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It's your turn now

It's showtime.

Polling numbers, campaign ads, rallies and speeches all come down to this: Election Day. By tonight, Pennsylvania could have a new governor, the U.S. Senate could have a new majority -- and President Obama could have a fight on his hands for the last two years of his term.

We'll be back this evening to cover today's results; for now,...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6361-election-day-it-s-your-turn-now

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Empty Netter Assists - 11-04-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins' power play has been more than adequate. You may have heard about it.

-How does Robert Bortuzzo (right) fit in with Olli Maatta sidelined?

-Beau Bennett will be assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for conditioning purposes.

-The Penguins recalled defenseman Scott Harrington from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. In seven AHL games this season, he has two assists.

-EN Says: With Maatta sidelined, Harrington was next in line to be recalled. That said, if he's expected to be the No. 7 defenseman on a road trip, Taylor Chorney might be a better choice for that role. Chorney has hit his ceiling and probably can't benefit from playing top-pairing minutes in the AHL quite as much as Harrington can.

-"He wants the puck on his stick. As a guy that’s playing with him, I hear him a lot on the ice calling for the puck which is nice. You always know here he is." - Blake Comeau on playing with Evgeni Malkin.

-Marc-Andre Fleury was named the NHL's third star of the week.

-Sidney Crosby was named the NHL's second star of the month.

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Rick Berry. Acquired at the 2002 trade deadline along with Ville Nieminen in a deal which sent Darius Kasparaitis to the Avalanche, Berry's Penguins' career amounted to 13 games and two assists in 2001-02. Prior to the 2002-03 season, the Capitals claimed Berry off waivers.

-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins coach Michel Therrien. Promoted from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Dec. 15, 2005 as a replacement for Ed Olczyk, Therrien coached the Penguins for parts of four seasons. He finished the 2005-06 season with a 14-29-8 record. In 2006-07, he directed the club to a 47-24-11 record. The team improved by 47-points, the fourth-best turnaround in NHL history. The Penguins also qualified for the postseason for the first time in six years. He followed that up by leading the team to a 47-27-8 record and the Atlantic Division title, the first division crown for the club in 10 years. The team would advance to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 16 years. After 57 games and a 27-25-5 record in 2008-09, Therrien was fired Feb. 15 and replaced by Dan Bylsma. In 272 regular season games with the Penguins, Therrien had a 135-105-32 record. His 135 wins are third-most in franchise history. He is currently the head coach of the Canadiens.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Roman Simicek. A ninth-round pick in 2000, Simicek's Penguins career amounted to 29 games and nine points with the 2000-01 Penguins. Midway through the season, Simicek was traded to the Wild in exchange for Steve McKenna. He currently plays for GKS Tychy in Poland's Ekstraliga.

-After the Jump: Vladimir Tarasenko scores an amazing goal.

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Gun Czar

Written by Rob Rogers on .

As I've been saying, we don't really need an Ebola Czar. There has only been one death in the U.S. because of ebola. How about a czar for something that kills 30,000 Americans a year?

110414 Gun Czar

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Big Ben meme; AB's stiff arm

Written by Dan Gigler on .

You might've guessed this was coming ... after Big Ben got popped in the mush Sunday night by Baltimore's Courtney Upshaw, the NBC cameras caught him working out the pain by contorting his jaw into some funny faces.

Needless to say, Bleacher Report compiled them all. Here are a few of the better ones: 

 

 

Also, sharing this, just because ...

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Comeau looking for shots - 11-03-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Blake Comeau likely won't make anyone forget James Neal. Or even Petr Sykora. But for the time being, he's Evgeni Malkin's new right winger and he's been productive in that role.

Teamed with Malkin at center and Pascal Dupuis on the left wing since a 4-3 overtime loss to the Red Wings Oct. 23, Comeau has produced five points (two goals, three assists) in five games.

Recently, Comeau talked about that line and his abilities as a shooter.

What's it like playing on the second line with Malkin as opposed to last season where you primarily had fourth-line role with the Blue Jackets?

"It's exciting. He's obviously one of the most elite players in the NHL. I feel like me, him and [Dupuis] have some really good chemistry together. We compliment each others' games really well I think. Last year was frustrating. I don't think I'm playing any differently than I was last year. Different eyes I guess on me this year that see different things. It seemed like last year, whether I had a few good games, it just seemed like I was stuck there without any role. It's nice to be rewarded for good play."

How do you describe playing with Malkin?

"He wants the puck on his stick. As a guy that’s playing with him, I hear him a lot on the ice calling for the puck which is nice. You always know here he is. There’s going to be times where I’ve got to decide if the best [choice] is to pass or to shoot. So far things have gone well. We’ve generated some good chances and scored some goals five on five. So hopefully, we can keep going."

Is he comparable to anyone you've played with before?

"He’s a pretty happy guy around the room. Pretty funny, goofy guy. On the ice, I think he’s one of the best in the world. You can’t really compare him to anyone because he does have his own style that he plays. Skill-wise, I played with [Islanders captain/forward John] Tavares in Long Island a little bit there. They've both got great vision. Great playmakers. And obviously, two of some of the best players in the world."

And Dupuis?

"He just plays hard. Gets in on the forecheck, creates turnovers. We play a lot of a similar style with getting in on the forecheck. I think we're both responsible defensively and that's going to create some more chances for us. We're taking care of things in our own end."

Can you pinpoint any one thing which has led to your early success thus far?

"The big thing is just confidence. The coaching staff has done a good job of going over video with me. Giving me confidence to make plays with the puck. But like I said, I don't really feel like I'm playing different  this year than I was last year. It's just I'm getting a really good opportunity with some really good players whether it's [Malkin] or other guys, there's a lot of depth up front. It's good to be here."

How conscious are you of the fact that you're scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and making the most out of playing on this line could benefit you next summer?

To be honest, not at all. Ten games into the season, I'm enjoying my time. A great group of guys here. I always I felt I had the skills to produce like I did earlier in my career. I just think I was in different opportunities with different roles on different teams. The coaching staff here has given me a lot of confidence to go out and make plays and obviously, playing with guys like [Malkin and Dupuis], I really can't complain. I think [Dupuis] plays hard. We compliment each other really well. Obviously with [Malkin's] talent and the way he sees the ice, things have been going well so far.

Describe the goal you scored Saturday against the Sabres.

"I passed it out to [Malkin] in the [defensive] zone and he's the kind of guy when he has the puck, he's going to make things happen. I just tried to drive down the middle of the ice. He made a great pull-up play at the blue line and got it to me. I had a little more time than I thought. I just tried to put one over [goaltender Jhonas Enroth's] glove and it went in."

That was a pretty precise shot you scored on. How do you approach shooting the puck?

"For myself, I want to try to get it off as quick as I can. Obviously, that shot I had a little more time than maybe what you're used to. It's still something I want to focus on is getting my shot total up. I feel like I'm getting pretty good shot attempts. I feel like I'm getting a few blocked and a few are missing the net. If I can maybe get a few more on net, a few more might be able to in for me or I might be able to create some scrambles and I can get some goals that way as  well."

Coach Mike Johnston has used the phrase "volume of shots." Is it fair to say you've bought into that mentality?

"Yeah. It is for sure. I remember when I was in New York, I was talking to [former Islanders executive/forward] Bryan Trottier, he said [former Islanders forward] Mike Bossy had a goal of having seven shots a game. Some are going to get blocked, some are going to miss the net but if you have a goal going in of having [seven] shots - maybe that's a little bit to high for myself - but I want to try to get five or six shot attempts a night and hopefully I can get most of them on net. I feel like I look at my shot attempts and if I'm getting chances to put the puck on net, I think I'm involved. That means the puck's on my stick."

A lot of teams hired people to look at analytics this past offseason. Many the primary advanced statistics involved shot attempts for and against a player. Do you pay attention to those numbers at all?

"For me, I'm not. I'm not too aware of my analytics. I look at the stat sheet. I like to look at my shot attempts, my hits. If those numbers are up, that means that I was involved in the game. Obviously, if I come out of a game with no hits, no shots, that's not what kind of game I need to play to contribute to this team. So that's something I take a look at personally."

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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