About the Coyotes - 03-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Coyotes.

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

TV: Root Sports, Fox Sports Arizona.

Record: 34-26-12, 80 points. The Coyotes are in fourth place in the Pacific Division.

Leading Scorer: Keith Yandle (right), 51 points (8 goals, 43 assists).

Last Game: 4-3 road overtime loss to the Rangers, last night. Kyle Chipchura had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

Last Game against the Penguins: 3-1 home win, Feb. 1. Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

Coyotes Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Ribeiro. He has 27 points in 22 career games against the Penguins.

Ex-Penguins on the Coyotes: Paul Bissonnette, LW; Zbynek Michalek, D; Dave Tippett, head coach.

Ex-Coyotes/Jets on the Penguins: Dan Bylsma, head coach (Bylsma was a Jets draft pick but never played for the organization); Chris Conner, RW; Taylor Pyatt, LW; Todd Reirden, assistant coach; Lee Stempniak, RW.

Useless Coyotes Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Coyotes coach Dave Tippett (1984) is one of three one-time Penguins players who have served as captain of Canada's Olympic team. The others are centers Sidney Crosby (2014) and Mario Lemieux (2002).

Best Coyotes/Jets Video We Could Find: Two one-time popular Penguins - right winger Rick Tocchet, then of the Coyotes, fighting Gary Roberts, then of the Hurricanes - in 1999-2000:

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (34-16-4, 2.36 GAA, .916 SV%) for the Penguins and Thomas Greiss (7-5-2, 2.38 GAA, .924 SV%) for the Coyotes.

Injuries: For the Penguins, centers Joe Vitale ("upper body") and Evgeni Malkin (foot) are out. Right wingers Beau Bennett (hand/wrist), Chris Conner (foot), Pascal Dupuis (knee), defensemen Kris Letang (stroke), Paul Martin (hand) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Coyotes, left winger Lauri Korpikoski ("upper body"), defenseman David Schlemko ("lower body") and goaltender Mike Smith ("lower body") are day to day.

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

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 22 Lee Stempniak
36 Jussi Jokinen - 16 Brandon Sutter - 18 James Neal
49 Brian Gibbons - 57 Marcel Goc - 17 Taylor Pyatt
15 Tanner Glass - 27 Craig Adams - 59 Jayson Megna

3 Olli Maatta - 2 Matt Niskanen
47 Simon Despres - 4 Rob Scuderi
44 Brook Orpik - 41 Robert Bortuzzo

-The Coyotes did not hold a morning skate. Their primary lines and defensive pairings against the Rangers last night were:

36 Rob Klinkhammer - 50 Antoine Vermette - 89 Mikkel Boedkker
10 Martin Erat - 11 Martin Hanzal - 17 Radim Vrbata
38 Brandon McMillan - 63 Mike Ribeiro - 19 Shane Doane
24 Kyle Chipchura - 14 Jeff Halpern - 18 David Moss

23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson - 4 Zbynek Michalek
3 Keith Yandle - 53 Derek Morris
20 Chris Summer - 26 Michael Sone


-The last time the Penguins played the Coyotes, this happened:

-The Penguins' magic number to clinch a playoff berth is two points. They can clinch if they get a win of any time or an overtime/shootout loss AND a loss of any type by the Capitals or a regulation loss by the Blue Jackets.

-Malkin will be sidelined two to three weeks due to a foot injury.

-Adams has 99 career assists.

-With Smith injured, the Coyotes recalled goaltender Mark Visentin from Portland of the AHL.

-Bissonnette has appeared in 199 career games.

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

(Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Mark Your Calendars! The Hat Luncheon Is Almost Here!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

Very few things get me more excited than the opportunity to wear a cute hat. Ever since Kate Middleton started rocking them to every event across the pond, I have been waiting for a moment to buy a ridiculous, over the top, fabulous hat.



My time has come.

Last week I sat down with Scott Roller who works at the Parks Conservancy here in the city. His enthusiasm (not only for hats) but for restoring and reviving our city parks inspired me to learn more about the history of the green spaces right here in Pittsburgh.

This is where the hats come in. See exhibit A: Kiya Tomlin, who is co-chairing the event this year, with a true masterpiece perched upon her head at last year’s annual Spring Hat Luncheon.

This year, the event will be held in Highland Park, one of the prettiest spots in the city. But the Conservancy’s reach goes far beyond the upkeep of our city parks, Scott told me: it has a grand vision to revive the Frick Environmental Center following the fire that occurred , which will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

3Kiya Tomlin 200x300 2

“We believe that a vibrant economy and green spaces bring people to Pittsburgh,” Scott said. He also told about Mellon Square’s upcoming facelift. It was the first urban park built on top of a parking lot, and now it is time to shine once more.

With all of the green spaces being re-conceived, revived and reinvigorated, it should prove to be an extremely fun summer with lots of places to have picnics, ride your bike, or just catch some rays on your lunch break (hats optional).

Pittsburgh...greener than expected!


Check out the Parks Conservancy on Twitter: @pittsburghparks

                                                                                                                                                                 Exhibit A: Kiya Tomlin's hat


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Michalek: 'Hockey is a business and I had to move on' - 03-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

He was part of the other trade Ray Shero made the night of the first round in the 2012 entry draft held on the floor at Consol Energy Center.

A few hours after center Jordan Staal was dealt away, defenseman Zbynek Michalek was moved to the Coyotes in exchange for a few prospects and a draft pick.

For the Penguins, the primary reason for the trade was to clear some salary cap space in the form of a player who never quite fit in after being a free agent signing the summer of 2010.

For Michalek, it was a return to a place and situation where he experienced his greatest success as a professional.

Tonight, he will play in Consol Energy Center for the first time since that trade. Earlier today, he talked to Pittsburgh reporters about his return. While hesitant to go into details about his career with the Penguins, he was complimentary and honest about his two seasons in Pittsburgh:

Does this game carry any extra weight for you tonight?

"The schedule has been so busy and so hectic. It’s been crazy. I’m maybe still realizing I’m back but I’m sure it’s going to hit me tonight when I step on the ice. It brings back some memories. That’s part of being a hockey player. You move around. I look at it like it’s going to be a tough game and a big challenge for us."

How do you assess your time in Pittsburgh?

"I look at it like a good experience for myself as a player and as a person. Playing for a club that’s being watched by every angle by media, fans and everybody. It was a great experience in that regard. It didn’t work out for the team or myself when I was here. I look at it as a great experience. I think it helped me become a better player and a better person. I look at it and I’m happy the way the team treated me and my family. I enjoyed my time here. Met a lot of nice people. Hockey is a business and I had to move on."

You had success with Paul Martin as a shutdown defensive pairing in 2010-11 but struggled to he point you were broken up as a duo in 2011-12. What worked for you that first season and didn't work that second season?

"I don’t know. It’s hard to say. It’s way in the past. I don’t really remember what worked or did not. Here in Pittsburgh, everything goes by where you go in the playoffs and we lost in the first round both years. Everybody was disappointed. Changes had to happen. It’s behind me. I don’t really look at the past. I look at what’s now and what’s ahead of me. I’m happy where I am right now."

Why have you had your greatest success under Coyotes coach Dave Tippett?

"He’s a great coach. He’s a demanding coach. Every player has a role on the team and you rely on every single guy in the room to contribute. You really feel like you’re part of the team and that you can make a difference. If we don’t do that, you’re not a good enough team. We need every single guy to show up every night and he demands that from everybody. He’s a player’s coach. He played the game. He gives us a day off and how to practice and stuff. I have a good relationship with him. I feel like he trusts me and that’s really important for a player. That gives me a lot of confidence on the ice."

The Penguins have a unique system for puck retrieval which is demanding on defensemen. Was it a challenge to learn it?

"It’s a little different than any other system I played in. It takes sometime to get used to but it’s nothing you couldn’t get used to. It just takes a little bit of time. I think the coaching staff in Pittsburgh [does] a great job. They makes sure the new players that come in, they learn the system fast. We’re all professionals here at the highest level. We shouldn’t have any excuses or problems adjusting to any system."

Your daughter was born was in Pittsburgh. Is this trip back important for that?

"Definitely. Yeah. I’ll always have the memory that my daughter was born here. That’s a great memory that will stay with me the rest of my life. It will always remind me this was the place she was she was born. It’s always going to stay with me. That’s something we will never forget."

(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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Lights on at Allegheny City Market

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

The Allegheny City Market has just opened at the location of the former Doug’s Market on Arch Street, bringing an easily walkable service back to the Central Northside. 
Doug’s closed late last fall.
Proprietor Rob Collins, who also owns the Bryant Street Market in Highland Park, has brightened the space and put down wood floors. He is offering many of the same provisions — although the market in Highland Park is larger — including sandwiches-to-go that sell like gangbusters on Bryant Street.
The Allegheny City Market carries more produce than Doug’s did, including big hanks of cilantro, avocados, cucumbers and lettuce. It also carries a fair number of upscale brands and food(ie)stuffs such as Greek yogurt, organic items and a variety of flours and grains.
This market and what it stocks reflects the diversity of the neighborhood, although it still awaits the federal government’s go-ahead to be able to accept customers’ SNAP benefits — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
Since the late 1800s, 1327 Arch St. has been a neighborhood market, with that recent blip of several months in transition. Not counting the businesses on Federal and North, the Central Northside has very few retail options.
The Buena Vista Cafe recently closed, leaving Wilson's Bar-B-Que, the Monterey Pub and Riggs Lounge as the only other retail spots. The Allegheny City Market is not just a viable purveyor of groceries. It's another enlivened storefront in a neighborhood that would be more vibrant with more of them.

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Supreme Court hears Hobby Lobby birth control case

Written by Kim Lyons on .

According to the Associated Press, the Hobby Lobby birth control case has Supreme Court justices sharply divided. At issue is whether an employer's religious beliefs can exempt them from paying for coverage of birth control for employees.

One key question is whether a profit-making company like Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, whose owners are evangelical Christians, has religious rights.

SCOTUSblog has a live blog running. The latest update indicates that the outcome is going to depend on the vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy, with the other justices apparently split four to four.


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