About the Blue Jackets - 12-13-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Blue Jackets.

When and where: 7 p.m, EST, Nationwide Arena.

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Ohio.

Record: 11-15-2, 24 points. The Blue Jackets are in seventh place in the Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division.

Leading Scorer: Center Ryan Johansen (right), 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists).

Last Game: 3-2 overtime road win against the Capitals Thursday. Left winger Nick Foligno scored two goals for the Blue Jackets.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-3 home loss in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference first round playoff series April 28. Defenseman Fedor Tyutin had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets.

Blue Jackets Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Defenseman Jack Johnson. He had seven points in 6 postseason games against the Penguins last season.

Ex-Penguins on the Blue Jackets: Brian Gibbons, center; Jordan Leopold, defenseman; Mark Letestu, center; Todd Richards, head coach (Richards used to be head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins); Ville Siren, head amateur scout.

Ex-Blue Jackets on the Penguins: Gary Agnew, assistant coach; Blake Comeau, left winger.

Useless Blue Jackets Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Agnew served as the Blue Jackets' interim head coach for five games in 2006-07 after Gerard Gallant was fired. Agnew had a 0-4-1 record.

The last time the Blue Jackets played the Penguins, this happened:

Probable goaltenders: Thomas Greiss (3-2-1, 2.47 GAA, .923 SV%) for the Penguins. Sergei Bobrovsky (10-8-1, 2.67 GAA, .919 SV%) for the Blue Jackets.

Injuries: For the Penguins, center Sidney Crosby (illness) and Zach Sill ("upper body") are out. Right wingers Beau Bennett (knee), Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), left winger Chris Kunitz (foot), defenseman Olli Maatta ("upper body") and center Scott Wilson (leg) are on injured reserve. For the Blue Jackets, centers Artem Anisimov (triceps), Mark Letestu (groin/abdominal), defensemen Ryan Murray ("lower body"), Fedor Tyutin (knee), left winger Scott Hartnell (finger) and right winger Nathan Horton (back) are on injured reserve

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins did not hold a morning skate. Consider this a guess at their lines and defensive pairings:

36 Bryan Rust - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 17 Blake Comeau
13 Nick Spaling - 16 Brandon Sutter - 72 Patric Hornqvist
20 Rob Klinkhammer - 57 Marcel Goc - 23 Steve Downie
34 Bobby Farnham  - 25 Andrew Ebbett - 27 Craig Adams

58 Kris Letang - 10 Christian Ehrhoff
7 Paul Martin - 41 Robert Bortuzzo
4 Rob Scuderi - 47 Simon Despres

-The Blue Jackets' lines and defensive pairings at today's morning skate were:


11 Matt Calvert - 17 Brandon Dubinsky - 13 Cam Atkinson
38 Boone Jenner - 19 Ryan Johansen - 10 Jack Skille
Brian Gibbons - 71 Nick Foligno - 52 Kerby Rychel
26 Corey Tropp - 39 Michael Chaput - 40 Jared Boll

7 Jack Johnson - 58 David Savard
James Wisniewski - 4 Kevin Connauton
3 Jordan Leopold - 47 Dalton Prout



-“We’ve had this game marked on our schedule all year.” - Calvert on a rematch with the Penguins following last season playoff series.

-The Blue Jackets have a five-game winning streak.

-Dubinsky has 99 career goals.

-Foligno has 98 career goals.

-The referees are Chris Rooney (No. 5), Francis Charron (No. 6). The linesmen are Bryan Pancich (No. 94), David Brisebois (No. 96).

-Our live blog begins at 6:45 p.m.. Please tune in.

(Photo: Gerry Broome/Associated Press)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Empty Netter Assists - 12-13-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. "You come in and guys weren't really sure who was going to be playing with who. Once you see it on the board you go from there. We've had a lot of guys out ... a bit of adjustments there, but we played solid and did a good job of staying with it." - Brandon Sutter.

-The Calgary Herald's recap. “We had a tough start and we knew against a team like the Penguins, they’ll make you pay for it. They scored two quick goals and we responded with one. After this, it seems we played well. But not well enough to get two points.” - Flames coach Bob Hartley.

-The Associated Press' recap. "When I saw the puck going to Simon, I just tried to find a spot where he could shoot it at me." - Kris Letang on his deflected goal off a shot by Simon Despres.


-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Despres big hit on Calgary's Ladislav Smid:

-Smid was shaken up afterwards:

-Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin had a moment:

-Fleury denied Calgary's Paul Byron with a poke check:


-Steve Downie adjusted his lid:


-Rob Klinkhammer being popular:

-Smid got the drop on Patric Hornqvist:

-Fleury got this puck despite the best efforts of Calgary's Markus Granlund:

-It was one of those nights for Calgary's Jonas Hiller:

-Calgary's Sean Monahan was focused on this faceoff:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Fleury speaks:

-Rob Klinkhammer speaks:

-What is wrong with Sidney Crosby's face?

-The Penguins recalled forwards Bobby Farnham and Bryan Rust and assigned forward Jayson Megna to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Farnham, 25, has appeared in 23 AHL games this season and has four points (one goal, three assists) as well as 113 penalty minutes. Rust, 22, has appeared in 25 AHL games this season and has 14 points (10 goals, four assists). Megna, 24, has appeared in nine NHL games this season and has one assist.

-EN Says: With Zach Sill leaving last night's game due to an injury and Megna having a poor effort last night, the Penguins needed to make a few recalls. Rust has been pretty productive as far goal scoring goes. He might be a top-six forward in tonight's linesup. As far as Farnham goes, he's something of a loose cannon as his penalty minute total will indicate. Fighting, literally, his way up from the ECHL, the fact he has reached the NHL is a testament to his resolve.

-Welcome back Kris Letang.

-Two goals by Bryan Rust led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-1 win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Conor Sheary recorded two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teammate Derrick Pouliot added a goal and an assist. Jeff Zatkoff made 26 saves in the victory.


-The Penguins agreed to multi-year contract extensions with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes and assistant coach Alain Nasreddine

-EN Says: Hynes and Nasreddine have each done pretty well in terms of wins and losses at the AHL level. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have been one of the best teams in that league the last several seasons. But why is Andrew Ebbett the Penguins' best option as far as a recall from the AHL right now? Why has Jayson Megna seemingly regressed? We're not trying to solely blame the lack of forward depth on Hynes and Nasreddine. Former general manager Ray Shero is the biggest culprit there. But Hynes and Nasreddine are partly responsible for this issue.

-Franky Palazzese made 31 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-4 loss to the Reading Royals.

-After the Jump: No Scott Hartnell tonight.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Live Saturday Class AA championship blog - South Fayette wins Class AA state title

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from Saturday's PIAA Class AA championship game between South Fayette and Dunmore.


South Fayette wins the title for the second year in a row and finish perfect for the second year in a row.


And the Lions are roaring. After Dunmore punts, Brett Brumbaugh throws a 37-yard TD pass to Dan Trimbur. PAT good.

Hunter Hayes now has 205 yards rushing on 18 carries after three quarters.


What a turnaround. Dunmore close to scoring and going up by nine. Within 14 seconds, South Fayette is winning 21-16. On first play after Dunmore went for it on fourth-and-goal from 5, Hunter Hayes takes a handoff and goes 95 yards for a touchdown. Wow. PAT good and suddenly South Fayette leads, 21-16.

2:08 South Fayette defense digs in. Dunmore gets to the 1. Illegal substitution penalty moves it back to the 5. Go for it on fourth and turn it over.

2:03 Good blocking up front. Strong runners. Dunmore running over South Fayette.

1:59 Now Dunmore on the move. To the South Fayette 23.

1:50 South Fayette on the move in the third quarter. It seems good ol "Mo" is on South Fayette side.

1:43 Second half has begun.

Below, Hunter Hayes battles for yardage (P-G photo by Matt Freed).


STATS: Brett Brumbaugh 5 of 14 for 65 yards passing in first half. Dunmore's Garrett Murray has rushed for 63 yards on 7 carries.


Dan Trimbur missed 37-yard field goal with 1 second left in half.

1:16 Third-down pass complete by Brumbaugh for 22 yards to the 20. Timeout with 6.8 seconds left.

1:14 Big mistake by Dunmore. Holmes fumbles and South Fayette's Jeremy Carter recovers at Dunmore 42 with 29 seconds left.


Brett Brumbaugh hits Ryan Schmider with 9 yard touchdown pass. Kick good. With the TD pass, Brumbaugh went over 11,000 yards passing for career.

1:03 South Fayette defense digs in. Dunmore punts from own 1. South Fayette takes over at Dunmore 24 with 2:28 left in half.

1:00 - Big mistake by South Fayette. Lions driving but Hunter Hayes fumbles and Dunmore's Eric DeLuccie recovers at 8-yard line. Less than 5 minutes now left in half.

12:54 Brett Brumbaugh is struggling and he knows it. Just missed a pass and snapped his chin strap off helmet in frustration. Brumbaugh now only 2 of 9.

But the kid has had games where he is off target for a while, and then something clicks in. We'll see.


Dunmore gets 27-yard field goal from Joe Capooci with 9:09 left in half.

12:46 First-quarter stats: Dunmore with 118 yards rushing and 149 total yards. South Fayette with 72 total yards. Brett Brumbaugh has completed 2 of 7 for 28 yards.

12:44 Dunmore inside the South Fayette 20. South Fayette can't stop power running game.

12:43 First quarter has just ended. Dunmore still leads, 13-7.


South Fayette can't stop Dunmore's power run. Dunmore goes 67 yards for a score. 4-yard run by Colin Holmes. PAT good by Joe Capooci.

12:26 South Fayette is ganged up to stop the run. 9-10 players within five yards of line of scrimmage.


South Fayette answers with impressive 60-yard drive. Only one pass completion in drive by Brumbaugh. Hunter Hayes caps it with a 9-yard run. Dan Trimbur kick.


Few plays after interception, Dunmore's Garrett Murray goes 34 yards off tackle for TD. PAT missed.

12:14 South Fayette throws on first two plays and Brett Brumabugh overthrows a receiver and is intercepted Dunmore takes over at 50.


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Latest Steelers playoff odds ...

Written by Dan Gigler on .

From the mathematically-inlcined whiz kids over at Numberfire this week have the Steelers as a 

" ... A quick update on the AFC North Playoff picture heading into Week 15. According to our numberFire projections, the Steelers have a 37.60% chance at winning the division and a 60.48% shot at the playoffs. Here is how the races are stacking up:
AFC North
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers - 37.60%
  2. Baltimore Ravens - 33.18%
  3. Cincinnati Bengals - 26.26%
  4. Cleveland Browns - 2.60%

That's up from a week ago, when Numberfire had the Steelers as only a 31.2% chance to make the playoffs, let alone win the division. 

Also, earlier this week the fine folks at MakeNFLPlayoffs installed the Steelers as a 58.7% chance to make the postseason. They are a virtual lock if they go 3-o (100%) or 2-1 (96%). But if they falter and lose out, they are out. If they go 1-2 they'll need a ton of help with only a 27.2% likelihood of advancing. 

So what does this all mean? 

In the words of Dark Helmet, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

To be fair, these folks are all excellent at what they do and there modeling is sound. But in a Steelers season that has been as up and down and unpredictable as any I can ever remember in my 37 years, there is no reason to take any thing for granted. 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Flu keeps senator from Pennsylvania Society

Congress's protracted budget dance isn't the only thing keeping U.S. Sen. Bob Casey from Pennsylvania Society festivities this weekend.

He has a bad case of the flu. 

Mr. Casey has been making it down to the Senate floor all day for various procedural votes and confirmations but isn't well enough to make the trek to New York, where Pennsylvania...

Read more

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.