explosive and can take over a game in an instant. It can not be stated enough how much gap responsibility will play a factor in how AP runs. If the Steelers can stay disciplined and play their game, they will be alright, just like they always are against the run.


So I don't know if you guys heard or not but the Vikings go this guy called Brett Farve? Ever heard? I am so sick and tired about hearing about Brett Farve. Sure he owns the record for most touchdown passes thrown, but he also hold the record for most picks. Listen, I have a lot of respect for Farve on the field, he is a gammer, he wins, and he can beat you on his own, but I think the Steelers can get to him and have a field day in the secondary when he starts to sling the ball around.


So far this season Farve has not shown that gunslinger usual that he has every year, but it will happen. You can bet the house on that. It might be this week. Get the pressure and anything can happen. I remember the last time the Steelers played Farve and Troy took a fumble back like 70 yards or some junk.


The Vikings have some receivers that can stretch the field. Sidney Rice can get down the field and has been Brett Farve's main target this season. He has 23 catches for 409 yards and a couple touchdown catches. Ike Taylor will probably match up against him so I feel pretty good about that. Ike is underrated. He is pretty good.


Where the Steelers need to sure up is on the tight end. Vinsanthe Shiancoe has five touchdown grabs from Brett Farve which I believe is tops in the league. He will be the red zone target for Farve so the linebackers are going to have to keep on him and know where he is inside the 20 and in the middle of the field.


Looking at the Vikings defense we see two very different things. One is that they can get after the quarterback. Jared Allen is pretty good at what he does and the Williams boys. The line is going to have their hands full. The secondary is totally different. The Vikings can be beat through the air, as seen with the Baltimore Ravens being able to throw all over them at the end of the game when they needed to. The Vikings will probably not have DB Antoine Winfield for the game as he is injured. That means they will probably have to put Benny Sapp on Santonio Holmes. Good luck with that. You can just see Ben smiling right now.


All that being said I feel pretty good about this game. Lets go out and shut up the Vikings fans.


Steelers 27, Vikings 24


Here We Go

Penguins Game Day 11 - vs. New Jersey Devils

NJ Devils


7:30 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

The Devils come to town today, just as the Penguins had a pretty nice comeback victory over the Floriday Panthers (now when I say pretty nice I mean two terrible periods and a comeback victory with a balls out third).
Last year the Penguins went 3-1-2 against the Devils and they have really always been successful against Marty Brodeur. Brodeur has lost three of his last four starts against the Penguins and Brodeur has been pulled more against the Penguins than any other team in the NHL. I have no idea where I would find the actual numbers, but I do know that was I said was true.
Brodeur is only one shutout shy of tying Terry Sawchuk for the most shutouts ever. Sawchuk holds the record with 103.

To be honest, Brodeur isn't even the Devil player I am most worried about. I think one of the most underrated players in the NHL today is Zach Parise. He makes that Devils team tick and he can change a game in an instant. He leads the Devils with 10 points (5+5) and he is one of the best talents in the NHL. He always gets overlooked. Last season Parise accounted for 18.9% of the Devils offense (thanks to Penguins.com for that) so you know who the Penguins need to shut him down.
I could talk about how the Penguins need this win because it is a division game and that MAF is back and they need to play a good three periods, but you already know that. Lets do it.

Here is the projected lines from the Penguins website

Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Dupuis-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Rupp-Adams-Godard

Defense
Orpik-Goligoski
Eaton-Letang
McKee-Skoula

Netminder
Fleury
Lets Go Pens

BJ City, Pens Win

When you play terrible hockey for the first two periods and then win a game in a shootout you know things are going well. The Penguins were terribly outplayed in the first period and trailed 2-0. Brent Johnson has to be wonder at this point what the hell he got himself into. He was getting less than no support from the Penguins and it looked as if the Panthers could run away with this game.

To be honest, Johnson was the only reason this game was even close. He should have got five to ten for the saves he was making on David Booth tonight. Booth hopefully will not kill himself as not only did he miss a bunch of GREAT opportunities but he made his best impersonation of Ben Roethlisberger by actually grabbing the puck and throwing it down the ice.

All in all the game was about the third period and Sidney Crosby. Not only did Sid score a power play goal but he also tied the game with a shorty with about three minutes left. The game went to a shootout and Sid scored the only goal there.

Why again is he our leader? I would much rather have Mike Richards who isn't talking to the media. Crosby is so mediore.

Much props need to go to Geno. Not only did he have two assists but he single handidly created the first goal. On the power play the puck was being cleared up the middle with the power play ending and Geno laid out and saved the puck from getting out of the zone, the puck went to Go-Go, he got it to Sid and ended it. What a player.

Devils in like 10 minutes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Penguins Game Day 10 - vs. Florida Panthers


or



whichever you prefer



7:30 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

The Penguins are set to hit the ice with their almost perfect 8-1-0 record against the struggling Florida Panthers at the Igloo tonight. Before we get too hyped up do we all remember this game?




I do, because I was there. What a miserable time to be alive. But I guess it kinda worked out since we won the cup and all.

Back to today. The Panthers dropped a 5-2 contest to the Sabers on Wednesday, giving up five goals in the first period. Looking up this game box score I came across this on ESPN.com:



I guess ESPN doesn't even care enough about the Panthers to even realize that they put another terrible team in the headline. Imagine that

Scott Clemmenson got yanked after giving up two goals, on three shots, less than two minutes into the game. Nothing like having that confidence in a goalie. Sucks.

The Panthers are 2-5-0 in seven games and are led by Michael Frolik who has two goals and three asssists in the seven games the Panthers have played.

The Penguins will be without blue line vet Sergei Gonchar for the next 4-6 weeks with a busted up wrist. I really believe that he will be missed more for his leadership than his actual point total. I really do believe the Penguins will be alright with Go-Go and Tanger running things on the power play.

The Penguins will also go out to battle today with back up goaltender Brent Johnson. The Penguins go back to back with the NJ Devils coming to town tomorrow night. Obviously starting MAF tomorrow night is a no brainer for the division match up. Johnson did not have a bad start the last, and only, start in the Pens only loss to Phoenix. He only gave up two goals and made 22 saves. Solid backup. Hopefully he can get the win tonight to get the monkey off his back of being the only losing goaltender on the team.

Overall I think the Pens will be alright.

Here are the lines via the Penguins site:

Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Dupuis-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Rupp-Adams-Godard

Defense
Orpik-Goligoski
Eaton-Letang
McKee-Skoula

Goaltender
Brent Johnson

Lets Go Pens

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mellon Memories


I know a lot of blogs have people submit their memories of the Civic Arena/Mellon Arena/Igloo because of it being the last year for the old lady. Originally I was not going to do anything like this because a lot of sites were doing it and I didn't want to seem repetitive. I have since had a change of heart and feel that it is only good to maybe give people even more avenues to what the Mellon Arena has meant to them.

So here is what we have. Send in your best/worst and everything in between memories of the Mellon Arena. This does not have to be just Penguin games but it can be from any avenue. You can send them into threeriversburghblog@gmail.com and I will periodically be putting them up on the site as they roll in. Just like the rest of the people try to keep the language so that most can read these. Thanks guys and I look forward to reading and sharing your personal feelings and experiences.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Owned. Pens win


A little late on the Penguins recap. It has been some busy days for me, but I am sure you had plenty of places to go to read about this game. I actually got to watch the game on TV rather than trying to find it online there somewhere but since it was on VS I think i was part of the 0.01% of people who were happy it was on VS.

This game wasn't really a "game". It was pretty much a domination. The Penguins just had their way with the Blues for the first period. Any time you can get 20 shots in a period and hold your opponent to only three. St. Louis just looked like they wanted to get a free meal in Pittsburgh and this was a meeting you had to go to in order to get the free trip.

The Penguins got on the board with two in the first. TK scored at the 11:19 mark with his fifth goal of the season. Honestly, how good has the third line been? I mean after the game there was a stat that stated that in the Penguins nine games the third line of TK-Staal-Cooke have combined for ten goals. What a line.

Evegeni Malkin got on the board with a power play goal just 69 seconds later on his third shot. Geno took a shot that was saved by goaltender Mason, got his own rebound then took another shot and got that shot blocked and then took another shot that was just a rocket that tickled the twine for a 2-0 Penguins lead after one period of play.

The Penguins were not as good in the second, but then again how can you follow up such a dominated period. The Penguins scored two goals, 34 seconds apart, when Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Cooke scored goals. Feds goal came on the power play and Matt Cooke redirected a Kris Letang shot that beat goaltender Mason for the last goal he would give up for the night.

The reason Mason would give up no more goals was because he was yanked after two periods of play. Ex-Penguin Ty Conklin came in for the mop up duty and got some mixed reactions from the Mellon faithful. Go-Go welcomed him to the game about half way through the period with his second of the season from Crosby and Kunitz to make it 5-1. The Penguins squeezed the life (what was left) out of the Blues and won.

MAF was good again for his eighth win of the season. He is now 8-0-0 for the Penguins and has been cash all season. MAF was not tested greatly but he is making the routine save and never let the Blues feel if they had a chance to be in the game. That is a huge part of MAF's game that has improved. He is not letting up as many "softies" this year as he has in the past. He is maturing very well year after year and just gives Penguins fans a great feeling when he is in net.

The Penguins power play was 2-for-4 on the night. They are getting back into the groove of things but then the worst thing happened for that power play.

As many of you already know Sergei Gonchar will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist. Now, during the game we heard some things that Gonch went to the tunnel and some people were whispering that he had a bummed wrist. I immediately thought that he was going to be a three month thing and it was going to be a real detriment to the team. I actually think this isn't going to be as bad as everyone thought.

Go-Go and Letang are going to get some more minutes and going to be asked to carry that first power play unit. Last year Go-Go was thrown into the fire when he was asked to fill in for Gonch when he went down with his injury so this is not new to him. Last year there was a learning curve with those two but I think they will be alright.

Lets not get it twisted, Gonchar is very, very important to this team. The team will change in how they do things but this is not the end of the world. It is a month and a half, it could be a lot worse. The Penguins have a pretty solid group of blue line depth and the signing of Martin Skoula looks really good right now.

There are ups and downs in a season and you have to learn to keep an even keel and not get too up or too down. The Penguins will not be the same team without Gonch but they will survive. They will be alright.

Lets Go Pens


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Penguins Game Day 9 - vs. St. Louis Blues

7:00 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA


The Penguins play their second in a five game home stand as they take on the Jay McKee-less St. Louis Blues. I guess we should maybe let the Blues win since they are basically paying Jay McKee to play for us. He was an oft injured player in St. Louis but he has been just straight cash so far.

Not only are there some former Blues on the Penguins but there are a few Penguins on the Blues. The first of which being Ty Conklin. You remember Ty right? He came in when MAF got hurt two years ago and filled in amazingly and helping to get this team to the playoffs and the Stanley Cup finals. Darryl Sydor will also be suiting up on the blue line for the Blues so we will see a few familiar faces tonight.

Conklin is coming off a 5-0 shutout of the Mighty Ducks so he is playing pretty well. Sure the Ducks don't have Sid or Geno but none the less it was a great game for good ole Ty. The Blues had five different players record multiple points so this is no gimme game.

Here is the Penguins lines as per Penguins.com

Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Dupuis-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Rupp-Adams-Godard

Defense
Gonchar-Orpik
Eaton-Letang
Goligoski-McKee

Netminder
Fleury

Here is a little preview of the Blues thanks to Penguins.com

St. Louis returned to the postseason dance in ’08-09 for the first time in five years as their 92 points were the most accumulated by a Blues team since putting up 99 points in ’02-03. The Blues had made the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons before sitting out the three that preceded last year. A 27-9-7 finish to the season despite missing Paul Kariya and Erik Johnson from their lineup gave St. Louis the push they needed to sneak into the Western Conference playoff field.

The Blues are a team that is definatly getting better but this is a team that the Penguins should beat. They are rolling on this current streak they have so they need to stay hot and win as many games now as they can. You never know when one point is going to make the difference for playoff seeding at the end of the year. Anyways, not much of a preview today, but whatev.


Lets go Pens.


Monday, October 19, 2009

News, Notes and woooo


Well it was an amazing weekend for Pittsburgh sports. The Penguins won, Pitt won, PSU won, the Steelers won and the Eagles lost. Great job for our sports teams. Here are some links from the Pittsburgh sports scene.

Tim over at Bucco Fans has some real quality material over the past few days about the Pirates. Cutch and Jose Tabata are the top prospects in the International League.

Tim also put together a nice list of what the future looks like at each position for the Pirates and how all the trades worked out from this season.

Perry Hill will not return to the Pirates next year. This is a huge loss for the Pirates. Hill was very much overlooked by the Pirate fans as to what he did for this infield. He made vast improvements to Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young and is just good at what he does. Without Jack Wilson and Fredy Sanchez are gone so the Pirates really need to tighen down their defense.

Gerry Dulac gives his post game report card of the Steelers win over the Browns.

The Cleveland Plain dealer wonders if the referee's measurement gave the Steelers unearned points? I got nothing. That was not a first down.

The Cleveland Browns did not gain a lot of yards yesterday.

Jeff Reed had another steller night at the club. He was cited for public intoxication amongst other things. This will more than likely end Jeff Reed's tenure in the Burgh. He might finish out the season here but he will probably not be extended a contract. I really wanted him to sign because he is a big part of the team and is a very good kicker but there comes a time you got to leave players go. He just didn't learn.

The Steelers still have some improving to do.

They do have improvements but you can't help but smile when your team gets 10 plays of 20 yards or more against a team.

"I feel good," Polamalu said in the locker room. "Had we lost, who knows? But after a victory, everything feels pretty good." ESPN's James Walker still thinks the Steelers are in a good position.

The Pitt Panthers are in the rankings. I know there isn't a lot of college football talk here but the Panthers have been doing pretty well and Bill Stull has played very good football this year after most have given up on them.

The Penguins new arena should be ready by August 1.

Here is what we are looking at this week in Pittsburgh sports:

Tuesday, October 20 - St. Louis Blues @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 PM
Friday, October 23 - Florida Panthers @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 24 - New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 25 - Minnesota Viking @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 PM

Great week for Pittsburgh sports


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fumble City. Steelers Win

Huge win for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not because their offense couldn't be stopped, not because they beat the Browns for the 12th straight time, not because the defense forced four turnovers, but because the Bengals and Ravens lost and now we are tied for first place and the 1-2 record that we had a couple of weeks ago isn't too bad right now. This is what its all about.

If any woman out there has married a Cleveland Brown WR and is reading this blog I will advise you of one thing. Do NOT let your husband carry your baby. He will drop it. Now, don't get me wrong, Derek Anderson is not a good QB by any stretch of the imagination, but I mean when you drop six passes as a team it is no wonder that DA was 9/24 for the game passing. What a joke the Browns receiving core has been this year. Edwards might have been traded but his bad hands are still with the team.

How good is Ben Roethlisberger? 417 yards through the air, which from what I can understand is an NHL high this year. I might be wrong on that. Drew Brees probably had like a 700 yard passing day somewhere in there. Ben was not as accurate today only hitting on 23 of his 35 attempts but he was still able to do pretty much whatever he wanted to do. He found six different receivers and found he big three (Ward-Holmes-Miller) a combined 18 times. He knows where those three are and he looks for them. They make the plays.

Talking about the WR, they were pretty money today. Hines Ward is just cash money when you throw him the football. He is top five in the league in receiving yards and he should move up the charts with his eight catch, 159 yard performance today. Hines had a TD and had another one overturned when he lost the football, while out of bounce, after his 15th tumble roll. Whatever, Steelers win.

Santonio Holmes made five catches for 104 yards but really had a nice all around game. On his long reception of 41 yards he made some nice cuts to go across the grain to get into the redzone. The most impressive part of Holmes' game today was his blocking. He was throwing blocks all over the place for his other receivers. It was really nice to see that he is working on the little parts of the game which are important for him to become the type of receiver that Hines Ward is.

Mike Wallace gets better every single game. He made two catches for 50 yards, but his most impressive play was a 21 yard end around run. It was the end of the run that was impressive. Wallace gets hit at the seven yard line and churns forward for almost five more yard after first contact and almost got into the end zone. That is Steelers football and he is just getting better with every snap and every game.

The Steelers run game was a mix and match of three different players between Mendenhall, Moore and Parker. Overall the Steelers went for 141 yards on 36 carries and other than the case of the fumbles the Steelers had in the third quarter they did a pretty nice job on the ground. In a string of plays in the third quarter both Willie Parket and Rashard Mendenhall fumbled on back to back possessions to give the Cleveland Browns the ball back after they had fumbled it to the Steelers. This is how a string of series ended for both teams in the third:

PIT - Ben Roethlisberger INT
CLE - Derek Anderson sacked and fumble lost
PIT - Willie Parker fumble lost
CLE - Derek Anderson sacked and fumble lost
PIT - Rashard Mendenhall fumble lost

So if you were keeping track at home there was about a six minute window during the game when there were five turnovers between both teams. This is a little concerning for the Steelers. I am especially worried with Rashard Mendenhall. He has no ball security whatsoever. He holds that ball like a loaf of bread when he runs and I can see this being a huge problem for the Steelers especially when you play teams like the Viking and Ravens who go for the ball all the time. It needs to be fixed, soon.

The defense was pretty money all day. Not sure if it made that huge of a difference, but just having Troy Polomalu on the field just makes the team better no matter what. I mean it doesn't hurt to have him pick a pass off to stop a Browns drive early in the game. The Steelers defense only gave up seven points, got two sacks, forced two fumbles and picked off two passes. Four turnovers and Ben Roethlisberger is a good recipe for Steelers wins.

It also helps when the Browns can't catch.

This was a huge win, like I said before the Ravens lost to the Viking and the Bengals lost to the Texans so right now the Bengals and Steelers are tied with a 4-2 record each and the Ravens are now at 3-3 after three straight losses. Good day to be a Steelers fan. Next week will be a tough one, but we are at home, where we are 3-0. It will be nuts. More later.

Here We Go

Friday, October 16, 2009

Penguins Game Day 8 - vs. Tampa Bay Lightning


7:30 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA


What a beautiful place for hockey.

The Penguins will take on Ryan Malone and the Tampa Bay Lightning later tonight in their first game back from the 5-0 road trip they just got done dominating.

The Lightning come in at 2-2-2 on the season after an embarrassing 7-1 loss to Ottawa on Wednesday night. The Sens scored the first five goals of the games, two of which were short handed goals by Milan Michalek. Micalek also scored a power play goal for an absolute dismal night for the Lightning power play. Jarkko Ruutu also scored and chipped in three points in the win for the Sens. When Jarkko is racking up multiple points you know you are having a bad night.

Pittsburgh boy Ryan Malone leads the team with six goals, three of which came in a hat trick he recorded against the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday. Marin St. Louis leads the team with 10 points (3+7) so I guess you can't say it is all bad for the Lightning. They are winning a few games.

The prize of the Tampa Bay team is definately center Steven Stamkos. Stamkos was the Lightning's top pick this past draft and has seven points on this young season (3+4). He is a promising talent and, although not as highly touted as Sid or OV, can more than make his mark on the game with his skill set.

The Penguins are going with these lines today according to Penguins.com

Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Dupuis-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Rupp-Adams-Godard

Orpik-Gonchar
Eaton-Letang
McKee-Goligoski

Fluery

Solid lineup against a Lightning team that we should probably beat. Jay McKee and Alex Goligoski might be playing some of the best hockey right now. Jay McKee actually blocks shots in his sleep. He currently leads the NHL in block shots as Mark Eaton is somewhere in the top five. Remember when everyone hated Eaton (me included)? Well who cares. He is pretty money now.

No lineup for the Lightning yet but here are some lineup changes per Tampa's official team site:

Look for a couple of changes tonight, first, Antero Niittymaki will be back in the goal for Tampa Bay and second, look for Tocchet to start the game with Steve Downie playing on a line with Alex Tanguay and Vincent Lecavalier.



Lets Go Pens


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Steelers Game Day 6 - Cleveland Browns

Last week I said I wasn't really sure what to say about the game because it was the Lions and they were not a very good ball team, not like the Steelers that is. Well I also had in the back of my mind that the Lions were a team that was 100 times better than last year. This is not the story for the Cleveland Browns. They are bad. Real bad. Last weeks game against the Bills was an embarrassment to the NFL. Just click the stats below to see what I am talking about.

Last week:

Passing: Roethlisberger: 23/30, 277 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Mendenhall: 15 car, 77 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Ward: 7 rec, 85 yards, 1 TD

Passing: Anderson: 2/17, 23 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 15.1 passer rating
Rushing: Lewis: 31 carries 117 yards
Receiving: Massaquoi: 1 rec, 16 yards
(what a joke)

Offense (rank in NFL)
Total Offense

Pittsburgh: 375.8 yards/game (7th)
Cleveland: 248.4 yards/game (31st)

Passing

Pittsburgh: 275.4 yards/game (4th)
Cleveland: 142.2 yards/game (31st)

Rushing

Pittsburgh: 100.4 yards/game (21st)
Cleveland: 106.2 yards/game (t-16th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 22.6 points/game (14th)
Cleveland: 11.0 points/game (30th)

Defense

Total Defense

Pittsburgh: 290.8 yards/game (4th)
Cleveland: 380.2 yards/game (29th)

Rush

Pittsburgh: 71.2 yards/game (2nd)
Cleveland: 170.4 yards/game (32nd)

Pass

Pittsburgh: 219.6 yards/game (14th)
Cleveland: 209.8 yards/game (10th)

Points

Pittsburgh: 19.6 points/game (t-14th)
Cleveland: 24.2 points/game (23rd)

Looking at the Browns it is hard to not look at the quarterback situation and wonder wtf is going on with this organization. People in masses will tell you that Derek Anderson is their guy and that he was a pro bowler and the Browns almost made the playoffs a few years ago with him. Lets put that into perspective. Almost making the playoff and making the playoff are two totally different things. Pro Bowl? You played half of a good year DA. You didn't play a whole good year because once film got out you were throwing picks like they were going out of style. You are not a good quarterback and you team was not a playoff team, hence you not making the playoffs. Currently DA has a league low 39.0 passer rating and has thrown only one touchdown and five picks. His completion percentage of 46.4 is just above JaMarcus Russell on the charts. Congrats, you and everyone else in the NFL.

Now Brady Quinn was the Browns starter at the beginning of the year. He did not do very well as he could not pick up a win. He lost his spot. He now is selling his house. Awesome. He has throw one touchdown and three picks. Together the Browns QB tandem has been sacked 14 times, Quinn 10 times and DA four times. What a mess it is to be part of the Browns organization. I guess the good thing is that if you are a QB and you are in the Browns roster you will play, you just may not live very long.

The receiving corp is nothing to write home about this season. They traded their best WR to the Jets last week after Mr. Edwards thought he was Mike Tyson on LeBron James' friend. Here is what the depth cart looks like for the Browns:

Starters: Mohamed Massaquoi, Mike Furrey
Depth: Brian Robiskie, Josh Cribbs, Chansi Stuckey, Paul Hubbard

Really? That's what you got to play with? Mike Furrey is one of your top two receivers and you have two rookies as part of your top three. Josh Cribbs is not a WR and Chansi Stucky is a good four guy who can be a possession guy. What a mess.

There are actually two different bright spots for the Browns, their running game and their special teams. The running game gets going now and then. Really when you go 2/17 for 23 yards as the passing game did you have to do SOMETHING right. Jamal Lewis is probably past him time but he can still churn out 100 yard games so the Steelers will have to prep for that. Jamal Lewis has played a lot against the Steelers and the Steelers have played Jamal a lot. They know each other, but I don't see 100 yards from Jamal, or the Browns for that matter, in the game on Sunday.

The special teams is easily the best part of this Browns team. It doesn't matter if its the punter (who gets a ton or work) or Josh Cribbs they can get the job done. The FG team has not missed a kick yet this year so that is pretty good omen for them. Right? Cribbs kills the Steelers. He seems to always take one back to the house for a touchdown but I have a feeling the Steelers will put a lot of time this week on stopping that.

Now, for the Steelers. Troy is back. If he is back healthy this team has a chance to have a great defense again (not that it isn't good already). He changes the entire game when he is in there and he most certainly the most important player to that defense.

Big Ben has just been cash money all year. He is putting up gaudy numbers this year and really controlling the offense and making this team tick. He is almost to the Troy level of what he means to this team. He has a lot of control over this offense and he finds his receivers.

Talking about receivers. The Steelers have a really solid receiving group. Hines, Tone, Heath, Wallace. Talk about players that you have options getting. Heath and Hines are money when you throw them the football, if Heath drops a pass then you need to check if you are still alive. Tone has been complaining a little bit about not getting the ball but he has been saying all the right things when talking to the media. That seems to be a problem that might start to come up. Getting Hines and Tone their balls and trying to also get the ball to Wallace and Heath. Who cares, we are winning and that's what it's all about.

The offensive line has been churnin so hopefully they continue to keep Ben upright.

The defense will be on better legs when Troy gets back. They will be missing Aaron Smith who is done for the year, but I believe that a committee of players will be able to come in and at least patch it enough to where the Steelers will be good against the run. The defense has been giving up some big plays at the end of games but they are still, statistically, one of the best in the game. I don't know, they are near the top in sacks and once they start getting turnovers they will be a great defense again.

James Harrison was the NFL Defensive Player of the Week honor last week for his three sack performance. He is a beast and I hope he gets three more Sunday. I will leave you with this:





woooooooooooooooooooooooo

Steelers 31, Browns 13

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kooooooooooooooooooooo. Pens Win

The Penguins moved to a perfect 5-0 on the road and 6-1 overall after a 3-2 shootout victory at the RBC Center tonight against some Staal guy and the Carolina Hurricans. Chris Kunitz might not have scored a goal yet this season but he has been just cash this year.

Kunitz is throwing his body around, sticking up for the other guys on the ice, dishing the puck and scoring game winning shootout goals on the road. Slump? I think not. We are only seven games into the season.

The game started out real well. The Canes were on acid when this came out and were all over the Penguins, shots, physical, forecheck, they had it all. Then Mike Rupp happened.


What a dirty goal. He turned Cam Ward inside out, then right side out, then inside out again. If Cam Ward somehow got his liquor license back it just got taken away again. All of this from, Mike Rupp. Who would have thought? Great goal to give the Pens a 1-0 lead


Geno Malkin has really just done it all against Cam Ward. Geno put the Pens up 2-0 on a prety nasty goal of his own. He was about two feet of the goal crease and snapped a writeer that went in short side of Cam Ward to put the Pens up two.

MAF was playing really well and you thought that this was going to be a shutout.

Well, the Canes came back hard and had two goals by Ray Whitney who seemly kills the Penguins everytime they play. Two deflection goals tied the game at one. He was at the right place and he knows what to do when he is there.

Cammy Ward might have made the save of the season so far. Sid came down across the blue line and dished a pass cross ice for Kunitz who in turn gave a beautiful one touch pass for a WIDE OPEN Billy Guerin who had 75% of the net to put the puck into. Guerin wasted no time in putting the puck in the ne...glove save by Ward. He literally threw his glove out there and Guerin shot it right into it. What a great save. One of those OMG saves that you have to respect no matter who you cheer for.

The Penguins somehow kept most of the momentum throughout the overtime and going into the shootout. That is when it happened. The Canes scored the first shootout goal on their second attemt and Crosby answered right back. That is when Chris Kunitz happened:




Game

Lets Go Pens


Penguins Game Day 7 - @ Carolina Hurricanes


7:00 PM, RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

Did you guys know that the Carolina Hurricanes have a guy with the last name Staal? I wonder if he is related to Jordan? Oh, I just got word he is. Good. I wonder if we are going to hear about that tonight? Over/Under at 17.

The Penguins will return to the RBC Center for the first time since they won game four of the ECF and lifted the Prince of Wales trophy. I would know. I was there. After the softie he gave up (which you can see over at The Pensblog) I was chanting Cam Wards name along with all the other Pens fans there. It was awesome.

Now I know people think that Cam Ward is the next coming of Jesus in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes but he folded faster than a deck of cards in a hurricane. Just for shits and giggles lets look at how good Cam Ward was last post season:

Round One - Boston Bruins - Win in 7.
Games: 7
Shots faced: 242
Saves: 227
Goals Allowed: 15
Save %: .938

Round Two - NJ Devils - Win in 7
Games: 7
Shots Faced: 199
Saves: 182
Goals Allowed: 17
Save %: .915

Round Three - Pittsburgh Penguins - Loss in 4
Games: 4
Shots Faced: 138
Saves: 118
Goals Allowed: 20
Save %: .855

So as we can clearly see above I guess that Cam Ward can not be regarded as the savior of the Carolina franchise and the team does, in fact, need to score a few goals to win big games. Kinda funny to see that in three less games he gave up three more goals than he did in seven games against the Devils. Actually if the series had went seven games then I would not be surprised if the Penguins scored more goals on Cam Ward than than both the Devils AND Bruins scored on him.

The Hurricanes come into the game with a 2-3 record with their wins over Tampa Bay and Florida. Wow.

Eric Cole is out of the game tonight for the Hurricanes.

Here is what the starting lineups will probably look like from the Penguins official website.

Forwards
Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Dupuis-Malkin-Fedotenko
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Rupp-Adams-Godard

Defense
Gonchar-Orpik
Eaton-Letang
Goligoski-McKee

Netminder
Fleury

Get one more and we are perfect on the road trip.

Lets Go Pens


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday's News and Notes

A pretty slow and crappy sports news day. There was some bad news today on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

This is what we are looking at when I got into work today. This is not good. Not good at all. I must say that this has not been confirmed yet so there still is a slight glimmer of hope for this to be false but I doubt it. If this is true, and is a three month injury then you are looking at a return in early to mid January. That is playoff time. Remember also that IR in football is not like in hockey. IR in football and you are done for the season.

So, do the Steelers throw Smith on IR and open up a roster spot for something else? Do they keep him on the active roster and make him inactive every game day? The Steelers have done that before, back in 1995 with Rod Woodson. That is going to be a tough call for coach. I think I do not IR him and have him back for playoff time. He is too good of a player to not have in January. Better that way in my opinion.


Willie and Troy are supposed to participate in practice on Tuesday which is a really good sign for them being back and playing some football. I know you shouldn't take a team lightly but I really think that you need to maybe not start Troy, just get him some plays to get his feet wet, bring him in against the Vikings and then you have the bye week to rest him up again for another big game against Denver on Monday night, November 9.

The Penguins will play the Hurricanes on Wednesday. It will be at the Mellon Arena, I hope I hear something like this:



Classic. Especially since it was in Carolina then.

Philly Sucks.