Big Lead Sports Bar



Today's headlines: Pens-Habs Game Seven, Pirates one-hit by Reds, two Pittsburghers on Maxim Hot 100 list, Sweed out for year, legal update on James Harrison's Mom, Steelers at Raw, RMU's new coach, Top 10 speed traps in Pittsburgh, and much, much, much more:

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens go into a deciding Game Seven on Wednesday night at the Igloo, and emotions are running high.

Talk shows, blogs, and message boards were dominated by discussions of potential Penguin lineup changes, as some are lobbying for the Game Seven experience of the dust-collecting Ruslan Fedotenko or the big-bodied Alexi Ponikarovsky, while others say it's time to sit the burn-marked Alex Goligoski.

To top it off, we've been fully briefed with the Pens' historical results from similar contests, thanks to Joe Starkey, who will host several of these notorious Penguin-killers on his show on Wednesday (to "exorcise" them, it's worth adding). 

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day on Wednesday. But feel free to offer up any early predictions in the comments section. As for yours truly, I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm not happy they're in a Game Seven, but if there's one person I'd want on my side for this game, it's #87.

WWE Raw was at Mellon Arena on Monday night, and as this screen shot illustrates, a few Steelers had primo seats for the final wrestling event at the arena (click on the photo for a larger view of Willie Colon, et al). [photo via reader Tom]

The Cincinnati Reds crushed the Pirates 9-0 on Tuesday night at PNC Park, with Ronny Cedeno providing the lone Pirate hit, a third-inning single. The Bucs have been outscored 22-5 in their last three games, so I guess they stink again.

Johnny Cueto silenced the Pirate bats, with eight strikeouts in his nine-inning masterpiece. Jay Bruce had three hits and three RBI for the Reds, who also got three hits from Chris Heisey.

Charlie Morton ran his record to 1-6 for Pittsburgh, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in six innings. On the bright side, he did lower his ERA below 10.

The two teams lock horns again on Wednesday at 12:35, as the Reds try to flee town with a three-game sweep. It's the appropriately-named Homer Bailey and his 7.24 ERA dueling with Zach Duke (5.13, 2-3) for the Bucs. [ESPN]

Andrew Toole, all of 29 years old, was hired as Mike Rice's replacement as the head basketball coach at Robert Morris.

The school's associate coach for three seasons, Toole was the only candidate interviewed for the position. Considering how long Rice has been flirting with other jobs, I have an inkling that the school had Toole tabbed as the successor some time ago. It's not like Rice moving on caught people off-guard. [KDKA Sports Insider]

Mark Madden says "If you like hockey to be fast, exciting and skillful, root against Montreal." That's as good a reason as any. [WXDX/Mark Madden]

And Rob Rossi has made his prediction official: 4-2, Pens win, Pens win. [Chipped Ice Blog]

USC, Miami, Pittsburgh and Florida State produced the most fertile NFL draft pipelines over the past three decades, according  to a recent ESPN survey of NFL drafts from 1979-2009.

ESPN is further breaking down the schools bracket-style, and Pitt beat Nebraska in the first round. They are being carried by HOFers Dan Marino, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, and future HOFers Larry Fitzgerald, Curtis Martin, and Darrelle Revis. Penn State was ninth, for those of you who care. [ESPN]

WR Limas Sweed will officially miss the entire 2010 season as he was placed on IR today by the Steelers with a ruptured Achilles tendon. 

To take his spot on the roster, the team signed WR Isaiah Williams, a 2009 undrafted rookie who was released by Baltimore before last season. And if anyone buys a custom Williams jersey, I promise to post your photo on the site (that's an inside joke for the long-timers of MH). [PG]

The Cincinnati Bengals lead the NFL with 31 arrests since 2000, says info compiled by The San Diego Union Tribune that tracks every NFL arrest since then.

Minnesota trails by one with 30 while Denver, Jacksonville and Kansas City are tied for third with 25. The Steelers have had 16 arrests over that time span, with seven of the cases dropped. Pittsburgh's had nine since 2007, which is sixth-most in the league. [, San Diego Union Tribune]

James Harrison's mother, 62-year-old Mildred Harrison, pleaded no contest to a minor misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct following a brawl at a December 14 game-watching party in a VFW hall in Ohio (a 13-6 Browns win, it's worth noting).

One woman was quoted as saying of Harrison, "She had on her Super Bowl ring. I think that's what caught me in the side of the head."

She was ordered to pay $343 in fines and obey all laws for a year, but will probably avoid the wrath of Roger Goodell and the San Diego Union Tribune database. [WPXI]

Did Ray Shero get taken in the Ponikarovsky trade? A lot of people are asking, and Dave Molinari gives his answer. [PG]

Mellon Arena: Apartment Complex/Ice Rink? If nothing else, it's a pitch I haven't heard before. [PB and G] 

iJustine, proud alum of Bentworth HS whose shirt seems to have a problem staying up, landed at #97 on this year's Maxim Hot 100 list, joining Christina Aguilera as the only two female Yinzers on the list.

In case you're wondering, Sally Wiggin was #1 this year. [Kiss Morning Freak Show]

The Top 10 Speed Traps in Pittsburgh, a list long-hyped by Channel 11, is ready for viewing.

Word to the wise: you might want to keep off Route 28 in Harmar Twp. between exits 11 and 12. Either that, or drive about 5 MPH. [WPXI]

Keep the entries coming for our "Best Golf Trip Story" contest with Nemcolin Woodlands Resort. 

The winner receives Luxury accommodations for two nights at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, breakfast for two mornings, one round of golf for two on The Links, and one round of golf for two at Mystic Rock!

And to close...
I just received a "press release" from a longtime reader and Penguin fan that added, "If a player won't do it, I will."

Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins fan, Beej Gefsky, is guaranteeing a victory for Game 7 vs the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night (Wednesday May 12, 2010).  Much like Mark Messier did in 1992 (New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils, 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 6).  Gefsky, however, has no affiliation with the Pittsburgh Penguins other than he is a fan.  "I've been a fan since 84."  Gefsky was a season ticket holder until he moved to the West Coast but still follows them religiously.  "There's no doubt that the Pens will win this game."  Although Gefsky may think he's a fan, it has been brought to our attention that not only is Gefsky a terrible predictor of sporting events (he's been known to have said "I've never won a bet"), it has also come to our attention that he did not support the team from 1997 to 2000.  "It was a tough time for me... Mario retired.  I needed some space.  But then he came back... and so did I."  Gefsky's son, Hudson, born last March is said to be a good luck charm for the team.  Hudson is batting 100% lifetime when it comes to Penguin championships (1 for 1). "This year, we're gonna make it 2 for 2.  And Montreal ain't gonna stop us!"  

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Someone Somewhere said...

Damnit, I just read the Mark Madden article and sat through the extended '93 Game 7 replay against the Islanders. I think I just threw up in my mouth. Maybe I need to watch some Game 7 highlights from last years Cup final to wash that taste out of my mouth. Ugh, I just have a bad feeling about this one...

Steve said...

Nothing wrong with feeling bad about this one. I haven't seen one game yet this season where they've played 60 minutes of Stanley Cup Champion caliber hockey. Put it this way, if the Pens "hadn't" won the cup last year, they would have won this series in 5. The Pens have been playing just good enough to loose a lot more than they should have this season and odds are this game will be no exception.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I am predicting we jump out to a lead, even if the Habs scored first we answer quickly with 2, but it ends up close as Montreal converts 2 of their 8 PP in the 3rd pd., 4 of which are extended 5 on 3's.

JeremyT said...


You forgot about Sid getting hit in the face by Subban's stick, resulting in 17 stitches for Crosby and a four minute delay to scrape the trail of blood off of the ice. All of which results in a 2 minute minor penalty for diving.

Steve said...

Sadly Subban scores the game winner and as all of Montreal celebrates, the vibrations cause 14 more homes to be eaten by sinkholes.

okel dokel said...

I just read where Poni may play this evening.

Great! We do not more traffic in front of the net. However, Poni tends to create more traffic for Fleury and not Halak.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I also forgot the mention Scott Gomez will whiff on a breakaway with noone around and then shrug to the ref looking for a call.

Oh wait, that was last game.....

Maybe he will just fall anytime one of our players is near him and pander for a call then. Oh... that was the other 5 games in the series.

Tonight, we need Fleury to be better than Ha-luck. That and some physical defense may go along way in getting over these guys.

okel dokel said...


Being physical will be important IMO.

Steve said...

Fedetenko and more importantly Poni needs to play, so if the Pens lose, and they are ineffective again, Shero can hold some blame for once and any notions of bringing them back next season can be quickly dismissed. Same reason Goligoski needs to play. They need to live with the decision to keep starting him game after game this series instead of playing McKee all of a sudden when it counts and blaming him if they lose.

Basically, I want to see the team Shero and Bylsma thought was good enough before the post season started, get the job done for once.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I see your twisted logic.

The only thing about McKee is that he is so effing slow it looks like he is standing still half of the time.

But we need to "invest" early by finishing checks, using our bodies, and moving Halak laterally and screening him.