Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Little History Lesson

A rematch is upon us. Detroit was victorious over Chicago and now the Penguins await them in the Stanley Cup Finals. This marks the first time since the 1983-84 season when two teams have reached the Finals in back to back seasons. That would be when the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders met back to back. The Islanders swept the Oilers in the first meeting and then the Oilers came back the next year to capture the Stanley Cup in five games.

So, I decided to do a little research to find out how many times since the 1967 expansion that the same two teams have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in consecutive seasons. It has only happened three times since the league expanded from six teams. In 1968 and 1969 Montreal defeated St. Louis, in 1977 and 1978 Montreal defeated Boston, and in 1983 Edmonton fell to New York only to win in 1984. An interesting side note to all of this is that St. Louis advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three seasons in a row (1968, 1969 and 1970) only to lose every series.

The outcomes in those series however were interesting. In 1968 and 1969, Montreal swept St. Louis both seasons (Boston swept St. Louis in their third appearance as well). In 1977 Montreal swept Boston, but in 1978 Boston lost in six games. In 1983 New York swept Edomonton, but in 1984 Edmonton won in five over New York. So while it doesnt look good for the Penguins, keep in mind that the Penguins have been compared to Edmonton on several occasions, and they are an extremely talented team. St. Louis was pretty much destined to lose in their appearances since they had no experience and was forced to play a Montreal team that was in the midst of a dynasty (Montreal won in all five of their Stanley Cup appearances in the 1960's).

Another thing I wanted to look at was the number of teams that won Stanley Cups after sweeping their opponent in the Conference Finals. It has happened alot since 1967. This is misleading however, since most of the teams playing in the Finals were expansion teams against proven origional six teams and the fact that until 1982, every team that made the playoffs were seeded in a bracket, regardless of conference for the Stanley Cup playoffs. In 1982 the playoffs featured eight teams in each conference that played to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. So, since 1982 it has happend five times. In 1982, the Islanders swept Quebec in the Conf. Finals and then swept Vancouver for their third Stanley Cup. In 1983, Edmonton swept Chicago only to be swept by New York in the Cup Finals. In 1984, Edmonton swept Minnesota on their way to the Finals and then beat New York in five games for their first cup. In 1992, both Chicago and Pittsburgh swept their opponents in the Conf. finals and Pittsburgh swept Chicago on their way to a second Stanley Cup. And in 2003 Anaheim swept Minnesota only to lose in seven games to New Jersey for the Stanley Cup. While none of this has any bearing on this

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hey People

Hey Everyone who used to visit this site, I have a new site now. It's Please visit it and like it on facebook.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hey Kids!

So it's been a long time since anyone has posted anything on the blog so i figured what the hell why not post some stuff. So a few things have been going on recently in the news and sports and my personal world. Lets review...

1. The Pirates are just the worst ever. I can't say much else, my frustration with the organization is just billowing over into the realm of pure disgust. The only starters left from the beginning of the year are andy laroche, moss and doumit not counting pitchers. I'm annoyed with the whole situation and don't want to get into it any further.

2. I got promoted so I'm not with Hollister at South Hills Village anymore, so if I have any fun work stories they will come as Store Manager at Ross Park abercrombie kids. I already have had some interesting things happen none needing a story but I'm sure I'll have one soon enough. If you are ever in Ross Park mall come in and say hello.

3. Steelers season kicks off with pre season game one on Thursday. Who gives a shit about pre season? I know I don't. It's nice sometimes to see some of the guys who will never play a snap in a regular season game fighting for their jobs. Still, for the most part games are sloppy, boring, and risk the big name players on the team getting injured. The big story from training camp is obviously Big Ben's rape allegation. I just have a tough time believing that the QB of the reigning super bowl champs needs to rape someone to get some booty. Plus, did you see the chick? I'm not saying Ben is a stud, but he is a multi-millionaire QB of the best football team in the world. I think he could do better. So, we'll see how it all plays out. Regardless of pre-season or not, I'm just glad I have something to watch other than the Succo's.

4. OK so I am a member of the LA fitness that the fellow decided to shoot up. It literally is a minute up the road from my house. I have been going for a year or so and I was going 3 or 4 times a week up until I got my promotion to Ross Park. It has been hard to get into the gym when I have to drive 45 minutes there, work 9 hours and drive all the way back home. So, luckily I had just worked a 9 hour day and drove 45 minutes home so I was not about to go to the gym that night. A few friends from high school however were there. One of them was one who got shot in the knee, the other 2 got out of the class safely. So I wish Melina a speedy recovery, and I'm glad Jen and Lisa got out safe. My dad who is a paramedic and volunteer fireman was at the scene as a staging manager directing all of the emergency response vehicles and keeping things organized, he also was at the Fire Department after he left the scene helping families who didn't know if their relatives were involved. He and all the other police, paramedics and emergency responders and doctors and nurses at the hospitals should always be treated with a great deal of respect as they dedicate their lives to helping others and making the world around us a little more safe. It's a pretty screwed up world sometimes. It seems like things like this are just the most horrible thing that can happen, innocent people being shot is just awful. With how many crazy people there are in the world, I'm just glad stuff like this doesn't happen more often. It's just surreal to have it happen to people you know at a place you go to every week right up the road from your house.

So, that's what is going on in the world today. Sorry to leave on a such a depressing note but I have to get ready for my 45 minute trek to work. Until next time bitches.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pirates Trades Analysis!

A long time ago, this blog was updated frequently with all your up to date Pittsburgh sports news. Sadly, everyone who has written for this blog has died.

Anyway, The Pirates traded Eric Hinske for two 24 year old bums. This is just a guess but if you're 24 and still in Single A ball, you'll probably never make the majors. Not that this really bugs me. Hinske doesn't need to be here. He didn't really contribute and the team isn't going anywhere. Why not take a chance on two prospects. You never know. We could get lucky.

I like the Morgan for Milledge trade. We need power and its possible Morgan is just a flash in the pan. Although I did like his attitude and work ethic, that hasn't lead to winning games as a team. For the other half of the trade, Burnett had been doing a pretty good job out of the bullpen. Let's hope Joel Hanrahan ca get his stuff together.

That's it. Go Bucs!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Penguin time!

Hey Everybody! It's been quite awhile since I posted a blog. So the pens are down 3-2 in the finals. Well at least I called that they were going to repeat as east champs back before the season started. Don't believe me? Check out my blog from said beginning of the season

Well, we stand in the same place as last year. Tonight is it ladies and gents. The season is over if we don't pull this game out. The Pens have looked better then last year minus of course the game 5 melee'. I will be pretty upset if the pens don't at least take it to game 7. I'm even more pissed because hoessa might look like a soothsayer by going to Detroit to win the cup and that makes me physically ill. Why i'll be more upset that Hossa actually wins the cup is that the Pens are going to be good for at least 5 more years. Detoit is on it's last legs as a good bulk of thier team is old or underpaid and going to be looking to get out of there via retirement or free agency. It's the Dallas Cowboy method. Have people come to your team and take a paycut to win a championship. Then when they get old or thier contracts run out. They will go to a place that will pay them. So I have a good feeling that we will get a few cups in the upcoming years if not this year so I'm not too concerned about not getting to see a cup come to the burgh soon.

If and hopefully when the Pens do win tonight it will be a one game playoff back at "The Joe." This means it could come down to one game kids, basicly a super bowl of hockey, which is too exciting to put in to words. But even before that, tonight it's win or go home for our beloved Pens. Placed in this position my only concern is Fleury. He had just a horrid game 5 and he has proven throughout his career to be a little bit of a head case and get rattled if he lets a soft goal in. Keep an eye on his play in game 6. I think if he keeps it together we will see the Wings back in Detroit.

So, I know you are wondering to yourself after knowing my history with correct predictions (Whitney getting traded, picking up Kunitz and Guerin as wingers for Sid, Pens as east champs again, needing and getting a players coach like a Bob Johnson, and even changing style of play to suit the team. All of which I predicted before the events occured). "Steve, what do you think will happen in these last 2 games?" Pens win tonight 3-1 and game 7 goes into overtime and crosby nets the OT winner thus shutting up every person who hates on him for no reason. How you like them apples? Do I really believe this will actually happen, i'm not sure. If it does I will shit in my pants... Seriously. That's it for now kids!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pens Pounded in Detroit

Game five didn't exactly go the way we had all planned. Actually it was enough to make any of us vomit. It was a horrible game for our Pittsburgh Penguins. I could go on and on about it, but I'm not. Fact is they got dominated by the Red Wings. If the Pens want to win the Cup, they have to win two straight, which they have done already on two occasions this playoff year (against the Capitals and against the Red Wings). It can be done. Fact is niether team has played well enough on the road to really win a game. You have to think the Penguins would have won game one or two the way they played in those games. But they didn't. They did win games three and four against a Red Wings team that looked tired and worn out. The Pens looked tired and worn out in game 5. Two days off will give the teams a chance to regroup. I suspect the Pens will win game six and we'll be going back to Detroit for a game seven.

Also remember back in game four near the end of the game when Kirk Maltby took a whack at the back of Sidney Crosby's leg and it wasn't called? That was a real classy move by Maltby, a four time cup champion. So now some moron that writes for the Denver Post has totally begun ripping on the Penguins calling them the Utah Jazz/Phoenix Suns of the NHL. What? Really? He also talked about how classless it was for the Pens to take the dumb penaltys in the game last night against the Red Wings. Hmmmm. So it's ok if a Red Wing player whacks at our star player and its not considered to be classless, but when the shoe is on the other foot,we are all of a sudden put down on the same level as the Flyers? This guy must be an idiot (LINK).

This team is very young. rosby and Malkin have a lot of good years ahead of them. For someone to say that the Pens are the Jazz/Suns of the NHL, must not have a clue what they are talking about. Besides, how can you compare the NHL to the NBA anyhow? They are two totally different games that require two totally different attitudes and psyche to play in. I don't watch alot of the NBA, but I can tell you one thing is that to play in the NHL it takes a special person, especially in the playoffs. The stuff these players go through to win the Stanley Cup is what makes it the greatest trophy in sports.

Also I really hope that the NHL takes the opportunity to rid itself of NBC's horrible coverage when their contract ends, which isn't until 2011. ESPN really needs to get hockey back because right now NBC is horrible. I think Pierre Mcguire may be the worst person I have to listen to during a game. Edzo and Doc compliment each other well, but I can't stand Edzo anymore. He was great in Pittsburgh, but I don't know what happened to him that makes him so bad now. All of the analysts with the exception of Darren Pang, who does a solid job dating back to his ESPN days and even Mike Milbury a little bit, but not often, Are horrible. I don't care for Versus much, but they are way better than NBC and they don't have nearly the population watching them that NBC does.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pens Down 2-0 In Finals

While it doesn't look good for the Penguins in the 2009 edition of the Stanley Cup Finals, don't fret. Even though Detroit looks unstoppable, they have simply been getting the bounces. Compared to last year, the Penguins look much better. In fact, even though the Penguins are down in the series, I still like them in Pittsburgh for games 3 and 4. Here are some things the Pens need to do to win and get back into the series.
  • Fleury needs to step it up. While in game one, there were two flukey goals scored against him, he still played well. In game two it was the same story, except he gave up a bad goal to let the wings go up 3-1. Fleury simply needs to get some confidence back.
  • The Pens need to play a little better defense. They are playing solid defense, but at times Detroit gets some chances and with their experience and skill, that can't happen.
  • The hockey gods need to give the Pens some bounces. All of the bounces have seem to gone Detroits way. At some point that changes because it just doesn't happen for an entire series.

Also it has come to my attention that 41 of the last 44 times a team has taken a 2-0 series lead in the stanley cup finals, they have gone on to win the cup. The three times a team has blown a 2-0 series lead in the finals and lost were...

1942: Toronto vs. Detroit...Detroit actually won the first three games and then Toronto came storming back to win four straight and the series.

1966: Montreal vs. Detroit...Detroit won the first two and then Montreal won the next four to win the cup.

1971: Chicago vs. Montreal...Chicago took a 2-0 series lead and then Montreal came back to win the series in seven games.

Perhaps Detroit is due for a collapse? We'll see. But don't lose hope Penguins fans. Pittsburgh is clearly just as good as Detroit, they just need to find a way to get some goals and coming home to Pittsburgh is just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stanley Cup Finals Preview

So here it is. What we have been waiting for all season long. Not just a trip back to the Stanley Cup Finals, but a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings and Benedict Hossa. The Pens will be seeking revenge while Detroit will try to stamp their place in history among some of the great dynasty's in the history of the game. Here is my preview....shall we?

It would be really easy to look at last years series and say that the Pens didnt show up for game 1 or 2, which would be a true statement, but the fact of the matter is that regardless of whether or not the Penguins would have shown up for game 1 or 2 wouldn't have mattered. Detroit was the superior team. They would have won no matter what based on experience. Last season was an experienced, talented Detroit squad making it's fifth appearance in the finals in a 12 season span, which under todays standards is impressive, compared to a talented, inexperienced Penguins team making its first appearance. No matter how much you think that if the Pens showed up for game 1 or 2, they werent gonna beat the Red Wings. It has taken me one year to realize that, but fact is you can't beat experience. Now the Pens have experience and it will mean a huge difference. This time around things will be different.

You still have to give the Red Wings and advantage in the experience department, since they are the defending champions and they know what it takes. Like I said above, the Pens finally know what it takes and I think that they will be better prepared for the Finals this time around. Still I think Detroit has an edge having been through these battles before.

Offensively its a tough decision too, but the Penguins have the edge. It's hard to go against Crosby and Malkin. Detroit has Zetterberg, Hossa, Datsyuk and Franzen, but the way Geno and Sid have been playing lately, compared to a bruised up Detroit team, its an advantage for the Penguins. Nobody even knows if Datsuyk will play since he has missed the last few games. Somthing is obviously wrong with him and I doubt he plays if he doesnt think he can be a factor.

Defensively I give Detroit the edge. They have an experienced group compared to the Penguins. Lidstrom is the anchor and if the Pens can beat him down playing a physical game, they increase their chances. The entire unit however has to feel the pain in order for the Pens to win the series. This also applys to the forwards of the Red Wings. The more physical you play against them, the better off you are.

Goaltending is what wins you Stanley Cups. Detroit should have the edge with Osgood, but I really feel like he has shown some weaknesses this post season. The Pens have faced some tough goalies this season in Varlamov and Ward, but Osgood is a Stanley Cup winner. Until Fleury can defeat him, Osgood will be the top dog. I still feel like Fleury is the x-factor. Advantage goes to the Penguins since they have faced some tough goalies this post season. Fleury will still have to play out of his mind in the Finals though for the Pens to have a shot at winning.

Overall I feel like the Penguins have a little bit of an edge. The schedule favors them since they are healthy and Detroit is a little banged up. Starting the series with back to back games in Detroit is a huge plus and will allow the Pens to either rebound quickly if they lose game one or to take a somewhat commanding lead heading back to Pittsburgh for game three if they win the first two. But that theory works both ways too. Still, the Penguins know what to expect and are more focused coming into the Finals this year compared to last year.

My prediction: I really like the Penguins chances this season. Detroit is hurting, Pittsburgh is healthy and they have last years series loss on their minds. It will still be a very tough series, but in the end Penguins win. Penguins in 6.

Some quick trivia...

  • The St. Louis Blues are the only team to appear in three straight Stanley Cup Finals and lose each one, being swept in each series (Montreal in 1968 and 1969, Boston in 1970).

  • Since 1967, only three times have the same two teams met in the Stanley Cup Finals (1968 and 1969 Montreal over St. Louis, 1977 and 1978 Montreal over Boston and in 1983 NY Islanders over Edmonton and 1984 Edmonton over NY Islanders).

  • No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 (swept Flyers) and 1998 (swept Capitals).

  • No team has lost back to back Finals since the Boston Bruins in 1977 and 1978.

Also I wanted to do a quick comparison to the 1983 and 1984 Stanley Cup Finals between Edmonton and New York, since the comparisons between the Oilers and Penguins are constantly being made. In 1983, the Oilers were completely dominated in the series being shut out in game one and losing by three goals (6-3) in game two. They then lost game three (5-2) and game four (4-1) to be swept by the New York Islanders, which had just won their fourth straight Stanley Cup. In 1984 however, it was a different story. Edmonton squeezed out a win in game one (1-0) before being embarrassed by the Islanders in game two (6-1). At that point many thought the Islanders would go on to win the Stanley Cup, but Edmonton would win the remaining games by impressive scores of 7-2 in game three and four and eventually closing out the series in the fifth game (5-2). Although the Penguins won two games the basic point is that one year can make a huge difference, especially when it boils down to a young team that is learning what it takes to win. Hopefully the Penguins have learned what it takes and they can win it all this year.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Conference Finals Preview

With the conclusion of some exciting game seven's played last night, it is now time to move on the the conference finals. Here is my preview of the two (West and East).

Western Confernce Finals
Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
This is an interesting matchup and should be exciting. Hockey in Chicago has been revived thanks to ownership that actually cares now and a solid young group of players. Detroit won four of the six games played between the two this season, including the outdoor game played at Wrigley Field on New Years Day. This is really a tough series to predict. The Red Wings are the defending Stanley Cup champions and the Blackhawks are an up and coming team. Detroit knows what it takes, while Chicago may be getting another lesson in what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. Chicago has the goaltending edge over Detroit for the simple fact that Chris Osgood has been inconsistent and Nikolai (I don't know how to spell his last name) has been playing outstanding so far. Chicago is very talented on the blueline (Brian Campbell) and have three outstanding young forwards (Kane, Toews and Sharp). But Detroit has experience and that could be the x-factor. We all know about them. My pick is Detroit in six.
This is the first time Detroit and Chicago have met in a playoff series since the 1995 Western Conference Finals. Detroit won the series.

Eastern Conference Finals
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Honestly, who would have thought in January or even February that the Pens would be in the Conference Finals? Not too many. But this team is resilient. They have rebounded from so much this season and in the playoffs too. The overall edge goes to the Penguins, because, lets face it, how do you go against Sidney Crosby when he is playing so well? He seems to really be motivated from last seasons loss in the Cup finals. The edge in goaltending has to go to Carolina. Cam Ward already has one Cup and a Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP). Overall I really feel the Penguins are a better team, but Cam Ward is the one man that could change that. Expect a simliar performance like the one Varlamov had in the 2nd round against the Penguins. If Gonchar is healthy that is a plus and of course the Stall brothers will be fun to watch too. It should be a good series. My pick is Penguins in 6.
Carolina is actually the Hartford Whalers. The team moved from Hartford following the 1996-97 season to Carolina. The two teams have never met in the playoffs before.

So there it is. Also on another side note, all games can be watched on the big screen outside Mellon Arena since it doesn't appear NBC will have any games in the series.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pens Advance To Conference Finals!!!

What a series. What a matchup. Hockey fans couldn't have asked for anything better during the 7 games that the Capitals and Penguins played. The only thing that would have made this better, would have been if the series was the Stanley Cup Finals. Crosby and Ovechkin both showed why they are the two best players in the world. It was simply one of the best series in recent memory. Some are saying that it ranks with some of the best seven game series in hockey history.

Regardless, last night was a little anti-climatic. Pens and Caps fans probably thought going into game seven, that the game would be decided by one goal for sure, perhaps even an overtime or two. This series had every thing except for a blowout and a multiple OT game. We finally did get a little bit of everything. The better team prevailed in this series. The only reason it went seven games was because rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov stole some games and that was what made the difference in the series. If he isnt in net, this would have been a 5 game series easily, maybe even a sweep.

The play of the game last night however, was Fluery's stop of Ovechkin on a breakaway. If Ovie scores on that breakaway, I think we see a totally different game. I still think that the Pens were going to win, but maybe if that shot goes in, its a different game. Fluery made the big save when he needed to. The Pens now wait for the winner of the Boston/Carolina series.

Here is my prediction for tonights game sevens...
Boston/Carolina: Carolina had control of this series. They had a 3-1 series lead. Boston fought back to force a game seven. This doesnt look good for the Hurricanes. Boston is probably one of the best teams in hockey right now. They have a ton of depth. I think Carolina has a goaltending edge however in Cam Ward. The guy is amazing and already has one cup under his belt. But I think it is going to be a collapse for the Canes. Bruins win.
Anaheim/Detroit: Here is another great series. Both teams hate each other. Anaheim apparently is sick of Detroits ways, because at the end of Game 6, they started beating up on Detroits stars literally. This one could go either way. I think Detroit has the edge however. They are a very deep team and the defending champs. As much as I hate them and would love to see them eliminated, I just dont see it happening. Red Wings win.

One more thing.....
Phoenix filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is somthing that Penguins fans know all too well (Pens filed twice in their existence). It looks like the team may be moved but the NHL is saying they are behind the Phoenix area and want it to recover. My bet is the NHL allows the team to move. I think it would be better for everyone in this case. I hate to see it happen, but to me it is only a matter of time until the Coyotes leave town. The team would probably be relocated to Kansas City or to Canada. KC seems likely since they have a new arena in place and wanted the Pens very badly. If the team would move to Canada, its hard to say where it would go. I personally would like to see a team back in Quebec, but that is probably unlikely. Winnipeg I believe lost their team because they couldn't support the franchise. Hamilton seems likely or maybe Toronto could get a second team. I don't think that would be wise, but you can never be to sure until it happens. New York has two teams. Several other cities in other sports have two teams. Who knows.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jason Calls His Mom: Jason Does a Girl

My Newest Video, where I call my mom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You Had To Be There To Believe It - Pens Beat Flyers

Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wow. Thats all I can really say concerning Game 6 against the Flyers. I was a mess the entire day, since I had to work real late the night before. I opted to listen to Mike Lange and the Ol' Two-Niner, but the warm April sun was putting me to sleep, so I watched the game on NBC instead. From the time I left my radio to the time I got the TV warmed up, it was 2-0 Flyers. Ouch. Next thing I know it's 3-0 Flyers and as much as it pains me to say this, I thought the game and possibly the series was over. I couldn't believe it. But I should have kept telling myself that momentum changes in the blink of an eye. And it did. Max Talbot sucks Daniel Carcillo into a fight, which wasn't the time for the Flyers to be dropping the gloves. It recharges the Pens. Malkin drives to the net and all of a sudden you realize that hope is not lost. Fedotenko picks up the trash and it's a 3-1 game. I honestly think that the Flyers thought they had it won at that point however. Braydon Coburn knocks down Fedotenko for no reason at all right after the goal. Typical Flyers being dumb and tyring to be tough guys. All of a sudden the momentum changes. Momentum is what the Stanley Cup Playoffs are all about. Mark Eaton knocks one out of the air to make it 3-2. Then Crosby does the same thing after Biron juggles the puck. 3-3 hockey game. You just knew that all the Pens had to do was play mistake free hockey the rest of the way. Fleury was AMAZING in the 3rd period. Gonchar rips a slapper from downtown. 4-3 Pens. At that point you knew the Flyers were toast. Crosby gets the empty netter and seals a 5-3 win for the Pens and the series. What a comeback. Now we will await the next opponent for round 2. It should be pretty exciting from here on out.

Some real quick tidbits.....

  • How nice was it to not have to listen to Pierre Mcguire during the broadcast yesterday. Darren Pang was a blast from the past to the days of ESPN. Mcguire is a joke and I've lost all respect for him.

  • Fluery was MVP of the series without a doubt. He played out of his mind when he needed to and thats all you can ask.

  • Not sure what happened to Scuderi, but hopefully he can return to play the next round.

What a way to beat the Flyers. They had a 3-0 lead and then watched it fall apart faster than Donovan McNabb in the final two minutes of a super bowl. This could be a momentum changer for the Pens. Lets hope so. GO PENS!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Hockey Thoughts

Well....can I first say how much I love this time of year? Hockey has now moved into it's second season and it's getting warm outside. I LOVE THIS! This is the time of year when moments are made. Hockey fans will become so consumed with the game and their team, it will be like nothing else matters. Every shot will make you jump from your seat. Every save makes you breath a sigh of relief. Every win makes you more and more excited, while every loss makes you feel deflated. You will lose your voice cheering every goal. It truely is the most wonderful time of the year for a hockey fan. With that being said, I'd like to share some thoughts on the opening week of this playoff year.

Flying Into Philadelphia
The Penguins have a 2-0 series lead heading into the game tomorrow with the Flyers in Philly. Although last nights OT was the first playoff hockey I have gotten to see all season, I have listened when I can to Mike Lange and it really sounds like the Pens are simply out playing the Flyers. The OT last night also showed how undiciplined and stupid the Flyers can be. Here is my prediction: If Pittsburgh wins game 3 tomorrow and takes a 3-0 series lead, look for this series to get ugly. Philly will try and beat the snot out of the Pens and take as many cheap shots as possible. Keep you fingers crossed the Pens can get out without any major injuries. If Philly wins game 3, it's going to be a whole new ballgame. No series lead is safe until it is won. Even some of the best teams have blown 2-0 and even 3-0 series leads. I doubt that happens to the Pens, but momentum in hockey can change with one big goal, a huge save or a devastating body check.

Chicago Revival
How great is it to see the Blackhawks back in the playoffs. I think it was great to see them play so well this season and to have the city behind them again. Let's not forget that home games used to be blacked out in Chicago. It's nice to see an origional six team doing well again.

Big Screen Gone?
By now most know that the big screen will not show games broadcast by NBC. I will let you read what the Tribune-Review (here) and Pittsburgh Post Gazette (here) reported and what Channel 11 (here) had to say in response. Basically what it boils down to, is that NBC has poor ratings and doesn't want it to suffer anymore than it already has. It's too bad. I always wanted to go to a game and watch it outside. It's funny that this is all happening now. If it was such a big deal why didn't it happen before this playoff season? I guess thats the way the cookie crumbles. It just shows however that the hockey has a poor TV package and NBC has a shitty broadcast team. Mike Emerick is the only person I can stand to listen to during their games to begin with.

Comments On The Super Genius
I was listening to Mark Madden before the Pens game on my way to work the other night before game 2. Madden does offer solid insight to hockey and the Penguins, but i admit some nights I love him and some nights I don't. Madden was pretty good last night. One caller specific was asking about an update on Jaromir Jagr possibly coming back to the Pens (won't happen for future reference). Madden simply responded by saying "what? Didn't you hear? He's playing tonight!" First of all, Jagr is the farthest person from anyones mind right now, so why bring him up? Second, don't worry about it, cuz he ain't comin back to Pittsburgh. If he does return to the NHL it will be to the team that will pay him the most.