Print

Blue Jackets at Penguins - 04-19-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

PREGAME

-During the second period of Wednesday's Game 2, Brian Gibbons had a shift on the penalty kill where he stole a puck and instead of just firing it down ice to kill a little bit of time and to get a line change, he skated around in the neutral zone with the puck for something around 15 or 20 seconds and basically kept it away from the Blue Jackets.

-To use hockey parlance, that is called "ragging the puck." Dan Bylsma explained the tactic after today's morning skate:

 

"It doesn’t happen all that much that you have to rag it. But when you have the opportunity to be able to hold the puck, take it back, have your [defensemen] hold on to it and waste some time. To me, that’s a huge disruption to a power play. And it’s frustrating. If you can hold on to the puck and rag it, they get restless, the power play guys get restless. It’s just not an opportunity that presents itself a lot. You’re looking for 20-second shifts to 30-second shifts on your [penalty kill] so you don’t want to get stuck out by going up the ice into the offensive zone or holding on to it too long and get stuck out for a minute [penalty kill] shift. You’re trying to roll them over so you don’t always roll them over. Brian did a great job. He got out there at the beginning of the shifts. He got the puck and ragged it. I thought it was a momentum-builder for our team."

-The Blue Jackets will be getting a key player back in the lineup tonight as R.J. Umberger returns to the lineup after missing Game 1 due to an "upper-body" injury. Umberger isn't the player he once was. He's strictly a bottom-six player these days and even then, he was a healthy scratch late in the regular season. But he's one of the few players on this Blue Jackets roster with any sort of playoff acumen among active players with a minimum of 20 career postseason games, Umberger has the second best goals-per-game average in the NHL:

Player, Current team Games Played Goals Goals Per Game
Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs 22 13 0.59
R.J. Umberger, Blue Jackets 26 14 0.54
Mike Cammalleri, Flames 32 17 0.53
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals 58 31 0.53
Sean Bergenheim, Panthers 23 12 0.52
Martin St. Louis, Rangers 64 33 0.52
Sidney Crosby, Penguins 83 40 0.48
Jarome Iginla, Flames 70 32 0.46
Daniel Briere, Canadiens 110 50 0.45
Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings 123 55 0.45

-

 

Join the conversation:

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

About the Blue Jackets - Game 2 - 04-19-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Blue Jackets.

When and where: 7 p.m., EDT. Consol Energy Center.

TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market), Fox Sports Ohio (Columbus market), NBC Sports (rest of the United States), CBC, RDS.

Leading postseason scorer: Jack Johnson, 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist).

Last Game: 4-3 road loss in Game 1, Wednesday. Johnson had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets.

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (1-0, 3.00 GAA, .912 SV%) for the Penguins. Sergei Bobrovsky (0-1, 4.07 GAA, .875 SV%) for the Blue Jackets.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Chris Conner (hand), center Marcel Goc (ankle) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) are out. Right winger Pascal Dupuis (knee) is on injured reserve. For the Blue Jackets, left winger R.J. Umberger ("upper body") is probable. Left wingers Nick Foligno ("lower body") is doubtful. Right winger Nathan Horton (abdominal) is out.

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

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 49 Brian Gibbons
36 Jussi Jokinen - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 18 James Neal
19 Beau Bennett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 22 Lee Stempniak
15 Tanner Glass - 46 Joe Vitale - 27 Craig Adams

7 Paul Martin - 44 Brooks Orpik
4 Rob Scuderi - 58 Kris Letang
2 Matt Niskanen - 3 Olli Maatta

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

38 Boone Jenner - 19 Ryan Johansen - 5 Jack Skille
11 Matt Calvert - 17 Brandon Dubinsky - 13 Cam Atkinson
18 R.J. Umberger (above) - 42 Artem Anisimov - 14 Blake Comeau
 26 Derek MacKenzie - 55 Mark Letestu - 26 Corey Tropp

51 Fedor Tyutin - 7 Jack Johnson
27 Ryan Murray - 21 James Wisniewski
6 Nikita Nikitin - 58 David Savard

Notes:

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

-Malkin has 99 career points.

-Umberger is expected to play after missing Game 1.

-The referees are Dave Jackson (No. 8) and Dan O'Rourke (No. 9). The linesmen are David Brisebois (No. 96) and Jonny Murray (No. 95).

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

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Join the conversation:

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

Ghost makes the underworld seem so pleasant

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Ghost3Papa Emeritus II by Rich Frollini Coda PhotographyAnd the winner for "Band That Looks Least like it Sounds" goes to ... Ghost.

The Swedish group dresses for a black mass with five Nameless Ghouls and an evil pope, Papa Emeritus II, but rather than sounding like a Darkthrone or a Mayhem, Ghost sounds like they were weaned on Blue Oyster Cult records, with their smooth vocals and melodic synched guitars.

The band, which played Stage AE on Good Friday, does add the touch of piped-in choral vocals in the "Carmina Burana" vein and Latin lyrics praising Lucifer.

It's a thrill when the lights go down and they emerge in full regalia, before their stained-glass cathedral backdrop, with "Infestissumam Per Aspera," the orchestral lead track from their second and latest album.

Even with black hoods and masks covering their faces, the musicianship is tight and Papa, who creeps around the stage with ceremonial gestures, is a gifted singer -- although you could hear multiple voices and he was the only one who appeared to be singing.

The problem with Ghost is that several songs in, the thrill fades and the energy starts to lag. A couple times, the musicians gathered center stage to jam but they don't move around much and Papa's interaction with the crowd is basically along the line of "Good evening. How are you feeling, Pittsburgh?" in a funny accent.

They broke up the set with their darkly plodding cover of "Here Comes the Sun" and later washed Roky Erickson's "If You Have Ghosts" in melody. I couldn't help but think about Kiss concerts, though, where you're sitting there going, "I can wait till Gene does ... "

ghostsetYou want Ghost to breathe fire (although you can't do that in a club) or spit blood or burn incense or sacrifice a crowd member or something evil. Maybe they should hire Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson as their horror-prop consultant.

Ghost4Even with a sing-along climax of "Come together, together as one/come together for Lucifer's son," Ghost makes the underworld seem so darn pleasant.

 

 

Join the conversation:

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

Empty Netter Assists - 04-19-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Blue Jackets

-"It was a pretty physical game. But there wasn't that hate against each other." - Jussi Jokinen on Game 1.

-"They try to finish their hits and take your time and space away. I don't think [it's] anything that you wouldn't typically see." - Sidney Crosby (above) on facing Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsnky.

-"Pretty much what I expected," Maatta said Friday after the Penguins practiced at Consol Energy Center. "It's more physical. Not as many calls as there are in the regular season, so there's definitely more contact, more hits. The tempo is faster, too." - Olli Maatta on playing in his first career NHL postseason game.

-For the Beau Bennett, "Not really too much" is different when it comes to playing the first or third lines.

-“When he’s scored a goal, it’s always been a big goal. He’s right around the number he always seems to be at — 12 to 15 goals a year — but they always seem to be big goals.” - Dan Bylsma on Brandon Sutter.

-Kris Letang speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

-Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger is expected to play after missing Game 2 due to an "upper-body" injury.

-“I was in the old building [Mellon Arena] for the five-overtime playoff game (in 2000) against Philadelphia. We stayed until it was over, like, 2:30 in the morning. I went in late to school the next day.” - Umberger, a native of Plum (No, really!) on watching a 2-1 win by the Flyers against the Penguins in Game 4 of a 2000 Eastern Conference semifinal series.

-Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno has gone from being out to questionable for Game 2.

-After the Jump: The Red Wings pull off a surprising win in Boston.

Join the conversation:

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

Bruins - Red Wings preview - 04-18-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Bruins vs. Red Wings

Bruins Leading Regular Season Scorer: David Krejci (right), 69 points (19 goals, 50 assists).

Red Wings Leading Regular Season Scorer: David Legwand, 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists).

Bruins Expected Starting Goaltender: Tuukka Rask, 26-15-6, 2.04 GAA, .930 SV%.

Red Wings Expected Starting Goaltender: Jimmy Howard, 21-19-11, 2.66 GAA, .910 SV%.

Bruins Regular Season Statistics

Red Wings Regular Season Statistics

Bruins Injuries: Center Patrice Bergeron (undisclosed) is probable. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed) is questionable. Center Chris Kelly (back) and left winger Daniel Paille (head) are questionable. Defensemen Adam McQuaid (quadriceps), Dennis Seidenberg (knee) and center Marc Savard (concussion) is on injured reserve.

Red Wings Injuries: Right winger Dan Cleary (knee) and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (finger) are out. Right winger Mikael Samuelsson (undisclosed), center Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) and left winger Henrik Zetterberg (back) are on injured reserve.

Bruins with Stanley Cup bling: Patrice Bergeron, C; Johnny Boychuk, D; Gregory Campbell, C; Zdeno Chara, D; Chris Kelly, C; David Krejci, C; Milan Lucic, LW; Brad Marchand, LW; Adam McQuaid, D; Daniel Paille, LW; Tuukka Rask, G; Marc Savard, C; Dennis Seidenberg, D; Shawn Thornton .

Red Wings with Stanley Cup bling: Dan Cleary, RW; Pavel Datsyuk, C; Jonathan Ericsson, D; Johan Franzen, RW; Darren Helm, C; Niklas Kronwall, D; Drew Miller, LW; Mikael Samuelsson, RW; Henrik Zetterberg, LW.

Something worthwhile about the Bruins: The Bruins won 41 games this past regular season when the scored the first goal of the game, most in the league.

Something worthwhile about the Red Wings: The Red Wings went 3-1-0 against the Bruins this past regular season.

Something useless about the Bruins that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins center Derek Sanderson holds the Bruins' record for career postseason short-handed goals with three.

Something useless about the Red Wings that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins right winger Andy Bathgate holds the Red Wings' record for most power-play goals in on series. He scored five in six games against the Blackhawks in a 1966 semifinal series.

Former Penguins on the Bruins: Jarome Iginla, RW; Chad Johnson, G (Johnson is a former Penguins prospect who never played for the organization); Corey Potter, D.

Former Penguins on the Red Wings: Mikael Samuelsson, RW; Tyler Wright, director of amateur scouting.

Who needs to be the difference for the Bruins: Zdeno Chara, Torrey Krug, Johnny Boychuk, Kevin Miller. The Red Wings still have a pretty fleet crew of skilled forwards. The Bruins' defensemen need to find a way to make life miserable for them.

Who needs to be the difference for the Red Wings: Niklas Kronwall (right), Kyle Quincey, Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Smith, etc. Kronwall will do most of the heavy lifting on Detroit's blue line but the Bruins' aggressive forecheck will try to punish him. The Red Wings' other defensemen need to find a way to ease his burden.

Best Bruins YouTube Video We Could Find: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron's series-clinching overtime goal in a 5-4 win against the Maple Leafs in a 2013 Eastern Conference quarterfinal:

Best Red Wings YouTube Video We Could Find: Red Wings center Sergei Fedorov scoring an overtime goal which required a video review in a 1-0 win against the North Stars in Game 6 of a 1992 Norris Division semifinal series:

EN Prediction: The Bruins are just too deep and too big for this Red Wings team which is worn out. Bruins 4-1.

(Photos: Mike Carlson/Getty Images and Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Join the conversation:

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