Penguins expect larger role for Chorney - 04-09-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

When he was recalled in late December from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after a Mumps outbreak sidelined a few of the Penguins' players, Taylor Chorney, a defenseman, played road games against the Panthers and Lightning as a forward.

Having spent most of his professional career in the minor leagues, Chorney didn't mind moving up in terms of his professional status or his location on the ice.

“I think even when I was here before and I played forward, you're happy to be in the NHL when you're someone in my position,” said Chorney.

Nearly four months later, Chorney is back in the NHL and back at his position.

“I think just for my [comfort] it's nice to be playing defense,” Chorney said. “I've been doing that my whole life. When you're playing in the highest league in the whole world, you want to be doing it where you're most comfortable.”

With defenseman Derrick Pouliot considered day to day due to an “upper-body” injury and Kris Letang (concussion) as well as Christian Ehrhoff (suspected concussion) each sidelined indefinitely, Chorney appears to be in line to take on a larger role in the Penguins' final two games of the regular season.

“Yes, he's going to take more minutes for sure,” said coach Mike Johnston. “He's shown he deserves more minutes. He's shown he's capable of taking them.”

Since his most recent recall April 3, Chorney has played three games and has averaged 21.3 shifts per game and 13:57 of ice time.

In Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators, Chorney logged 13:34 of ice time, the least among the team's defensemen aside from Pouliot (10:03) who left the game late in the second period due to his injury.

“There's some guys that are going to be playing big minutes," said Chorney. "Then there's guys like me who are going to be playing a little bit less. I think if I can show I can be reliable out there in all those situations and contribute in little ways. Just getting the puck out of my end, keeping it simple and just being reliable and playing some simple minutes.”

Some of those minutes Tuesday came on the team's second power play unit as he had 2:59 of power-play time. With the benefit of little more practice, Johnston sees room for Chorney to take on an expanded role with the power play.

“A lot of poise on the power play when we've put him into the power play,” Johnston said. “He's working with the power play for five days maybe? Four or five days. Maybe two practices. I thought he did a good job there.”

One of the reasons Chorney could see an increase in power-play time is skating ability.

“If there's a chance for me to skate - that's probably my best asset - I've got to skate, he said. “That doesn't necessarily mean taking a chance I don't think. Pinching on a 50/50 puck or something. Just making those right reads but at the same time, being aggressive.”

While his NHL resume is limited to 66 games, Chorney has accumulated 400 AHL games in eight professional season.

“He's a veteran player,” Johnston said. “I think he's had 60-something NHL games but he's had a lot of minor-league experience. He's been through it before. The one thing I've liked about [Chorney] coming up is he didn't look like the situation would overwhelm him in any way.”

Regardless of his role or minutes, Chorney realizes the key to the team's success rests with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin having the puck.

“We have super-skilled forwards,” said Chorney. "I think a lot of things they can make your job easier. For a guy like me, I can just hurry back, get the puck, make a simple play and let them do their thing. That's something I've got to focus on. Use my skating, go back, get the puck, make a simple thing and let those guys do their thing.”

Chorney will get to do his thing on defense more often starting with Friday's crucial home game against the Islanders.

“He will,” said Johnston, “like the other guys, be expected to move up in minutes and responsibility for sure.”

(Photos: Elsa/Getty Images)

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When will Oscars be in 2016, 2017 and 2018? Answers here.

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .


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Party planners take note: 

The Academy and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 88th, 89th and 90th Oscar presentations. 


The Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016February 26, 2017, and March 4, 2018, respectively.

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City falls short with paving plan

Written by Jon Schmitz on .



The city of Pittsburgh’s brand-new interactive map showing planned paving projects this year makes it look like lots of fresh asphalt will be applied to the city’s crumbling streets. Looks deceive.

The city’s meager program will resurface only 44 miles, or about half of what would be necessary in a given year to keep the streets in good repair. This continues a longstanding practice of shortchanging the paving budget and the result is clear to anyone who drives in the city — streets that are in Third World condition.

Mayors have said they can’t afford to do more. But residents can’t be satisfied with the awful shape of their streets. There’s money in the city budget to do more if leadership attaches a priority to fixing this problem. Absent that, why not ask the voters to approve a small tax increase to finance a bond issue to fund a major paving program? Let them decide whether they’re willing to pay a bit more for a smooth ride.


Coal Valley Road in Jefferson Hills will be closed starting at 7 a.m. Monday for a bridge repair project. Traffic will detour via New England Road. The work is expected to continue until mid-May.


One lane of eastbound Route 22 (William Penn Highway) in Monroeville, between the Route 286 ramp and Alpine Village Drive, will close for water line work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday next week.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike will be closed in both directions from Breezewood (Exit 161) to Carlisle (Exit 226) from 11 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday for bridge demolition. The recommended detour uses Route 30, Interstate 70, Interstate 81 and U.S. 11.

menatworkParkway West schedule: Closed outbound from Green Tree to Interstate 79 from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday; one lane open inbound. Closed inbound from I-79 to Parkway Center from 10 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday; one lane open outbound from Banksville Road to Poplar Street. Closed outbound from Green Tree to I-79 from 10 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday; one lane open outbound from Banksville Road to Green Tree. One lane open inbound from Poplar Street to the West End/Uniontown exit from 10 a.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Monday. One lane open outbound from Banksville Road to Poplar Street from 10 a.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday.

Got it?

Also, weeknight lane closures continue in the inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel, starting at 10 p.m., with the added pleasure of temporary rumble strips at two places on the approach. PennDOT has grown weary of drivers doubling the 40 mph work zone speed limit in the tunnel.

The inbound right lane of the Liberty Bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during inspections. No restrictions outbound.

One lane of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, both directions, will close at 10 p.m. Sunday through Friday as the tunnels get a bath. Work concludes by 5 a.m. each day.

Single-lane traffic will be in effect on Fifth Avenue near the Birmingham Bridge during traffic signal work from 6 a.m. Saturday through 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Empty Netter Assists - Kapanen's AHL debut - 04-09-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-"Based on where I sit with Mike, he has two more years on his contract. The conversations around here are very positive regarding what he’s done and how he’s handled different situations.” - Jim Rutherford on Mike Johnston (above, with Rick Tocchet).

-The Penguins are 3-8-2 in their past 13 games.

-Do the Penguins have an identity?

-Matt Murray made 30 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-0 shutout of the rival Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton clinched a playoff berth for the 13th consecutive season with the victory. Murray extended his AHL rookie record to 12 shutouts, one short of the overall AHL single-season record. Former Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Jason LaBarbera set the record of 13 in 2003-04. Kasperi Kapanen, the NHL Penguins’ first-round pick in last year’s draft, made his AHL debut and netted a goal as well as an assist. Tom Kuhnhackl scored two goals for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


-Thinking Out Loud: Check out the burst and release by Kapanen on his goal around the 17 second mark.

-“The team has taken me in so well. Everyone congratulated me after the game. It’s a big thing for me getting the respect from the older guys and all the guys in the locker room. That’s what I want. I want to be a team player. I see a bright future ahead of us with this team. Hopefully we’ll go all the way.” - Kapanen.

-Murray was named to the AHL all-rookie team.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins recalled goaltender Eric Hartzell from the Wheeling Nailers and assigned forward Josh Archibald and Jean-Sebastien Dea to the Wheeling Nailers.

-A goal by Archibald led the Wheeling Nailers to a 2-1 win against the Reading Royals.

-Happy 78th birthday to former Penguins forward Wayne Hicks. Acquired midway through the 1967-68 season in a deal which sent Art Stratton to the Flyers, Hicks appeared in 15 games for the Penguins and scored 11 points. After that season, Hicks, one of 10 NHL players born in the state of Washington, spent the rest of his professional career in the AHL and WHL. He is the father of former Penguins forward Alex Hicks.

-Happy 51st birthday to former all-star Penguins forward and current assistant coach Rick Tocchet (right). Acquired midway through the 1991-92 season along with Kjell Samuelsson, Ken Wregget and a draft pick in exchange for Mark Recchi, Brian Benning and a draft pick, Tocchet became one of the most popular players in franchise history despite only spending parts of three seasons in Pittsburgh. Tocchet finished 1991-92 by appearing in 19 games and scoring 30 points. Tocchet saw action in 14 postseason games that spring and scored 19 points while helping the franchise win its second Stanley Cup championship. In 1992-93, Tocchet played in 80 games and scored 109 points - one of four 100-point scorers for the team that season - and led the team with 252 penalty minutes while helping the franchise earn its only Presidents' Trophy. He was also selected to the final all-star game of his career. Tocchet saw action in 12 postseason games that spring and scored 13 points. During 1993-94, Tocchet was limited to 51 games and 40 points. He played in six postseason games that spring and scored five points. In the 1994 offseason, Tocchet and a draft pick were traded to the Kings in exchange for Luc Robitaille. In 150 regular season games with the Penguins, Tocchet, the first player in franchise history to wear No. 92, scored 179 points, 43rd-most in franchise history. In 32 postseason games, Tocchet scored 37 points. He was hired as an assistant this past offseason.

-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky. Acquired at the 2010 trade deadline in a deal which sent Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula to the Maple Leafs, Ponikarovsky's Penguins career amounted to 16 games and nine points in 2010-11. In 11 postseason games, he scored five points. During the 2010 offseason, Ponikarovsky joined the Kings as a free agent. He is currently a member SKA St. Petersburg in Russia's KHL.

-After the Jump: The Bruins suffer a crucial loss.

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Rolling Stone

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Rolling Stone's retracted UVA rape article is quickly becoming a cautionary tale of the worst kind of reporting. Not only is it a black eye for journalism, it certainly won't encourage other rape victims come forward. A tragedy all around. 

040915 Rolling Stone

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