Our friend Laura Olson of the Allentown Call, along with her colleague, Emily Opilo, report that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is about to jump into the Democratic race to challenge Sen. Pat Toomey. Mr. Pawlowski had acknowledged earlier that he was considering the race. He did not immediately respond to a request for...
Penguins - Rangers
-“I think Mike is pretty direct, straightforward, honest. I like the way he sees the game and wants us to play. For me, too, it’s been good because it’s a little more defensive than I’ve been used to. It’s been really good.” - Marc-Andre Fleury on Mike Johnston.
-For the first time since 2010, Sidney Crosby enters the playoffs healthy.
-The Penguins are going to get contributions from their role players ... right?
-Rangers forward Rick Nash missed Wednesday's practice due to an illness. He is expected to play in tonight's Game 1.
-“It’s pretty cool. In last year’s series (against the Penguins), I only played in one game. It’s great to have the opportunity to play against guys you grew up rooting for, but you try to put those emotions aside.” - Rangers forward J.T. Miller, a native of East Palestine, Ohio, on playing the Penguins.
-"He's very straightforward. He holds everyone to the same standards, whether you're Rick Nash or Jesper Fast or Marty St. Louis, and I think guys appreciate that. In some places, it's not the same for every guy. It's important for the room that every guy is held accountable . . . He lets his coaches run their part of the game plan, but it's his ship, make no mistake." - Rangers forward and former Penguin Tanner Glass on playing for coach Alain Vigneault.
-With defenseman Kevin Klein sidelined due to an arm injury, Rangers defenseman Matt Hunwick is getting in the lineup.
-SportsNet's/Hockey Night in Canada's playoff opening montage:
-After the Jump: The first night of the playoffs offered plenty of drama.
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Today we saw two of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands and in each we saw art treasures stolen by the Nazis and eventually recovered by a team of art scholars known as the Monuments Men.
Ghent and Bruges are both stunning and were highlighted in the movie of the same title starring George Clooney and an all-star cast.
Like most cities in the region they are crisscrossed by canals which offer beautiful reflections of tourists and locals exploring the city, especially early or late in the day.
The soothing music of a harp echoed in the halls of Sant Bavo Cathedral as we walked over the marble floors. Marc F.M. Hebnelinck played beautifully as we were taken to see the Ghent Altarpiece, one of the two pieces of art from the movie. This amazing work by Jan van Eyck is thought to be painted sometime between 1430 and 1432.
As both a history and movie buff, seeing the huge panels in person was a real treat.
While headed back to the bus, we stumbled on to a bride and groom who were just married and probably headed to their reception. We joined locals in congratulating them and they were thrilled to be photographed by so many people.
Bruges is an ancient city and we were finally treated to something we longed for since landing in the Netherlands, a large stand of daffodils which illuminated the center of town.
The courtyard of Monasterium "De Wijngaard" was filled with white and yellow blooms welcoming spring. A day of sunshine and temperatures reaching the 70's is a treat this time of the year here as everyone under 40 had on as few clothes as possible to soak up the sun.
Although I was captivated by the city, there was only one goal in mind, to see the famous Madonna and Child by Michelangelo. It’s located in the Church of our Lady and cost three Euros to see. This piece was the hinge pin of the movie, a historic treasure and is one of the artist's few works to leave Italy.
My enthusiasm was infectious. While walking and talking with a leader from another tour group who also knew the amazing history of the Madonna and Child, she was persuaded to leave her travelers with a colleague and join me to see the artwork.
While we stood in front of the statue in awe, a woman walked up to the altar, knelt down and bowed her head.
It was fitting tribute to all those who lost their lives all those years ago, returning this masterpiece to its rightful place.
(Top image: Michelangelo's Madonna and Child. Doug Oster photos)
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It has been 150 years since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the man who fought hard to end slavery and the civil war. Now, here we are today dealing with severe racial tensions, income inequality and a partisan civil war.
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(Note: This is an updated version of something we've published at the start of the playoffs the past few seasons. It's something we get a lot of feedback on and we always enjoy writing it.)
If someone were to ask us what the Stanley Cup playoffs mean to us, we'd have a hard time giving a simple, concise answer.
-It's the Miracle on Manchester.
-It's Bill Guerin finding the little opening on Martin Biron.
-It's Richard Brodeur not being camera friendly.
-It's Kris Letang keeping the Penguins alive.
-It's Steve Yzerman lifting the Stanley Cup with one knee.
-It's Doug Weight lifting the Stanley Cup with one shoulder.
-It's Pat LaFontaine ending a long, exhaustive Easter Sunday.
-It's Vladimir Konstantinov flipping Claude Lemieux.
-It's Bobby Ryan making David Legwand look like a pylon.
-It's the reason Joe Louis Arena smells like fish.
-It's Benoit Pouliot scoring Derick Brassard's goal.
-It's Jaromir Jagr beating the Devils on two bad groins.
-It's Jarome Iginla and Vincent Lecavalier duking it out when it mattered most.
-It's "The Save."
-It's Milan Lucic being a bad sport.
-It's Mike Crombeen taking advantage of some poor defensive zone coverage by Randy Carlyle.
-It's Jason Arnott taking advantage of some poor defensive zone coverage by Sylvain Cote.
-It's George Ferguson blowing by Ken Breitenbach.
-It's Dale Hunter tearing through the Flyers' defense.
-It's Bryan Bickell avoiding Josh Harding's poke check.
-It's the hole in Cam Ward's glove.
-It's David #*&! Volek.
-It's John Tonelli.
-It's Ed Westfall.
-It's Brooks Orpik.
-It's plastic rats.
-It's Wayne Gretzky's blowing one by Mike Vernon's glove hand.
-It's "Bury Graves."
-It's Nathan Horton taking advantage of a screen.
-It's Evgeni Malkin having enough of Henrik Zetterberg.
-It's Jarret Stoll finding just enough space on Cory Schneider.
-It's "The Geno."
-It's Nino Niederreiter ringing the bell.
-It's Mike Green letting Dominic Moore walk right in.
-It's Mike Green letting Vincent Lecavalier walk right in.
-It's Semyon Varlamov robbing Sidney Crosby.
-It's Patrick Roy raising his hand prematurely.
-It's Damien Brunner cleaning up the garbage.
-It's Ty Conklin making a mistake at a terrible time.
-It's Matt Cooke barging in at the last second (or the last 5.7 seconds to be precise).
-It's Brett Hull's foot in the crease.
-It's Patrick Marleau ending the Canucks' season.
-It's Andrew Shaw's bloody celebration.
-It's David Steckel sending things back to Washington.
-It's Patrick Kane having hands faster than Ilya Bryzgalov.
-It's Alex Burrows remembering Luc Bourdon.
-It's Jordan Staal changing everything.
-It's "Darren Helm! Darren Helm!"
-It's "Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!"
-It's Patrice Bergeron snuffing out any hopes the Penguins had.
-It's Maxime Talbot shushing Daniel Carcillo and an entire city.
-It's Derek Plante giving the Senators a rude introduction to the playoffs.
-It's Joffrey Lupul giving the Capitals a rude introduction to the playoffs.
-It's Tom Fitzgerald blowing a slapper by Tom Barrasso from Centre Avenue.
-It's Ron Francis blowing a slapper by Mike Richter from Centre Avenue.
-It's Steve Yzerman blowing a slapper by Jon Casey from Livonia.
-It's Steven Stamkos refusing to let something like a slapper to the face end his night.
-It's Martin St. Louis scoring on the biggest rebound of his life.
-It's Tonelli to Nystrom.
-It's "the best player in the world" hitting the actual best player in the world.
-It's Dan Carcillo being "welcomed" back by Flyers fans.
-It's Scott Niedermayer giving the cup to his brother, Rob.
-It's Matt Carkner keeping the Senators alive.
-It's Toews and Kane ending the Kings' reign.
-It's Matt Calvert giving the Blue Jackets their first ever playoff win.
-It's Alex Ovechkin taking out Sergei Gonchar.
-It's the delight of a double deflection between Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw.
-It's Alex Burrows getting Tim Thomas to bite.
-It's Mario Lemieux "retiring" in stunning fashion.
-It's Vladimir Konstantinov's "skate" with the Cup in his wheel chair.
-It's being rivals but humans at the same time.
-It's Martin St. Louis celebrating Mother's Day.
-It's the fact that Shawn Chambers is probably still trying to figure out where Mario Lemieux is.
-It's Jamie Baker and the Sharks doing the unbelievable against the Red Wings.
-It's Andrew Brunette weaving through the Avalanche's defense.
-It's Hal Gill busting up Ryan Malone's already mangled schnoz.
-It's Nick Bonino and Devante Smith-Pelly coming back against the Stars.
-It's Stu Barnes putting one over Johan Hedberg's shoulder and off the cross bar.
-It's Oilers fans making us wish we were Canadian.
-It's Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin trading hat tricks.
-It's Igor Larionov displaying the most patient backhand ever.
-It's Sidney Crosby spinning Jason Spezza silly.
-It's Lanny McDonald making his only goal of the playoffs count.
-It's James Neal just taking one.
-It's watching a game with a few thousand friends.
-It's the Penguins piling on Darius Kasparaitis.
-It's the 24 white banners in Montreal.
-It's Brandon Dubinsky taking advantage of Marc-Andre Fleury's mistake.
-It's Nick Foligno taking advantage of Marc-Andre Fleury.
-It's Oilers owner Peter Pocklington trying to sneak his dad's name on the Stanley Cup.
-It's Ron Francis saving the day when Mario Lemieux and Joey Mullen were hurt.
-It's Martin Gelinas sending his former employer to the golf course.
-It's Barrett Jackman finding Corey Crawford's five hole from the left half wall.
-It's Pavel Bure undressing Mike Vernon.
-It's Brendan Smith biting off more then he can chew.
-It's Jaromir Jagr dancing through the Devils' defense.
-It's Jaromir Jagr dancing through the Bruins' defense.
-It's Jaromir Jagr dancing through the Blackhawks' defense.
-It's the Hurricanes stunning the Devils in the final 1:20 of a Game 7.
-It's Marc Savard shaking off the rust.
-It's "The Shift."
-It's Mike Fisher playing with a terminally-ill three-year-old boy.
-It's Maxim Afinogenov going for a swim.
-It's Ron Hextall jumping Chris Chelios.
-It's Gary Roberts tormenting the Senators.
-It's Evgeni Malkin having younger, fresher legs than his fellow countryman, Sergei Fedorov.
-It's Brian Campbell not having a prayer on a three-on-one against the Red Wings.
-It's that little "rattle" in Mike Lange's voice when he lets us know "H-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e shoots and scores!!!!"
-It's Brenden Morrow sending the Sharks home after four overtimes.
-It's Petr Sykora's lightning quick forehand/backhand move.
-It's Alex Ovechkin getting stoned on his breakaway in Game 7.
-It's Sidney Crosby not getting stoned on his breakaway in Game 7.
-It's Dale Weise knowing exactly where to set up shop.
-It's the civility of a handshake.
-It's the beauty of a "hockey face."
-It's the ugliness of a finger point.
-It's the brilliance of a CBC pregame montage.
-It's Adam Deadmarsh helping Tinseltown beat Hockeytown.
-It's getting a hand (as well as a stick, a foot and a shin) from Rob Scuderi.
-It's Kyle Turris' perfect shot.
-It's Mike Krushelnyski's blooper over Mike Vernon.
-It's Pascal Dupuis going far side while falling on his butt.
-It's Joel Ward crashing in on Tim Thomas.
-It's that trainer from Toronto spraying a water bottle to celebrate Nikolai Borshevsky's overtime goal.
-It's Arturs Irbe's moldy goaltending equipment.
-It's the eternity of 17 seconds.
-It's Gary Roberts destroying Andreas Lilja and giving Adam Hall a chance at scoring.
-It's (Adam) Henrique being better than Henrik (Lundqvist).
-It's Jonathan Toews willing his way to a clutch shorthanded goal in Game 7.
-It's Alex Burrows and the Canucks finally beating the Blackhawks.
-It's Petr Sykora ending the game that would not end.
-It's Uwe Krupp bringing a championship to Colorado.
-It's Bob Baun scoring an overtime goal on a broken ankle.
-Its Jakub Voracek catching the Penguins standing around.
-It's Benn Ferriero giving himself the best birthday gift ever.
-It's Mario Lemieux making the Civic Arena probably the loudest it has ever been.
-It's Scott Walker being a villian in Boston.
-It's Alexander Steen benefiting from Jonathan Quick's error.
-It's Daniel Briere getting a lucky bounce off Zdeno Chara's skate.
-It's Marian Hossa almost keeping the hopes alive.
-It's Daniel Alfredsson finding a big hole in the Penguins' defense.
-It's Jeff Carter circling the zone.
-It's Dustin Byfuglien putting Chris Pronger in his place.
-It's Tim Thomas putting Henrik Sedin in his place.
-It's Colin Greening scoring despite having pieces of fiberglass in his face.
-It's Jim Lorentz killing a bat.
-It's Marian Hossa being in the right place at the right time.
-It's Brad Richards and Marc Staal figuring out Braden Holtby.
-It's Erik Cole's beard.
-It's Stephen Walkom doing his job.
-It's Brent Seabrook saving Walkom a lot of grief.
-It's Brad Park cleaning up his own rebound.
-It's Robbie Brown really making Ron Hextall mad.
-It's Chris Kunitz windmilling Kimmo Timonen.
-It's Justin Williams being clutch.
-It's Joe Thornton proving he can be clutch.
-It's Joe Pavelski always being clutch.
-It's Maxime Talbot making us stay up late.
-It's Marc-Andre Fleury simply refusing to finish his season.
-It's Petr Sykora calling his shot.
-It's closing Mellon Arena in a nightmare fashion.
-It's Theo Fleury slipping and sliding all over the ice.
-It's finally seeing a Stanley Cup celebration in Mellon Arena, just not the one most of us were hoping for.
-It's the Winnipeg White Out.
-It's Alexei Poniarovsky taking advantage of a bad rebound by Ilya Bryzgalov.
-It's Luc Robitaille's goal and Francois Leroux's goofy little kicking celebration in the corner.
-It's Daniel to Henrik after four overtimes.
-It's doing away with at least one of those silly superstitions.
-It's Brad Marchand dangling on Roberto Luongo.
-It's Paul Kariya getting off the floor and on the board.
-It's Garry Valk poking one by Tom Barrasso.
-It's Patrick Kane scoring a goal only he saw.
-It's Russ Cournall beating Frank Pietrangelo from the high slot.
-It's Anze Kopitar getting loose on Martin Brodeur.
-It's Evgeni Malkin making some toast out of Martin Biron.
-It's Maxime Talbot taking advantage of a Brad Stuart turnover.
-It's Maxime Talbot showing why he's a "superstar."
-It's Marc-Andre Fleury winning the game everyone said he couldn't win.
-It's lifting the Stanley Cup on their ice, a year after they lifted it on your ice.
-It's all of those things.
-And it's so much more.
Over the course of the next two months, much of what happened in the below video will be repeated in some fashion. In mid-June Gary Bettman is going to awkwardly hand the Stanley Cup to a gentleman with a "C" on his chest and someone will have one big long summer party.
(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)