About the Hurricanes - 01-12-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Hurricanes.

When and where: 7 p.m., EST, Raleigh Sports and Entertainment Arena RBC Center PNC Arena.

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Carolina, TVA.

Record: 18-18-7, 43 points. The Hurricanes are in seventh place in the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division.

Leading Scorer: Defenseman Justin Faulk, 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists).

Last Game: 4-3 overtime road win against the Blue Jackets Saturday. Center Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes.

Last Game against the Penguins: 2-1 road win Dec. 19. Goaltender Cam Ward (right) made 37 saves for the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Center Eric Staal. He has 44 points in 43 career games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Hurricanes: Pro scout Jeff Daniels, general manager Ron Francis, Jordan Staal.

Ex-Hurricanes on the Penguins: Center Matt Cullen, defenseman Brian Dumoulin (Doumoulin was a former Hurricanes draft pick but never played for the organization), vice president of hockey operations Jason Karmanos, player development coach Mark Recchi, general manager Jim Rutherford.

Useless Hurricanes Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: The last team to score a power-play goal against the Penguins was the Hurricanes. They scored each of their goals Dec. 19 on the power play. Since then, the Penguins have killed 25 consecutive opposing power plays.

The last time the Penguins played the Hurricanes, this happened: 

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (15-11-3, 2.24 GAA, .928 SV%) for the Penguins. Cam Ward (13-11-4, 2.42 GAA, .905 SV%) for the Hurricanes.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Beau Bennett ("upper body") and Pascal Dupuis (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Hurricanes, center Victor Rask ("upper body") is probable. Left winger Phil Di Giuseppe (concussion) is out. Left winger Nathan Gerbe (ankle) and defenseman James Wisniewski (knee) are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins lines and pairings at today's morning skate were

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 39 David Perron
72 Patric Hornqvist - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 81 Phil Kessel
34 Tom Kuhnhackl - 13 Nick Bonino - 17 Bryan Rust
11 Kevin Porter - 7 Matt Cullen - 16 Eric Fehr

58 Kris Letang - 3 Olli Maatta
 Brian Dumoulin - 12 Ben Lovejoy
6 Trevor Daley - 28 Ian Cole

-According to the the team's Web site, the Hurricanes' lines and pairings at today's morning skate were:

32 Kris Versteeg - 12 Eric Staal - 16 Elias Lindholm
42 Joakim Nordstrom - 11 Jordan Staal - 15 Andrej Nestrasil
53 Jeff Skinner - 49 Victor Rask - 23 Brock McGinn
20 Riley Nash - 16 Jay McClement - 24 Brad Malone

26 John-Michael Liles - 27 Justin Faulk
74 Jaccob Slavin - 65 Rony Hainsey
5 Noah Hanifin - 54 Brett Pesce


-General manager Jim Rutherford still keeps tabs on his former team, the Hurricanes.

-Rask is expected to return to the lineup after missing two games due to injury.

-The referees are (No. 13) Dan O'Halloran and (No. 47) Trevor Hanson. The linesmen are (No. 89) Steve Miller and (No. 84) Tony Sericolo.

(Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Philip Glass, Tim Fain, Pittsburgh

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

In case you missed it: Philip Glass has written a couple of things since he was the composer-in-residence for the Pittsburgh Public Schools in the early 1960s. 

OK, so maybe he's done more than a few. And whattya know: For the first time on its main subscription series, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform a piece by Mr. Glass, the composer of "Einstein on the Beach" and one of the elder statesmen of American classical music.

7c66836b-220d-415c-830c-c836e3ab9cc8Philip Glass (left) and violinist Tim Fain. (Photo credit: Brian Hall)

On Sunday, I heard from a couple of people whose story was woven in with his.

First was the story of Louise Gray, the prudential schoolteacher I mentioned in the article, who rescued a Philip Glass manuscript from the trash. She wrote me this email:

"In October 2013, as I was reading Pittsburgh magazine, I came across an article by Rick Sebak about Philip Glass and his Pittsburgh connection. I taught music in the Pittsburgh Public Schools from 1979-2007. In the late 1980's, I was involved with the National Arts Education Research Center and was completing a project on contemporary music with my students. I was well aware of Mr. Glass and his work in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Public Schools offered a free Saturday program for students which provided at no cost private music lessons, theory classes, choral experiences, theatre, etc. This program was called the Centers for Musically Talented and was located at the old Peabody High School. I performed various tasks there but one of my very first jobs was to organize and maintain the music library. This was a room which housed all of the music and scores which the teachers would check out for use of their students.

"Since "the Centers" was at the mercy of Peabody as far as room assignments and storage, the music library was subject to frequent re-location. When I first entered the new music library room, it looked as if there had been a hurricane with papers, boxes, and music stands strewn everywhere. As I began to restore order to the room, I noticed a large round metal garbage container filled to capacity with yellowed sheet music, tattered scores, and rumpled manuscript papers. Something else caught my eye. It was a hand-written score for woodwind instruments by Philip Glass. I could not believe what I was seeing and quickly removed it from the trash. I was going to think on this one. I put the precious music in a Volkwein's folder, took it home, and then quickly forgot about it. Fast forward to Rick Sebak's article. After reading it, I recalled the retrieval of the Glass score but panic set in. We had purchased a fixer-upper home in Shadyside in 1988 and it was still in the process of getting 'fixed up.'

"Where did we put that we asked ourselves and fortunately it was quickly located. I shared my story with Pittsburgh Magazine and they printed a little blurb about it in a later issue. By that time, I made up mind to donate the music score, but I was undecided about where it should go. The University of Pittsburgh has a Center for American Music and probably would have welcomed the addition to their collection. The Carnegie Library has one of the largest music collections in the country and the score would add to it. After much thought, I donated it to the Carnegie Library since it has been such a great source of pleasure and education for me throughout my entire life. I also thought that if the score were placed at the library, a greater number of people would have access to it. So I am glad that I was able to preserve a piece of Pittsburgh music history and that the Glass score now has a respectful home. So now you know the whole story of the score that almost wasn't."

I love that story! Thank you very much to Ms. Gray for sending it along.

Owen Cantor, a French horn player turned dentist who lives in East Liberty, messaged me about what it was like to work with Mr. Glass as a student in the city schools:

"I was one of the young public school kids who worked with Phil when he lived in Pittsburgh. Both years! Looking back, how lucky I feel. I played horn in his Woodwind Quintet and also his Brass Sextet. We worked directly with Philip, often at his East Liberty loft [on Baum Boulevard, after he moved out of Shadyside], which he sublet from Robert Qualters, a legendary Pittsburgh painter. He also wrote orchestral and band music, and as a French horn player, I was always principal horn. He let me save my horn parts. I could probably find them somewhere in my house."

He continued:

"It was amazing to have Beethoven and Philip Glass equal partners in my earliest musical life. Maybe that's why I never had bias against 'new music'(?). When I was forming my life in music every period was equal.

"Also, Phil had the first electric eraser I ever laid eyes on. He'd compose, have us play, then take the parts back and erase what he didn't like."

As Mr. Cantor pointed out, Carnegie Mellon University's School of Music will produce the music/theater piece "Hydrogen Jukebox," with music by Mr. Glass and a libretto by the poet Allen Ginsberg, Jan. 21-24

Another couple of things worth noting:

  • Mr. Glass last year published a memoir, titled "Words Without Music."
  • As I briefly mentioned in the article, one of Mr. Glass' many collaborators was David Bowie, who died on Sunday and whose music informed his Symphonies No. 1 ("Low") and No. 4 ("Heroes"). The artists discussed their influences on each other in this video:

In Sunday's article, I didn't get a chance to delve deeply into the work of Mr. Glass' talented collaborator, Tim Fain, who will perform the solo on Glass' Violin Concerto No. 2 this weekend and who has taken on some interesting musical endeavors. For example, he worked with Google on a virtual reality music project, called "Resonance," for which he composed the music. "I was learning how to write music before I was learning how to write words, or at least simultaneously," he said. Working with Mr. Glass has informed his composition efforts to some extent. "It's been incredible working with him and talking with him about the way he writes," Mr. Fain said.

Addendum (posted 1/22): I received one more story from Philip Glass' Pittsburgh days. This comes from David Singer, who was a student in the city schools at the time. (Thanks to Mike Staresinic, Mr. Singer's former music student during the 1980s, who passed along Mr. Singer's story.)

"In 1965, I played clarinet in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, All-City High School Orchestra, representing Peabody High School. Distinctly remember the day we were given penciled copies of an orchestral composition that was difficult to follow and difficult to listen to at best. After a brief rehearsal of the piece, we were introduced to the composer, Philip Glass. At the time, Glass was a Ford Foundation composer in residence with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. For many of us, that moment represented a paradigm shift in the way we thought about music composition."

 Correction (1/22): Owen Cantor lives in East Liberty. A previous version of this post had an incorrect neighborhood. The post was also amended to clarify his title. 

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Directors Guild Award nominees announced -- plus emerging talent

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .


73rd Annual Golden Globe Aw.475
The Directors Guild of America announced its five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2015. In alphabetical order: 
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short” 
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Ridley Scott, “The Martian”
This is the fourth nomination for Inarritu and Scott and the first for the other three. The award also honors their teams. 
A new category recognizes emerging talent in a feature film. First announced by Steven Spielberg at last year’s awards, it was created to showcase the talent of the future. Those nominees: 
Fernando Coimbra, “A Wolf at the Door”
Joel Edgerton, “The Gift”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Marielle Heller, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”
Laszlo Nemes, “Son of Saul” 
In the above image released by NBC, Ridley Scott accepts the award for best motion picture comedy for “The Martian” at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)


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"I'm Just Sayin" ----- Penn Hills is on a roll ..... Blundo and New Castle .... Joe Namath the hooper

Written by Mike White on .

It's been a while since Varsity Blog has had a version of "I'm Just Sayin." So let's get to it.

"I'm Just Sayin ... "

It wouldn't be overstating things by saying there are eight to 10 boys basketball teams in Class AAAA who could make big waves in the playoffs. Heck, there might be eight to 10 that have a chance at getting to the final. It's that kind of year in Class AAAA. Parity is the word.

Latrobe undoubtedly deserves to be ranked No. 1. The Wildcats are undefeated and talented, especially at the guard spot. But they are far from a prohibitive favorite to go on and win the title. There is no overwhelming team or teams this year.

As for the rest of Class AAAA ... In case you haven't noticed, the team that is playing extremely well lately and pushed its way to being maybe a top 10 team is Penn Hills.

Penn Hills is 10-4, but is riding an eight-game winning streak into tonight's game against Woodland Hills. During the streak, the Indians have impressive victories against Plum, North Allegheny, McKeesport and Penn-Trafford.

Penn Hills is under first-year coach Dan DeRose, who came over from South Park. DeRose took over for Jim Rocco, who left Penn Hills to take the Penn-Trafford job. Penn Hills struggled some the past few years, but Rocco was playing many young players and thought the Indians would possibly be good in the future. Maybe the future is now.

Jermiah Ligon and Sherron Schifino are two Penn Hills players who have been primary reasons for the turnaround this season. The Indians are clicking offensively lately. They averaged 58 points in the first six games when they went 2-4. They have averaged 74 during the eight-game winning streak.

But Penn Hills better be careful tonight against Woodland Hills, a team that is 7-5 and has won five of six, including a big win against Franklin Regional Friday.

***** Let's talk a little about Class AAA basketball. Mars, New Castle and Beaver Falls are very good. But after those three, there is a big drop. Trying to find teams to rank 4 and 5 every week in Class AAA is not easy.

***** New Castle winning at Beaver Falls by 22 points last Friday was shocking. Not that New Castle won, but by 22? Don't worry. Beaver Falls will be back. But against good teams, Beaver Falls' guard play must improve.

***** This is no secret. But just to reiterate. New Castle coach Ralph Blundo (pictured) is one of the best around. Sure, it's nice to have athletic players like New Castle has. But how hard they play, how they run offensive sets and how they defend is so impressive. Blundo gets them to play this way. New Castle doesn't have a starter taller than 6 feet this year, but yet is undefeated.

Blundo is a former New Castle player. He was born to coach there. It's the perfect fit.

"I think they take pride in just putting on a jersey that says New Castle," said Blundo. "That's not coach speak. I believe that I think it shows when they play. Maybe that's an advantage I have that some other coaches don't."


***** What I saw in a girls game last week made me wonder if I had ever seen it before. You ever see a team score more than 20 points in a half, and every point came on a 3-pointer? That was the case with Pine-Richland when it scored 24 first-half points on eight 3-pointers against North Hills.


***** I love watching games at Beaver Falls' gym. One of the best places to watch a game. Old, but storied Joe Namath basketballgymnasium. On the walls at the top of the gym are pictures of some memorable Beaver Falls teams. Came across the one pictured to the left. It's the 1961 team. Recognize the kid in the middle, No. 24, holding the ball? None other than ...

Joe Namath.

Pro Football Hall of Fame QB also was a good hooper. Signed this team photo.

***** Stud football player Paris Ford has transferred from Seton-LaSalle to Steel Valley. That means Steel Valley will have two top-notch players on offense next year with Ford, a receiver, and running back DeWayne Murray. Murray made the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 this season and has more than 4,000 yards rushing in his career.

When contacted last night, Ford did not want to talk about his transfer. Damon Rosol, the football coach and AD at Seton-LaSalle, did not want to get into particulars but said Ford left for family reasons and some academic issues.

Did Ford leave for athletic intent? Rosol said absolutely not. Seton-LaSalle will sign off on the transfer. The WPIAL will look at it and then decide whether the transfer warrants a hearing.

Who really knows why Ford transferred. But it's his third school in three years. He attended Central Catholic as a freshman.  Three schools in three years makes you wonder.

***** Tonight marks the halfway point of section play in boys basketball. Four games match teams that are tied for first with undefeated section records - Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. Vincentian (at Avonworth), California at Monessen, Jeannette at Clairton and Greensburg Central Catholic at Shady Side Academy.

But there are a number of other good ones, such as: Mars at Hampton, North Hills at North Allegheny, Plum at Franklin Regional, Steel Valley at Ringgold, Mt. Lebanon at Upper St. Clair, Neshannock at Laurel and Seton-LaSalle at Vincentian.

***** Nice lady: The custodian at Beaver Falls that wanted to clean the gym after the New Castle game, but didn't make the sports writers leave before they were finished writing. Thanks. Believe me, other custodians are not as nice.


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Narduzzi comments on early enrollees

Written by Sam Werner on .

Pat Narduzzi welcomed them via Twitter last month, but Pitt just released an official welcome to the Panthers' three mid-year enrollees: defensive end Patrick Jones, running back Chawntez Moss and tight end Chris Clark.

Jones, listed at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, had 83 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a senior at Grassfield High School (Chesapeake, Va.). He's listed as a two-star recruit on Rivals, and his primary recruiter, per the release, was linebackers coach Rob Harley. It'll be interesting to see how he works into the rotation this spring, as Pitt was very thin at defensive end this season, but stands to gain a lot of depth as Dewayne Hendrix and Allen Edwards join the mix.

"Patrick is a big and athletic defensive end who runs very well," Narduzzi said in the statement. "He adds depth and competition to a position of need. Patrick is from a military family and that is reflected in his disciplined play as well as his character."

Here are his junior year highlights:

Moss (5-11, 195 lbs) rushed for nearly 3,000 yards over his career at Bedford (Ohio) High School. Rivals has him as a three-star recruit, and his primary recruiter was running backs coach/special teams coordinator Andre Powell. Moss also steps into an interesting position this spring. Pitt lost Chris James to a transfer, but returns Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall. You have to figure Rachid Ibrahim will be back in the mix, and while James Conner won't be a factor this spring as he undergoes chemotherapy, he could be back by next fall. I think a redshirt is probably likely, but you really never know with running backs. I would've said the same thing about Hall a year ago.

"Chawntez is an athletic back who we really liked when we initially watched him on tape," Narduzzi said. "We offered him a scholarship once we saw him in our camp. He was very impressive, not only in his testing and drill work but also his work ethic."

Here are some highlights from his senior season:

Clark, meanwhile, is joining Pitt as a transfer from UCLA. He played in the season-opener for the Bruins this year, but decided to transfer soon after. Pitt is still trying to apply for a waiver to get him eligible for this season, but the feeling inside the program is that it's a real long-shot and Clark will not play until 2017, according to a source. Listed at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Clark was a four-star recruit for Rivals in the class of 2015 out of Avon Old Farms (Conn.), and had a litany of high-level scholarship offers. Assuming he can't play until 2017, he'll actually fit in pretty well as a replacement for Scott Orndoff in an offense that figures to use the tight ends pretty heavily.

"I've known Chris for nearly three years, dating back to when I was at Michigan State and recruiting the northeast," Narduzzi said. "He is a very gifted athlete who we believe can make an immediate impact when he steps on the field. It is a real benefit that his position coach, Tim Salem, was also his primary recruiter."

Here are Clark's junior-year highlights from high school:

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