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The Big Day, State of the Union edition

President Obama displayed confidence last night as he set the agenda for the final two years of his presidency. 

1) You'll want to start with coverage provided by our Tracie Mauriello , who takes us through the address -- and through the reactions of local lawmakers.

2) What did we think about the #SOTU? We've assembled a Storify that pulled...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6421-the-big-day-state-of-the-union-edition

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Chartiers Valley's McConnell nearing 500 wins -- already?

Written by Mike White on .

Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell has a good chance to hit a coaching milestone this season. But it's not reaching the milestone that is remarkable. It's how fast McConnell has gotten there.

McConnell needs only four wins to reach 500 for his career. After Tuesday night's win, his record is 496-116, which is an .810 winning percentage.

But McConnell is in only his 22nd season as a coach (all at Chartiers Valley). To get 500 wins on the high school level in 22 years is likely something that has never been seen in the WPIAL. (McConnell is pictured coaching his oldest son, T.J., now the starting point guard at the University of Arizona. Ya think T.J. has changed just a little?).

Fewer than 20 coaches in WPIAL boys basketball history have 500 wins and only six active coaches have reached the milestone. Not one of those six active coaches reached 500 nearly as fast as McConnell. Ambridge's Mark Jula did it this year, his 34th season. Ringgold's Phil Pergola reached 500 in his 41st season, Monessen's Joe Salvino in his 27th, Central Catholic's Chuck Crummie in his 29th, Washington's Ron Faust in his 28th and Sewickley Academy's Win Palmer in his 27th.

The winningest coaches in WPIAL history didn't reach 500 wins as fast as McConnell. North Catholic's Don Graham is the WPIAL's all-time leader with 801 wins from 1948-99, but he didn't reach 500 until his 31st season. Blackhawk's John Miller reached 500 in his 31st season also.

Not even Farrell's Ed McCluskey, who some consider possibly the greatest coach in WPIAL history, didn't reach 500 wins in his first 22 years. Consider that and it makes McConnell reaching 500 a gigantic feat.

McConnell's team this year is one of the tops in WPIAL Class AAAA. He has won five WPIAL titles and only four coaches in WPIAL history have won six. McCluskey leads with 11. Miller and Midland's Ed Olkowski won eight apiece and Duquesne's Rich Moran won six.

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Empty Netter Assists - 01-21-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Flyers forward Zach Rinaldo has been offered an in-person disciplinary hearing for his boarding hit against Kris Letang.

-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “With the struggles we’ve been having, I think this was a good game for our group. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t be on the right side of the score, but this game goes a long way in a lot of other fashions.” - Rob Scuderi.

-The (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post's recap. "Yeah, I changed the game, man. Who knows what the game would have been like if I didn't do what I did? Who knows?" - Rinaldo on his hit against Letang.

-The Philadelphia Inquirer's recap. "That's Pittsburgh. They bring it out of us. It was great to see."  - Flyers coach Craig Berube.

-The Associated Press' recap. "With that many opportunities and the skill we have, we should make them pay for that." - Sidney Crosby on the Penguins going 0 for 6 on the power play.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Rinaldo's hit on Letang:

-Zach Sill vs. Philadelphia's Michael Raffl:

-A good look at the fight:

-Rob Scuderi versus Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek:

-A good look at Scuderi's hit prior to the fight:

-Steve Downie versus Philadelphia's Luke Schenn:

-Michael Del Zotto's leaping hit on Robert Bortuzzo:

-Bobby Farnham versus Philadelphia's Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

-A great look at Giroux's overtime goal:

-Happy times for the Flyers. Not so much for the Penguins:

-A good look at Thomas Greiss' lid:

-Crosby leaned forward for this puck:

-Evgeni Malkin and Michael Del Zotto battled for this puck:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Rinaldo speaks (Warning: Vulgar language at the 1:38 mark):

-"He's throwing uppercuts from hell. It was pretty impressive." - Wayne Simmonds on Voracek's fight.

-Welcome back Blake Comeau and Patric Hornqvist ... soon?

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff left Tuesday's practice due to a suspected injury.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Michal Sivek. Acquired along with Kris Beech and Ross Lupaschuk from the Capitals in exchange for Jaromir Jagr and Frantisek Kucera in the 2001 offseason, Sivek's NHL's career amounted to 38 games and six points with the Penguins in 2002-03. During the 2004 offseason, he joined HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga.

-Happy 54th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Moe Mantha, Jr. Acquired in the 1984 offseason in a deal which sent Randy Carlyle to the Winnipeg Jets, Mantha spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. In 1984-85, Mantha appeared in 71 games and recorded 51 points. He followed that up in 1985-86 by setting career highs in games (78) and point (67). During 1986-87, Mantha appared in 62 games and netted 40 points. After 21 games and 10 points in 1987-88, Mantha was traded along with Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan and Chris Joseph in exchange for Paul Coffey, Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp. In 232 regular season games with the Penguins, Mantha scored 168 points, 50th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 26th birthday to current Penguins forward Bobby Farnham. A free agent signing in 2013, Farnham has made his NHL debut this season by appearing in 11 games with no points and 24 penalty minutes.

-After the Jump: The Rangers keep winning.

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Brewed On Grant: Six-Pack

Written by Rob Rogers on .

We can order a six-pack and a pizza to be delivered for the big game. That might make up for the fact that the Steelers won't be playing. 

012115 Six Pack

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UPDATE: NHL offers Rinaldo hearing for boarding Letang - 01-20-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang left tonight's game in Philadelphia with 4:24 remaining in the first period after he was hit from behind into the boards by Flyersforward Zac Rinaldo:

The hit:

Rinaldo was given a major for boarding and a game misconduct.

According to a league source, the NHL's Department of Player Safety, which oversees supplemental discipline, will review the hit.

Rinaldo has been suspended before by the NHL and is considered a repeat offender by the NHL.

UPDATE: The NHL has offered Rinaldo an in-person hearing:

After telling the media he "changed the game," Rinaldo addressed the hit on Twitter:

 -

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