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Здравствуйте (hello) from Russia Best!

Written by Brady McCollough on .

From the moment I knew I was going to Sochi to cover the Winter Olympics, one phrase has kept popping into my head. Truly, I can't stop saying it:

"Russia best."
 
Evgeni Malkin had already given Pittsburgh so much -- another visit from Lord Stanley's Cup and his hilariously happy parents, Vladimir and Natalia, to name a few things -- but when his Twitter direct message exchange with the Phoenix Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette surfaced on Bissonnette's account in June 2012, we were forever further indebted to "Geno" for the following:
 
malkin text
 
So, yeah. That was awesome. Please never get old. 
 
And in thinking of a name for this blog, in which I will do my best to regale you with funny and interesting tidbits from my travels during the coming weeks, I just couldn't get away from  "Russia Best." Oh, we thought about "The Borscht Identity" or "Brady + Russkie = BRUSSKIE!" and a few others, but the blog will be called "Russia Best," and I hope it brings a smile to your face each time you visit as it will mine.
 
My mission on this trip is obviously to do some good journalism, but it is also to find out what makes Russia the best to Geno (of course, he gives some hints in the context of his conversation with Bissonnette). 
 
I'll be traveling to Moscow and then to Magnitogorsk, Malkin's hometown, and then on to Sochi to cover the games. I've never been to Russia, and I certainly don't speak the language, so this will be quite the adventure. I hope to keep you entertained.

 russia best logo

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Jordan Robinson ruled partial qualifier, not eligible this season

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

Jim Ferry, do you have an update on Jordan Robinson?

"Yeahhh ... and it's not good for the Dukes."

Robinson, a freshman center, has been in an ongoing eligibility battle all season long, and Duquesne finally got an answer. But not the one it was hoping for.

Robinson is a partial qualifier, Ferry said. He can stay on athletic scholarship but will not be able to practice with the team or compete for the Dukes this season.

At this point in the season, it was likely he might just take a redshirt anyway, but Duquesne is still thin in the frontcourt -- and at the very least he would have been able to practice with the team for the remainder of the season.

Ferry said Robinson will have four years of eligibility remaining when he first suits up next fall.

"It's disappointing, really disappointing," Ferry said, "but he's taking it well."


Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Empty Netter Assists - 01-27-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Remember when Jussi Jokinen (above) was just a fill-in for Sidney Crosby?

-The Buffalo News has a fantastic story on a former hockey player who became a financial advisor and allegedly scammed several NHLers including former Penguins Sergei Gonchar, Jay McKee and Jason Woolley out of millions of dollars.

-Eric Hartzell made 15 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-0 shutout loss to the rival Hershey Bears.

-Highlights (so to speak):

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Zach Sill traveled to Pittsburgh to have a forearm injury evaluated.

-Jacob Lagace and Cody Sylvester each had a goal and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers in a 3-1 home win against the Cincinnati Cyclones Sunday. Former Pittsburgh Forge goaltender Peter Mannino made 22 saves for Wheeling.

-After the Jump: The Rangers rout the Devils outdoors.

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Desjuan Newton explains his absence

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Junior guard Desjuan Newton has not left the Robert Morris basketball team and said that his absence has been due to what he described as personal matters that he's "figuring out," he told the Post-Gazette Sunday.

Newton said that his time away from the Colonials has nothing to do with the team. A junior-college transfer in his first season with the team, Newton has not appeared in a game since a Dec. 22 loss to Oakland and was not on the team's bench for the past four games.

He did not rule out a possible return, but he noted that decision will not come until he ultimately figures things out.

“It’s still a possibility for sure, but we’ll see," Newton said. "Right now, I can’t really call it like ‘I’m going to play with the team right now’ or ‘No, I’m not going to play with the team.’ Right now, I’m just trying to get things figured out.

"If I play with them, I’ll play. If I don’t, then I’m going to cheer. By me not playing with them does not mean I’m not on the team. If [head coach Andy] Toole tells me I’m not on the team, then we’ll go from there, but he hasn’t said anything to me.”

In 12 games this season, the Seattle native averaged 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Newton reiterated that his absence has not had anything to do with any sort of lack of cooperation between him and the team's coaches. Simply, Toole has granted him permission to sit out while he figures out the personal matters.

Due to the indefinite suspension of four team members, the Colonials have played the past two games with just eight players. Even in those circumstances, Newton said he has felt no pressure from coaches to come to a decision and play.

“They haven’t really approached me about it and I haven’t really approached them about it because at the end of the day – no matter if they’ve got eight guys or five guys – we’re most definitely in condition to run," Newton said. "We’ve got the right guys out there and they’re ready to go to war.”

During his absence, Newton said he's been in touch with assistant coach Tim Lawrence and while he said there is no timetable on a possible decision, he's more than likely going to talk with Toole "soon" to get the final say on what's going on.

“We’ve still got jobs to do," Newton said. "I’ve got to focus on school and making sure I make the right decisions for me. He still has to focus on the eight guys he does have and make sure we continue to get wins.”

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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Coyote legislation

Written by John Hayes on .

House Bill 1534 would authorize the payment of $25 for a coyote pelt.

House Bill 1534

Read Post-Gazette coverage of the bill here.

PG story about coyote hunts.

PG story about alleged coyote stocking.


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