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Empty Netter Assists - 04-12-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"I expect it to be a Philly-Pittsburgh game regardless of the circumstances of the schedule, the game it is, and what position we're both in or not in in the playoff picture." - Dan Bylsma on facing the Flyers today.

-When will Evgeni Malkin (above) return?

-The Penguins recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. In 11 NHL games this season, Zolnierczyk has scored two goals.

-Who has drawn the most penalties for the Penguins this season?

-Beau Bennett and Robert paid a visit to some victims of Wednesday's stabbing attack at Franklin Regional High School:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Matt Niskanen speaks:

-Tomas Vokoun made 23 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-2 shootout win against the Syracuse Crunch. Anton Zlobin and Spencer Machacek scored in the shootout for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Chuck Kobasew scored each of the Penguins' regulation goals while teammate Brian Dumoulin recorded two assists.

-Highlights:

-“Physically, I feel good. Hopefully, all those (health) issues have been addressed and resolved. I didn’t feel great playing-wise, but that’s a whole-other story. You’re not as confident as you would normally be. As the game went on, I felt a little bit better.’’ - Vokoun on playing his first game of consequence since June.

-Dumoulin left the game in the third period due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Eric Hartzell made 33 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones. Tom Kuhnhackl, Denver Manderson and Derek Army each had a goal and an assist for Wheeling.

-Penguins defensive prospect Derrick Pouliot, currently a member of the WHL's Portland Winterhawks, injured Victoria Royals defenseman Joe Hicketts with a punch during a line brawl during a playoff game Thursday:

(+1 to EN reader Rob Luther for the heads up.)

-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward Krzysztof Oliwa. Acquired midway through the 2000-01 season in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Blue Jackets, "The Polish Hammer" spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 2000-01 by appearing in 26 games for the Penguins and scoring three points while accumulating a massive 131 penalty minutes. In five postseason games that spring, he failed to record a poitn and netted 16 penalty minutes. During 2001-02, he played in 58 games, recorded two assists and accumulated a team-leading 150 penalty minutes. During the 2002 offseason, he was traded to the Rangers in exchange for a draft pick. One of eight natives of Poland to play in the NHL, Oliwa appeared in 83 games for the Penguins, scored five points and recorded 281 penalty minutes.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins forward Kent Manderville. Acquired at the 2002 trade deadline in a deal which sent Billy Tibbetts to the Flyers, Manderville spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 2001-02 by playing in four games for the Penguins and scoring one goal. In 2002-03, Manderville played in all 82 game and scored seven points. He retired following the season. In 86 games for the Penguins, Manderville scored eight points.

-After the Jump: The NHL gets a new discipline czar.

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Jane Fonda now in movie mix for "Fathers and Daughters"

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

janefondaosAmanda Seyfried and Aaron Paul are gone but Jane Fonda and Bruce Greenwood are here or due for their roles in “Fathers and Daughters,” the Russell Crowe movie shooting in Pittsburgh.

The cast is pretty spectacular, with Octavia Spencer, Diane Kruger and Quvenzhane Wallis also part of the story of the troubled relationship between widowed father and daughter.

Crowe plays a prize-winning novelist left to raise his young daughter alone after a fatal car accident. The narrative toggles between the 1980s and present day.

Gabriele Muccino, a native of Rome, Italy, is directing the screenplay by Brad Desch. Muccino also directed “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith.

Photo of Jane Fonda from 2013 Oscars. By Matt Petit, A.M.P.A.S. 

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Drawing power - 04-11-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

For a team with the league's best power play at 23.7 percent, drawing penalties is important to the Penguins.

Who has been the best at drawing penalties for the Penguins this season? Not surprising, a few all-stars are the top of the list. Somewhat surprisingly, a few journeymen are among their peers on a per-game basis.

Here's a look at every skater who has appeared in a least one game for the Penguins this season and how many penalties they have drawn:

Player, position Games
Played
Penalties
Drawn
Penalties Drawn
Per Game
Harry Zolniercyzk, LW 11 8 0.77
Evgeni Malkin, C 60 36 0.60
Sidney Crosby, C 79 32 0.41
James Neal, LW 57 22 0.39
Tanner Glass, RW 65 22 0.34
Brian Gibbons, C 39 13 0.33
Robert Bortuzzo, D 53 17 0.32
Kris Letang, D 35 10 0.29
Chris Kunitz, LW 77 20 0.26
Joe Vitale, C 53 13 0.25
Brandon Sutter, C 80 18 0.23
Deryk Engelland, D 55 12 0.22
Lee Stempniak, RW 19 4 0.21
Simon Despres, D 33 7 0.21
Jayson Megna, C 34 7 0.21
Chuck Kobasew, W 32 6 0.19
Pascal Dupuis, RW 39 7 0.18
Brian Dumoulin 6 1 0.17
Marcel Goc, C 12 2 0.17
Beau Bennett, RW 19 3 0.16
Olli Maatta 76 11 0.14
Brooks Orpik, D 71 10 0.14
Jussi Jokinen, LW 79 11 0.14
Craig Adams, RW 80 11 0.14
Matt D’Agostini, RW 8 1 0.13
Andrew Ebbett, C 9 1 0.11
Chris Conner, RW 19 2 0.11
Paul Martin, D 37 4 0.11
Zach Sill, C 20 2 0.10
Matt Niskanen, D 80 8 0.10
Rob Scuderi 51 4 0.08
Taylor Pyatt, C 33 2 0.06
Nick Drazenovic, C 1 0 0.00
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond 1 0 0.00
Adam Payerl, C 2 0 0.00
Philip Samuelsson, D 5 0 0.00
Dustin Jeffrey, C 10 0 0.00

Note: The total number of penalties drawn are via the Extra Skater Web site.

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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Arizona recruit Matijevic off to blazing start ..... Roundball tomorrow ..... other notes

Written by Mike White on .

Norwin baseball player J.J Matijevic had a pretty lofty reputation entering the season. That comes when you sign with the University of Arizona.

But Matijevic has only enhanced that reputation this season.

The kid with two initials for his first name has become synonymous with two other letters. It's J.J. for HR.

Matijevic has hit a home run in five consecutive games. Norwin has played only six games. He did not hit a home run in the season opener against Penn Hills. But he hit one against Valley, two against North Allegheny, one against Albert Gallatin and one against Connellsville. Matijevic, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior shortstop, has six home runs and 20 RBIs.

"We've had some good hitters here, but hands down he is the best one we've ever had," said Norwin coach Mike Liebdzinski. "Our single-season record at Norwin for home runs is seven. He's one behind in the first six games."

Matijevic has helped Norwin to a 5-1 record.

"He has a ton of power, and the home run he hit against Valley was the farthest home run I've seen hit live on any level," Liebdzinski said. "I don't get down to many Pirate games, but that would've been way out in any ballpark in the country. He has power that most people his age don't have."

Matijevic might be a first baseman at the University of Arizona.

"That's if he gets there," Liebdzinski said. "We've had anywhere from three to seven [major-league] scouts at our games."

McKay's impressive stats

Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay is putting together statistics that are unheard of in the WPIAL.

McKay, a senior left-hander, now has a 37-inning scoreless streak going back to last year. No one has WPIAL records for the longest scoreless streak. But I've been covering WPIAL sports for more than three decades and there certainly haven't been many - if any - Brendan McKayto put together such a streak.

But what's hard to believe is that McKay had a similar streak as a sophomore. He went 35 consecutive innings without giving up a run as a 10th grader. In case you didn't realize a 37-inning scoreless streak is more than five high school games.

A few more scoreless games and McKay will be approaching national marks. According to the National Federation of High School Associations, a 52-inning scoreless streak will put McKay in the top 10 all time.

But McKay has a ways to go to reach the national record. In 1973, Joey Porter of South Natchez-Adams High in Natchez, Miss., had an 80-inning scoreless streak.

About 20 major-league scouts were on hand when McKay pitched a no-hitter Wednesday against West Allegheny.

"I hate to say it, but he really wasn't even at his best," said Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia. "He hadn't pitched in 10 days. He was only hitting 86 or 87 and he just wasn't at his best. It was still pretty good, though."

Amalia said the attention from major-league scouts is getting "crazy."

In case you are interested in seeing McKay pitch, Amalia said he is tentatively scheduled to pitch Monday at home against Ambridge. Check back here on the "Varsity Blog" Monday morning and I will give an update on whether McKay is going to pitch.

Son of Fedko shines

There is now a Fedko zone at Vincentian baseball games.

It's at shortstop. That's where Christian Fedko resides.

Christian Fedko, son of the sportscaster, is starting at shortstop for Vincentian. Although Christian is only a freshman, he is one of the team's top hitters with a .455 average. Vincentian is 6-0.

I wonder if we'll see a chopper over Vincentian games now. 

Rounball Classic tomorrow

The stars will come out tomorrow at Geneva College. That's when the Roundball Classic will be played.

The Roundball is an annual all-star basketball event run by Allen Deep. It is now four games with the top seniors in the WPIAL, City League and a few surrounding districts. 

Deep is touting this as possibly the most talent he has assembled for the boys and girls games. A total of 20 all-state players from Western Pennsylvania will be included. The two girls games are at 2 and 4, and the two boys games at 6 and 8. Tickets are available at the door.

All of the seniors on the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 teams will play. That includes New Castle's Malik Hooker, Hampton's Ryan Luther and Obama's D.J. Porter on the boys side, and Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias and Seton-LaSalle's Yacine Diop on the girls side.

I've been to the Roundball. The games, at least on the boys side, are usually high scoring. It's a little like the NBA All-Star game. Defense is foreign to a lot of the guys. But if you like offense, then check out the games.

Lincoln Park's Elijah Minnie is one of the players in the game. He is visiting Robert Morris.

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This weekend in Pittsburgh style+society: Affordable fashions and galas galore

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

If you're still sprucing up your spring wardrobe, you're in luck. There are opportunities for shopping designer fashions and discounted prices. 

Learn more about where, how and when in this week's Setting the SEEN. As always, I'm joined by SEEN editor Natalie Bencivenga, who shares the latest on this weekend's hot parties.

Find out where to be (and what to wear) by watching the video below -- and, until next time, we'll be seeing you!

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