Big Lead Sports Bar



Cooke saves the day: Matt Cooke scored on a power-play goal with 1:47 left in the third period to lead the Penguins past the Flyers, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia in front of a national NBC audience. The Pens lead the season series, four games to one, with a final regular-season meeting between the teams coming March 27 in the Steel City.

It wasn't the most memorable Pens-Flyers tilt in history, but as I like to say, a win is a win is a win. Is a win. And we've been historically beaten down enough in the past as Pens fans to appreciate any win in that city, where the Penguins failed to record a single W between 1974 and 1989 - 42 games.

The story of this game was penalties and power plays. The first period alone featured a combined 12 penalties, with two coming in the second and nine more in the third. Luckily, the Penguins were able to convert twice on six power play chances, giving them just enough offense they would need on the day. The Flyers' PP unit was not nearly as successful, going just 1-for-9 against a solid Pens PK unit.

The Pens' first goal was a power play score in the first period from the game's top star, Sergei Gonchar, whose shot in the third period was deflected in by Cooke for the game-winner. They also got a nice effort in goal from Brent Johnson, who stopped 27 of 28 to raise his record to 7-5 on the season. Johnson has won two of three as a replacement for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury in the past week.

The Penguins don't have much time to enjoy the spoils of victory, with a 7 PM game at the New York Rangers on Monday night. [ESPN]

Panthers fading fast: A frigid shooting percentage killed the Pitt Panthers at Seton Hall on Sunday, where the Pirates came away with the 64-61 victory, the biggest win in the turbulent tenure of coach Bobby Gonzalez to date. Coupled with the Panthers' loss to Georgetown last week, it marks the first time since the 2007-08 season that Jamie Dixon's club lost two games in a row.

The Panthers shot 35% from the floor and 23.5% from three-point land, the latter actually being outdone by Seton Hall's 15.4% shooting from beyond the arc. To say this was not the prettiest of games would be a massive understatement.

Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 23 points, but was 4-for-15 from the floor and 1-for-7 from three-point land. Gibbs' last three shooting nights also include 4-for-12 (Louisville), and 3-for-16 (Georgetown), giving him a three-game total of 11-for-43. Ouch.

Aliquippa's Herb Pope (profiled in the PG on Sunday) had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Pirates, who moved to 12-6 and 3-4 in the Big East. The Pirates' win was even more impressive due to the fact that their leading scorer this season, guard Jeremy Hazell, played just 16 minutes due to foul problems. Hazell is averaging 23 PPG this season for Seton Hall.

The Panthers try to rebound on Thursday at the Pete against St. John's (12-7, 2-5). Tipoff is slated for 7 PM, with TV on ESPNU. [ESPN]

Colts, Saints advance to Super Bowl 44: And here are your local connections...

The Colts feature LB Clint Session (Pitt), punter Pat McAfee (West Virginia and Plum HS), and Sr. Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore, who was a Steeler assistant from 1977-89 under Emperor Noll.

The only player with local ties on the Saints' roster is TE Darnell Dinkins, who attended Schenley HS and played safety, wide receiver, and linebacker while at Pitt. He started his post-Pitt career with the Pittsburgh Colts semi-pro team.

Woodley to hoop it up in Miami: Freshly-minted Pro Bowler LaMarr Woodley will be playing in the Mike McKenzie Superslam celebrity basketball game during Super Bowl week in Miami.

Woodley will be joined by the likes of Chad Ochocinco, Willis McGahee, Anquan Boldin, and DeAngelo Williams, among others. The game benefits Mike McKenzie’s 34 Ways Foundation and takes place on February 5. []

A rarity: I agree with Ron Cook: It doesn't happen often, and that's why it's worth pointing out. But Cook is right on the money: Joe Namath is still The Man. [PG]

Email: Twitter: Facebook: Facebook Group


Steve said...

Richards is a douche and I hope his career ends prematurely in an icy puddle of blood and piss and I'll also say that for just about any other player who wears that ugly orange jersey.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I just loved reading LaViollette, Gagne, and Richards crying about the refs in a game where they had 9 power plays to our 6. I guess it doesn't matter if Stevens is there or not, they still blame the refs anytime they don't win.

That right there folks, is why i called them the Cryers.

bohica said...

Richards is a punk, Hartnell is a turd, what else is new. I am just happy with a W. Let's keep it going tonight against the Rags.