Penguins indifferent on demise of the dry scrape - 11-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins' 3-2 overtime win in Boston last night was notable primarily because goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 300th career win.

Of much lesser significance was the absence of a dry scrape from a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine prior to the overtime period. For the first month and a half of the season, the NHL had the ice touched up by the machines in order to improve the quality of surface. That was done in hopes of having more games determined during overtime as opposed to the shootout.

A problem which arose with the practice was the four to five minute delay it took to resurface the entire rink prior to overtime. Many players, executives, media and fans felt that delay snuffed out energy from the game heading into overtime. As a result, the NHL decided to do away with dry scrapes as of this past Saturday. Now, rink attendants will clean the ice prior to the rink with shovels during a brief stoppage prior to the extra period.

Last night's game was the Penguins' first "dry scrape-free" overtime game since the change was made. Today, a number of them were asked about the change.

Mike Johnston, head coach – "I knew it took a while to get the scrape done. I think everyone was fine last night though the overtime didn't go long. If the overtime had gone longer and there were pucks that bounced, maybe it would have been more frustrating. We'll see how it goes. I think they do a pretty good job when [the rink attendants] come out and scrape [with shovels]."

Christian Ehrhoff, defenseman – "I think it definitely took a while but probably on the ice yesterday we could have used it. For us, it worked out anyway. But I think it's better for the fans to get it in a more timely matter. Get going again."

Thomas Greiss, goaltender – "I like it this way [without the dry scrape]. It's just faster and quicker. You're in the game and you want to stay in the moment and not have a break and a bit interruption there."

Olli Maatta, defenseman – "I don't know. I really didn't feel the difference. Obviously, it's a shorter break but with the dry scrape, you get the ice better but I don't think that was a problem last night."

Craig Adams, right wing – "If you want more goals in overtime, I think it's probably conducive to that. I don't know how much of an affect it's going to have. But I don't know if the delay was putting people off."

Chris Kunitz, left wing – "It looked like it worked out pretty good for us. They changed the rules obviously to keep fans engaged. Nothing to really say about it."

Nick Spaling, center – "I think they shoveled off all the ice. It seemed all right. I wasn't out there but it looked like it was fine. It wasn't too bad. As long as they get some shovels out and get rid of partial parts of the snow, I think that will help."

Blake Comeau, left wing – "It makes the ice a little better in overtime but I think it's a combination of maybe some guys just want to get going right away and some guys want clean ice. I don't have an opinion on it."

Brandon Sutter, center – "I think it's nice to not have that long break. It seemed like that game at home we had against the Rangers (Nov. 21), the scrape felt like it took forever. It's a pretty big break in between. I think it's nice just to go. However, the ice was amazing after a scrape too. The game feels better. The puck slide quicker. You definitely notice that. But I think that break is too much. It kind of takes a little bit of the emotion out of the game for a while. I think even for the fans to sit there for a few minutes and wait, you have to find a way to speed it up."

Fleury – "I think it was good because the ice was nicer but I found it was a little slow. You kind of wait there for a little while to get going into overtime. For the fans too, I'm sure it's a wait for overtime."

Rob Scuderi, defenseman – "It must be good. We won the game. I think it definitely improves the ice but I don't think it's anything that should affect us too much. But there's no doubt, that is better with the dry ice cut."

(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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Holgorsen presser: WVU hopes to end cold snap with trip to Ames

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen joined the media corps Tuesday for his weekly news conference. The Mountaineers (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) close out the regular season this week by traveling to Ames, Iowa, to play Iowa State (2-8, 0-7).

• OPENING STATEMENT | "Thanksgiving week for me, personally, is probably my favorite week of the year." Special to spend time with team, and if you're playing good football and this time of year, you're doing alright. Will meet for lifting and practice in the morning this week since the game in Ames is at 11 a.m. ET. "It'll be a hard game, as they all are. There's no easy game in the Big 12. Need to ignore their record." No need to look any farther than the past two years vs. Iowa State; squeaked out a win two years ago, then lost in triple overtime at home last year.

• CYCLONES OFFENSE | Iowa State has "good skill" on offense. QB Sam Richardson "runs better than he looks." Defensively, WVU "didn't touch" Kansas State's QB at all last week. "If we can't get to the QB, I don't care who we play; it's going to be a long day."

• CYCLONES DEFENSE | No change in scheme since last year. 4-3 defense that adds people to the box as needed. "Guys play hard, play with effort. They're always going to be in the right spots. We're going to have to block them, sustain blocks."

• QBs | "Clint is our starting quarterback. He's been our starting quarterback for 11 games." Trickett has been "dinged up" lately; he and WR Jordan Thompson were both concussed against Kansas State. Does not want to comment on severity of either concussion. Season has taken its toll on Trickett like it has other guys. "I don't think Clint has done anything performance-wise to jeopardize his starting QB role." QB Skyler Howard's tape "did nothing but confirm what I said Thursday night." Howard has been here for a while now, has taken a lot of reps, and things are "starting to click for him. I thought he handled it awesome." QB William Crest still has not been cleared, so in case of emergency Logan Moore and Paul Millard are available.

• E.J. BIBBS | "He is the best tight end in the league." Had him starred on his roster. Has 382 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns this season.

• SHAQ PETTEWAY | "He's a starter now." DC Tony Gibson made that decision early second quarter vs. Kansas State. Has been battling injuries his whole career but feels comfortable right now. "He's got snap to him, twitch to him." 

• OFFENSE | "I've got some issues with execution; I've got some issues with ball security," but effort and attitude have never been an issue. "Our guys didn't quit. They don't know what that means."

• WEATHER | Two years ago at Iowa State, "that was tough." Thinks the weather report for Saturday is "pretty favorable."

• INJURIES | CB Daryl Worley has a "lingering shoulder injury" and was in a green jersey today. CB Terrell Chestnut has been cleared.

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Saving seeds from the winter garden, it's fun and easy

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog garlic chives seedsThese garlic chives have gone to seed and it's easy to see the plant is about to drop them. Photos by Doug Oster

I don't know about you, but I miss the garden already. Saving seeds is a great job this time of the year.

While walking through the flower and vegetable garden, it's easy to see that lots of plants have gone to seed. Even though it's been cold, those temperatures won't harm the seeds.

In my garden, there are garlic chives, marigolds, hostas, beans and more which will give up their seed easily.

All we are doing is mimicking nature by grabbing the seeds before the plant discards them.

There's one important thing to consider when saving seeds. There are two basic plant types, hybrid and open pollinated. Hybrid seeds might be sterile and won't produce the same plant, it reverts to a parent. OP seeds will produce something almost identical as the plant which it was saved from.

Sometimes hybrid seeds can sprout and grow something interesting. In the case of the hosta, one of those seeds could create a brand new cultivar. That's what I hope anyway. In the past, my seedlings always look identical to the plant I've saved the seeds from. But every once and a while a sport will sprout which will look completely different.

It's easy enough to see when seeds are ripe for the picking. Examine each species in an effort to harvest seeds just before the plant drops them. Seeds are living, breathing organisms, it's important they are mature. When they are, it insures the seed will have what ti needs to produce a plant next year.

Beans are an easy plant to start with. My favorite pole bean is the heirloom 'Cherokee Trail of Tears.' It was the first heirloom I ever grew, planted almost 30 years ago. I wrote a story about learning about the plant from the late Bob Janca. He started my life long obsession with heirlooms that continues today. Heirlooms can always be saved from year to year. In the case of beans, once they mature, dry and turn brown they are ready to be saved. The whole pod can be stored and then the seeds can be removed when it's time for planting.

I'll gently pick apart the hosta seed pods, dropping the black seeds into a paper bag. For other plants like garlic chives, they can be shaken into a bag or in the case of marigolds, the seed pods themselves can be saved.

Storage might be the most important aspect of seed saving besides maturity. It's imperative the seeds stay dry after being harvested.

After dropping into the paper bag, the seeds are brought inside, allowed to dry and then put into small paper envelopes.

Those envelopes are then put into a glass mason jar. Each one of my jars has silica gel in the bottom to be sure the seeds remain dry. Some gardeners use rice to absorb any moisture.

The jars are stored in the basement where they stay cool and it's dark.

Each species has different requirements for germinating. Some need a period of cold, others need it to be dark and some want light to sprout.

The hostas will be sown in late winter under lights. I'll know what I have as soon as they sprout. It's fun to tell garden visitors "those were started from seed."

I also love to give away seedlings and even the seeds to like minded gardeners.

Take a look around your garden and find some seeds to save, it's fun and you might discover the next great variety.

blog hosta seeds readyThese hosta seeds are ready to be shaken into a paper bag and saved for the winter.

blog marigold seedsmature marigold seed pods can be saved too.

blog tot seed pods'Cherokee Trail of Tears' pole bean is my favorite. These pods are ready to be picked and saved.

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Empty Netter Assists - 11-25-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “They led the charge [Monday night]. You talk about Sid and [Malkin] and Kris, those are the guys who have to step up. … You look for your leaders." - Mike Johnston on Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

-The Boston Globe's recap. “He’s that type of player. He crashes the net. I think their whole team did today. I think that’s a little different than in the past with them. We knew that was going to happen. They had a lot of opportunities because of that. Hornqvist is one of those guys that really brings that.” - Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask on Patric Hornqvist.

-The Associated Press' recap. Marc-Andre Fleury (above) won his 300th career game.


-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Craig Adams struck Fleury with a shaving cream pie after the game:

-Fleury led his team off the bench:

-Johnston speaks:

-Malkin speaks:

-Letang speaks:

-“We just didn’t feel in the third that it was worth pushing him. They felt that he could go back out – he tried it – but I just didn’t think he was sharp.” - Johnston on Beau Bennett's limited play in the third period after he suffered an apparent right knee injury.

-Former Penguins defensive prospect Joe Morrow has found a role with the Bruins.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins recalled defenseman Nick D'Agostino assigned defenseman Alex Boak to the Wheeling Nailers.


-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Gilbert Delorme. A free agent signing in the 1989 season, Delorme's Penguins career amounted to 54 games and 10 points in 1989-90. After suffering a broken leg in in the 1990 offseason, he missed the entire 1990-91 season and spent all of 1991-92 with the Penguins' IHL affiliate in Muskegon. He was released in the 1992 offseason.

-Happy 49th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jeff Norton. A free agent signing in the 2000 offseason, Norton's Penguins career amounted to 32 games and 12 points in 2000-01. At the 2001 trade deadline, he was traded to the Sharks in exchange for Bobby Dollas and Johan Hedberg. Along with former Islanders teammate Rich Pilon, Norton is portrayed as part of the the Mario Lemieux statue outside Consol Energy Center.

-After the Jump: The Islanders keep winning.

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Thanksgiving Deportation

Written by Rob Rogers on .

It is a good thing today's GOP wasn't around in the early years of colonization. They would've had to deport themselves. 

112514 Thanksgiving Deportation

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