Big Lead Sports Bar


Pitt Wins, Pens Lose, NBA All Stars, More Video

Sorry about the lack of goods on Monday. Hopefully you passed the time by clicking on some of the excellent links you sent this weekend. Which reminds me, the Sid card contest winner is announced on Wednesday, so make a last push and send in your best links!
But I digress. It's time to get up to speed with a busy Monday of sports.
--I caught the Pens-Isles game (with a fine recap by the P-G's Empty Netters, by the way), and I was disappointed with the outcome. But it was just a matter of time until "the streak" would come to an end. One issue I had with the streak is when people referred to it as an "unbeaten streak"; the flaw in that statement being that the Pens did lose during the streak. Unless I'm wrong, and "Montreal 4, Pittsburgh 3" now counts towards an unbeaten streak. But I certainly didn't see any Pens celebrating that day. National media members: it's a POINTS STREAK. Learn the rules of the game, please.
--As for the actual game, Ryan Malone scored a hat trick, which goes under the category of "borderline-amazing". I'd be less surprised to see Crosby score eight goals in a game. Speaking of Sidney, he added not one, but four assists. Mark Recchi chipped in with two goals. The offense certainly made the trip to the Island. Scoring five times on Rick Dipietro should be enough to pick up a "W", but not when your goaltender/defense gives up six. Marc-Andre Fleury has an interesting season stat line: he's fourth in the league in wins, yet ranks a lowly 25th in goals-against average and 21st in save percentage. His stats remind me of Randy Johnson, circa 2006, with the Yankees: 17 wins and an ERA of 5; the similarity being that the Penguins, much like the Yankees, light up the scoreboard on a nightly basis, not only bailing out Johnson/Fleury from losses, but garnering them wins in the process. The Pens are 2nd in the NHL in goals per game; the Yankees topped the majors in runs scored. Let's hope that's where the similarities end with these teams, because the Yankees' campaign did not end on a high note.
--Pitt, now ranked 8th, squeaked out a closer-than-necessary three-point win over Seton Hall in Jersey. The Panthers were playing sans one Aaron Gray, who was there nonetheless, rocking a sweet adidas warmup and cheering on his comrades.
Can Pitt ever start a game with a lead? Ever? 3-2 gives way to 5-2 which moves to 9-2 and grows to 14-4 in a matter of minutes. This is one trend that simply has to go away before the postseason rolls around. I know that Pitt usually outlasts teams with their depth, but the deeper they go into March, the deeper their opponents will go as well. Pitt is not a team that will score in bunches and at will, which is a recipe for another early exit if they continue to dig early holes.
I realize that Grayzilla was riding the pines, but Pitt struggled more than they should have with a team sporting a 3-10 record in the Big East. Pitt is a TOP 10 TEAM. This was a division bottom feeder. If Gray is that important to Pitt's team (and I'm pretty sure he is), I hope that ankle heals quickly.
Jamie Dixon scored his 100th career win tonight, so hats off to the man. It must be sweet redemption to succeed so well so fast, especially when Skip Prosser was the guy Pitt really wanted for the job. But if he wants to stave off 100 losses, he needs to introduce Mike Cook to the bench more often. Cook is the college basketball version of the 2006 Steelers: a turnover machine. He rang up five of them tonight, fresh off the four he had in the Louisville loss. In between, he had a 15-point, 4-rebound, 1-turnover assist against Washington. Efforts like that show the upside he displays just enough to make Dixon keep him on the floor.
Pitt closes with three ranked opponents: at #12 Georgetown, #18 WVU, and at #16 Marquette. The Panthers stand at 24-4 and 11-2 in the Big Easy. Panther Nation is hoping Aaron Gray is back and The 100 Win Man can right the ship ASAP.
--I was really looking forward to the NBA All Star Game on Sunday. I thought there would be some real one-upsmanship between such mega-egos as Kobe, Agent Zero, and T-Mac. But the game was a few hours of missed alley-oops, ugly shots, and errant passes.
The highlight of the weekend was the article that wrapped up the Celebrity Game on Friday night. Check out this sentence in the last paragraph:
"Among the many other notables in attendance tonight were Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, Mya, Ronald McDonald, tennis legend Boris Becker, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman with his traveling entourage of showgirls, a handful of WNBA All-Stars and more. "
OK, back it up. The potential all-time home run king is mentioned in the same breath as a fringe R&B singer who peaked five years ago, a sideshow mayor, and a fictional clown. Don't tell me the media, even the NBA media, doesn't hate Barry. I only wonder why HE would be caught at such an event.
--A reader points out some Mondesi-bashing in the Pittsburgh blogosphere. Some site called "Just Sayin" was critical of yours truly for the GwenJen saga of a few weeks back. To quote said blogger:
"I would like to weigh in about the rediculous Mondesi's House non-story of Evgeni Malkin posing with some busted sixes outside the Igloo or wherever. Seriously, the picture is innocuous, the girls aren't hot and it doesn't come anywhere close to comparing with drunken quarterbacks. Drunken quarterbacks aren't really a story either. Stop it, you're hurting us."
Yeah, that non-story was pretty rediculous, I'll give you that. But do you know what's even more rediculous? A site that writes about how boring another site is. But they link to Mondesi's House, which means at some point one of their authors was a fan. So they can't be that bad. They just have high expectations. I'm sorry we failed to see eye-to-eye on this important matter.
*FYI, the GwenJen trilogy was one of the top-5 most visited features of all time. Hits were well over five figures. So someone thinks they're interesting, even if Just Sayin' doesn't.
--No action yet on the $6,000 Sidney Crosby autographed chair. If it sells, I'll be booking an appointment with a furniture maker in the area very soon to capitalize on the craze, because that's about 10 times the price of an autographed Sid sweater.
--A lot of people clicked on the Penn State snowball fight/brawl video, so here's another entertaining clip from the increasingly-watchable a kid getting awaken with flying pizza on his head, then smacked across the face with a bottle of Aquafina when he voices his displeasure. Sophomoric, yes. But who among us hasn't attempted a similar prank in their heyday?


Adam said...

YoYo Raul.
Long time, no comments.

MAF's GAA is around the 2.90 mark.
Give me a goalie who gives up less than 3 goals a game in the new NHL, and I'll be happy.
I don't think where he ranks among NHL goalies is too important.
But it's been proven that I am a total moron sometimes.

Watch Fleury be on steroids or fit into the Yankees/Penguins comparisons.

Go Bucs.

mondesishouse said...

MAF makes a strong case for my favorite Penguin. I wouldn't trade him for any other goalie in the league and I think he has a high ceiling. Just pointing out some statistical similarities.