There's Nothing Wrong With Being a Man by @suz_b31

Editor: If you have been around Twitter lately, you know some accounts have declared it open season on men. Our friend, Sue Brooks (@suz_b31) had something to say about that and we were happy to give her a place to say it.

It has come to my attention recently that men are bad. You've seen it, television and social media are filled with examples of the wrongness of the male of our species: sexist, privileged, entitled, arrogant childish--you name it, men have been accused. 

While surely there are men who are all these things and worse--humans by nature are imperfect beings--I want to take a few moments to celebrate the things that make men great...or average

Which is good. 

Men are responsible for some of the world's great beauty. Music, poetry, paintings, plays that make us laugh, cry, and touch our soul. Buildings that make us stare in wonder at their grandness, designed by men of vision and built by men who were rough and strong and unafraid of hard labor. To Mozart and Beethoven, Monet, Shakespeare, Frank Lloyd Wright and The Daredevil Sky Boys: thanks, guys. 

Men have been responsible for creating life-saving medicines, made our lives easier with inventions that changed the world in their lifetime, and for generations to come. To Jonas Salk, Steve Jobs and Henry Ford: thanks, guys. 

Men have awed us with their athletic feats. Through hard work and God-given talent, they make their sport seem easy, effortless, and leave the rest of us stunned, and wondering if maybe someday we can 'Be like Mike'. To Jesse Owens, Babe Ruth, Mario, Gretzky and Jordan: thanks guys. 

All great men, but we knew that already. Tonight I want to celebrate the average guy.  
In general, men are pretty great. I'm a fan, and not just for the obvious reasons. While imperfect, men  embrace their imperfections, roll with them, turn them into an art form. Ever see an argument flare up between a couple of buddies, watch them pound each other into oblivion, only to make peace five minutes later over a beer and fart jokes? There's beauty in bromance that rivals the greatest paintings. The more vulgar the insult, the deeper the affection between two friends. It's poetic in a way Shakespeare could never understand. 

The average guy will hold the door for anyone, not just a woman. He will offer to change your tire or jumpstart your car, let you know you dropped your wallet.  He will load the dishwasher even after a long day at work because his wife also had a long day at work. He'll stay at home with the four kids because his wife's income is greater than his could ever be, and that's ok. He'll cry because he lost his job and feels like he's let his family down. He'll change diapers even though it gags him because it has to be done, and he'll shake with terror the first time he holds his child because he's afraid he'll drop her. 

The average guy rescues stray animals, cares for his younger siblings, tells his best pal a dirty joke because  she needs to laugh. He'll keep his worries to himself because he doesn't want that weight on the people he cares about. 

Yes, he's imperfect, but so are we all. To all of you: thanks, guys.

Kris Letang Masterton Finalist by @ChicksDigHockey

The NHL announced today that Kris Letang, along with Goaltenders Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild and Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators, is a  finalist for the 2014-15 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.  The Masterton is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." 

Letang is the Penguins' Masterton Trophy candidate for the second consecutive season, his latest nomination coming just 15 months after suffering a stroke in January 2014. He lifted his game to new heights in 2014-15, anchoring the Pittsburgh blueline and posting single-season career highs in goals (tie, 11), assists (43) and points (54) despite missing 13 games due to injury. Letang led the Penguins in average ice time per game (25:29), nearly three minutes more than any other player on the roster, and tied for second on the club in plus-minus (+12). He also was the only blueliner in the NHL to post a five-point game in 2014-15 (five assists vs. WPG on Jan. 27). (NHL)

The Good, The Bad and The Wishful

Now that the Penguins' season is done and their lockers have emptied, the focus of everyone's attention has turned to the off-season and where the team should go from here. While that is fun to do, and we will certainly cover it here at as well, the season that is worth a brief look back as well.

Offseason Primer by @BrianK_PI

With the way the Pittsburgh Penguins limped to the finish line, going 4-9-2 over their last 15 games and clinching a playoff berth on the last day of the regular season, the fact that they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Presidents' Trophy winning New York Rangers in five games should have come as little of a surprise. The way the series played out should, as Pens managed to hold the Rangers, the third highest scoring team in the league at 3.02 goals/game, to just 11 goals through 5 games. Marc-Andre Fleury is virtually the entire reason for this, and after years of sub-standard performances in the playoffs, these last two years he's finally been able to stand tall and provide excellent goaltending. Unfortunately his teammates weren't, as the offense has become a shell of their former selves. The Pittsburgh Penguins, as recently as last season, used to be a team that could have benefited from a net front presence but still was able to fill the opposition's net with the best of them. Yet they've increasingly become a team that absolutely needs a net front presence for any chance to score. Worst of all, a power play that routinely has featured Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang among others has completely disappeared. Since December 7, the power play has ranked just 29th in the league. That, simply, is completely unacceptable.

Even though the season has ended far earlier than the fans and organization would have liked, the offseason only truly begins for the players and fans as the organization has a lot of work ahead of them. And the "them" refers more to the positions in the organization, not the people who currently fill them. After the break, a look at how the offseason  could, and in my opinion should, unfold.

Morning Drive: Radio:PI Post Game 4/22/15

Morning Drive brings you the latest episode of the Radio:PI Podcast Network for easy access.  This morning: Radio:PI

Ringling Bros Presents: The Pittsburgh Penguins

For an organization that had once, not too long ago, prided itself on being one of the classiest in hockey, the Penguins have come to the point where they're dominating hockey news not for what has happened on the ice but for a personal tiff between their general manager and a local columnist. It has to be considered a low point for a franchise that has been setting new low points all year long. The team greatly embarrassed themselves last offseason during the search for a new GM and head coach, and they haven't even waited for the season to finish before getting started this year.

Morning Drive: Radio:PI Post Game 4/20/15

Morning Drive brings you the latest episode of the Radio:PI Podcast Network for easy access.  This morning: Radio:PI

ANOTHER RECAP: Penguins Drop a Sleeper to the Rangers, 2-1 by @wutendeskind

Shots: 26 New York Rangers – 24 Pittsburgh Penguins
Shot Attempts: 51 Pittsburgh Penguins – 44 New York Rangers
Scoreboard: 2-1, New York Rangers

Game 3 of Penguins vs Rangers: a (Scanners) Recap by @DXTraeger

This is me, and this is my brain during the Stanley Cup playoffs
(photo from the movie "Scanners") 
**Note: be sure to check out my colleague Olivia's recap on this game as well.  Our plan is to exponentially increase our recaps as the Pens win games in the post-season, so stand by for our 32,768 recaps when Pittsburgh wins the Stanley Cup in June**

The Pittsburgh Penguins, fresh off of their 4-3 victory against the New York Rangers on Saturday night, looked to take the lead in the two teams' opening round series during Monday night's Game 3 at the Consol Energy Center.

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