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| Jan 25, 2015 - 7:12 PM
My first piece here I hope you guys all enjoy and we can inspire some spurred conversation. This is something I worked on a few weeks back for steelcitypucks.
What could have been, oh my, what could have been? Much has been made of the Shero regime’s inability to look past defenseman at the top of the draft and the lack of the obtaining impact offensive talent up front in the draft during the tenure of Ray Shero as General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This has been talked about ad nauseam in the media, on sports talk radio, and in barroom discussion since 2008, always passing on the offensive talent to instead draft and develop defensemen and then use these defensemen as trade chips to bolster the big league club, as well as the top six talent pool coming forward.
The thing that happened was this never came to fruition, the Penguins always used draft capital in order to make trades, they didn’t move the defensemen that were being stock piled. While this has given us the current glut of NHL ready defensemen on the roster and in AHL limbo, look at what the Penguins have lost for basically nothing over the last four years, Ben Lovejoy, Brian Strait, Joe Morrow, Phillip Samuelsson, and Carl Sneep. While these players may not be a murderers’ row of NHL defensemen, at least a few of these guys are more than serviceable and all have at least logged NHL minutes.
The real problem comes from when you look at what could have been. The NHL draft usually has anywhere from a 50-75 percent success rate of where most first round draft picks play in the NHL at some point and most generational talents are identified earlier and drafted accordingly. If we look at what the Penguins have done and throw out any first round picks and look at what could have been its quite disheartening. Please take a minute and imagine a healthy roster that looked like this
David Perron – Sidney Crosby – Jamie Benn
Brandon Saad – Evgeni Malkin – Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz – Brandon Sutter – Wayne Simmonds
Jason Zucker – Jared Nolan – Steve Downie
Kris Letang – Jake Muzzin
Olli Maatta – Christian Ehroff
Robert Bortuzzo – Derrick Pouliot
Before anyone jumps to conclusions and starts complaining about the salary cap take a minute and look at these numbers. We are using the above noted players and their current salary cap,... [Read More]
Matt's STATS - Penguins scoring the first goal numbers -
I'd like to come out of my shell. I'm a TOTAL statistics geek/nerd. Thus, I keep my own personal statistics on the Penguins. Specifically, records and numbers when the team scores the first goal (since it's like all one hears on the Root Sports broadcasts out of Paul Steigerwald's mouth..... ). I'd like to share what I've compiled for games played through the All-Star Break.
Below details the Penguins' records when they score the first, second, and third+ goals of the game, for both home and road contests. I've broken down the records into home and road games, and Pittsburgh's record against each division.
For those interested, enjoy!
Note: All records are W-L-OT format (wins-losses-overtime losses).
Scoring first goal:
-At CONSOL Energy Center: 13-2-2
(10 wins are regulation, 3 are OT (2 OT & 1 SO)
-On the road 7-3-3.
(6 wins in regulation, 1 in OT)
Scoring first two goals:
-At CONSOL Energy Center: 8-1-0
(7 wins in regulation, 1 in OT)
-On the road: 6-1-1
Scoring first three+ goals:
-At CONSOL Energy Center: 4-0-0
-On the road: 5-0-0
Versus the divisions -
-First goal: 2-4-2; At CONSOL: 2-1-1; On road: 0-3-1
-First two goals: 0-1-0; At CONSOL: 0-0-0; On road: 0-1-0
-First three+ goals: 0-0-0
-First goal: 11-0-3; At CONSOL: 6-0-1; On road: 5-0-2
-First two goals: 8-0-1; At CONSOL: 4-0-0; On road: 4-0-1
-First three+ goals: 5-0-0; At CONSOL: 2-0-0; On road: 3-0-0
-First goal: 2-0-0; At CONSOL: 0-0-0; On road: 2-0-0
-First two goals: 3-1-0; At CONSOL: 1-1-0; On road: 2-0-0
-First three goals: 2-0-0; At CONSOL: 0-0-0; On road: 2-0-0
-First goal: 3-0-0; At CONSOL: 3-0-0; On road: 0-0-0
-First two... [Read More]
Pitt shouldn't panic, plenty of opportunities ahead -
The Pitt men's basketball team is coming off a 14-point blowout loss at Duke in its most recent outing. The loss sank Pitt's mark in the ACC to 3-3. Through its first six conference games, Pitt has demonstrated signs of inconsistency. It appears this team is still searching for something, quite possibly its identity. Panther fans do not know exactly what to expect night in and night out. However, what is known, is Pitt faces a daunting schedule over the next 4 weeks. Pitt will either play with its competition or fail. It's really that simple. Given the nature of this team and the program, I believe the Panthers are going to seize the opportunity at hand. There is too much at stake for Pitt not to. Pitt is used to playing a rigorous conference schedule. Go back to the old Big East days. This ACC is nothing new. The Panthers possess the experience, athletes, home court advantage, and the right leader to get the job done, and punch their ticket to March Madness.
Jamie Dixon will lead Pitt to an NCAA Tournament berth for the 11th time in 12 seasons as head coach. The media seems to disagree. Specifically, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PG) columnist and sports writer Ron Cook is in that boat. In a January 11 article, Cook states the Panthers do not possess “enough good players.” Really? Sophomore F Jamel Artis is coming off a career night, scoring 21 points, and has reached double figures in the past 3 ACC contests. PG columnist Paul Zeise points out Artis is embracing the scoring role. His abilities are blossoming for the Panthers, and leadership is ever apparent. Zeise writes, “Coach Jamie Dixon said Artis' slow transformation into the Panthers' top scoring threat has been an important development and a big reason they have an opportunity to make big strides offensively.” It's not just Artis who is making strides. F Michael Young has been a large contributor to Pittsburgh's rebounding. Young is average 7.6 rebounds per game. He further demonstrates exemplary versatility, both underneath and around the perimeter. At 6'9” Young is not a true “big man”. Thus, he possesses ability to shoot from the perimeter, creating match up issues for opposing guards. Young and Artis will be two key cogs in the Panthers' offense the rest of the way. The abilities these players have demonstrated will continue to guide the Panthers through ACC play. In addition, players such as Aron... [Read More]
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and rich history and since 1970, they have won more games than any other team. Throughout that history, many players have been identified by their numbers, like Mean Joe Green and #75, Terry Bradshaw and #12, Jack Lambert and #58 and Hines Ward with his #86. All of these guys have played critical roles in helping the Steelers win Super Bowl titles, but there are a lot of other jersey numbers that helped make the Steelers what they are today, the greatest franchise in NFL history. So without further adieu, here are some of the players, throughout franchise history, who have put on a Steelers jersey, starting with jersey numbers 00 through 9.
Johnny Clement played in 26 games for the Steelers between 1946 and 1948. In his three seasons with the Steelers, Clement was a multi-threat with the ball gaining 991 yards on the ground off of 239 carries and scored 7 touchdowns. Through the air, although not very efficient, he completed 86 passes on 228 attempts for 1,630 yards, 11 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. The only other player to wear 0, was Jack collins in 1962.
The Kicker who wore this number is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, South African, Gary Anderson. The Steelers signed him as a free agent for the 1982 season after he failed to catch on with the Buffalo Bills, and he went on to become the Steelers all-time leading scorer, with 1,343 points, during his 13 seasons with the team. While wearing the black and Gold, Anderson kicked 309 field goals on 395 attempts with a career long of 55 yards against San Diego on November 25, 1984. His 416 extra points are still a franchise record, as is his 420 extra point attempts.
Dennis Dixon was drafted by the Steelers out of Oregon as an intriguing Quarterback prospect in the mold of Kordell Stewart. Dixon played with the Steelers from 2008 thru 2011 and only saw action in 4 games. Dixon's lone start was a prime time start against the Baltimore Ravens where he came close to leading the Steelers to a victory. For his career with the Steelers, Dixon was 35 out of 59 for 402 yards and 1 touchdown with 2 interceptions. Other players who have worn number 2... [Read More]
Now that our offseason is officially underway and I have a little downtime, I felt like sharing some stuff that I've been keeping to myself for a while now. I'm one of those people who loves the what-ifs. I love simulating games on www.whatifsports.com and I love reading on www.alternatehistory.com. I find it fascinating to see what could have been and where people can take these kind of ideas and thoughts. Though a lot of them can get a little far-fetched, there are certainly ones that were so darn close to becoming a reality.... like this one. Hopefully you have a lot of time on your hands, as this is a big read. Enjoy the crazy ride though my alternate universe of the Steelers drafting Dan Marino.
The day is April 26, 1983 in New York City. It is day one of the 1983 NFL Draft, one that will go down is history as being one of the greatest draft classes in league history, especially when it comes to quarterbacks. John Clayton, a local sports journalist and Steelers beat-writer, is having a discussion with Steelers' Dan Rooney, one that they have every now and then. As they are talking, Clayton comes up with an idea: instead of drafting Gabriel "El Sacko" Rivera with the 21st pick, draft local golden boy Dan Marino with the pick and then trade up to the 26th pick to take Rivera, where he will still be waiting. Clayton finishes by saying "you will regret passing up on him." Dan likes the idea and takes it into the Steelers' war room, where it receives a good response. Then Chuck Noll asks a fateful question: "where did you come up with this idea?" Dan, who was "not thinking at the time", said it came from Clayton. That's when Noll, who was still mad at Clayton for the 1978 "Shouldergate", immediately dismisses the idea and locks in on his DT of the future, Gabriel Rivera.
So let's say Dan Rooney doesn't spill the beans and claims the idea for himself. Chuck Noll and the Steelers would ultimately select Pitt quarterback Dan Marino and then trade with the L.A. Raiders to get back into the first round, nabbing Noll's top player, Rivera. This would then leave the Steelers with at least four quarterbacks for the start of the season: Marino, Terry Bradshaw, Cliff Stoudt, and... [Read More]