Big Lead Sports Bar



Pitt opens with a W: Ashton Gibbs scored a career-high 23 points, Jermaine Dixon added 12, and the 11-2 Pitt Panthers opened the Big East campaign with a 65-52 win over DePaul. It was the 30th consecutive win at The Pete. Next up: Syracuse, at the Carrier Dome, on January 2. []

Accolades for Sid: Sidney Crosby was deservedly named as the Canadian Press Athlete of the Year for 2009 for the second time in his young career. He is one of only six hockey players to take home the honors more than once, joining Rocket Richard, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. [MSNBC]

Bill Guerin, 2010 Olympian? The Penguins' elder statesman is reportedly 'in the hunt' for a spot on the US team, which will announce its roster on Friday. The team will likely choose one forward from the veteran group of Guerin, Mike Modano, and Keith Tkachuk, who were all part of its "Greatest Generation", as GM Brian Burke called it. It would be the fourth Olympics for Guerin if he makes the squad. [Trib]

Pens-Sabres tonight: Winter Classic fever is in the air, so what better way to rekindle some local memories than a rematch of the epic 2008 battle in Buffalo. Gametime is at 7 PM tonight, with coverage on FSN. No snow is expected to fall on the ice this time. [Empty Netters]

Even a Cup-winning staff can lend a hand: The above photo would be the Penguins coaches and support staff pushing their bus out of the snow in Buffalo yesterday. Included in the fun: HC Dan Bylsma, assistant coaches Mike Yeo, Tony Granato and Gilles Meloche, Senior Director of Team Operations Frank Buonomo, Vice President of Communications Tom McMillan, Head Athletic Trainer Chris Stewart and Video Coordinator Jim Britt. []

Statistical proof for the value of 43: As you know, I'm a stat geek, so I greatly enjoyed this analyzation of the value of Troy Polamalu to the Steelers. Their conclusion? "Losing Polamalu takes the Steelers defense from close-to-unbeatable to below-average." I'd say that's accurate. [Advanced NFL Stats]

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