Saturday, May 29, 2010

Odds and Ends

A little bit of this and that from the the Pittsburgh sports scene. Blah Blah Blah.

Well, it is official. The Penguins and Capitals are going to be playing in the Winter Classic next season. [Puck Daddy] Should be pretty interesting. I mean I am a huge Penguins fan and all but I probably would have rather seen some other teams have this game. I know marketing Sid and Ovie is a huge deal but if you want to grow the league you are gonna wanna market some other teams. I dunno, just me.

The Pensblog goes over what the weather has been like the past like 10 years on Christmas and New Years in Pittsburgh [Pensblog]

Puck Daddy sat down and translated an Evgeni Malkin interview from over in Russia. Pretty good read. [Puck Daddy]

Sergei Gonchar cares not for pants [PSAMP]

Charlie Morton to the DL with shoulder fatigue. Brad Lincoln up for the Piraets? [Raise the Jolly Roger]

Pat takes a look at Charlie Morton [WHYGAVS]

Ray Shero is pretty beastly [Post Gazette]

He's back [Tribune Review]

No more double bye in the Big East Tournament [Fanhouse]

The Steelers rank seventh in a current poll of NFL franchises [Fox Sports]

I have been such a hack on this blog lately.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ben's Back


"I'm Back, Bitches"


Yes Ben, you are.

To be honest it will probably be the best thing for Ben to get back on the field with his team. Lets not get things twisted, when he comes back he will be the QB so get some work in.

He is still suspended six games, but unless he pulls a Pacman aka go to the strip clumb the night before you meet the comish for getting in trouble in a strip club, then it should be four games.
I actually sat down with Ben. We talked about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or something like that. This was the tail end of our conversation after he told me he was coming back (my statements are in blue, his in black with an actual picture of him answering it):



TRBB: Anything else you want to say Ben?


Yea actually if...


TRBB: If I may Ben your hair is pretty kick ass.


Thanks, I think so too. Can you believe some people bashed me for this?

TRBB: I really can't Ben, very nice


May I?

TRBB: Oh, yea, sure, go ahead.


Well if you are hating then I got two work for ya!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Get Over It People

Good Lord. I know some people are stupid sometimes about the Penguins, but Jesus it is getting to a whole different level recently. When reading some tweets today Mikey from 96.1 said that he asked on air who people are going to be rooting for in the Stanley Cup Finals. He then tweeted to me that things were going about 50/50. I thought he must be kidding and he assured me that people were pretty much split down the middle. Unreal.

At first glance you can see what kinds of dilemma that people would be in. Marian Hossa plays with the Chicago Blackhawks so naturally some people still hold onto what happened two years ago. The other team is the Philadelphia Flyers, a team that Pittsburghers are born to hate with all of their hearts. A little earlier tonight Dave Dameshek put together a jury of what Pittsburgh should think. Here it is. Start at the bottom and work up.




Pretty standard. Lets get to the real thing. If you are rooting for the Flyers over the Blackhawks then you need to get your head examined and/or just commit yourself to a mental hospital. What in your right mind would make you cheer for the team that arguably Pittsburgh hates the most? Because of one guy that was with the team for a couple of months and left because he was a free agent? No, you are right that makes perfect sense. I would much rather side with a fan base that cheer Crosby sucks and throws things on the ice when things don't go their way. Their fans who drop the f bomb on live TV:



You want to cheer for a team that actually is worse than the Montreal fans, which is damn near impossible. You remember how you reacted to every time the Habs fans booed and bitched every time a player feel over his own two feet, but you want to cheer for the team with the fans that are worse. No, that is great logic.

You want to cheer against Marian Hossa. A guy that was with the Penguins for 32 games, including playoffs. Hossa was a rental player we got for the end of the season and stretch run. He helped us with some points and got us some wins, but not quite there as the Penguins lost in six games to the Wings in the Cup Finals that year.

Hossa then was working with GMRS to try and get a deal done and there was some progress being made and then bam. Gone. Marian found a spot to sign, in Detroit. At the time he said that Detroit gave him the better chance to win the Stanley Cup. It stung. It was hard to swallow for the Penguins and their fans. The fans took it hard and grew a hatrid for Hossa, that still some have today.

Halfway through the 2008-2009 season the Penguins were floundering and the Wings were staright rolling. One thing led to another and the Penguins and Red Wings met in the finals again. The Penguins forced a game seven and stuck it to Marian. It was the payback that every fan could have asked for. The demons have been exercised and all should have been forgotten. It was for some, but for others it wasn't.

I understand what Hossa, and his agent really, did to make us hate him, but that should have been over when we beat him in the Cup. When we got him on the team it should have been clear that he wasn't going to be here past that year. Now people are still up in arms because they feel he owes us something. How about this. If we keep Hossa you can say goodbye to Brooks Orpik and probably signing Geno long term. You can probably scratch that Letang contract and some other key pieces to the Penguins core that make them such a force.

A guy that was clearly a rental and you hate him and want to root for the Flyers because of that. Grow the fuck up. We got the better of Hossa by winning the Cup in his new back yard. We proved him wrong and that should be it. But that is not enough for some of you. You are jokes. If you want to root for the Flyers then you shouldn't be Penguins fans. Chicago doesn't mean shit to us. They are in the Western Conference. They have a talented team with Toewes and Kane and co. You want some bush league team to win the Stanley Cup and rub it into our face when we go to that shit hole Wachovia Center next year? I don't. Obviously some of you do.

Like Dave said in his tweets, Hossa is one bad apple that Penguins don't hate, but Philadelphia is littered with them. Hextall, Lindros, Clarke, Downie, Hartnell, Carcillo, their fans, their building and the city itself. You are going to cheer for an organization that employed or still employs those people over one person that doesn't even mean shit anymore? That is waht's sad about all of this.

Like I said, the Hossa thing should be over. You all got your fills when you booed him every time he touched the puck his first game as a Red Wing. You got your fill when you laughed at him after the Penguins won the Cup. This is about arguably the most hated teams in all of sprots in recent Pittsburgh memory and some of you want to cheer for that bullshit? Don't be a six year old. Let it go.

Go Hawks.

Lets Go Pens.

Monday, May 24, 2010

SCF





Stanley Cup Finals

Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Wednesday, Friday.

Jesus



I guess this is what it comes down to:



For those of you who want to karaoke it:





If I go anywhere to watch a game I am wearing my Lemieux or Fleury jersey and cheering for the Pens.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Around the Horn

Still not a lot going on. The Steelers get long weekends, the Pirates are their usual up and down for this time of year and Mellon Arena was emptied for the very last time. Other than that there isn't too much going on. Dice K almost went no-no last night but it was broken up by the Philies in the eighth inning.

The Flyers and Blackhawks both have 3-1 series leads in the Conference Finals. Typing that out makes me want to throw up.

Here are some more links for the slow days. Working slowly but surely on a Penguins wrapup. Who knows when it will be done.



Is Jack Wilson thinking of retiring? [MLB Trade Rumors]

Ron Cook thinks that trading Evgeni Malkin is a good idea. Good Lord. [Joke]

Neil Walker should be with the big club [Bucs Dugout]

Pens Universe goes over the Penguins UFA and tells us what they think should happen with all of them. [Pens Universe]

Anton Volchekov to the Captials? [Ottawa Sun]

The Steelers QB situation to start the season is up in the air [Post Gazette]

Blah

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Sad Mellon Day

Today was another sad day for the Mellon Arena. The ice was taken out for the very last time. Here is a video from the Penguins website. Maybe it is just me, but this was hard to watch. I know CEC is going to be aweosme, but nothing is ever like the original.





Here is a link for some pictures of it all. [Penguins Website]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

@psamp owns Paul Ladewski

Catchy title eh? Here are some links you may or may not like.

As most of you know Paul Ladewski is basically a huge tool and talked some smack on the Penguins, basically saying that the Penguins fail was embarassing. Well leave it to the bloggers to get the best of him.

PSAMP pretty went to down and dominated Ladewski. He also got a screen shot of the article, which came in handy since Ladewski took the article down today. Golf clap for PSAMP [PSAMP]

Pat over at WHYGAVS also chimed in on this [WHYGAVS]

So did The Pensblog [The Pensblog]

Great job from those guys and others on really giving it to Paul.

Cotter caught a glimpse of what PacMan was actually doing with the Cincy [OFTOT]

Who has the best defense in the AFC North? [ESPN]

ATTENTION: Empty Netters will be moving [Empty Netters]

LeBron should come to Pittsburgh. LOVE this idea. He could start the team and do whatever he wants. [Sean's Ramblings]


Did I miss something? Let me know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Are the Pirates Getting Better?

Going into this season there was a lot made that this could be the worst Pirates team in a long time. Some people were actually calling for this team to lose over 110 games. I didn't really see it. If you recall I thought this team could reel in about 70-75 wins. While that many wins isn't all that great, or even .500 for that matter, it would be a great step in the right direction considering how bad this team was thought to be.

At the 39 game point the Pirates are 17-22, only five games under .500. The Pirates are on pace for almost 71 wins so I am looking good so far. One can almost look at the Philadelphia series that the Pirates just finished with and say that it has been a microcosm of the season so far. The Pirates just get rocked by an average at best pitcher and give up a ton of runs and the very next day they go up against arguably the best pitcher in the league and grab a 2-1 win.

Most are going to point to the fact that the Pirates run differential is an astounding -102. They have been outscored by over 100 runs already this season. But delve a little closer into why and you can see that this tells you nothing about this season. You take away three games from this season (20-0, 15-6, 17-3 losses) and the Pirates are only a -59. That puts them right up against some other teams, and not the worst in baseball. Number can be misleading (as shocking as that may be).

Like I said, the Pirats are getting beat big and getting by with the close wins. That is how it is going to have to be for this team. They are not going to score a lot of runs, mostly three or four runs a game, so the pitching is going to have to be money. For the most part, it has. When leading after six innings the Pirates pen has yet to fail them. A lot better than we expected, and that is without Brandon Donnley. He is scheduled to come back very shortly and that leaves a very unexpected probelm. Who's place is he going to take? Meek and Hanrahan have been lights out, Dotel has been good and the rest of the pen has held up their end of the bargan. Not a terrible problem to have.

The deal is that if the Bucco pitchers show up and throw stirkes this team has a chance to win on a nightly basis, for the most part. Zack Duke was the epitimy of this last night against Philadelphia when he mowed down a Philadelphia lineup that might be World Series bound. Duke was zoned in and worked quick. You can tell he felt it and and he got the job done. He was yanked after six innings and Meek, Hanrahan and Dotel did the rest as we discussed before. That is the way the Pirates are going to win games.

The way Pirates lose games? Like they did against Chicago on Sunday with errors and misplayed balls. The Pirates have to play clean baseball in order to win and get a good pitching performance. If they don't get that then it could be ugly.

I hear people moaning already for Alverez, Tabata and co. to come up and save the day. Huge mistake. Make no mistake, this team isn't contending for anything this year. Give those guys some time to develop and keep them under contract for another year. The worst thing we can do for those kids is bring them up too soon, have them struggle and further their development process. There is no rush to get them up here. I know people want to see them, but I would rather keep them in Indy for another two months than just to apease people by bringing them up. People are frustrated. 17 years frustrated, but this is not a .500 team.

Holding those guys in AAA also gives the Pirates extra arbitration years with those playeres, which is key. People are going to think that is the Pirates being cheap by saving money but like I said before if keeping them in AAA for another two months meaning having them for a whole extra year (at minimum) then I am ok with that. Idiotic people will make up their own reasons but it is more development than money. It is.

Well the Pirates are what they are. They will give you times to excite you and they will give you times where you wonder how this team could ever win again. The fact is that this isn't the worst Pirate team in the last ten years, and right now it is better than last years team. They are a scrappy team that will fight for a win and take the extra base when they get that chance. Things would be different if they were just rolling over, but there is some fight. There is some light that I am seeing but it is still early. Time will tell.

Lets Go Bucs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Little of This and a Little of That

Not too much gonig on in Pittsburgh now. The Penguins are done early, the Steelers just started optional practices and the Pirates have had some good wins, and some bad losses. Not too much to write about, although I am pretty sure I could find something, but the weather is beautiful where I am at and I have been taking advantage of it.

There will be some sort of Penguins wrap up that I will be puting together over the next week or so, but I have no idea how I am going to do that. Maybe just one longer post. Who knows. Whatev.

Here are some links that I think are important. If you don't think they are then don't click them. You know you want to click them though.

Is LaMarr Woodley going to get his extention? [ESPN]

Trading Evgeni Malkin is really dumb. [The Pensblog] [I had something to say about that too]

Puck Huffers has moved. Very good site, read it. [Puck Huffers]

Charilie Morton needs to be given the chance. Not like the Pirates are winning the World Series [WHYGAVS]

Pens Universe is doing some great things with Matt Cooke and his foundation. Please help them out. [Pens Universe]

Sterling Marte had some surgery on his hand. Not good. The surgery went well. Good. [PG]

Seth over at Empty Netters has all his game recaps from this season in once place. Seth does an amazing job covering the Pens. Seth>>>>>>>>>>>(x 10000000000) Rob Rossi [Empty Netters]

Brad Lincoln is going to be with the big club, soon. [Trib]

Bryan Morris is going to Altoona [Bucco Blog]

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Enough of this Crap

Lets just get this ridiculous rumor out of way. Evgeni Malkin will not and should not get traded. As bad as Rob Rossi might want to get Geno out of town it is the wrong move to make. I mean sure why not trade Malkin who won the Conn Smythe last year when the Penguins won the damn Stanley Cup. Jokes.

Lets take a look at Malkin's history while being at the NHL:

- 381 points in 309 NHL games played
- 143 goals
- Calder Trophy winner in his rookie season
- 73 points in 62 NHL playoffs games
- 36 points in the Penguins Stanley Cup run
- 113 points in 2008-2009 and 35 goals
- 106 points in 2007-2008 and 47 goals


Reason you might want to ship Malkin elsewhere:

- You are Rob Rossi
- You hate Evgeni Malkin
- Your favorite team is not the Penguins and you want them to trade him to your team
- You are an idiot
- All of the above

I am not really sure why everyone is so up in arms about getting rid of Geno. Sure his 77 points this season was the lowest of his NHL career, but he only played in 67 games. Sure he wasn't the best in that playoffs but as I have said before, you can't win it every year.

The point is that Geno is 23 years old. Yea, that is right, 23 years old. He hasn't even hit his prime years and people are trying to get rid of this kid to get Jack Johnson. Jack fucking Johnson. Are these people serious when they talk about getting Jack Johnson back for Geno? Sure Johnson is good but he doesn't even sniff the talent that Geno has in just his left leg.

There is no package out there that a team could put together that would be fair trade value for him. People need to realize this is not NHL 2010 and you just can't turn off the Salary Cap in order to build the team to want to dominate the computer on rookie mode.

Look, I get the idea of freeing up cap space to get Sid some legit wingers and move Jordan Staal up to the second line and get him some more big time minutes. Staal is a great player, why we signed him up. Malkin is also a great player. Why mess with what works. Going to the Cup Finals in back-to-back years and winning one of them isn't too bad, I don't think.

The Penguins went away from the "one big line" theory that most NHL teams tries to do and decided to go down the middle with Staal, Malkin and Bing. Hasn't worked out too bad has it. I will repeat back-to-back Cup Finals.

So you get rid of Geno to get a couple wingers for Sid. You want to know what happens next? You take a top defensive pairing and shut down that line. What happens when they do that in the last three years? Malkin was there. That Carolina series, who dominated? Oh that is right, our SECOND super star. Getting two wingers for Sid doesn't automatically make us win the Stanley Cup. You people think that things are wrong with this team? You have no idea. Go ask Atlanta what having something wrong really is. Go talk to people in Tampa Bay or New York. Get real.

Getting rid of Evgeni Malkin would be a mistake that the Penguins could probably not live down. Say we do trade him and get two wingers and one of them is a bust. What then? Geno is proven. He is one of the best players in the NHL, bar none. He is a little streaky but he is still one of the best in the league and will get you around 100 points every year. Why the hell would you trade that? Do you want to see this team fail?

What other team can say they have three lines you need to worry about stopping. Take Malkin away from that and what do you have. A *possibly* great first line and a good second line. Stop the first line and you can contain the second line. Now you stop the first line you have to deal with another first line with Malkin. Dude is that good.

Do you know what kind of team gets those big name players that it blows up in their face? New York. How has their playoff history been? You can't just go get wingers and expect that everything is going to be Stanley Cups for the next 12 years. The way the Penguins are going to win Cups is down the middle.

What if Crosby gets hurt. Nobody wants to see that, but injuries happen. You would kill to have another top flight players to put in that position. The Penguins have that. You slide Malkin up and you still have a great chance to win. I don't know how many other teams can say something like that.

This premise that Malkin needs to go and that he underachieves is just people grasping for attention. They don't deserve it. Evgeni Malkin didn't lose the second round series against the Montreal Canadians, the Pittsburgh Penguins did. The Penguins are built for now and the future. Their core is the strength of this team and they haven't hit their prime years yet. That is straight scary.

So what do you all think? Leave it in the comments. I want to know where you all stand.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thanks for the Ride Ye Old Lady



It's Never Easy. Pens Lose




It's never easy to get knocked out of the playoffs. Or not make them. You never have the right words. It doesn't make it any easier when you lose your house. The first one you ever had. The one where all the memories are. You never want to see it go, but you have to. It is kinda like going from low def TV on your 100 year old 15 inch TV to your brand new 42 inch HDTV you just bought. The old TV had the memories, but it is time for a new TV.

If there is something else we know it is that you can't win the Cup every single year. Losses happen. The problem is that nobody thought the Penguins would go down four rip early and have to claw back like that. Nobody saw that coming. But it happened, and we can learn.

We have played more hockey games than any other team in the NHL over the past three years. Bing, Flower, Geno, Staal and company will get a chance to take a nap. After they get up from that nap they will think about what happened this year. What could have been. Flower will think about this game all summer. You talk about a bounce back game, wait until you see Fleury next season. Jesus.

The worst part last night was those fair weather bullshit fans that left after it was 4-0 on the shortie. I wish as those people left the building would have a permanent stamp put on their hand so that they would never be able to get into another Penguins game again. There were thousands upon thousands of true fans who sat in the rain on the lawn to watch that game that would do almost anything to get into the arena and you left because you were tired. You people disgust me. Go cheer for the Caps if you want to be like that.

Losses happen. Give it a few days. Things will get better. This team is young. We will be back. Book it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Penguins Playoff Game Day 13 - Conference Semifinals vs. Montreal Canadians - Game 7

Montreal Canadians


7:00 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA



Almost here. It has been a long couple days. Trouble sleeping, trouble focusing, trouble not freaking out anytime someone is starting to talk to you. You are focused like you are playing in the game, but you're not. Everything you do today was to a T. You try to remember everything you did while the Penguins were winning and you want to replicate everything. I know I am.

There isn't enough space on the internet to truely put into words what is now going through my mind right now. Everything is just crazy. Thus is game seven. This is what it's all about.

MAF is one of the best bounce back goalies in the league. Bar none. He has bounced back every single time he has been posed with the opportunity this series. He will be ready.

Not sure if Poni is going to be in the lineup tonight, but from the pregame skate that is what we are looking at. TestTube might be out of the lineup. Not really sure how I feel about that, but Disco is pretty good at this whole lineup thing so whatever he goes with, I think I can be ok with.

A lot of players have been in games 7's in their careers and there are a lot of successful players going to be on the ice. Almost everyone on the Penguins roster is .500 or better in games sevens.

Home ice is huge. If we are playing at Bell Centre I think this is a different game. That arena is loud (albeit with pumped in crowd noise) and it was a huge in helping the Canadians into forcing this do or die game seven. The Mellon is going to be going off the hook tonight, you can bet that, but what the Penguins don't want to do is let that get the better of them. What do I mean? I mean that sometimes playing in your home barn can get you too pumped up. You can get too into the moment, and that my friends is when bad things can happen. The Penguins need to come out on an even keel and just do what they do best, play hockey. They aren't the defending champioins for nothing.

There are a million other things I could say. I am not going to. It is do or die.

Do it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Calm

Right now it is the calm before the storm. You know something is coming. You know it is big. You try to keep your head focused on something else, but it doesn't work. You are basically useless at work, food has no taste, you see no color your significant other might start to think you are homosexual (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is what game seven does to your body and life. It sucks everything out of you until the puck drops.

All day you listen to the radio, watch TV, talk to friends and pull out all the BS stats you can about the situation you are in. You convince yourself that a home team winning a game seven in the second round of the Eastern Conference 51% of the time is all you need to know that the Penguins are going to bring this one home. You spend all your time trying to figure out reasons to tell your friends and coworkers to make yourself calm. It doesn't work. You are a nervous wreck.

Thankfully the game is going to happen on two days later and we don't have to suffer for a week or something stupid like that. You know how it is. Today all you did was look at the clock and think to yourself how much longer it was until game time. You just wish it was time to get off work on Wednesday when you could go home and get prepped for the game. Just to settle in, watch the pregame and check out the arena as it fill to capacity.

The arena is going to be amazing. If you check out the Penguins website today it had a great article where some of the Pens talked about what it is like to come out for warm ups to the roar of the crowd. We are going to need another level from the white clad faithful tomorrow night. Levels that haven't been reached since last year in the SCF. No talk about what this could be. No need to.

As I walked into the gym today there is a whiteboard and this was written on it:

"Setbacks, They are a part of life. What separates us is how we deal with them."

So true. How appropriate.

This is what it's all about. The thrill of the moment. Get your mind right.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Penguins Playoff Game Day 12 - Conference Semifinals @ Montreal Canadians - Game 6

Montreal Canadians

7:00 PM, Bell Centre, Montreal


The Penguins have closed out something like the last five playoff series on the road or something crazy like that. So when you think about it, is it really that bad that the Penguins are on the road tonight to possibly close out this series at the Bell Centre? Whatev.

How scary is it that the Penguins are winning this series with Bing and Geno only combining for one goal? That is really scary if you are another team. Would I be surprised tonight if Bing hit up the game winner tonight? No way.

I get worked up every time Montreal boo's every time a Montreal player trips over his own two feet, but this couldn't set up better for the Penguins to shut up that crowd tonight and send them home. I actually heard today that the Bell Centre actually hangs mic's from the roof to pump the fans noise back into the building. No wonder it is so loud. If that is true, which I am not sure, but if it is in fact true that is pretty sad.

Hal Gill go stepped on by Kunitz and not really sure if he is going to go. Even if he does go he is not going to be 100% so that is going to help out the Penguins a lot. It may free up Bing a little more to make some plays, but shutting down Sid really isn't all on Gill. It has been a nice strategy to basically shadow Bing with a defender and not let him beat you. That is ok, most times two defenders are going to Sid and leaving the points wide open. Note Goncahar and LeGame scored from the points in the Penguins 2-1 win on Saturday. Just sayin.

Geno Malkin looks like he has turned it up a notch. If he plays like he did on Saturday he will score and the Penguins will most likely win.

Fleury looked really good again and was 30 seconds away from his second shutout of the series. Should the whistle have blown? Yea, but who cares. MAF doesn't care about stats, he cares about winning. I like that.

Get it done tonight boys.

Do it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Booooooooooooooooom

The Penguins dropped the hammer from downtown and took a 3-2 series lead over the Canadian. If you want to hate on Fleury go somewhere else, I am sick of hering it. Buckle up for tomorrow night.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Penguins Playoff Game Day 11 - Conference Semifinals vs. Montreal Canadians - Game 5

Montreal Canadians


1:00 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA



The Penguins and Habs are now tied. The Penguins played a pretty good hockey game, but not good enough. Montreal came out in game four and let the Penguins dictate play but they turned it on in the third and scored a few quick goals to beat the Penguins by one.

Series is at 2-2. Best of three. Home ice advantage: Penguins. This is what it is all about. I know it would be nice to be up 3-1 right now with a chance to end the series but getting the split in Montreal wasn't all that bad when you think about it. You can't expect to go into an enviorment like that and win every game on the road. No matter how rediculous the fans are.

The white clad fans at the Mellon tonight need to be on their game. It is going to be important that they are loud and rowdy early and often. This is a big game, I have my faith in both the fans and the Penguins in this one. Get this win in convincing fashion and it should be over in six.

Bing and co. haven't had a breakout game yet in the playoffs. They will look to do that tonight. Things are all right for them to break out: huge series game, haven't broke out yet in four games of the series, everyone doubting his ability. You gotta love it.

Nothing more to say.

Do it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Penguins Playoff Game Day 10 - Conference Semifinals @ Montreal Canadians - Game 4

Montreal Canadians

7:00 PM, Bell Centre, Montreal


The Penguins are hopefully playing their final game of the season at the Bell Centre tonight as they look to take a 3-1 series lead over the Canadians from Montreal. It has always been my opinion that game four of a series is easily the most important. Usually, in a good series, it is the point where you either are up or down three games to one or it is the point where it is an even series. This is one of those good series scenerios and it would go a long way for the Penguins to go up 3-1. Not only for the sake of going home with a chance to clinch, but also to take both games on the road. The big bad Bell Centre did not phase the Black and Gold in game three and it shouldn't do that in game four either.

The Penguins have some players that are up in the air for tonight. Bill Guerin has already been ruled out of the contest tonight. There are so many rumours flying around about what is wrong with him it is nuts. At first it was speculated that he was just sick, then it was back spasms, now I am reading places where his elbow might be infected. What the hell. The Pengiuns website is reporting that he should be a go for game five, so that is good.

A huge blow to the Penguins is that grinder Mike Rupp might not be in the lineup tonight. For undisclosed reasons he might not be in the lineup tonight. He will be game time and like I said the Penguins are pretty tight lipped about the situation, which they usually are.

Back from the depths of the dead to possibly play for the Penguins tonight is Jordan Staal. Just about a week ago we literally thought from what we read on RDS that Staal had his whole right leg amputated. Just like three seconds later he is on the ice, says he feels great and might be in the lineup tonight. What a gamer. Staal had surgery on his foot a few days ago to repare a tendon that connects to his big toe. I am sure that is important, but not really as important as not having his whole foot, like it was reported. I think.

There are some more Bing articles about some bullshit on the web. Who cares. It's old.

The Penguins are going to have to weather the storm again. What the Penguins did on Tuesday was play the Canadians style of hockey and they beat them with it. The Caps couldn't chance their style, or didn't want to, and the Penguins are able to do that. Plan and simple.

MAF is going to have to be big again tonight. What he did on Tuesday night was steal the show. Roberto Luongo can have his shiny save percentage but I will take MAF any day of the week. Dude just wins. Those of you clowns that wanted him riding the pine can have fun cheering for Vancouver or Philadelphia because I don't want you as a fan. Fleury does his thing and doesn't care what you think. He is a gammer and that is a lot in my book.

The Habs fans are terrible. I would honestly be surprised if 70% of them ever watched hockey before. Every single time a Habs player goes down it has to be a penalty for them. The officials buy into it too with that God awful call on Jordan Leopold at the tail end of the game, but MAF was there.

Go ahead, boo Bing. He hasn't been scoring in the series but he has been nothing less than a beast. He is the best player on the ice and players like Duper and Kunitz compliment him so well and they have been rewarded. Bing is getting into the corners and laying some wood, which is nice to see. Keep booing him, and remember when Hal Gill bear hugs him while he has the puck it is a penalty. Every day of the week.

Do it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Penguins Playoff Game Day 9 - Conference Semifinals @ Montreal Canadians - Game 3

Montreal Canadians

7:00 PM, Bell Centre, Montreal


The Penguins are in that same situation they were against the Ottawa Senators last series. 1-1, there was a sense the Penguins could come back home 2-2, a lot of uncertainly, not really sure what the hell was going on. Then, BAM, the Penguins put the smackdown on Ottawa and most people knew this series was basically over.

The Penguins need that kind of effort tonight to beat the Habs. Make no mistake that Montreal is going to be off the hook tonight. Bell Center is going to be loud and it is going to be rocking, but lets not get it twisted, this is not the Montreal Forum. It will be loud but the Penguins have had some success on the road in the playoffs.

Like I said last night in my post if the Penguins can get up a couple of goals then they will be ok. Montreal does not have the fire power to come back in a game that they are down a couple of goals. Those are just the facts. That is how it happens. If the Penguins can get a few quick ones then game four might be the game that Montreal has to win.

The Penguins got some good news when Jordan Staal was back out on the ice before the Penguins pregame skate this morning at Bell Centre. Now, lets not jump to conclusions too quickly, he was in sweats and he wasn't doing anything crazy, just a little bit of skating. After RDS reported that he has both lets and his right hand opperated on it is not as funny when Disco says he is "day-to-day" huh?

Bill Guerin did not take the morning skate and Disco said it was just a maintainence day for him and I am ok with that. I guess he is questionable to play tonight, but I bet he will play. From the morning skate it looked as if Dupers was skating with Bing and we might see that. If there is one thing we learn about Disco's game day lines is that they change early and often.

Seeing how the Penguins react after a loss is going to be huge. Are they going to be like Washington and not make any adjustments? I dounbt that, but it is food for thought.

The Penguins will be ok. Give it a couple of goals before Montreal starts booing their own players and then they just throw it in the tank. Bank on that.

Do it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Penguins and Pirates and Steelers, Oh My

Well since I have been settling in and getting used to my new surroundings and job I have been pretty busy. I haven't had a chance to post too much and for some (most) that might be a good thing. Hopefully there are one or two people out there that enjoy something that I say or that giggle when I job Marc Savard and his 500 concussions. Whatever. I guess I will keep going. People do follow me on twitter (for god knows why) so I will let them read this automated tweet. Lets take a look at how the big three are doing in the Pittsburgh area:

Penguins

The Penguins and Habs are tied at one game a piece going into Montreal on Tuesday night. Most people are freaking out and ready to jump off the Clemente bridge, but those are also the same people that think the Penguins should go 16-0 in the playoffs or they can't win the cup.

Not really sure what to say about game two. The Penguins were the better team for about 50 minutes of the game. Held the Habs to only 21 shots, too bad Montreal found the back of the net three times. This game wasn't on Fleury so if you are looking for a venue that is going to push your theory that Fleury has been bad this playoffs. He wins games. Look at last year, MAF didn't steal a game till late in the second round. He is a gammer, get off his nuts.

Also there are some rumours floating around that people are talking about benching Malkin and/or Fleury. Can I just ask who in their right mind, that aren't Flyers fans, would want this. I would ask if those people were high, but even people that are messed up would even suggest that. You go tell some homeless guy in Iran that the Penguins should bench Malkin and he would slap you accross the face and have you arrested. If you are reading this post and you really think that please leave your reasoning in the comments section. I am dying to know what could possibly warrent one, or both, of those players to sit.

I am not really worried about the series as a whole. The big thing to see is if Disco is going to change the game plan. He will, it will just be interesteing to see what it is. The Washington coaching staff were too bull headed to make changes and it cost them the playoffs. The Penguins as a team are too smart for that and Disco definatly knows how to game plan so it shouldn't be too much of a worry. The Penguins have way different personal than the Capitals and makes it a better matchup. Like the boys over at Pensblog said, you get up two goals on Montreal and the game is basically over, just gotta get there. There are no truer words.

If you think I am gonna talk at length about some joke "blogger" who called Bing five years old because he broke his stick cuz he was pissed you got another thing coming. Bing is pissed. Good luck Montreal. Dude was a Boston writer. Worry about your team douche. Probably didn't even know they were in the playoffs though.

The Penguins are going to have to weather the storm tomorrow. They will.

Steelers

The Steelers are out on the practice field doing some of this and some of that. Not too much going on. Ben is in some rehab, there are 100 QB's going for the one job, Limas Sweed is basically out for the year. You know, the usual.

The Steelers are basically down to Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon for the spot. It sucks, but Chuck Batch is probably not going to get a shot to start. Good backup, but not durable enough. I have confidence in Batch, but the Steelers are looking in other directions. Right now it looks as if Leftwich is going to get the nod. He has the longest release ever but he can get the job done, no doubt about that.

While I have no concern with BL starting the season under center I would really like to have it be Double D's. We drafted him to be a QB and the Steelers have expressed many times what they think of him as a QB, so why not give him a chance. See what the kid got. You had the training wheels on when he played the Ravens last year, and he almost won the game. He was going to be a Heisman winner before he blew out his knee so he has some talent. Give him the shot and see if he can be the guy to back up Ben if he is ever hurt for a little while. Give Dennis a fair look.

Like I said above Limas Sweed was hurt in practice the other day. Looks like it is an Achilles injury and most likely will be done for the season. I was really looking forward to seeing Sweed on the team this year. This was likely going to be his last chance to prove anything and probably his last chance to stay on the team long term. Sure, he has had his probelems, but he wasn't a second round pick because he was terrible. Kevin Colbert doesn't work for the Lions. I think maybe given the last chance that he could make some plays and maybe work into that number three spot and make a few play. Who knows, but looks like he will be out a long time.

Pirates

The Pirates are what we thought they were. Coming off a 3-7 road trip the Pirates are 10-15 on the season, and to be honest I will take that. The Pirates really stuggle to hit the ball and they really struggle to pitch so it kinda makes winning games kinda tough.

I was in Milwaukee when a Ryan Doumit grand slam beat Trevor Hoffman in the ninth and it was AWESOME. Everyone freaked out when Hell's Bells came on and after a lead off homerun to tie the game the boo birds came out. What joke fans.

Back to the Pirates. People have to realize this team is going to lose 90-95 games. No doubt about that. When they win a few straight you can't get too high and when they lose 7 straight you can't start saying to fire everyone and fold the team. Alverez, Lincoln, Tabata and co. will be up, just not yet. They are not ready. Hell Alverez has only been in AAA for like 15 games, give him a chance.

People bitch and moan to bring these guys up but if they did and they sucked it up then people would bitch and moan that it was managements fault for bringing them up too early. It is a lose lose. Just enjoy watching baseball.

Just hope Cutch is ok, kid is going to be a star.

I love the production we are getting from Andy LaRoche. He is hitting .323 and really been getting a lot of hits. People are complaining because there isn't much extra base hits, but beggers really can't be choosers. If Andy can keep hitting I think he can be a perfect candidate for the second base job when Pedro is up later in the season or for a perminant job for next year. But, only time will tell.



Game three tomorrow. Bell Centre is gonna be rockin. Get your mind right.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Penguins Playoff Game Day 8 - Conference Semifinals vs. Montreal Canadians - Game 2

Montreal Canadians


1:00 PM, Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA


After chasing Halak in game one of the series do we see him again today? Who knows. If Carey Price is in net for any amount of time other than mop-up work then its Penguins in three. Wouldn't be surprised if Price is in net. It would be a major mistake. Halak could use the break but Price gives them no option of winning. Watch him come out and pitch a shutout. Doubt it.

From the sounds of it looked like the Habs brought a good bit of people to the game on Friday. Wonder if the Canadians are giving them a refund?

Aside from being sketchy at best in goal the Habs will be without Markov, one of them better playmakers, thanks to Matt Cooke. One of the cleanest hits he has ever given but I am sure half of the nation figures he should be suspended. Speaking of Cooke, Mark Savard came back yesterday for the Bruins and scored the game winner in overtime. RDS is reporting that Savard got a concussion jumping into the boards for his goal celebration. He needs to be locked in a dark room for 163.5 days before he is able to see the light of day. Joke.

Well I guess we should talk about the Penguins a little bit huh?

Speaking of RDS they had reported yesterday that Jordan Staal would be out for the rest of the playoffs after foot surgery. Joke reporting. Came out later that he will miss 7-10 days with minor surgery on a tendon that runs from his foot to his big toe. RDS basically make it seems as if Staal had to get both his feet cut off, not the case.

Superstar is going to have to step up and probably play the third line center role, him and Craig Adams will have to step up, no real biggie though, they are big time players.

They say it isn't a series until you lose at home. Penguins need this one big time. They will get it done.

Do it.