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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Video: Evgeni Malkin Singing Karaoke With Alex Ovechkin

8:44:00 PM 0



Evgeni Malkin off of the ice is just as, if not more exciting than he is on the ice. The random and hilarious pictures that he takes, and now this, singing karaoke with Alex Ovechkin. Geno is the king of kings.
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Friday, August 29, 2014

We need @theolec11 Zack Sill by @evil_shero

9:00:00 AM 0
 (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
We all got a sample of Zack Sill last year  when the Penguins were decimated (again) with injuries to key players and he put on a #38 jersey around his 6' 202 pound frame and earned 2 hits in 9 minutes of ice time against the New Jersey Devils. It was very clear that the Penguins had a hard working, hard hitting, grinder just dying to play some NHL minutes as Sill chirped anyone donning Red and White all night.

During his 20 game stint, he racked up 58 hits, 2.85 a game which was third behind Glass (3.68) and Orpik (3.06). He also tallied .9 blocked shots per game which is 1st on the team among forwards. Sill made the most of his time and became a victim of the Penguins deep bench and was sent back to WBS.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Truth About Not Extending Marc-Andre Fleury by @pghgirl15222

4:19:00 PM 2



Recently Josh Yohe from the Tribune Review released an article noting that Marc-Andre Fleury will likely enter the 2014-2015 season without a contract extension. Rutherford was quoted in the article by stating that “I'm not in a hurry to do a contract with him” but then almost backtracks mentioning that “there’s no reason why he can't be our goalie for a long time.”
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Pens' Head Coach Mike Johnston Wants To "Lessen the Load" for Sidney Crosby

12:00:00 PM 0

New Pittsburgh Penguins' head coach, Mike Johnston, told the media that he wants to "Lessen the load" for team captain Sidney Crosby. Johnston told Tribune-Review reporter Jason Mackey "Do we have to lessen the load? Yes. We have to ensure that other players on our team take some of the responsibility off his shoulders — both in leadership and also in performance. He is a captain, and he is a leader, but it doesn't all rest on Sid.” Crosby, who played 80 games during the regular season, also played in 13 playoff games, as well as five games for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics. All the while carrying the Penguins to the best record in the Eastern Conference, while winning the scoring title, as well as the Hart Trophy for the league's MVP. By the  end of the season rolled around, Crosby certainly looked and played like he was fatigued (As well as injured) by the time the end of the season came around. 
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If Vegas Gets a Team, Maybe it's Time for Canada to Divorce the NHL

9:00:00 AM 0

By: @ChrisRBarron

In the dog days of summer, when there is little real hockey to talk, nothing stokes the embers of sports radio and the blogosphere like a report about an impending round of expansion coming to the NHL.

Last night, news broke that the NHL was planning on adding as many as 4 new teams by 2017.  The four areas supposedly the front-runners for new teams are Seattle, Toronto, Quebec City and Las Vegas.  That's right - Las Vegas.  That place in the desert with temperatures regularly in the triple digits. 

What was more unbelievable to me wasn't just the ridiculousness of Las Vegas being on this list, but the report that an expansion team coming to Vegas was "a done deal" and that Sin City along with Seattle would be the first two expansion franchises to be awarded - with the "possibility" of Quebec City and a second team in the Greater Toronto Area in the mix for 2017.

WTF?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bring Back the Fun by @Nick422

9:30:00 AM 0
The pieces are in place, aside from a tinker here and there, and we finally have an idea of what our 2014-15 Pittsburgh Penguins will look like.  They'll be deeper, younger, and lacking some very familiar faces.  The main goal, as always, for the new group may remain win the Cup but there's a secondary goal for this squad of Penguins:

Bring back the fun.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Reality of Pascal Dupuis' Return From Injury by @ChicksDigHockey

9:14:00 AM 0

When the 2014-15 hockey season opens, a lot of things will be different about the Pittsburgh Penguins. Familiar faces are gone and in their places will be those we only know as opponents. One of the returning favorites will be Pascal Dupuis who hasn't played since he injured his knee in December when Marc Methot hit Sidney Crosby, which propelled Crosby into Dupuis. His knee bent awkwardly and it was later determined he tore his ACL.


I was surprised at the number of people who were judgmental of Pascal Dupuis’ knee injury, subsequent surgery and rehab. Seems everyone feels comfortable critiquing something like an ACL tear because, let’s face it, most people know someone who has had one. The reality is, the entire approach to the ACL is different for a professional athlete than it is for a car salesman who plays dek hockey on the weekends. 

When Dupuis wasn’t rushed to the OR after his injury some were critical calling it the strangest ACL recovery ever. In reality it was smart. Most surgeons prefer not to rush an injury to the operating room. First off, you never want to operate on swollen (edematous) tissue unless you have to. Swelling distorts the tissue and makes it hard to actuate the extent of the injury. Sewing distorted tissue is riskier than putting two clean ends together and healing is adversely effected.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Upcoming Milestones by @LCJS

4:19:00 PM 0
Close your eyes.

No, on second thought, don't close them.  It's impossible to read that way.

Figuratively close you eyes and think back to 2005.  That was the year Sidney Crosby got drafted.  I'm sure you remember the excitement of that moment and dreaming about all the promise that the future would hold.


Well, Crosby has played in 550 games since then and is about to hit a few milestones.  If Crosby plays in 11 games this season, hopefully an easily achievable goal, he'll pass Martin Straka (560) for 10th all time in games played for the Penguins.  If he plays in 23 games and he'll pass Bob Errey (572).  If he plays in 24 games and he'll pass Dave Burrows (573).  Playing in 70 games will have him pass Ron Schock (619) and 72 games will push him past Ron Stackhouse (621).  Realistically, he'll move into 6th place on the Penguins games played list... right behind Brooks Orpik's 703.

Crosby also needs 26 goals to reach 300 as well as only 5 assists to hit 500 for his career.  Achieving 800 career points will also likely happen this season, as he currently sits at 769.

Other players will hit some milestones this season as well.  Evgeni Malkin needs only 8 assists to reach 400 and 68 points to reach 700 for his career.

Marc-Andre Fleury needs 12 wins to reach 300 for his career.  He also needs 2 shutouts to get to 30.

Kris Letang needs 24 assists to reach 200, something he should achieve if he remains healthy.

When it comes to career milestones not necessarily all achieved with the Pens, there are a few.  Chris Kunitz needs 29 points to hit 500 for his career.  Craig Adams needs just 1 assist and Blake Comeau needs 8 to reach 100 for their careers.

Pascal Dupuis needs 18 goals to reach 200 and only 6 points to reach 400.  Rob Scuderi needs 10 points to reach 100 for his career.

Hopefully players stay healthy enough so that we can enjoy seeing these players hit all of their milestones this year.

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Lee can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LCJS  

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pens Initiative Exclusive: Steve Downie Training Video

10:00:00 AM 0
We sneaks at Pens Initiative are at it again.  This time we've obtained exclusive video of new Penguin Steve Downie training for this coming season.  Click below!


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Monday, August 18, 2014

The #IceBucketChallenge Replies

11:09:00 AM 0
Twice last week we took up the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS Awareness and the replies from the challenged have come pouring in (get it?!).



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Friday, August 15, 2014

Downie and Neal at Hockey Night in Barrie! by @VeryBarrieColts #HNIB

9:53:00 AM 0

Last night in Barrie, Ontario Steve Downie and James Neal took part in an annual event that raises money for the RVH which is a local hospital. The event, which also featured Steven Stamkos, Aaron Ekblad, Tanner Pearson and many more current and former NHL players topped its highest total raised at one event this year bringing in $251,000. In the 7 years the event has been held the total raised is over $1.4 million dollars. For pictures and more coverage of the event, check out my post I did for my A Very Barrie Colts Blog here. 

Though this is hardly "breaking news" worthy, we figured it would be fun to point out not only that Downie was rocking the coolest hair cut I have ever seen (no picture I got did it justice, I think the style could only be referred to as a "rat cut"), but that he was wearing Pittsburgh Penguins hockey pants. The entire event he was joking around with Stamkos, Neal and the rest of the players. He seemed to be a guy that the other guys enjoyed to be around.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

JAWPA's Golden Ticket: Win Penguin, Steeler & Pirate Season Tickets!

7:25:00 PM 0



Face it, this is a great time to be a sports fan in the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. The Penguins, obviously, have some of the biggest names in the NHL. The Pirates are finally relevant late in the MLB season. Steelers football is right around the corner. Add Pitt, Penn State, Duquesne to the mix. Don't forget the Pittsburgh Power. The Junior Achievement of Western PA (JAWPA) Golden Ticket gives you a chance to win SEASON TICKETS to just about every team in town for only $50.

While the prize is a sports-lover's dream, this is really about helping the JAWPA with their mission.
Junior Achievement is a program that focuses on teaching our youth skills equally important to basic math and literacy, yet often ignored for all but a semester during high school. The key for our youth to succeed in the immediate and long-term future reside as much in their ability to exercise sound economic decisions as much as their ability to read and write.

JAWPA services nearly 68,000 children of school age in Western PA, preparing them for their future by teaching them about things like Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship and simply being prepared for the workplace. That's a major task for the organization which rely on some 3,000 hardworking volunteers.

*NEW PURCHASE INCENTIVE*THIS WEEK ONLY! August 11-17!*
Purchase your #PGHGoldenTicket now thru August 17th and we'll enter your name into this week's BONUS GIVEAWAY for a chance to win 2 TICKETS to attend the 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Luncheon, August 28 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown! Get in on JA's ultimate sports raffle NOW!
*To Purchase Tickets:
http://www.showclix.com/event/pghgoldenticket

 https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-westernpa
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Pens Initiative #IceBucketChallenge Part 2

11:10:00 AM 0
It seems everyone wants a piece of the ol' PI boys (and girls) these days.  One trip through wasn't enough, we had to make this a TWO PART SERIES!  This is the Ice Bucket Challenge Part 2, all to raise awareness for ALS.


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Sidney Crosby is Playing For His Legacy by @ChicksDigHockey

9:00:00 AM 0



This season marks a new chapter in the Sidney Crosby era of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The reign of Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma, which included a Stanley Cup, has ended. The locker room, rumored to have been plagued by a negative attitude, will have to find a new conscience. The star power is mostly intact but the coaching staff – as well as management – are all new.

If it's hard for you to wrap your brain around all the changes facing the 2014-15 Penguins, imagine being Sidney Crosby. No matter what has transpired in the offseason, he is expected to be the leader of the team, both as captain and as the most skilled player on the ice.  While a place in the HHOF surely awaits him, in this next chapter Crosby plays for his legacy. 

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pens Initiative Takes the #IceBucketChallenge

7:17:00 PM 0
We've spent the better part of the last few weeks watching the Penguins take on the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS Awareness.  We've had a good laugh and wondered who was next.  Turns out it's us!  Yesterday our friends at YaJagoff challenged the Pens Initiative crew to the popular Ice Bucket Challenge.  We weren't going to let it pass without tackling it.



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Friday, August 8, 2014

Time to Rewrite "the Code" in MLB and NHL by @PandaPSU

4:10:00 PM 0
(Photo Courtesy of ArizonaSports.com)
Some pitches are mistakes, but this was not one of them. After Delgado missed McCutchen with a 95 mph fastball on the first pitch, he made sure that would not be the case with the third pitch. He came back inside with another 95 mph fastball right in the small of Cutch's back. As you can see from the photo above, it was enough to drop him to the ground. While it looked like Cutch would avoid an injury, it is hard to imagine the fastball did not lead to his avulsion fracture. This all stemmed from a wild pitch by Ernesto Frieri the evening prior which resulted in Diamondbacks' star Paul Goldschimdt's hand being fractured, and likely ended his season. It is time for the big leagues to put their big boy pants on and rewrite "the code" in their respective sports.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Answers to 20 Q about the @Penguins by @ChicksDigHockey

3:38:00 PM 0



How did you do? Did you answer or Google?

1.       Who will wear # 17?  (Blake Comeau)

2.       Who is the tallest player on the team? (Borts @ 6’4”)

3.       Who is the new head coach, his 2 assistant coaches and the goalie coach (first and last names,         please)?

Mike Johnston     Head Coach

Rick Tocchet       Assistant Coach

Gary Agnew       Assistant Coach

Mike Bales          Goalie Coach

4.       What is Mark Recchi’s job with the team? (Player Development Coach) 

5.       Even though he missed the second half of the season with a knee injury, how many points did  Pascal Dupuis put up last season? (20)

6.       This 5’ 11” Penguin is locked in until the 2017-18 season to the tune of $4,250,000 per. (Hornqvist)

7.       This player was drafted in the 5th round by the Penguins and played in his first NHL game during the 2003–04 season. (Scuderi)

8.       This Pen was acquired in 2014 for a 3rd and a 5th round pick (Goc)

9.       This new member of the Penguins family  was with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League in 1990. (Agnew)

10.   This former member of the Atlanta Thrashers was undrafted. (Kunitz)

11.   This Penguin staff member developed the product, Core Stix, , full-body resistance training system that combines core, cardio and strength. (Mike Kadar)

12.   This Penguin is father to Estelle (Fleury)

13.   This Pen has been on two Olympic teams but has not played a single game.  (Martin)

14.   Which Penguin suffers from a congenital condition that has left him hearing impaired? (Downie)

15.   After an investigation by the Canadian Hockey League, he was suspended by the Western Hockey League for the duration of the 2012–13 WHL season. (Mike Johnston)

16.   He’s the shortest and heaviest of the 3 rostered goalies.  (GREISS)

17.   He is the first Russian player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. (Geno)

18.   He scored his first NHL points in 2013 against the Carolina Hurricanes. (Maatta)

19.   He is the oldest player on the current roster. (Adams)

20.   He has dual citizenship of both the United States and Canada. He was born on Valentine’s Day. He was a first round draft pick.  (Sutter)
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

20 Q: How Well Do You Know the New Penguins? by @ChicksDigHockey

11:19:00 AM 0

The Penguins have made sweeping changes in the off-season. Here’s a little quiz to see how well you know the current team and staff. You could easily Google all of the answers or you could have some fun and see what you know. Answers to follow tomorrow.

1.            Who will wear # 17?  

2.            Who is the tallest player on the team? 

3.            Who is the new head coach, his 2 assistant coaches and the goalie coach (first and last names,     please)? 

4.            What is Mark Recchi’s job with the team? 

5.            Even though he missed the second half of the season with a knee injury, how many points did      Pascal Dupuis put up last season? 

6.            This 5’ 11” Penguin is locked in until the 2017-18 season to the tune of $4,250,000 per.

7.            This player was drafted in the 5th round by the Penguins and played in his first NHL game           during the 2003–04 season. 

8.            This Pen was acquired in 2014 for a 3rd and a 5th round pick.

9.            This new member of the Penguins family  was with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey     League in 1990.  

10.          This former member of the Atlanta Thrashers was undrafted. 

11.         This Penguin staff member developed the product, Core Stix, full-body resistance training           system that combines core, cardio and strength. 

12.          This Penguin is father to Estelle.

13.          This Pen has been on two Olympic teams but has not played a single game. 

14.          Which Penguin suffers from a congenital condition that has left him  hearing impaired? 

15.         After an investigation by the Canadian Hockey League, he was suspended by the Western            Hockey League for the duration of the 2012–13 WHL season. 

16.          He’s the shortest and heaviest of the 3 rostered goalies.
 
17.          He is the first Russian player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. 

18.          He scored his first NHL points in 2013 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

19.          He is the oldest player on the current roster. 

20.          He has dual citizenship of both the United States and Canada. He was born on Valentine’s Day.   He was a first round draft pick. 
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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nick Spaling: Keeping an Open Mind by @griffTHW

12:43:00 PM 1
Let me first preface this by stating that I've never seen Nick Spaling play.  Not once.  So any opinions, hopes or expectations I have for his time in Pittsburgh come courtesy of nothing more than what I've read. 

And, while some glowing reports highlight Spaling's overall game, most of the available literature out there serves to condemn his acquisition.  Doubts about his ability to replicate past production, concerns about his contract and an intense, laser-like focus on his less-than-stellar advanced statistics all provide doubters with an arsenal of criticisms to sling at one of the newest members of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now, in analyzing the slew of critical numbers and data available, fans and pundits can obviously draw whatever conclusion they want regarding what Spaling will or won't accomplish in the next two years.  But, given the fact that, you know, he hasn't even played a game in Pittsburgh yet, isn't it kind of early to simply write him off as a poor acquisition?

With that spirit in mind, I thought I'd take a look at some of the common criticisms of Spaling's game from a slightly different perspective:
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