West Virginia video man Doug Cross is back at it, recapping the 2013 NFL season with an eye on 16 former Mountaineers.
-“I’m comfortable playing [in the NHL], but I’m trying to not get too used to it. I’m trying to stay on my game, not be too conceited or think that I’m going to be up here or anything like that.” - Zach Sill (right).
-Nick Drazenovic, Simon Despres and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond were assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
-EN Says: We wouldn't read too much into Despres' demotion. The Penguins don't play a game until Monday, he is still immune to re-entry waivers and Paul Martin is on the verge of returning to the lineup. It's no secret that management isn't completely enamored by Despres but there are immediate, practical reasons to send him to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
-"An opportunity to coach for your country. what more do you want?" - Dan Bylsma on coaching Team USA.
-Happy 33rd birthday to former Penguins forward the great Mike Zigomanis. Acquired early in the 2008-09 season in a trade which sent future consideration to the Coyotes, Zigomanis' Penguins' career amounted to 22 games and six points that campaign. After getting his name on the Stanley Cup as part of the franchise's third championship, Zigomanis joined the AHL's Toronto Marlies early in the 2009-10 season. He currently plays for the Rochester Americans of the AHL.
-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Milan Kraft. A first-round pick in 1998, Kraft spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2000-01, Kraft appeared in 42 games and scored 14 points. He played in eight postseason games that spring and failed to record a point. He followed that up in 2001-02 by seeing action in 68 games and scoring 16 points. In 2002-03, Kraft played in 31 games and recorded 12 points. His final NHL season was 2003-04. He appeared in 66 games and scored 40 points. During the 2004-05 lockout, he joined HC Plzen of the Czech Extraliga in the Czech Republic. In 207 regular season games with the Penguins, Kraft scored 82 points.
-After the Jump: Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos takes another step towards a return while Nashville's Carter Hutton comes through with a ridiculous save.
Join the conversation:
Four years ago, when Ron Richards was in his first season of his second stint as Plum's boys basketball coach, he said something to me that I always remember. Maybe all coaches should keep in mind Richards' comments.
"The big thing I thought about before I even came back was I didn't want to be the same coach as before," Richards said in 2010. "I didn't want to fight every battle, on and off the court. I'm aware of some of the problems I got myself involved in during the past with officials and even parental issues. I brought some of them on myself.
"I said to myself this time that if I'm going to do this, I want to enjoy it more. Anyone who coaches, I don't know if we take enough time to enjoy the good things about it. I'm not talking about just the winning and some of the other fun things. I'm talking about just enjoying being around kids. I really want to focus on the enjoyable things this time."
Is Richards enjoying things more now? Who knows. But he has to be enjoying what is going on with Plum this season.
This has the makings of one of the best seasons in Plum history. The Mustangs are 12-1, with the only loss coming to Gateway. Plum moved into the Post-Gazette WPIAL Class AAAA rankings this week at No. 5. Plum and Gateway are tied for first place in Class AAAA Section 2 at 6-1.
The top of Section 2 is filled with good teams this year, but there is a possibility that Plum might win only its third section title in school history. The others came in 2000 and 2010. Both of those years the Mustangs tied for the section title.
Richards was the coach of both of those section championship teams. He coached Plum for nine seasons before resigning in 2007. He had a record of 139-94 and won 20 or more games twice. He started his second stint in 2009. Look at his past record and successes and you have to put him with the better coaches in the entire WPIAL.
And no matter what happens this season, Richards also is looking forward to the future. He believes some of Plum's best teams might be in the next couple years. He plays a number of sophomores and even a freshman.
The return of Luther
I'm hearing there is a good chance that Hampton's Ryan Luther will play tonight against North Hills. Luther, a Pitt recruit, has missed the past three games with an ankle injury.
Join the conversation:
The team behind the creation of Smaug: From left, Eric Saindon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri.
WETA visual effects wizard Joe Letteri, a proud Aliquippa native and four-time Oscar winner, earned his eighth nomination yesterday for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." He shares the nomination with colleagues Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White.
In a statement, Letteri said, "It is a great honour to be recognized by the Academy for our continuing journey through Middle-earth. It was a special highlight to be able to work with Peter Jackson and Benedict Cumberbatch to bring Tolkien's great dragon Smaug to the screen."
There's one more "Hobbit" film to go, "There and Back Again," and he is also visual effects supervisor for DC's "Batman vs. Superman" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."
Join the conversation:
It has been fifty years since the release of a study showing a direct link between smoking and lung disease. Many people have taken the Surgeon General's Warning seriously ... while others can't quit despite the evidence. Meanwhile, the tobacco companies continue to get rich.