Big Lead Sports Bar



Wild 4, Pens 3: The Penguin power play was 0-for-6, and Marc-Andre Fleury gave a shaky effort with four goals on 24 shots to contribute to the team's latest loss, their seventh in the past nine games. Geno Malkin also continued his struggles, with a minus-2 and two giveaways. He is scoreless in 12 of his last 13 games.

The Pens had a 2-1 lead in the second period, with goals coming from Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis. That lead evaporated 51 seconds later when Martin Havlat knotted the game at two and then grew to a 3-2 deficit with Cal Clutterbuck's ninth of the year at 12:03 of the period.

Crosby would tie the game at three in the third period with his 29th goal, but Minnesota's Guillaume Latendresse scored at the 6:13 mark, giving the Wild all the offense they would need.

Clutterbuck, who was on the receiving end of a Sergei Gonchar elbow that resulted in a major interference penalty in the third, had this to say about the usually gentleman-like defenseman: "He better hope he retires before the end of the year. Someone's going to hurt him." Unfortunately for Mr. Clutterbuck, the teams won't meet again in 2009-10. But it's good that you got that on the record.

The Pens continue their road trip on Wednesday night at 26-14-6 Calgary. [Trib]

"There was no groping":That's the headline that sticks out in the clearance of Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin in an indecent assault charge yesterday. However, Baldwin did admit to slapping a nursing student's buttocks on a campus shuttle bus, and the going rate for that offense is apparently 10 hours of community service. [WPXI]

That's Church: The Buccos appear to have found their fourth OF in free agent Ryan Church, who agreed to terms yesterday pending a physical.

Church hit .273 with four HR and 40 RBI in 111 games last season for the Mets and Braves, who swapped Church and Jeff Francoeur on July 10. Church's career bests came in 2007 with Washington, when he hit .272 with 15 HR and 70 RBI in 144 games. [PG]

April interviewed by 49ers: Free agent special teams coach Bobby April, who interviewed with Mike Tomlin this weekend, is meeting with 49ers coach Mike Singletary today. April has also been linked to the Washington Redskins. [49ers Blog]

Shipley to Eagles: Center AQ Shipley, of Moon HS and Penn State fame, has joined the Philadelphia Eagles. A seventh-round pick of the Steelers in 2009, he spent the entire year on the practice squad and was the only member of that unit not to re-sign for 2010. [PG]

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Steve said...

Typical game for the Pens anymore. Even when they do get the lead, questionable goaltending, soff defense and turnovers in their own end allow any other team to tie it up soon after. I won't even go into the Power Play as they would have to have one to actually criticize it. Let's just call it a Pansy Play so it will be easier to comprehend it’s uselessness. Actually, it’s not that useless, as other teams seem to get off on it. If I was on the other end, I’d be killing Penguins left and right with “stupid” penalties since it could do nothing but good for my team. I betcha Robert Morris (like just about everyone else) would own the Pens right now. If it wasn’t for Crosby giving the Pens any hope at all, they be fighting for last place. I hope Gene Collier is dusting of his “season over” piece from last year, as it was probably dead on, just a season premature.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Clusterfuck had no problem taking 10 strides to hit Gonchar a good 5 seconds after he got rid of the puck though. I could only imagine how the Cryer Nation would be howling if Cooke did that to Timonen and it wasn't called so they had to retaliate outside the rules.

The Pens will right this ship, once Malkin stops the Jagr-esque sulking because Sid is outscoring him, we will be fine. We need a right handed shot on the point where Geno is right now.

Steve said...

I was actually more optimistic of the Pens turning things around when they were in 10th place last season than I am now. Malkin needs to be a healthy scratch for a game or two. This is unacceptable for a player with his talent to piss off like he has for so long. Out side of Letang, I can't think of a right handed shot we have to put on that side instead of Malkin. I don't think that's the answer either as that's been tried before. It used to be joked about last season that maybe the Pens should turn down a PP opportunity, but now, it's no longer a joke and if it was legal, I would encourage them to try it.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Is Guerin too slow to play the point? He has a pretty good right handed shot.

Malkin's abilities do not translate well to running the point. He belongs on the half-wall with Sid below the goal line an a big body in front.

Steve said...

Yeah, Billy G. would be a defensive liability at the point plus, I don't think he's really known for his one-timer. I would prefer Sid down low on the left (ala Lemieux) and Malkin opposite on the right feeding the points (Gonchar and Letang) and someone like Staal, Rupp or even Cooke in front causing havoc and jumping on rebounds.

After that, it's all about execution and right now, they don't move the puck quickly/crisply enough to keep the PK from being overly aggressive and when shooting, they are too apprehensive and give the PK plenty of time to clog shooting lanes, set themselves for blocks and to clear traffic.

IMO, the key is to keep the PK forwards who are attacking the points up top stationary and the defensemen who are blocking shots down low moving and guessing. Right now, it's just the opposite and the whole PP looks like it's stuck in quicksand.

Unknown said...

I am -shocked- almost appalled that the Steelers offered AQ Shipley a contract that he BALKED on. This kid may be small, but has enough heart to play really big. That may be the sparkplug the O-Line could use. Sad to see the Steelers treat him like that...

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Screw AB Shipley.

But hire this April guy before someone else gets him PLEASE.

Have we reached "The sky is falling" part of the season for the Pens yet? They were dominant for most of the first 3 months of the season... and now this.

They just look sloppy. Sid looks like a definite MVP frontrunner, but there just seem to be defensive breakdowns, and some shoddy play by Marc Andre lately.

And Geno... it's amazing we're as high in the standings as we are, given his level of production this year.

The thing is, you know it's in there. These guys didn't just forget how to play all of the sudden.

They need another spark. Remember, it wasn't until mid-February that they turned things around last year, and they were in A LOT worse shape than they are right now.

Make Geno a healthy scratch to send him a message, and sit Fleury for a game or two to get his head right. They'll come around.

BTW, Sid's proving this year that he's the best all-around player in the game. There's nothing he can't do on the ice when he puts his mind to it.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

And I know it's AQ and not AB Shipley, I made a type-o. Screw him anyways....

Steve said...

The Pens were only really dominant for a few weeks to start the season and have been slowly sliding ever since. The had a nice little stretch at the end of November - beginning of December but that was the last time they looked "dominant"

The problem is, sparks for the Pens usually only occur by firing coaches, or trading away players. Bylsma isn't going anywhere soon and the trade deadline is still a long way off. The only thing making this team look respectable at all right now is Crosby and if he starts slumping it's gonna get real ugly, real fast.

The only option I can see being done to jolt the team out of sleep mode is firing Yeo. At the least it will catch their attention...that or send them all photoshopped pics of Ovechkin or Parise skating around with the Cup over their heads.

Adam said...

Hey Louis, screw you.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Let's keep Penn State players that suck on the team just to appease Adam and the PSU fans!

He was a practice squadder that loved his hometown team SOOOOO much that he balked at an offer to remain with the team.

Summary: A 7th round round practice squad player made demands of his supposed favorite hometown team and told them to screw off when they weren't giving him enough money.

Screw him, and if he were a Pitt Panther I'd still say screw him.

Adam said...

The Rimington should mean something chief. If I were him and sat and watched that offensive line this year, I'd tell the Steelers to screw off too.

JeremyT said...

Adam: You and I have never crossed paths before. I do like the way you fuck with people. However, if you think a goddamn Rimington Award, won in college, means a cotton-picking fuck in the NFL, then I'm really glad you have nothing to do with Steeler staff/personnel decisions. Why not? Well, it appears that he doesn't play college football anymore, so being the best center in college TWO years ago should count for absolutely nothing TODAY in the NFL. I will not say "screw you" to AQ, just wish him luck and hope that he catches on somewhere.

Oh, Adam, get yourself ready to watch your Lions get the life choked out of them again when they come to Ohio State in 2010. (There are a hell of a lot of Steeler/Pens fans who live in Ohio.)

Steve said...

Adam, have you watched the Eagles offensive line lately? Simple truth is, Shipley has no real say in the matter other than to take the highest offer given. The Steelers obviously didn't think he was worth what the Eagles did, or jsut didn't have the cash to spend, so he figured if he was only going to be practice squad fodder for any team, he might as well make the most $ doing it.

Adam said...

The dude has the reputation to be able to say "f you" to the Steelers if he wants. Obviously Philly gave him a better deal, so why should he stick with the Steelers? And why, is it ok to say "screw you" for him simply choosing to leave? I don't get it. He may never amount to much in the NFL, but it's completely within his right to leave if he feels like he's not getting treated fairly in Pittsburgh.

As for "getting the life choked out" of us in Columbus next year, whoopdeedoo. We play 3, top 5 teams on the road. That's the hand we've been dealt. It doesn't make us less of a football team for losing all 3 when we're not a top 5 team.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Ok, let me make this statement regarding college football awards:

The 3 Rimington winners prior to Shipley have played 8 NFL games with ZERO starts. ZERO.

Mike Haas is a recent winner of the Biletnikoff; he is yet to log 1 career catch.

Jason White, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and Troy Smith are all recent Heisman Winners, for the Best College Football Player in the Country, how exactly are they all doing at the next level?

And to further prove just how meaningless most college football position awards truly are:

Matt Spaeth won the Mackey Award for Best TE.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

In light of all the recent NCAA Coaches turning their backs on their programs, I would like to go on record as stating that while I have unrivaled disdain for Penn State's fans, I have the utmost respect for Joe Paterno.

Whether or not I agree with him on every issue is neither here nor there in this scenario. JoePA is an absolute class act when it comes to dedication to his program and the school that made him the legend he has become. Not only has he turned down numerous higher-paying and higher exposure positions, he has given back so generously to PSU for educational purposes; something totally lost on this current batch of money grubbing front runners/media whores.

Say what you want about JoePA, I sure as hell do, but disloyal would never be a word anyone could use to accurately describe him.

bohica said...

My only question regarding April is how have his coverage and return units fared since the NFL put that no-wedge rule into effect?

Adam said...

Look, I'm not saying Shipley is a stud in waiting. I just don't understand how anyone could say "screw him" for turning down a contract offer from the Steelers.

And yay Joe.