-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "He's the best player in the game for a reason. He has been for a long time. He makes a real good shot there." - Maple Leafs captain/defenseman Dion Phaneuf on Sidney Crosby.
-The Associated Press' recap. ''We keep finding ways. A lot has to do with the way the (new guys) are playing.'' - Crosby.
-Mike Lange's goal calls.
-Robert Bortuzzo versus Toronto's Troy Bodie:
-Zach Sill vs. Bodie:
-A good look at the bout:
-Jayson Megna got dumped on this collision with Toronto's Jonathan Bernier here:
-Painful times for Megna:
-Bortuzzo's hit on Toronto's Jerry D'Amigo:
-Painful times for D'Amigo:
-Philip Samuelsson. Pittsburgh Penguin:
Crosby seemed amused by Toronto's Nazem Kadri:
-Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out this puck:
-Dan Bylsma speaks:
-Olli Maatta speaks:
-Matt Niskanen speaks:
-Bortuzzo will not be disciplined for hit to Maple Leafs forward Jerry D'Amigo.
-“I thought someone slipped gunpowder in his pregame meal this afternoon. He was on fire. He was something. He was fun to watch. A huge lift for the team. One of his best [games] by far.” - The great Joe Vitale on the game of Robert Bortuzzo.
-Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will appeal his 15-game suspension for attacking Brooks Orpik.
-EN Says: Thornton is getting quite a bit of grief about this step of the process but we can't blame him. It's a right he has legally within the confines of the collective bargaining agreement. If he can reduce his suspension by a game or two and spare himself a from losing a paycheck, that's understandable. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will hear the appeal and he has the right to uphold the suspension or adjust it. In other words, Bettman can increase or decrease the amount of games Thornton must sit. If Thornton isn't satisfied with that result, he can appeal to an independent arbitrator.
-"He’s trying to make his footing somewhere. He feels that our family has that history [in Pittsburgh] so it’s certainly special for Philip too. It’s a new era and everything down there. I certainly have a sweet spot in my heart for the Penguins organization. It really is special." - Former Penguins Ulf Samuelsson (right) on his son, Philip Samuelsson, making his debut with the Penguins.
-Welcome back Kris Letang and Rob Scuderi ... after Christmas.
-"They have good chemistry. They move the puck well together. Obviously, defense first but [Simon] Despres loves to jump in the play and [Samuelsson] is always following it up looking for offensive opportunities." - Maple Leafs forward and former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin Trevor Smith on the defensive pairing of Despres and Samuelsson.
-Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader is expected to be sidelined at least a week in order to go through concussion protocol. Abdelkader was injured on a hit to the head from Deryk Engelland Saturday.
-Crosby has reached out to Devils forward Ryane Clowe on how to deal with his concussion.
-What's the state of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins after all these call-ups.
-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins forward Erik Christensen (right). A third-round pick in 2002, "Crusher" spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2005-06, Christensen appeared in 33 games and scored 13 points. He followed that up in 2006-07 by playing in 61 games and recording 33 points. He saw action in four postseason games that spring and failed to score a point. After 49 games and 20 points in 2007-08, Christensen was at the trade deadline along with Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito and a draft pick to the Thrashers in exchange for Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa. In 143 regular season games with the Penguins, Christensen scored 66 points. Arguably the greatest shootout artist in franchise history, Christensen's success rate of 60.9 (14 for 23) percent is the best in franchise history among those with more than five shot attempts. Christensen is currently a member of HV71 of Sweden's SHL.
-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Matt Murley. A second-round pick in 1999, Murley spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2003-04, Murley appeared in 18 games and scored two points. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Murley saw action in 41 games in 2005-06 and scored six points. In the 2006 offseason, Murley joined the Avalanche as a free agent. In 59 games with the Penguins, Murley scored 11 points.
-Happy 49th birthday to former Penguisn goaltender Frank Pietrangelo (right). A fourth-round pick in 1983, Pietrangelo spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1987-88, he saw action in 21 games, had a 9-11-0 record with a 3.98 goals against average, .867 save percentage and one shutout. He followed that up in 1988-89 by playing in 15 games, going 5-3-0 with a 4.04 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. During 1989-90, he appeared in 21 games, compiled a record of 8-6-2 and had a 4.33 goals against average and a 867 save percentage. Arguably, Pietrangelo's finest NHL season was 1990-91. He set career highs in games (25) and wins with a 10-11-1 record while sporting a 3.94 goals against average and .880 save percentage. During the 1991 postseason, Pietrangelo stepped up in place of injured starter Tom Barrasso. Facing elimination in Game 6 of a Patrick Division semifinal series at New Jersey, Pietrangelo made 27 saves, including a dazzling stop on Devils forward Peter Stastny which simply became known as "The Save," and led the Penguins to a 4-3 victory which tied the series, 3-3 (below). In Game 7, Pietrangelo made 27 saves in a 4-0 home shutout win to clinch the series. All together, Pietrangelo played in five games that postseason, went 4-1 and had a 3.12 goals against average, and .899 save percentage and helped the franchise claim its first Stanley Cup title. After five games, a 2-1-0 record, a 5.33 goals against average and .880 save percentage in 1991-92, Pietrangelo was dealt at the trade deadline to the Whalers in exchange for two draft picks. The first player in franchise history to wear No. 40, Pietrangelo played in 87 games for the Penguins and had a 34-32-3 record with a 4.13 goals against average, .873 save percentage and one shutout.
-After the Jump: Another suspension! Wee!
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The unseasonably cold start to the season combined with a decent snowfall has forced the deer into our gardens. In my case, they've been feasting on azaleas, rhododendrons and knocking the top off the bird feeder. It might be a long winter for the deer and if they get hungry enough, they will eat just about anything.
There are three basic techniques I use to keep my plants safe.
The first is a physical barrier, usually in the form of deer netting. It's cheap, easy to apply and it works. Sometimes it mean fencing in an area, other times it's just throwing it over a plant. I worried that the netting would be ugly, but it's invisible out in the landscape.
Secondly, I use commercial deterrents both liquid and granular. Using lots of different products keeps the deer guessing and off our treasured plants. I like Bobex, Plantskydd, Deer Stopper, Liquid Fence, Deer Scram, Deer Off and Scoot. I know that seems like a lot of different things to use, but mixing things up really works for me. I've never had luck with human hair, soap and many homemade recipes. Here's a link though to one that works if you've got the time to make it. It's made with onions, garlic and hot Hungarian paprika.
Here's another one you can make at home by combining two commercial products. It comes from a gardener who saw it used with much success at a daylily farm. Since I first gave the formula out, I've heard from lots of people who now swear by it.
The Bitter Apple is available at pet stores and is used to keep puppies from chewing things. The Wilt Pruf can be found at local nurseries adding it to the Bitter Apple gets it to stick to the plants.
The Bitter Apple can be bought in bigger containers to cover more area too and the combination is much cheaper than commercial repellents.
My most effective deterrent is Max the Wonder Dog who chases big bucks out of the garden. I can't understand how a little mutt like Max can threaten the deer but still be afraid of the cat!
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