Big Lead Sports Bar



The Pittsburgh Penguins opened their second-round series against the Montreal Canadiens in grand fashion on Friday night with a 6-3 win at the Igloo.

The Penguins power play went 4-for-4, their best effort in a loooong time, and they managed to chase smoldering-hot goalie Jaroslav Halak after he allowed five goals on just 20 shots. The Pens also added a sixth goal on an empty netter by Bill Guerin in the game's final minute. 

Pittsburgh was incredibly efficient on offense, screening Halak as opposed to the "throw as many shots on net as possible" philosophy that Washington employed in round one. The Penguin power play has already scored more PP goals in one game (four) than Washington did in the entire series (one).

An amazing 13 players had at least one point for the Penguins, a stat that makes me downright giddy. And four of those players (Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, and Guerin) had two points. That kind of production, especially from secondary sources of offense, is going to be extremely hard to topple if it can continue.

One of the few bits of bad news for the Pens is that Jordan Staal is listed with an undisclosed injury and will be evaluated tomorrow. Staal injured his right leg after an undercut by P.K. Subban behind the net near the midpoint of the second period and did not return.

Montreal played the final 2 1/2 periods without defenseman Andrei Markov, who sustained an unspecified lower body injury after a Matt Cooke hit in the first period. Like Staal, he will be evaluated tomorrow.

The two teams have a day to rest and resume things on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Pittsburgh. 

And a few other things I had to catch up on from Friday...

Tasteless jersey of the year candidate? Ding, ding, ding...I think we have a winner. [Deadspin]

The Steelers were out in force talking about Big Ben this week, including Troy Polamalu with WPXI and Hines Ward with the Kiss Morning Freak Show.

Byron Leftwich is running with the first team as the Steelers opened their mandatory three-day minicamp on Friday.

So here's a question: say Leftwich starts the season on fire, has the Steelers undefeated and rolling, and then Big Ben is reinstated. What do you do? What do you do? [Beaver County Times]

Kevin Hart has been diagnosed with a torn labrum, which more than likely ends his 2010 season. He will make the obligatory visit to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion next week.

Hart was 1-8 with a 6.92 ERA in 10 starts for the Pirates last year and had allowed 13 earned runs on 18 hits in 17 1/3 innings at AAA Indianapolis in 2010. []

Val Kilmer was in nearby Brownsville shooting scenes for his upcoming film, Riddle. But here's the kicker: in order to accommodate the filming, the library had to move its entire collection of 20,000 books to another building. That's right, of all the buildings in all the world, they had to choose one that was full of books. And what is this building used for in the movie, you ask? A sheriff's department, naturally. [WPXI]

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Unknown said...

who the f&*! is kevin hart?

Chip said...

He wears dark sunglasses at night...

As for Ben, one of the sports talk shows already asked Kevin Colbert that question and he said "Ben is our quarterback." You don't pay a guy $12 million to sit on the bench.

Of course, if Lefty goes 3-1 and then Ben comes back and takes an O-fer his first 2-3 games, I'm sure the *sarcasm mode* ever loyal Steeler fans will still support him as strongly as they did during his 8 month rape spree.

Let's Go Pens!

Unknown said...

Crosby continues to show why he is the best player in the league. Last night on the Letang goal, Crosby put in a fantastic effort to get that puck and keep it under pressure. He found the wide open man who buried the puck. His assist on the Goligoski goal was just beautiful.

The Pens are really looking sharp right now. Lets hope that continues.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I had actually gone to NFL Shop and made that same jersey and sent it around to some friends about a month ago. It's not that clever!

Crosby does things that don't always show up on the scoreboard. He also does things other super stars won't, like play 2 way hockey and win battles on the walls. He is the most complete player.

The Hart Trophy is like your high school class president. It isn't going to be the person who deserves it, it's the one who's most popular.

Nate said...

Corey: Kevin Hart is one of the three players we got for the Gorzelanny/Grabow trade from the Cubs. He was probably the closest to being Major League ready, but he had major control problems. By losing him, we're only losing a guy that would probably be our fifth starter at some point this year.

However, Jose Ascanio, a relief pitcher they got in the same trade, is also on the 60-day DL. So that's 2 out of 3 players to get injured in that deal since coming to Pittsburgh.

The good news is that the third player, infielder Josh Harrison, is hitting pretty well at AA right now. He's also only 22. He alone would be a fair return for Gorzo/Grabow if he pans out - the pitchers were just throw-ins.

Unknown said...

Just heard that Staal is out for the rest of the playoffs with a severed tendon on his foot. He is having surgery to repair... :(

Steve said...

It's going to be hard if not impossible for the Pens to repeat or even get to the finals without Staal now. Only if he can miraculously make it back for the finals do the have a chance. Beating Montreal, Boston or Philly is one thing, but they're not going to beat any of the Western teams without him. Sad but true.

Steve said...

Just in:

According to this; the tendon severed -- that goes to Staal's toe -- isn't as severe and he could be back for the 3rd round even.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Actually, it's Corey Hart whom is known to wear his sunglasses at night. Kevin must be his brother or cousin or something.

This is a big loss for the buccos as the major league starting rotation has been a disaster so far this year. Only Hart & Brad Lincoln appear(ed) ready or even possible to be called up this year and help.