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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pens Still Have Some Concerns Going Into the Playoffs @MadChad412

8:00:00 PM 0
The Stanley Cup playoffs are finally here, and number one seed  Pittsburgh Penguins will host the New York Islanders Wednesday night in game one. The Penguins have been a juggernaut this year despite being plagued by injuries to some of their key players. The Pens are the most popular pick to win the cup by odds-makers and fans and with good reason. But they've been the favorite to win it all in the past three years and they only have one playoff series victory in that same stretch.

The biggest reason behind the Pens' lack of playoff success over the past three seasons has come down to defensive breakdowns, bad goaltending taking bad penalties, and poor penaty-killing. The Pens have had enough talent to win it all the last three seasons, and this year is no different. If anything, this might be the most complete Pens' team put together since the 1992-1993 season. But as recent history has shown us, talent isn't everything. The Pens can lose in any round, especially if their defense, penalty-kill, coaching, or goaltending falter again.

Every team has an achilles' heel and the Pens are no different.

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Atom-Bomb Bikini Playoff Challenge by @RobUllman

4:52:00 PM 1
Well, hello there! I don't think we've met yet! My name is Robert Ullman, but my friends call me Rob. I'll be doing a little graphic blandishment from time to time here on Pens Initiative. You may have seen my work floating out there around the internets...lots of really immature scrawlings of girls wearing hockey jerseys, among other lurid things.

One of the longer-running projects on my Atom-Bomb Bikini art blog has been to make picks for each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with an illustration of a lovely pin-up girl in the hockey sweater of each team that I predict will win each series. It's a lot of fun, and I think you'd enjoy it! To that end, I'd like to invite you to stop on over and not only read the capsule previews, but also to participate in a little contest I'm running throughout the postseason, where you can win some books, some shirts, and even a piece of custom artwork!

So click on by! I'll roll out the black and vegas gold carpet for you!

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Why Jason Collins Matters to this Pens Fan by @chrisrbarron

12:00:00 PM 0

So I didn’t start out planning to write about Jason Collins this week for Pens Initiative.  I had planned on writing on Ray Shero, but sometimes things happen in the world and intervene – and this week, for me, Jason Collins is what happened.  My Ray Shero post can wait, this one cannot.
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Enjoy This by @Nick422

9:00:00 AM 0
The Playoffs begin tomorrow for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Playoffs.  The Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Even after all of these years that term still brings a tingle.

Enjoy this tingle.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

4th Annual Plum LipDub by @plumTvprod

4:37:00 PM 0
When I was only a little evil, I was a Plum Mustang. I was lucky enough to be part of Plum High School's very first TV production class back in the late 90's. It was my favorite class and I quickly became engrossed in editing, filming, and creating the stories used in our projects. Rick Berrott, was and still is in charge of the department and has taken it in its infancy to the incredible place that it is today.

Mr. Berrott is huge Penguins fan and he integrated hockey into our TV production lessons. He took our class to a game and got us to tour the TV truck and the KBL studio, it was great. I also have a feeling he was behind the entire school broadcasting Mario's "final" goal against the Flyers in 1997. Can you tell that him and the program he built left an impression on me? That's why I am more than happy to support them as a friend and proud alumni.

The Plum LipDub has been a yearly tradition starting back in 2010 with its first tribute and it has evolved into a spectacular display of planning, commitment, and fun. These are always done in ONE SHOT which is incredible for an 11 minute video. Here is their 4th annual offering to LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It with their own Penguins-centric lyrics.

You can follow my "old" teacher at @plumtvprod (sorry I said old)

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Win a Free T-Shirt! Light The Lamp Contest 5/1 vs. NYI

12:00:00 PM 0

The rules of this contest are simple: Correctly predict the 1st goal scored by the Penguins against the Islanders on Wednesday, May 1.  Predict correctly and win a free t-shirt from TheClassyYinzer.com.

The winner will receive a free standard weight shirt of the design of their choosing from TheClassyYinzer.com.

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Best of Pens Facebook: April 22-April 28 by @TheCaptainDuck

9:00:00 AM 0
It’s time for week two of “Best of Pens Facebook.”  I maintain @PensFacebook on Twitter and post many of my favorites, but refrain from analysis in tweets.  The format and idea for the weekly posts are simple: take people’s outrageous comments and suggestions on the Pittsburgh Penguins official Facebook page and analyze them.

This week the Penguins went 2-2, beating the Senators and Hurricanes and falling to the Sabres and Devils.  Normally two losses would spark some bridge jumping on the Penguins Facebook page, but it seemed fairly tame this week.  Here’s the best of the best from the week:

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fandom, the Penguins, and You by @Nick422

12:30:00 PM 0
Congratulations!  Through a stroke of luck (i.e. being born in Pittsburgh or into a Pittsburgh originated family) or through choice you're a Penguins fan.  Welcome aboard!  We're happy to have you and look forward to your contributions, water cooler discussions, and opinions!  But before we go too far let's take a moment to discuss the Do's and Dont's of Penguins fandom.

(Darrell Sapp/Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rest & The Rest: The Upside of Injuries by @Jagrmeister

6:30:00 PM 0
Let’s face it, hockey is an extremely physically demanding sport. It takes a special human to be able to go out there day in and day out and take the kinds of hits these players dish out; particularly the 3rd and 4th line grinders who essentially get paid bang bodies. In a given season it’s inevitable that your team is going to face some injuries, some worse than others. And in a compressed season such as this, all the more often.

This year the Penguins have faced a plethora of injuries across the board. While I don’t have the research to prove it, I surmise they’ve had the biggest impact on their star players of any team. Players such as Crosby, Malkin, Neal, and Letang have all missed significant time. Martin and Niskanen have also missed their share of games. Of the core players, only Kunitz, Dupuis, Cooke, Sutter, Glass and Adams have played every game.
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Radio PI: @PensInitiative Podcast Ep. 1 - The Starting Lineup w @nick422 and @toonsbrian

12:00:00 PM 0
This is our first ever podcast with Nick Case and Brian Blystone. They talk about our project Pens Initiative our goal and our members. Also sprinkled throughout the show the playoffs, Penguins hockey, and nostalgia.

                        Listen to internet radio with Radio PI on Blog Talk Radio
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Taking It Outdoors: NHL Hosting Outdoor Series 2014 by @highheelshockey

9:00:00 AM 0

There is nothing quite like the smell of crisp, cold winter air after a fresh snow. A gleaming sheet of ice with a backdrop of whispy snow flurries, the sound of steel scraping the slick surface and the distinct and sharp crack of a stick as it releases a puck from its grip is the only thing more perfect to drop into such an environment.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Evil Shero's Favorite Penguins Fights by @evil_shero

7:30:00 PM 0
Like it or not fights are a part of hockey. There are good arguments on both sides of the case but until the players themselves want to abolish fighting in the NHL it I will continue to be a fan. Here are some of the most memorable fights in Penguin history. There were a ton to choose from so if I missed any please let me know. 

This fight was incredible with tons of punches thrown. What started out as a wrestle-fest turned out to be two middle weights to unloaded more than a dozen solid shots to eachother.


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6 Free Penguins Mobile Wallpapers by @ryannoble66

12:00:00 PM 0

Here are some new iPhone Wallpapers all the way from the Canadas! They also fit on my Android so you should be able to fit them on your screen there as well. Please share and enjoy!

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Disco's Diary 4/25/13 by @evil_bylsma

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pascal Dupuis: The Most Important Upcoming UFA by @MadChad412

9:39:00 AM 0

Pittsburgh Penguins' forward Pascal Dupuis has quickly become one of the most loved players on the team, and one of the most improved forwards in the entire NHL over the years. When the Pens first acquired Dupuis, I really didn't expect much of him. He was known as a checking-line forward with good speed. Since then, he's transformed himself into a valuable member of the Penguins, and is now their most important upcoming free-agent.

 Dupuis was acquired in the "Marian Hossa trade" in the 2007-2008 trade between the Pens and then Atlanta Thrashers.

The Pens sent Atlanta (Now Winnipeg) Colby Armstrong, Eric Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and a first-round pick for Dupuis and Hossa. The deal ended up being a huge win for the Pens mostly because of the improvement of Dupuis' play. Hossa was awesome for the Pens in the playoffs that year, helping them get within two wins of a Stanley Cup championship.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bylsma should dress Bennett for the Playoffs by @knucklepucker

6:50:00 PM 0
   By Corey Trojanowski, @knucklepucker

Head Coach Dan Bylsma has his ways when it comes to deciding who is playing vs. who is a healthy scratch. He has his favorites. He has his role guys who dress in certain situations. He has his reasons.

Despite his reasons, he has is a future NHL star who has already shown the skill, speed and maturity of a veteran player--having only played 25 games this season. Right winger Beau Bennett has exhibited more of a reason Disco should choose to dress him than let him waste away in the press box.
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Penguins Long Term Success a Product of Struggle Talent Luck by @Kamo33090

2:00:00 PM 0
by Jeff Kamovitch, freelance contributor

How lucky the Penguins are.

Sidney Crosby, having missed the better part of two seasons with concussion issues, suffered another devastating blow when he took a slap shot to the face on March 13th, resulting in a broken jaw and an extended period of time missed. Evgeni Malkin has been battling injuries all season, and star winger James Neal sustained a concussion courtesy of Michael Del Zotto’s elbow on April 5th. Defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin have seen time out of the lineup for weeks with broken bones.

How lucky the Pens have been.
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Marc-Andre Fleury: The Pressure Is On and Haters Hate by @MadChad412

8:45:00 AM 2

The blame game is the most common game played among a fan-base when their favorite team loses. In Pittsburgh, when the Steelers or Penguins lose, there are usually only one or two guys that get 99% of the blame. For the Steelers some blame would go to the coaching staff, more specifically Mike Tomlin and the offensive coordinator. The rest of the blame would go to Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback.

When it comes to the Penguins, it's not all that much different. Head coach Dan Bylsma gets a good bit of blame when the Pens lose, especially if it's one of the nights where he makes a bizarre lineup choice. The rest of the blame however, would go to goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Fleury is arguably the most unappreciated Pittsburgh athlete at the moment. Fleury is  always the main one blamed when the Pens lose and generally it seems a lot of people refuse to give him any credit. Despite being a Stanley Cup champion, repeat 40 game-winner, and an All-Star goaltender, Fleury never seems to get any respect. Hell, Rodney Dangerfield feels bad for Fleury.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Les Yotes: Why the NHL Should Move the Coyotes to Quebec (But Won’t) by @ChrisRBarron

12:30:00 PM 0

The experiment that is the Phoenix Coyotes has been an unmitigated disaster.  Despite Gary Bettman and company’s desire to see hockey succeed in the 4+ million person Phoenix metro area, the truth is that it hasn't and it won’t.  The unmitigated disaster I refer to has nothing to do with the product the Coyotes put on the ice – indeed over the last 3 complete seasons the Coyotes have tallied 107, 99 and 97 points and last year made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings. 

The abject failure I am referring to has nothing to with whether the Coyotes win or lose, and most damningly, no amount of winning can fix it:  the bottom line is that the vast majority of those 4+ million people living in the Phoenix desert just don’t care about hockey.
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Welcome to “Best of Pens Facebook” by @TheCaptainDuck

8:45:00 AM 0
Welcome to the first “Best of Penguins Facebook” weekly post on PensInitiative.  I maintain @PensFacebook on Twitter and post many of my favorites, but refrain from analysis in tweets.  The format and idea for the weekly posts are simple: take people’s outrageous comments and suggestions on the Pittsburgh Penguins official Facebook page and analyze them. 

Let’s begin.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Matt Cooke: They Hate Me by @madchad412

6:00:00 PM 0

Pittsburgh Penguins' forward Matt Cooke is one of the most talked about non-superstar players in the NHL. Usually, when his name is in the hockey world news it's not for something good. A discussion about Cooke usually involves intense debate, name-calling, and extreme criticism.

Cooke is third-line player that has done some really terrible things on the ice. At the same time, he's been a very good human being off the ice. He's also not a bad player, averaging around 30 points a year, while contributing on both sides of the ice, and helping how with quality play on the penalty-kill.

Even though I think Cooke is a good player, he has his flaws. Hell, I haven't always stuck up for the stupid stuff Cooke has done. At times, Cooke was one of the dirtiest players in the game. Take a look at all of the dirty stuff he's done throughout his career:
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Why Do You Hate Sidney Crosby? by @chicksdighockey

3:00:00 PM 1

I have a confession to make. I love Sidney Crosby.

It goes beyond his boyish good looks for me. I love how he sits in his stall after the game and articulately fields even the most inane questions. I love his tickle me Elmo giggle as well as that intense face-off stare. I love that by 24 years old he was the winner of a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold Medal, Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Rocket Richard Trophy.

I am a fan girl.

I have such positive feelings for Sidney Crosby that it confounds me why so many feel such passionate hate for him. I asked the question, “Why do you hate Crosby?” to several people who expressed hate for my beloved. The responses were varied and, in some instances, fabrications.

                                          ( photo courtesy of Dave Sandford/NHLI)

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Fans. All of Us by @toonsbrian

12:00:00 PM 0

The most damaging facet of humanity is just how commonly flawed we, as a species, are. We are fickle. We are vain. We are petty. We suffer from greed, jealousy and lust. We often lack reason, especially when the idea or notion of vengeance enters our thoughts.

We'd like to think that we're above that ugly truth. As individuals, at least. Yet subconsciously we crave those flaws in others. For some reason we need other people to be less than us. Weaker than us. More vulnerable to criticism. More open to failure.

The evidence of this is everywhere. There isn't anything that we can do about it. It is in our DNA and has been present in every society since the dawn of time. The events in Boston are the latest example of just how damaging it can be. Yet, the bad always seems to render and galvanize the good.

The Boston Bombers caused chaos...and unity. Photo: www.mashable.com
Enter sports.

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Welcome to PensInitiative by @evil_shero

9:00:00 AM 0

If you're reading this, I have to say a sincere thank you for checking us out. There are about 100 Penguins blogs/sites/dumpsters you could be checking out right now, and we appreciate you are here.

As mentioned above, there are very literally dozens upon dozens of Penguins sites and blogs out there. The most obvious question is: why one more? Why another one? Why one more site in an over-saturated market that already has anyone with an extra 5 minutes of time and opposable thumbs has already staked a small claim into the large market of Pittsburgh hockey?

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Launch Delayed. Stay Strong Boston.

11:37:00 AM 0
In lieu of the tragic events in the Watertown, Cambridge and Boston Area we have collectively decided to delay the launch of PensInitiative. We send all of our thoughts and prayers towards everyone directly and indirectly effected by these horrific acts.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

@pensinitiative on National TV! from @chrisrbarron

9:08:00 AM 0
Chris Barron is a frequent guest on Fox News' program called Red Eye and one of PensInitiative's main contributors. Take a look at him mentioning PensInitiative on national TV!
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Saturday, April 6, 2013

This is a picture of Sidney Crosby...

4:03:00 PM 0
I hope you enjoy this picture of Sidney Crosby while we continue to build the site. If you do not enjoy this picture of Sidney Crosby, perhaps you're jealous of him, or us, or both.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In Defense of Tyler Kennedy

9:45:00 AM
by Chris Barron (@chrisrbarron)

I have to admit, being the self-proclaimed President of the TK fan club can be a lonely and frustrating place to be at times. I do my best during Pens games not to respond to the predictable tweets blaming TK for any and everything bad that happens for the Pens. 95% of the time the tweets assigning blame are mindless. Hell some of the time, TK gets blamed for stuff that happens even when he isn't on the ice.

Just look at what the internet does to him...

When the Pens lose, the TK hating mobs are ready to grab their pitchforks and torches. Who knew that a third line winger, averaging 12 minutes of ice time a game, held the future of the Pens franchise in his hands.
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