Thursday, March 31, 2011

TRBB Podcast 9 - Life of Leisure with @RoccoDeMaro

Last baseball season I sent a shout out to then Extra Innings host Rocco DeMaro for an interview. Rocco, being the great guy that he is said that he was good for it. Turns out that baseball city is kind of busy for the people that cover the team  (who would have thought) and the interview never came to be. Rocco has just started up a podcast of his own so he was kind enough to come on mine and plug his plus talk about a bunch of things.
Over the course of the podcast we discussed pretty much everything about Rocco's current new gig as producing a podcast called Rocco's Life of Leisure and what he is doing in his life now. We also threw around some Pirates talk and even jumped into the deep end and talked about Steve Carell leaving The Office and how that show will fair with Will Ferrell. Rocco also gives us incite on what his dream job would be.

You need to check out his new podcast that you can find by clicking here.

I would like to thank Rocco for taking the time to come on and talk with me. Make sure you check him out on twitter.

You can listen to the podcast below and you can hear all the podcast's on iTunes. Just go to the podcast section and type in "Three Rivers Burgh Blog" and you will get hooked up.

Enjoy and leave your thoughts in the comments.


TRBB Podcast 9 - Life of Leisure

Penguins Game Day 78 - Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The previous match ups:

October 27: Tampa Bay 5, Pittsburgh 3


November 12: Pittsburgh 5, Tampa Bay 1


January 5 - Pittsburgh 8, Tampa Bay 1



The Penguins probables:

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Chris Conner - Max Talbot - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Mike Comrie
Eric Tangradi - Eric Godard - Arron Asham

Defense
Kris Letang - Brooks Orpik
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Lightning:

Forwards
Simon Gagne - Steven Stamkos - Steve Downie
Nate Thompson - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St Louis
Adam Hall - Dominic Moore - Dana Tyrell
Ryan Malone - Teddy Purcell - Sean Bergenheim

Defense
Victor Hedman - Pavel Kubina
Matt Lundin - Eric Brewer
Brett Clark - Mattias Ohlund

Goaltender
Dwayne Roloson

The Stats:

2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Preview


The Pirates will take the field for the 2011 season with a lot of questions and a lot to prove. Sure, this isn’t a team that is going to make a push for the playoffs or for a division title, but that is not what this season is about. Wins and losses are only going to tell you a small sliver about what the Pittsburgh Pirates are really about. You may ask yourself what else could we possibly look for outside of wins and losses in terms of success and failure? Well my friends that is what I am here to help you realize.
Through this brief preview I am going to take a look at what we should expect from this Pirates team and what to look for in this 162 game marathon.

What is success? For some it is getting to .500, for some it is making the playoffs, for some it is not losing 100 games. Everyone will give you a different variation of what they think success will be for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, but the bottom line in those three instances I gave you was that this team will be better. I think the driving force in evaluating this season will be the progress of the major league core players and the players that are in the minor league system. The Pirates might only win 65 games, but seeing the transformation of players such as Tabata, Walker, Alvarez, Lincoln, Morton, McCutchen, will go a long way in telling us how the future of this team is going to be.

Before we get into the players there was a pretty big addition made to the Pirates in the offseason and that was the hiring of Clint Hurdle as the Pirates manager. While Russell was very much quiet and you never really know what you were going to get. Clint Hurdle is full of energy and with the young team that might help a lot. He has a lot of character and from what I have heard he really wanted this job and asked Neal Huntington a lot of questions about the organization to make sure he wanted this job. I like the energy and he is getting down to fundamentals, something the Pirates struggled mightily with last season. It seems as if he wants to be aggressive on the base paths (which will work because we have a pretty athletic team) and just wants to win and lets people know it. If he steals a base and takes it with him he will be the best manager ever.

Without further ado let’s take a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates we expect to see on the field in the 2011 season broken down in three parts: Infield, Outfield and Pitchers.

Hit the jump.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Penguins Game Day 77 - vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Not much you need to say about this game. It's Pens and Flyers with a shot at the top spot in the Atlantic on the line.

Here is what it looks like:


Sure, the Penguins are going to lose out on a tie breaker and the Flyers still have a game in hand, but holy hell, who thinks they are going to be in this position without your top two offensive weapons and also field a glorified AHL line up for most of that run.

For those interested the magic number for the Flyers to win the Atlantic is 10 points. That factors in that the Penguins will lose out on the tie breaker if they end up tied with Philly.

Have to play this:



And this.



Jesus.


Previously this season:

October 7: Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2


October 16: Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 1


October 29: Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2


December 14 - Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2


March 24 - Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)



The Penguins probables:

Forwards
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Chris Conner - Maxime Talbot - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Arron Asham

Defense
Kris Letang - Brooks Orpik
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Flyers

Forwards
Andreas Nodl - Claude Giroux - Jeff Carter
Scott Hartnell - Daniel Briere - Ville Leino
James van Riemsdyk - Mike Richards - Kris Versteeg
Daniel Carcillo - Blair Betts - Darroll Powe

Defense
Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Andrej Meszaros
Sean O'Donnell - Nick Boynton

Goaltender
Sergei Bobrovsky


The Stats:


TRBB Podcast 8 - Pirates Preview with @whygavs

Baseball season is under a week away and with that I am getting really excited for the chance for another year of Pirates baseball. We are going to try and have a full week of Bucco talk and tonight kicks off by jumping on a podcast with Pat from Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke.

Over the course of the podcast we discussed pretty much everything Pirates and get you on the path to knowing everything about the Pirates team that you need to know.

I would like to thank Pat for taking the time to come on and talk with me. Make sure you check him out on twitter as he is one of the best of what is a very deep Pirates blogging network. Also make sure you go and check out his interview with Neal Huntington that he did when he was down in spring training. You can't get this kind of stuff just anywhere people.

You can listen to the podcast below and you can hear all the podcast's on iTunes. Just go to the podcast section and type in "Three Rivers Burgh Blog" and you will get hooked up.

Enjoy and leave your thoughts in the comments.


TRBB Podcast 8 - Pirates Preview

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Penguins Game Day 76 - vs. Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers 

1:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The Penguins clinched a playoff spot with Carolina's 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay last night. It is the fifth straight playoff apearance for the Penguins.

Pens still have a chance of winning the Atlantic but it will take a pretty amazing string of wins to make it happen.

Unreal read from Rob Rossi on Sidney Crosby. [Trib]


Previous match ups:

November 11: Pittsburgh 3, Florida 2


December 22 - Pittsburgh 5, Florida 2




The Penguins probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Maxime Talbot - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Pascal Dupuis - Craig Adams - Chris Conner
Mike Comrie - Mike Rupp - Arron Asham

Defense
Kris Letang - Brooks Orpik
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Panthers

Forwards
Sergei Samsonov - Stephen Weiss - Niclas Bergfors
David Booth - Marty Reasoner - Evgeny Dadonov
Patrick Rissmiller - Mike Santorelli - Michal Repik
Darcy Hordichuk - Ryan Carter - Steve Bernier

Defense
Keaton Ellerby - Dmitry Kulikov
Alexander Sulzer - Mike Weaver
Jay Garrison - Joe Callahan

Goaltender
Tomas Vokoun


The Stats:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Penguins Game Day 75 - vs. New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Huge two points last night from the Penguins as they went to the Wells Fargo Center and looked as if they were the team that was in the drivers seat for the top spot in the East (they kinda are though, aren't they?).

The Penguins magic number is three so the Penguins have a chance to clinch a spot in the post season with a win and a Carolina regulation loss. The Hurricanes play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight so really a decision in regulation will make me happy either way.

MAF starts for the second night in a row. The Penguins were successful in their last back-to-back scenerio when they played the Wings on the backend of back-to-back games (even though they blew a four goal lead). Wow, I said the word back a lot there. Sorry about that.

The Penguins seem to be clicking and Bing and Test Tube are skating. How fun is it to watch Bing skate? Here is the video:



Sick. Water bottles better watch out.

The previous match ups:

October 11 - Pittsburgh 3, New Jersey 1


December 6 - Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1


January 20 - New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 0


March 4 - New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT)



The Penguins probables
Forwards
James Neal - Mike Comrie - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Pascal Dupuis - Maxime Talbot - Chris Conner
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Arron Asham

Defense
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Ben Lovejoy
Deryk Engelland - Matt Niskanen

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury

*-Comrie will be in the lineup in place of DJ, I am assuming Comrie might jump in with the new two, he could easily fit in somewhere else.

For the Devils

Forwards
Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Nick Palmieri
Brian Rolston - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
David Steckel - Vladimir Zharkov - Rod Pelley

Defense
Andy Greene - Anssi Salmela
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Colin White

Goaltender
Martin Brodeur


The Stats:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Penguins Game Day 74 - @ Philadelphia Flyers

 Philadelphia Flyers

7:00 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

If this isn't close to a playoff like atmosphere then I don't really know what is. The Flyers currently hold a five point lead on the Penguins with a single game in hand. This is the first meeting between the two teams in less than a week and needless to say these are must wins for the Penguins who still have a shot of winning the Atlantic.



If you can't get up for this game then you don't have a pulse.



Suck it Philadelphia.


Previously this season:

October 7: Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2


October 16: Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 1


October 29: Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2


December 14 - Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2



The Penguins Probables

Forwards
James Neal - Dustin Jeffrey - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Pascal Dupuis - Maxime Talbot - Chris Conner
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Arron Asham
Eric Tangradi - Mike Comrie - Eric Godard

Defense
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Ben Lovejoy
Deryk Engelland - Matt Niskanen

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Flyers

Forwards
Scott Hartnell - Daniel Briere - Ville Leino
Andreas Nodl - Claude Giroux - Jeff Carter
James van Riemsdyk - Mike Richards - Kris Versteeg
Darroll Powe - Blair Betts - Daniel Carcillo

Defense
Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Andrej Meszaros
Sean O'Donnell - Nick Boynton

Goaltender
Sergei Bobrovsky


The Stats:

When Tornados Strike Pittsburgh

Late on Wednesday night there was maybe one of the best YouTube finds in Pittsburgh history.

Tornado hits the Hempfield area and thsi kid gets it all on video. Gus Johnson is jealous of this kid's play by play skills and enthusiasm.

WARNING: If you watch it once you will not stop. For real.



Mikey from 96.1 KISS gets all the credit for this one.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Around The Horn: 3-21-11

Well, that was a pretty shitty weekend. I have been on somewhat of a break from the blogging and not getting too in depth into stuff. Football season took it out of me a lot and with the Pirates and Steelers draft stuff coming up I really didn't feel like forcing anything that I didn't want to write just to throw something up there to fill space. That isn't why I do this and to be honest that would be insulting the people that do come down here to read things if I did that. It has been nice to take some time off and catch my breath and enjoy laying on the couch.

I used to throw up an Around The Horn post every once in a while with some quality links and stuff and I think I would like to try and do that a little more since I don't always focus the teams out of season. When it is football season I am heavy Steelers, when it turns to hockey I usually focus on Penguins and the same in the summer with the Steelers. I would love to cover all them all year round the same amount but as a sole "writer" of this blog I just don't have that kind of time and I like keeping it pretty simple. Whatev. So here are some thoughts on some things:

Pitt Panthers

I typically don't do a ton of college stuff, but if you have followed me on twitter (which you should) you know I am a huge supporter of Pitt in pretty much everything. Even know they kinda blew in football I still watched and cheered them on and their basketball is the only resemblance of what we could talk about a professional team here. Thus, this was a pretty shitty weekend.

If you were under a rock for the past four days or so you would need to know that the Panthers lost in the round of 32 to Butler. Now, for a lot of people running their mouths this is nothing knew. Hearing choke and can't win the big one and blah blah blah. This was a particularly hard loss to take. Really hard loss to take. This is arguably one of the best Pitt teams they have had that I can remember (I am 25 and have watched a lot of Pitt so I have an idea). I was a homer and picked them to win the whole thing, but I knew that might not happen, but I had no doubt in my mind that this was a Final 4 team.

They had won the Big East in pretty convincing fashion and went toe to toe with the toughest competition they faced and usually ended up winning. Sure, they had some early exits before, but that had little to do with this game, in my opinion. College teams turn over so much that you can't really use that. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you overachieve, sometimes you underachieve. It happens. If things worked out according to seeds and projections then you wouldn't need to play. In a one-and-done format anything can happen, and it did.

To me, this wasn't a choke, this was a loss. Sure Butler was an eight seed and the Panthers were a top seed, but I think we all knew that if Pitt was going to make that Final 4 run that the winner of the ODU/Buter first round game was probably going to be the Panthers toughest opponents. It happened to be Butler, and they were.

If before the game I told you that you were coaching Pitt and you were guaranteed to shoot 56% from the field, make two more field goals than Butler, one more free throw and out rebound them by 11 how many times out of 100 would you take that and say you were going to win? Probably 100 times. All it takes it one bad half or one hot team to beat you when you pull out stats like that.

Butler was lights out in the first half and although Pitt played pretty well Butler hit pretty much everything they shot, even what seemed like every three point shot. Pitt was down by eight at the half, but you still felt pretty good. Pitt came out and quickly erased the deficit and you felt really good. Veteran team that is good at winning games. You know how it went down though. I don't have to tell you about how the game ended. Giving up the lay up with 2.2 seconds left of Gil Brown somehow getting fouled or Nas fouling Howard after Gil missed the second shot. It sucks. It hurt. It fuels the choke theory.

Look, this was not a choke. The Panthers played a pretty good game. Were mistakes made? Hell yea. The recent past of Pitt in the NCAA tournament fuels that chokers mentality that everyone talks about. Butler was one shot away from winning the whole thing last year and people talk as if they lost to DePaul. Sure it sucks, sure they should have been a Final 4 team, but in a one and done scenario sometimes a team out plays you.

The seniors on that team deserve better. They do. They had amazing careers and they came a long way. It was a joy to watch them and I have no doubt that they kids that return next year will carry on a legacy that they did when they came to the city. It's just how it is. A loss this past weekend should not tarnish a great career. It doesn't in my eyes.

If you want Jamie Dixon fired or let go then go cheer for DePaul or South Florida. Jokes.


Pittsburgh Penguins

-Man, just when you thought it couldn't get much worse after the Pitt loss then you came to the Penguins the next day. Matt Cooke does some stupid shit, the Penguins take a lead on the PK and then the flood games open. Penguins let up two goals in like five seconds and it was all down hill.

Matt Cooke just got the boom laid down on him with a 10 game suspension plus the first round of the playoffs (anywhere from 4-7 games).

-Ray Shero made some comments that were pretty refreshing to see. He, and Disco, pretty much said it wasn't right and said the right things as they have preached the past couple of weeks.

Ok, he got the suspension. It's over. I am done with it.

-How sick is Sidney Crosby? Even when he is just skating and stick handling he is a beast. Don't believe me? Check it out:




-Outside of that we have 10 games to go in the season (before the game tonight). Here is what the playoff stuff looks like:


So the Penguins are pretty much in, but in order to get that home ice advantage they are going to have to do some work. Here is what the Penguins have left:


Going to be a frantic finish. The Flyers have a game in hand and they are six points up. Have to win both games against those clowns. Then it could get really interesting considers the Penguins finish up with Florida, Islanders and Thrashers as three of their last four with possibly Crosby coming back. Could get really interesting.


Pittsburgh Pirates

Can you believe that the Pirates open up just over a week away. Unreal how fast the spring has gone. Just a few things to report from the Pirates camp. Nothing earth shattering with them, seems to be pretty standard as they head into the real part of the season.

-The Pirates released Garrett Atkins earlier today. Not a real surprise. Atkins really didn't do much and there just wasn't much room for him. Shouldn't be a shocker.

-Scott Olsen will start the season on the DL so Chuck Morton will get the fifth spot in the Pirates rotation. If you know me you know that I think Chuck Morton can be a huge player for this team. He had a very strong end to last season and been pretty good so far this spring so needless to say I am excited. There are people that wanted him gone and really talked trash, but now that he is throwing his pitches (sinker) it looks as if not only could he be the fifth guy on the spot but that he might be able to work as one of the best on the staff and make this rotation a lot better. Here is what Tim Kirkjian had to say about Morton's sinker. Not bad.

-This week Pat from WHYGAVS is going to be down at spring training. He already has some unreal pictures and analysis from his first day.

-I will have some sort of preview up for the Pirates hopefully by this weekend. It won't go too in depth but I do want to go over some things I have been thinking of and it should be alright. I will also be at opening day in Chicago on April 1st so make sure you are checking back and visiting me on twitter for some cool pictures and info about it.


Pittsburgh Steelers

-The Steelers are awesome.

-Go vote for Hines Ward to be on the cover of the next Madden.

-Also vote for Hines Ward on Dancing With the Stars. Never watch that stuff but I will be since Hines is in it.

-Should the Steelers trade up for Mike Pouncey? That is a huge question. If you ask me today I probably say no. There are a few holes for the Steelers to fill and if it is me I stay pat at #31 in the first round and trade up in the second round. From what I hear the draft is pretty deep with offensive lineman and defensive backs and that is what the Steelers are going for. The Steelers have a great track record of success when they trade up in the first round so I would not be against doing it, I just don't get the feeling they will go that route. Someone via the Steelers also said that they might think about trading out of the first round, which would be a different way to go that I haven't even thought of.

-New rules might hurt Ben. I don't get into saying that rule changes will drastically impact certain players, but in this case it might.


Other Awesome Stuff

-As many of you know I am a big fan of the Calvin and Hobbes comic books. Best stuff you can get your hands on. I will now start to incorporate them into some of my posts. If you don't like it then I don't care.



Leave it in the comments. Or don't.

Penguins Game Day 73 - @ Detroit Red Wings

 Detroit Red Wings

7:30 p.m., Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI

The Previous match up:

January 18 - Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 1



Penguins probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Dustin Jeffrey - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Maxime Talbot - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner

Defense
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Ben Lovejoy
Deryk Engelland - Matt Niskanen

Goaltender
Brent Johnson


For the Wings:

Forwards
Dan Cleary - Henrik Zetterberg - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Tomas Holmstrom
Drew Miller - Mike Modano - Justin Abdelkader
Kris Draper - Darren Helm - Patrick Eaves

Defense
Nicklas Lidstrom - Brad Stuart
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Jakub Kindl - Brian Rafalski

Goaltender
Jimmy Howard


The Stats:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Penguins Game Day 72 - vs. New York Rangers

 
New York Rangers

12:30 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Previous games this season:

November 15 - New York 3, Pittsburgh 2 (OT)


November 29 - Pittsburgh 3, New York 1


December 15 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 1


February 1 - Pittsburgh 4, New York 3 (SO)


February 13 - New York 5, Pittsburgh 3



The Penguins Probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Dustin Jeffrey - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Maxime Talbot - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner
Arron Asham - Mike Comrie - Eric Godard

Defense
Zbynek Michalek - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Matt Niskanen
Deryk Engelland - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Rangers

Forwards
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Vinny Prospal - Erik Christensen - Marian Gaborik
Wojtek Wolski - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust

Defense
Marc Staal - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Mike Sauer
Bryan McCabe - Steve Eminger

Goaltender
Henrik Lundqvist


The Stats:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Penguins Game Day 71 - @ Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators

7:30 p.m., Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario


Previous Match ups:

October 18: Pittsburgh 5, Ottawa 2


November 26: Pittsburgh 2, Ottawa 1


December 26: Ottawa 3, Pittsburgh 1



The Penguins probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Maxime Talbot - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Corey Potter/Steve Wagner - Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Brent Johnson


For the Senators

Forwards
Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Erik Conrda - Ryan Shannon - Marek Svatos
Nick Foligno - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Jim O'Brien - Jesse Winchester - Francis Lessard

Defense
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Andre Benoit - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillip - Brian Lee

Goaltender
Craig Anderson


The Stats:

Monday, March 14, 2011

TRBB Podcast 7 - Pitt Tournament Talk with @PittScript and @FearTheStache

Some might argue (with good cause) that we are in the middle of the best time of the year. Fresh off an exciting Championship Week we move into the big dance. On today's podcast I was joined by Bryan from Pitt Script and Bryan from The Fighting Wannstaches to talk about Pitt's chances to bring home the championship.

Over the course of the podcast we discussed much of the Southeast Region, where Pitt will play their games, who the Panthers should be worried about and can Ashton Gibbs be the dynamic scorer that teams seem to need to win a National Championship, plus more.

I would like to thank both Bryan's for taking the time to come on and talk with me. Make sure you check them out on twitter as they are always up to date on their Pitt stuff and are also great bloggers you should be reading.

You can listen to the podcast below and you can hear all the podcast's on iTunes. Just go to the podcast section and type in "Three Rivers Burgh Blog" and you will get hooked up.

Enjoy and leave your thoughts in the comments.

TRBB Podcast 7 - Pitt Tournament Talk

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Penguins Game Day 70 - vs. Edmonton Oilers


Edmonton Oilers

3:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The Penguins Probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Maxime Talbot - Craig Adams

Defense
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Oilers

Forwards
Magnus Paajarvi - Shawn Horcoff - Jordan Eberle
Alexandre Giroux - Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Jones
Linus Omark - Gilbert Brule - Liam Reddox
Jean-Francois Jacques - Colin Fraser - Steve MacIntyre

Defense
Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert
Jason Strudwick - Kurtis Foster
Jim Vandermeer - Jeff Petry

Goaltender
Devan Dubnyk

The Stats:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Penguins Game Day 69 - vs. Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens

2:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Seems like weeks since the Penguins have played any kid of hockey. It pretty much is. On the surface this is just a game against the Habs, which is enough in its own to get your ready for it, but when you look at everything this is a huge game standings wise.

The season is winding down and we now are starting to look towards the playoffs. The Penguins are pretty much in and the Habs are right behind them. The Pens have been sitting in that fourth spot for some time now and still actually have a chance to win the Atlantic and probably have the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Unreal.

What we don't really realize is that Montreal is sitting in the sixth spot, only five points back of the Penguins. This is a huge four point game that could really give the Penguins a nice gap or really tighten things up. Every game is big from here on out.

Previous matchups:
October 9: Montreal 3, Pittsburgh 2

 

January 6: Montreal 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT)


January 12 - Pittsburgh 5, Montreal 2


The Penguins probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Maxime Talbot - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner

Defense
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Habs

Forwards
Mike Cammalleri - Tomas Plekanec - Jeff Halpern
Benoit Pouliot - Scott Gomez - Brian Gionta
Andrei Kostitsyn - Lars Eller - Travis Moen
Tom Pyatt - David Desharnais - Ryan White

Defense
Roman Hamrlik - James Wisniewski
Hal Gill - P.K. Subban
Paul Mara - Alex Picard

Goaltender
Carey Price

The Stats:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

TRBB Podcast 6 - Pirate Spring Training Talk with @rumbunter and @kristpie

That smell is in the air, and it is a great one. Yes, baseball is just around the corner and I have the answer to your spring training fever. On today's podcast I was joined by Kristy from Hands off my Pirates Booty and Tom from Rumbunter to talk about their two combined weeks they spent at Pirates City in Florida watching our Buccos in the early season.


Over the course of the podcast we discussed pretty much everything about the Pirates that you would want to know in the early season. Everything from the fifth starter spot, the new staff, where the Pirates are going to improve and even some season predictions that are sure to be "take it to the bank" correct.

I would like to thank Tom and Kristy for taking the time to come on and talk with me. Make sure you check them out on twitter as they are two of the best in what is a talent rich amount of Pirates bloggers.

You can listen to the podcast below and you can hear all the podcast's on iTunes. Just go to the podcast section and type in "Three Rivers Burgh Blog" and you will get hooked up.

Enjoy and leave your thoughts in the comments.


TRBB Podcast 6 - Pirates Spring Training

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Penguins Game Day 68 - vs. Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The Penguins have had a few days off and it might have helped them get healthy. Chris Kunitz is a game time decision tonight and that Penguins can be one step better to getting to as close to full strenghth as possible.

The Sabre are fighting and clawing to get back into the playoff picture and now they are going to be down a ton of players tonight. According to a bunch of sources, including from Seth at Empty Netters (where I usually go), has Tomas Vanek being scratched along with forwards Jochen Hecht ("upper body"), Mike Grier ("lower body") and Patrick Kaleta (knee). What is bad for Buffalo is good for Pittsburgh.

With a Penguins win and a Flyers loss both teams will be tied in terms of points in the Atlantic Division. Jesus. Granted, the Flyers will have two games in hand on the Peguins even if that does happen but who would have thought, two weeks ago, that the Penguins would be right on the verge of capturing the top seed in the entire conference. Unreal.

Last time the Penguins played the Sabres Geno blew his ACL out. Man.

AK72 comes back for his first Penguins home game since he was traded for. Oh yea.


Previous Match ups this season:

November 24: Pittsburgh 1, Buffalo 0


December 11 - Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 2


February 4 - Pittsburgh 3, Buffalo 2




The Penguins probables:

Forward
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Maxime Talbot - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner
Chris Kunitz (If he plays I assume he will go with DJ and Dupers)
Defense
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy - Deryk Engelland

Goaltender
Marc-Andre Fleury

For the Sabres:

Forwards
Luke Adam - Brad Boyes - Drew Stafford
Paul Gaustad - Tim Connolly - Jason Pominville
Mark Mancari - Tyler Ennis - Nathan Gerbe
Rob Niedermayer - Cody McCormick - Mark Parrish

Defense
Chris Butler - Tyler Myers
Andrej Sekera - Steve Montador
Shaone Morrisonn - Jordan Leopold

Goaltender
Ryan Miller
 
 
The Stats:
 
 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Penguins Game Day 67 - @ Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

7:00 p.m., TD Garden, Boston, Mass. 

I got nothing to say today.



The previous match ups
November 10: Boston 7, Pittsburgh 4


January 10: Boston 4, Pittsburgh 2


January 15 - Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2


The Penguins probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Maxime Talbot - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner

Defense
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Kris Letang
Deryk Engelland - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Bruins

Forwards
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin - Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand - Rich Peverley - Mark Recchi
Gregory Campbell - Daniel Paille - Shawn Thornton

Defense
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Matt Bartkowski
Tomas Kaberle - Adam McQuaid

Goaltender
Tim Thomas


The Stats:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Penguins Game Day 66 - @ New Jersey Devils

 New Jersey Devils

7:00 p.m., Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

It wasn't ideal, but the Penguins got three of four points on their back-to-back road trip to Canada against the Leafs. It wasn't pretty, but I will take it. Sure the Penguins haven't won in regulation in a while and they are really starting to show some holes, but maybe a few days off will help. They will be getting time off because starting on Sunday they will only play four games in the next 14 days.

Despite still being ten points out of a playoff spot the Devils are playing better than anyone in the NHL right now. They are 18-2-2 (or something of such) since January 9th and have yet to lose in regulation at home during that stretch, time to change that.

The Devils pretty much have to be flawless to even get to the playoffs this year. A few losses and they are all but eliminated. Hopefully the Penguins can have a helping hand in that.

The previous match ups:

October 11 - Pittsburgh 3, New Jersey 1


December 6 - Pittsburgh 2, New Jersey 1


January 20 - New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 0



The Penguins probables:

Forwards
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Maxime Talbot - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner

Defense
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Kris Letang - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Goaltender
Brent Johnson


For the Devils

Forwards
Ilya Kovalchuk - Travis Zajac - Nick Palmieri
Brian Rolston - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Vladimir Zharkov - Dave Steckel - David Clarkson
Rod Pelley - Jacob Josefson - Mattias Tedenby

Defense
Colin White - Anton Volchenkov
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Anssi Salmela - Andy Greene

Goaltender
Brent Johnson


The Stats:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Steelers Draft: The Last Five Years

It is NFL Draft time. With the playoffs and Super Bowl in the rear view mirror and the NFL Labor dispute in full force it the draft was kind of less looked upon this year. You didn’t hear as much about the combine as you might have in the past and something just seemed off. Well never fear because I am back here to talk a little Steelers draft. Now, I am not here to talk about who the Steelers might take or what position they might take because literally everyone is all over that stuff. I am here to talk draft history.

As most people probably know the Steelers are cash money when you talk about first round draft picks. As you will see below it is really, really, hard to dispute that. The Steelers do have some people that knock them because they have never been able to find that back end of the draft kind of guy and really struggle from the third round on. Thinking about this the other day, and getting some suggestions that yinz wanted to see this stuff, I decided to go back and look at the past five draft years of the Pittsburgh Steelers and see what we really have to look with.

What I have done is broke down the last five drafts (2006-2010) and gave some of my thoughts on most of the draft picks. If you can’t figure it out the process on the top line will read as such: Round-Overall-Player-Position-School (Notable player taken anywhere between one and five picks from when the Steelers drafted their player).

After I look at all these drafts I break it down a little bit more and give you some general thoughts. It was pretty interesting to see the picks a few years ago and what they are doing for the team now.
Enjoy:

2006
1 – 25 – Santonio Holmes – WR – Ohio State (Nick Mangold 29)
Coming out of college Tone was a big time receiver from a big time school. He turned out to not disappoint the Steelers when he caught numerous big time balls when the Steelers needed them the most. He was as clutch as they come, but he couldn’t stay out of the police blotter, which was his unraveling as a Steelers player. Still a great player and a huge pick.

3 – 83 – Anthony Smith – DB – Syracuse
Never worked out. The guarantee thing with the Patriots was wildly overblown but Madison just never made enough plays. He was a liability on the field and just wasn’t a good fit.

3 – 95 – Willie Reid – WR – Florida State (Owen Daniels 98)
Reid was expected to do big things. A fast guy that could burn in the open field but another one of those guys over this list that never put it together. He was supposed to be a return guy but Mike Tomlin saw nothing in him. Released in 2008.

4 – 131 – Willie Colon – T – Hofstra (Kyle Williams, 134)
This was the second best pick of the ’06 draft behind Holmes. Colon has become the Steelers best offensive lineman in the past couple of years. Colon is a much better run blocker than he is a pass blocker but he still has been rock solid and filled in for injured lineman and eventually became a building block for a Super Bowl winning line.

4 – 133 – Orien Harris – DT – Miami (Kyle Williams, 134)
No idea.

5 – 164 – Omar Jacobs – QB – Bowling Green
Like the pick when we made it. An athletic kid that made some pretty good plays at Bowling Green but he wasn’t around long.

5 – 167 – Charles Davis – TE – Purdue

6 – 201 – Marvin Philip – C – California (Antione Bethea, 207)

7 – 240 – Cedric Humes – RB – Virginia Tech
Thought this might have something. Solid kid at Va. Tech. Humes was released and is currently out of football. Meh.


Hit the jump to see the rest

Penguins Game Day 65 - @ Toronto Maple Leafs

 Toronto Maple Leafs

7:00 p.m., Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Previous matchups:

October 13: Toronto 4, Pittsburgh 3


December 8: Pittsburgh 5, Toronto 2


February 26: Pittsburgh 6, Toronto 5 (SO)


The Penguins probables:

Forwards
James Neal - Mark Letestu - Alex Kovalev
Matt Cooke - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Dustin Jeffrey - Maxime Talbot - Pascal Dupuis
Mike Rupp - Craig Adams - Chris Conner

Defense
Paul Martin - Michalek
Deryk Engelland - Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy - Matt Niskanen

Goaltender
Marc Andre Fleury


For the Leafs

Forwards
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Joffrey Lupul - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Colby Armstrong - Darryl Boyce - Mike Brown
Jay Rosehill - Tim Brent - Fredrik Sjostrom/Joey Crabb

Defense
Dion Phaneuf - Keith Aulie
Carl Gunnarsson - Luke Schenn
Brett Lebda - Mike Komisarek

Goaltender
James Reimer


The Stats: