About the Jets - 01-27-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Jets.

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

TV: Root Sports, TSN3.

Record: 26-14-8, 60 points. The Jets are in fourth place in the Central Division.

Leading Scorer: Left winger Andrew Ladd (right), 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists).

Last Game: 4-0 home win against the Blue Jackets, Wednesday. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson made 29 saves for the Jets.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-3 home shootout loss, Nov. 6. Left winger Evander Kane had a regulation goal and an assist for the Jets.

Jets Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Ladd. He has a three-game scoring streak.

Ex-Penguins on the Jets: Right winger Chris Thorburn.

Ex-Jets/Thrashers on the Penguins: Associate general manager Jason Botterill, right winger Pascal Dupuis, left winger Chris Kunitz, player development coach, Mark Recchi.

Useless Jets Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Jets coach Paul Maurice took over as head coach of the Hartford Whalers in 1995-96. At the time, Maurice was 28. That remains the youngest age in NHL history for a head coach. Current Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford was the general manager of the Whalers at that time and promoted Maurice.

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

Probable goaltenders: Thomas Greiss (4-2-3, 2.56 GAA, .920 SV%) for the Penguins. Ondrej Pavelec (xxx, xxxGAA, .xxx SV%) for the Jets.

Injuries: For the Penguins, defensemen Simon Despres (illness), Kris Letang (head) and left winger David Perron (illness) are game-time decisions. Center Sidney Crosby ("lower body") is out. Right wingers Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), Hornqvist ("lower body"), defensemen Olli Maatta (shoulder), center Evgeni Malkin ("lower body") and left winger Blake Comeau (wrist) are on injured reserve. For the Jets, defensemen Grant Clitsome ("upper body") and Mark Stuart ("lower body") are on injured reserve.

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

19 Beau Bennett - 16 Brandon Sutter - 72 Patric Hornqvist
14 Chris Kunitz - 13 Nick Spaling - 39 David Perron
26 Mark Arcobello - 57 Marcel Goc - 23 Steve Downie
38 Zach Sill - 25 Andrew Ebbett - 27 Craig Adams


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


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

16 Andrew Ladd - 18 Bryan Little - 26 Blake Wheeler
85 Mathieu Perreault - 55 Mark Scheifele - 67 Michael Frolik
9 Evander Kane - 17 Adam Lowry - 22 Chris Thorburn
15 Matt Halischuk - 19 Jim Slater - 14 Anthony Peluso

63 Ben Chiarot - 33 Dustin Byfuglien
39 Toby Enstrom - 44 Zach Bogosian
23 Jay Harrison - 8 Jacob Trouba


-Defenseman Paul Martin has 99 career points with the Penguins.

-Defenseman Kris Letang has 199 career assists.

-Center Mathieu Perreault was activated from injured reserve after missing two games due to an "upper-body" injury.

-The referees are (No. 3) Mike Leggo and (No. 26) Rob Martell. The linesmen are (No. 57) Jay Sharrers and (No. 54) Greg Devorski.

-We will not have a live blog post for the game but will have a postgame post.

(Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)



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Empty Netter Assists - 01-27-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was suspended eight games by the NHL for boarding and charging Kris Letang (right).

-"We all know him. We all know his type of game. It's not my call. I have no say to what's going to happen to him. But it's not his first time so, hopefully, they make sure he understands this time around." - Letang on Rinaldo.

-"He knows he can't hit somebody from behind like that, you know what I mean? I've said it a hundred times." - Flyers coach Craig Berube on Rinaldo.

-The Penguins won't have Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin in the lineup tonight due to undisclosed injuries.

-With Malkin on injured reserve, the Penguins recalled forwards Andrew Ebbett, Bryan Rust, Scott Wilson and defenseman Scott Harrington from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain/right winger Tom Kostopoulos and defenseman Derrick Pouliot each recorded an assist for the Eastern Conference which lost to the Western Conference, 14-12, in the AHL All-Star Game.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-With Rinaldo suspended, the Flyers recalled forward Ryan White from Lehigh Valley of the AHL.

-Islanders forward Kyle Okposo will be sidelined six to eight weeks due to an "upper-body" injury.

-How likely are the Devils to trade former Penguins captain/forward Jaromir Jagr (right).

-Jagr revealed he was recently diagnosed with mumps.

-The Devils placed forward Tim Sestito on waivers.

-With goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) being placed on injured reserve, the Blue Jackets recalled goaltender Anton Forsberg and forward Josh Anderson from Springfield of the AHL.

Atlantic Division

-“I think he’s one of the biggest reasons I’m playing well. He’s given me confidence and that was one of the things that was lacking. He calms me down. He’s not afraid to tell me when I’ve done something wrong. He’s not just there to be my friend. He can be hard on me when he needs to be. That’s what you need, someone to be honest with you and I’m fortunate to have him here.” - Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu on being paired with former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

-The Sabres recalled goaltender Matt Hackett and left winger Matt Ellis from Rochester of the AHL.

-The Sabres suspended defenseman Nikita Zadorov after he failed to report to the team on time after being stuck in the Dominican Republic. He was vacationing during the All-Star break.

-With captain/defenseman Dion Phaneuf sidelined indefinitely due to an "upper-body" injury, the Maple Leafs recalled defenseman Peter Grandberg and forward Josh Leivo from Toronto of the AHL.

Central Division

-Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson will be sidelined three to eight weeks following knee surgery.

-The Avalanche recalled goaltender Reto Berra and forward Dennis Everberg from Lake Erie of the AHL.

-The Wild assigned goaltender Darcy Kuemper (right) to Iowa of the AHL and recalled defenseman Stu Bickel from Iowa.

-The Predators recalled goaltender Marek Mazanec from Milwaukee of the AHL.

-The Stars recalled defensemen Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka from Texas of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-The Kings placed forward Mike Richards on waivers and recalled forward Nick Shore from Manchester of the AHL.

-The Coyotes recalled forward Lucas Lessio and defenseman Andrew Campbell from Portland of the AHL.

-The Flames recalled forwards Sven Baertschi, David Wolf and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon from Adirondack of the AHL.

-The Sharks signed undrafted free agent forward Nikita Jevpalovs to an entry-level contract. Terms were not reported.

Patrick Division

-Former Senators forward Danny Bois has joined the Vienna Capitals of Austria's EBEL.

(Photo: Matt Kincaid/Getty Images, Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images and Post-Gazette archives)

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Free College

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The conservatives never question how we will pay for the wars and the tax cuts for the rich, but ask them to spend a little to give kids two free years of community college and suddenly we have no money. 

012715 Free College

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And the confirmed stars of "Let It Snow" are ...

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .


It’s official.

CBS Films has confirmed the names of the cast that started filming the holiday comedy “Let It Snow” in the Pittsburgh area this week and it includes Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb, Marisa Tomei and Olivia Wilde.

Also in the cast: Jake Lacy, Alex Borstein and Jon Tenney.

Seyfried was here in 2014 for “Fathers and Daughters” with Russell Crowe, while Tomei came to Pittsburgh more than two decades ago to make “Only You” opposite Robert Downey Jr.

“Let It Snow,” set to open in theaters Nov. 13, 2015, follows the exasperated members of an extended family as they attempt to gather for their annual holiday celebration. The official description: As the Christmas Eve chaos unfolds, so do moments of life transition for each of them as they realize that a house filled with love and laughter always makes the season bright.

Jessie Nelson (“I Am Sam,” “Corrina, Corrina”) is directing the movie, written by Steven Rogers. It is expected to film through late March.

T Bone Burnett is producing the soundtrack and serving as the movie’s executive music producer. 



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DiNucci, Bowers and coaches comment about Pitt, PSU and other subjects

Written by Mike White on .

Football recruiting in Western Pennsylvania has been pretty quiet lately, but there was a lot of noise all at once this afternoon.

Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci announced on his Twitter account that he had backed out of his commitment to Pennsylvania of the Ivy League and decided to attend Pitt. DiNucci's decision to accept a scholarship gave new Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi his first WPIAL recruit. Pitt didn't start showing interest in DiNucci until Narduzzi became coach. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney watched DiNucci work out last Monday and Pitt offered him a scholarship Tuesday. DiNucci visited Pitt this weekend.

Meanwhile this afternoon, Pitt also lost a WPIAL recruit when Kittanning tight end Nick Bowers decided to attend Penn State. He committed to PSU while coach James Franklin visited him in Kittanning. Bowers had committed to Pitt during his junior year, but Penn State offered him a scholarship in September, the same day that the NCAA lifted scholarship sanctions against the Nittany Lions.

Bowers said he started to look seriously at Penn State when Pitt coach Paul Chryst and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph left for Wisconsin.

DiNucci set a state record this past season when he threw for more than 4,000 yards and led Pine-Richland to a WPIAL Class AAAA championship. He finished as the third-leading passer in WPIAL history with 7,619 yards.

Here is what DiNucci, Bowers and their coaches had to about their decisions and a variety of other things:

Ben DiNucci

About telling Penn that he was going to Pitt: "It was the hardest thing I ever had to do to make that call to the Penn coaches. But in the end, I had to do what was best for me."

Ben DiNucciAbout how he was still set on Penn when he went to visit to Pitt: "The visit changed everything. The biggest thing was how comfortable I felt with the coaches and to just have the opportunity to play big-time football. I am only 30 minutes from home so it's close enough where I can come home on a Sunday and eat dinner with my parents. But yet, it's still far enough way."

On how hard the past two days were. He left school early today and came home because he was so tired of hearing everyone's opinion on what he should do: "I can't even begin to tell you what it was like having so many people on Twitter, in the community, in school telling me to go here, go there, don't do this, don't do that, don't talk to this person and that person. I'm just glad it's over with and I think I made the right choice."

About when he decided on Pitt: "I talked to my parents a lot yesterday, but I went to bed and when I woke up [today], I kind of said, 'Oh man, I still have no idea what to do.' Then coach Narduzzi and coach Chaney called me on the way to school. I left school early because I just couldn't deal with everyone telling me what to do. I came home, talked to my Dad some more. Then I called my mom and told her to come home because I knew what I wanted to do."

On did he ever wonder why more major colleges didn't recruit him: "There was always a part of me wondering why bigger schools weren't contacting me. But it really wasn't a question I was concerned with because I was content with Penn - until Pitt came along." Ben DiNucci

On the knocks against his throwing motion and how he sometimes throws off his back foot: "The Pitt coaches have told me they're not going to change my motion at all. They said there might be a thing here or there, but coach Chaney said he likes the way I throw. That was a little surprising, the way some people talk about my motion [laugh]. But I try not to listen to people who say that or criticize. If anything, it makes me work harder."

On whether he can play at Pitt's level: "I do, yeah. If I didn't think I could play at that level, I wouldn't have made the call I did today [to Pitt]. I know it's not going to be easy and I'm going to have to work my tail off."

On what he is feeling tonight: "I'm extremely excited. Some of the guys who I was with on my visit or other recruits called me today, or got in touch with me to offer congratulations, like Jordan Whitehead, Dane Jackson and Tre Tipton."

On whether there was anything else he would like to say: "Hail to Pitt."

Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz

On how hard the past few days have been on DiNucci: "I'm happy for him. He made a good decision, I thought. He's content with it, and that's the key. He's at ease."

On DiNucci's mindset before he made his Pitt visit: "I think he was content with Penn, but I think he went down there to Pitt with an open mind and I think he was wowed by the situation and the opportunity in front of him. It was too good to pass up. The thing is that he was wanted at Pitt. A lot of kids commit to schools and choose schools, but are they really wanted? I think Pitt really wanted him. It means a lot to be wanted by a program."

Jokingly, on whether DiNucci would ever go from quarterback to linebacker at Pitt, like Kasperowicz did: "No [laugh]. One thing is for sure. He's a quarterback."

On whether DiNucci needs to change his throwing motion: "Look, I've worked with quarterbacks a long time. One thing I know for sure is you never mess with mechanics that much, if a kid has a good enough release, a quick enough release, and he's accurate. Then you're not going to screw with it. It's like basketball shooters. People think there is one way to shoot better than another way. Ben has a quick enough release and he's extremely accurate. He might be the most accurate quarterback in WPIAL history. As long as you are getting it out quick, that's what matters. Colleges and the NFL, that's what they care about."

Nick Bowers

On whether the departure of Chryst and Rudolph was the biggest reason he started to seriously consider Penn State: "I only knew the Pitt staff for maybe two weeks. Maybe if there was more time, it would be different. I Nick Bowersjust thought I had a good relationship with coach Franklin and the other Penn State coaches. I just thought that was the best fit for me."

On what he liked about Penn State: "I really liked Penn State's campus and how everything was together. But one of the major things was my education. I really like the outdoors and they have forestry at Penn State, and I might major in that."

On how much he likes to fish: "I really like fishing. It's pretty much what I did this summer."

About the depth Penn State has at tight end: "I know that. No matter where you go, it's about competition. If you're going to play anywhere, there is competition."

Kittanning coach Frank Fabian

On Bowers' relationship with the old Pitt coaching staff: "Nick's tie to Pitt was [assistant coach] Joe Rudolph. He was going to play for coach Rudolph and they developed a close relationship. I think with Pitt there just wasn't enough time with the new staff. Nick is the type of kid who takes a while to open up. Pitt came up last Thursday and there just wasn't enough time to establish a relationship. He was a little unsure, he took his visit to Penn State and I think he really enjoyed it."

On deciding quickly after his visit to Penn State this weekend: "He didn't want to hold up Pitt. I asked him if he was sure because he was coming off a wave of emotion after the Penn State visit. He said he was sure and he felt he owed the Pitt staff to tell them as soon as possible."

About the effect a change in a college coaching staff can have on recruiting: "I feel bad for kids because they develop a relationship with a staff and then they see them leave. I've seen a kid go through it now. In an instant, it was all taken away for Nick. He kind of restarted the whole recruiting process again." 



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