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Empty Netter Assists - 03-30-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The last time the Penguins played the Blackhawks, it was tad snowy and one-sided.

-The Penguins have the Metropolitan Division all but wrapped up ... right?

-As always, Marc-Andre Fleury will be key to any postseason success for the Penguins.

-The Penguins have swept four series of three or more games this season.

-Peter Mannino made 25 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-1 win against the Norfolk Admirals.

-Highlights:

-Mannino has improved to 7-2-1 with a 1.05 GAA and .950 save percentage in March.

-Happy 54th birthday to former Penguins defenseman and assistant coach Randy Hillier (right). Acquired prior to the 1984-85 season in a trade which sent a draft pick to the Bruins, Hillier spent parts of seven seasons with the Penguins as a player. In 1984-85, Hillier appeared in 45 games and scored 21 points. During 1985-86, he was limited to 28 games and three assists. He followed that up in 1986-87 by seeing action in 55 games and  recorded 12 points. In 1987-88, Hillier once against played in 55 games and netted 13 points. Hillier appeared in a career-high 68 games in 1988-89 and scored a career-high 24 points. He saw action in nine postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. In 1989-90, he saw action in 61 games and netted 15 points. During 1990-91, Hillier appeared in 31 games and scored four points. He appeared in eight playoff games that spring and failed to record a point while helping the franchise earn its first Stanley Cup championship. During the 1991 offseason, he joined the Islanders as a free agent. In 343 regular season games with the Penguins, he recorded 92 points, 94th-most in franchise history. In 17 postseason games, he recorded one assist. Hiller returned to the Penguins and served as an assistant coach in the 1997-98 season and once again from 2001 through 2006.

-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Ty Conklin. A free agent signing in the 2007 offseason, Conklin's Penguins career amounted to 33 games in 2007-08. He went 18-8-5 with a 2.51 goals against average, .923 save percentage and two shutouts. He also served as the team's starting goaltender in the first Winter Classic in 2008. During the 2008 offseason, Conklin, one of 11 NHL players born in Alaska, joined the Red Wings as a free agent. He is currently a goalie development coach with the Blues.

-After the Jump: Jarome Iginla hits 30 goals yet again.

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Wahlberg gets slimed at Kids' Choice Awards

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

markAPTOPIX 27th Annual Kids Choice Awards - Show.JPEG-0920c - Copy
 
Story and photo, Associated Press:
 
 
By Chris Talbott 
AP Music Writer
Robert Downey Jr. turned inspirational speaker at the Kids’ Choice Awards, Pharrell set another fashion trend, David Blaine lost his head during a slime-induced illusion, One Direction and Jennifer Lawrence cleaned up, and the green goo bath finally caught up with Mark Wahlberg — thanks to some unlikely slimers.
 
Nickelodeon’s 27th annual awards show was among its more entertaining, opening with a sprawling and colorful Todrick Hall-choreographed performance and closing with Wahlberg’s eventual sliming on Saturday night in Los Angeles. 
 
Along the way One Direction won two awards, producer Dan Schneider won the show’s first lifetime achievement award and Downey got real after winning best male buttkicker.
 
“This is the highest honor yet bestowed on me — I’m grateful, humble, the whole deal,” the “Iron Man” star said. “You know I wasn’t always a buttkicker. In fact, life has kicked my proverbial butt countless times in many ways for many years, until I decided one day to start kicking back. Now look at me!”
 
He slipped in a plug for new movie “Avengers 2” before advising, “Remember when life is kicking your butt, never forget to kick it back right in the face.”
 
More than a dozen former and current teen stars joined on stage to salute Schneider, the creator of several of the network’s most popular shows, including “iCarly,” “Kenan & Kel” and “Sam & Cat,” a current Nickelodeon hit that won favorite TV show and favorite TV actress for star Ariana Grande.
 
“You’ve made more milk come out of kids’ noses than anyone else,” “Kenan & Kel” and “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson said in a video message.
 
One Direction won favorite music group and favorite song for “Story of My Life,” Lawrence won favorite movie actress and favorite female buttkicker, Selena Gomez was named favorite female singer, Adam Sandler was named favorite male actor at the fan-voted awards and Kevin Hart took favorite funny star.
 
The awards show isn’t much more than an excuse to slime some of today’s top stars, and first-time host Wahlberg executed several slimings as he successfully escaped the green goo for the show’s first 80 minutes. His first victims were actress Kaley Cuoco and Pharrell, who chose fortuitously to wear a pair of bright yellow SpongeBob SquarePants pajamas instead of his now-trademark poofy fedora.
 
It was Hart who eventually tricked Wahlberg into the goo, with an assist from the actor’s three young children.
 
“I can’t believe my own kids turned on me,” Wahlberg shouted.
———
Online:
 

 

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Uncoupling

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced their split by calling it a "conscious uncoupling." Apparently, that is the new-age way to describe a divorce. My question is, do the lawyers get paid more for a conscious uncoupling?

033014 Uncoupling

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Sweeping success - 03-29-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

With last night's 2-1 win at Columbus, the Penguins made a little bit of history by sweeping a regular season series of three or more games against an opponent from Ohio for the second time in franchise history.

Okay, that's more more a Trivial Pursuit answer than history.

The victory does set up a chance at matching history however.

In addition to sweeping the Blue Jackets (5-0-0), the Penguins have also swept the Capitals (4-0-0), the Sabres (3-0-0) and the Lightning (3-0-0) this season.

If the Penguins can win Tuesday's home game against the Hurricanes (3-0-0), they will sweep that series too. A win against Carolina would also match a mark of five regular season series sweeps set last season in a lockout-shortened campaign.

To date, the Penguins have swept 36 regular season series of three or more games throughout the history of the franchise:

Team Season Record
Atlanta Thrashers




1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2008-09
2010-11
4-0-0
4-0-0
4-0-0
4-0-0
4-0-0
Boston Bruins

1993-94
2012-13
6-0-0
3-0-0
Buffalo Sabres


2007-08
2010-11
2013-14
4-0-0
4-0-0
3-0-0
*-Cleveland Barons 1977-78 5-0-0
Colorado Rockies
1981-82 3-0-0
Columbus Blue Jackets 2013-14 5-0-0
Detroit Red Wings
1990-91 3-0-0
Hartford Whalers/
Carolina Hurricanes

1982-83
1992-93
1997-98
3-0-0
3-0-0
6-0-0
Florida Panthers 2010-11 4-0-0
Ottawa Senators


1994-95
1995-96
2012-13
4-0-0
6-0-0
3-0-0
Montreal Canadiens 2012-13 3-0-0
Philadelphia Flyers 2006-07 8-0-0
Quebec Nordiques



1981-82
1986-87
1987-88
1990-91

3-0-0
3-0-0
3-0-0
3-0-0

San Jose Sharks
1991-92 3-0-0
Tampa Bay Lightning

2012-13
2013-14
3-0-0
3-0-0
Toronto Maple Leafs
1985-86 3-0-0
Washington Capitals


2006-07
2012-13
2013-14
4-0-0
3-0-0
4-0-0
**-Winnipeg Jets

1979-80
1980-81
4-0-0
4-0-0

*-Defunct franchise.
**-Original Jets franchise.

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Empty Netter Assists - 03-29-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. Welcome back Beau Bennett.

-The Columbus Dispatch's recap. “I’m not sure that the way the games have gone would indicate that they’ve dominated us. It doesn’t sit very well that they’ve won all five games because that’s 10 points. One or two of those points and we’re in a much better position right now. But when it comes playoff time, I don’t think there are too many teams in the East who want to play us.” - Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky on being swept in the season series by the Penguins.

-The Associated Press' recap. The Penguins clinched a playoff berth.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Robert Bortuzzo versus Columbus' Nick Foligno:

-A good look at the bout:

-Ohio native Kelli Stack, a member of the United States women's Olympic hockey team, dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff between Sidney Crosby and Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky:

-This was a road game for the Penguins:

-Happy times for the Penguins:

-Simon Despres battled Columbus' Cam Atkinson for this puck:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

-Beau Bennett speaks:

-Marcel Goc will be sidelined three weeks due to a foot or ankle injury.

-Peter Mannino made 19 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-1 win against the Norfolk Admirals.

-Highlights:

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Chuck Kobasew has goals in six consecutive games since being assigned to the AHL.

-Eric Hartzell made 31 saves for the Wheeling Nailers who beat the Toledo Walleye, 5-3.

-Former Penguins forward Martin Straka (right) announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 41. Having not played in the NHL since 2007-08, Straka spent the past six seasons playing for his hometown team HC Plzen in the Czech Republic's ELH league. Straka served as the captain, owner and general manager of the team. A first round pick of the Penguins in 1992, Straka spent parts of 10 seasons with the Penguins in two separate stints. In 560 career regular season games with the Penguins, Straka had 442 career points, 10th-most in franchise history. Straka's most productive season came in 2000-01. Playing on a line with Robert Lang and Alexei Kovalev, Straka appeared in 82 games and scored 95 points, fourth-most in the NHL that season. In 65 career postseason games, Straka scored 46 points, including the series-clinching overtime goal in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the rival Capitals (see below). In addition to the Penguins, Straka played with the Senators, Islanders, Panthers, Kings and Rangers during his NHL career.

-Happy 63rd birthday to former Penguins forward Hartland Monahan. Acquired early in the 1977-78 season in a trade which sent a draft pick to the North Stars, Monahan's Penguins career amounted to seven games and two goals that season. In November of that season, he was traded to the Kings along with Syl Apps, Jr. in exchange for Dave Schultz, Gene Carr and a draft pick.

-Happy 76th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Duane Rupp (right). Acquired midway through the 1968-69 season in a trade which sent  Leo Boivin to the North Stars, Rupp spent parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh. He finished 1968-69 by appearing in 30 games and recording 13 points for the Penguins. His first full season with the Penguins was 1969-70. He saw action in 64 games and scored 16 points and helped the franchise reach the postseason for the first time. He appeared in six playoff games that season and scored four points. In 1970-71, Rupp played in 59 games and scored 33 points. Rupp saw action in four postseason games that spring and failed to record a point. During 1971-72, Rupp was limited to 34 games and 22 points. He rebounded in 1972-73 by playing in 78 games and scoring 20 points. After spending all of 1973-74 with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Hershey, Rupp signed with the Vancouver Blazers of the WHA. In 265 regular season games with the Penguins, Rupp, the first defenseman in franchise history to record a hat trick, scored 104 points, 81st-most in franchise history. In 10 postseason games, he scored four points.

-Today would have been the 74th birthday of former Penguins defenseman Dunc McCallum. Acquired in a trade along with George Konik, Paul Andrea and Frank Francis for Larry Jeffrey, McCallum spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. During the club's innagural season of 1967-68, McCallum appeared in 32 games and recorded two assists. He followed that up in 1968-69 with 62 games, 18 points and a team-leading 81 penalty minutes. During 1969-70, he was limited to 14 games and no points. He appeared in 10 postseason games that spring and recorded three points. McCallum's final season in Pittsburgh was 1970-71 and saw him play in 77 games while contributing a career-best 29 points. He was released in the 1971 offseason. He passed away in 1983 at the age of 43.

-After the Jump: Dominik Hasek returns to Buffalo.

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