Stempniak: 'It’s fun to have those expectations' - 04-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


If any one player is emblematic of how the Penguins roller coaster of a first-round series has gone, it's Lee Stempniak.

In the first overtime period of Game 2 Saturday, Stempniak had a chance off a rebound to score a would-be game-trying goal but failed to get a clean shot off. The Blue Jackets scored in the second overtime period to claim a 4-3 win.

Monday, with his team trailing 3-2, Stempniak ripped a wrister by Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky's left shoulder on the near side from the right wing. In between those extremes, Stempniak has worked on the team's first line and the third line. At today's morning skate, he worked on the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

Recently, Stempniak talked about his experiences in the series thus far:

You expressed regret on not scoring a goal in overtime of Game 2 off a rebound. What did it feel like to score the game-tying goal in Game 3 in contrast?

"It feels good to finally score in the playoffs. It was my first career goal and to score a goal in a key situation is good. I guess you sort of look at [Game 2] and wish you would have scored it. But I sort of moved on from that already. You have to move on from game to game. It definitely felt great to get that goal but I don’t feel like it’s vindication for what happen in Game 2."

Describe the the non-goal in Game 2.

"It was a good shot from [Sidney Crosby] and the rebound the rebound came to me. Just a bang-bang play. I just tried to get it over his pad to the far side and I think he got his blocker on."

And the goal in Game 3?

"It was a nice pass from Chris [Kunitz]. He made a nice pass to put it through. It was sort of a short two-on-one with Kris Letang on the left side. I looked to see if there was a pass there and I looked him off. I was able to shot short side."

You've played in the playoffs before but not on a team with championship expectations like the Penguins. How new is this for you?

"I’ve only been in the playoffs two times. It’s definitely a different set of expectations being in Pittsburgh. It’s fun to have those expectations and be a team that’s looked at to compete for the Stanley Cup. We’re a team that believes it can win the Stanley Cup. You really enjoy those expectations and the challenge that comes with it. It’s been fun. It’s been a pretty crazy series so far with changes and giving up leads. It’s fun. I can’t wait for Game 4."

You've played on the first and third lines in his series thus far. How much of an adjustment is there in going between lines during games?

"Probably a little bit less than you would think. Obviously with Sid and Chris, they look to score I think off the rush more. They’re great players in the offensive zone on the forecheck, especially Sid. He’s able to beat guys in the corners and behind the net using his strength and skating. Playing, with Brandon [Sutter], …. We’re going to be good defensively, get pucks out and really try to generate offense from working on the cycles, the forecheck and getting bodies to the net. I think the differences in those situations in the playoffs are sort of minimized. Whatever line you’re one, first line to fourth line, everyone is looking to get pucks to net, bodies to the net and score goals that way. I think it’s less of an adjustment than most people think."

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

A call to conscience for gentrifiers

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .


Daniel Hertz, writing in the Atlantic Cities today, provides an excellent nest of thought-food for those who talk about gentrification as if it is either a good thing or a bad thing.
It is, he writes, inevitable whether you move your educated, moneyed self to a poor neighborhood or a rich neighborhood.
If you move to Larimer, say, your income and its strength will encourage others with the same buying power to move near you and then the cafe tables will sprout on sidewalks like wild daisies. If you move to Upper St. Clair, you are strengthening the wall of income exclusivity.
In “There’s Basically No Way Not to Be a Gentrifier,” he writes of his young, educated and progressive cohort:
“We have a lot of conversations about whether or not it’s acceptable to live in our current neighborhood, or the one we’d like to live in. Sometimes, we reassure ourselves by discussing the obviously graver transgressions of the people who live in some other neighborhood, which has accumulated slightly more bougie coffee shops and restaurants.
"Sometimes we find solace in some part of the continuum of gentrification that we’re comfortable with: the very beginning, when you can kid yourself that your presence isn’t changing anything; or when the tipping point has tipped, and the damage has already been done.
“The upshot here is not that we should all descend into nihilistic real estate hedonism. But we need to recognize what’s really going on: that what we call gentrification these days is only one facet of the much larger issue of economic segregation.” 
It results from a system that does not protect people who were there before the market forces begin to flex their muscle, and you can reach further back, he writes, to “generations of rotten and racist urban policies, that makes economic segregation so widespread and pernicious. It also explains why it’s growing so quickly – faster, even, than economic inequality.”
People early to the momentum of gentrification have a responsibility beyond being considerate and socially inclusive of neighbors who do not have their market oomph, he writes, and that is “to be aware of these underlying systemic processes and use what social and political power you have to change them: lobbying your local government for housing subsidies for the low-income, protections against eviction due to rising rents, and an end to exclusionary caps on housing construction that keep prices artificially high.”
Walkabout might add that this responsibility depends on respect for the common good and for those whose economic setbacks could force them out of the home and neighborhood they have cherished, sometimes all their lives.


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Details of PSO's upcoming Wilkinsburg Community Concert

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform its community concert at Wilkinsburg High School on May 16. Details of the performance have been released. From the PSO:

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents the 11th Annual Community Engagement Concert for the community of Wilkinsburg on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at Wilkinsburg High School. All proceeds from tickets sales directly benefit the music programs in the Wilkinsburg School District. More than $60,000 has been raised in Wilkinsburg through the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Community Engagement concerts.

Resident Conductor Fawzi Haimor will lead the symphony in an exciting program filled with Beethoven, Bernstein, Copland, Sousa and more! A very special performance of "Take Time in Life" will feature students from the Wilkinsburg School District and Pittsburgh Obama High School. Additionally, Pittsburgh Symphony trumpet Chad Winkler will perform Haydn's Concerto in E-flat major, and vocalist Katy Williams will perform Dvorak's "Songs My Mother Taught Me" and the classic "Over the Rainbow" with the symphony. The Pittsburgh Symphony will finish with a patriotic burst of John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Tickets are $5 for students K-12 and $10 for adults. A group of 10 adult tickets is available for a discounted price of $75. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wilkinsburg High School Music Department at 412-871-2282 or 412-371-9504 x 2717, and will also be available at the door on the night of the concert.


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

West Virginia reveals post-spring depth chart; Trickett on top

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen released his post-spring depth chart Wednesday morning. There were few true surprises — Clint Trickett is top QB, Dreamius Smith is top RB — but it's always interesting to see the full listing. New players, or at least ones you didn't see in 2013, are italicized.


WR (X): Mario Alford, Devonte Mathis, Shelton Gibson (RS)
IR (H): Daikiel Shorts, Jacky Marcellus (RS)
LT: Adam Pankey, Sylvester Townes (JUCO)
LG: Quinton Spain, Russell Haughton-James
C: Tyler Orlosky, Tony Matteo
RG: Mark Glowinski, Stone Underwood (RS)
RT: Marquis Lucas, Michael Calicchio
IR (Y): Jordan Thompson, Vernon Davis, Jr.
WR (Z): Kevin White, KJ Myers, Ricky Rogers (FR)
QB: Clint Trickett, Logan Moore or Paul Millard or Skyler Howard (JUCO)
HB (B): Cody Clay, Elijah Wellman
RB (A): Dreamius Smith, Wendell Smallwood, Rushel Shell (TRAN), Dustin Garrison, Andrew Buie (RS)


Dontrill Hyman, Noble Nwahukwu
NT: Kyle Rose, Darrien Howard
DE: Christian Brown (RS), Eric Kinsey
SPUR: KJ Dillon, Malik Greaves (RS)
SAM: Isaiah Bruce, Edward Muldrow (JUCO)
MIKE: Nick Kwiatkoski, Al-Rasheed Benton (RS)
WILL: Brandon Golson, Sean Walters
LCB: Ishmael Banks, Terrell Chestnut, Brandon Napoleon
FS: Jeremy Tyler, Ricky Rumph
BS: Karl Joseph, Jarrod Harper
Daryl Worley, Keishawn Richardson (JUCO), Nana Kyeremeh (INJ)


KJosh Lambert, Michael Molinari
P: Nick O'Toole, Michael Molinari
PR: Jordan Thompson, Vernon Davis, Jr.
KR: Mario Alford, Wendell Smallwood, Daryl Worley
LS: John DePalma, Nick Meadows

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Empty Netter Assists - 04-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Blue Jackets

-Welcome back Brian Gibbons (above) and Marcel Goc ... to an optional skate.

-“We seemed more organized. We created momentum instead of giving it up.” - Matt Niskanen on the team's power play in Game 3.

-"We asked [Marc-Andre Fleury] to shut the door, and he did. He gave us a chance to win.” - Lee Stempniak on Marc-Andre Fleury on Fleury in Game 3.

-“Everybody knows his story. He tried really hard to figure out a way to not put himself in those situations. Unfortunately, when you throw a lot of hits and the game is fast-paced, sometimes that happens and you have to take responsibility for it and live with whatever the consequences are.” - Craig Adams on Wild forward and former Penguins teammate Matt Cooke injuring Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie with a knee-on-knee hit Monday. Cooke is facing a potential suspension.

-Rob Scuderi speaks:

-Jayson Megna speaks:

-Why have all of the goals scored by Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson been scored near the Penguins' cage? "I haven’t had a Pittsburgh guy around me which has been pretty nice."

-"We want to win the Stanley Cup. That’s our main goal. It’s not just happy to be here. We expect to give this team everything we got." - Blue Jackets foward and Plum native (No, really!) R.J. Umberger.

-“It shows we can play with these guys, absolutely. But the fact that we’ve let two two-goal leads slip away means we need to do a better job of putting them away." - Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski on his teams surrendering 3-1 leads in each of his team's losses this series.

-Has Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky been taunting the Penguins?

-After the Jump: Dan Carcillo gets some revenge on the Flyers while the Canadiens sweep the Lightning.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.