Bad year for Pittsburgh sports

Let’s recap 2010 for the Pittsburgh faithful:

– Ben Roethlisberger is accused of sexually assaulting a woman…for the second time in less than a year. His six-game (which might be reduced to four games) suspension leaves the Steelers with Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon as their starting quarterback to start the 2010 season.

– While nobody expects anything from them anyway, the Pirates, although currently not in last place, are six games below .500 and on pace to finish in the NL Central cellar once again this season (although not if the Astros can help it).

– The defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins were shocked by the Canadiens Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals – on their home ice, no less. What’s worse is that the game was damn near over with 3:30 left in the second period as Montreal somewhat cruised to a 5-2 victory. The Habs have become a great story, but the Pittsburgh faithful can’t be too thrilled that the Pens lost to a less superior team. (I know, I know – “on any given day.”)

– Pittsburgh doesn’t have a NBA team, but if they did, I’m convinced that they would be facing elimination right now in the playoffs. Either that, or gearing up for the NBA Draft Lottery.

The Sporting News made Pittsburgh No. 1 for its annual “Best Sports Cities” rankings in October last year. I’m thinking “The Steel City” won’t take home the honors this year.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Sidney Crosby’s goal booed in Pittsburgh

As the Buffalo Sabres visited the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, Team USA/Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller got a strong ovation (along with chants of U-S-A, U-S-A) while Canadian/Penguin Sidney Crosby drew boos from the crowed when the jumbotron showed footage of his gold-medal winning goal.

Miller’s ovation is at the start of the video, while Crosby is introduced at around the 1:10 mark. Pittsburgh won, 3-2, but Miller didn’t play.

2009 NHL Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

We’ve partnered with On Goal Analysis to bring you a team-by-team preview of the upcoming NHL season. (Just scroll down on the OGA website and hit the calendar.) Here is the preview for the Pittsburgh Penguins…

SUMMER SPLASH

* Although much of the team on and off the ice remains intact, some impact-player personnel have changed. It will present some challenges for the Penguins but will also make camp and the pre-season an opportunity to reinforce the teams’ goal of defending the Cup while also adding some new flavor and tweaks to chemistry and line pairings.

* OUT – Major players skating elsewhere this season: Petr Sykora (RW), Hal Gill (D), Rob Scuderi (D), and backup goalie Mathieu Giron. The biggest loss for Pittsburgh is along the blue line but the organization feels it is deep on defense. Also departed are wingers Chris Minard, Jeff Taffe and much-anticipated but rarely-skated, Janne Pesonen. Miroslav Satan is still unsigned and probably won’t be playing for the Pens this season.

* IN – Jay McKee (D) was signed in to help sure up defense. Other defenders signed were Nate Guenin and Chris Lee. The right wing was also addressed by signing Chris Conner and Wade Brookbank. Mike Rupp (LW) was also added to the mix. To replace the backup goalie, they signed former Capital, Brent Johnson. Free agent Ryan Bayda, previously with the Hurricanes, is in camp with Pittsburgh. And don’t forget the Penguins signed Bill Guerin at the trade deadline last season and will now contribute to veteran leadership and offensive production for a full campaign with his new club.

Click here to read the rest of the preview (which includes the site’s unique Playoff Qualifying Curve and fantasy information) at the On Goal Analysis site.

Penguins upset Wings, win 2009 Stanley Cup

Here’s reaction from local columnist and national writers after the Pittsburgh Penguins upset the Detroit Red Wings to win the 2009 Stanley Cup.

– Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the Penguins earned the right to be called champions after beating the Wings on Detroit’s home ice.

– After lacing it up for the Penguins in the 2007-08 season, Marian Hossa has no regrets about joining the Red Wings this past year writes NHL.com’s Dave Lozo.

– Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press writes that fans and pundits can’t blame goalie Chris Osgood for the Wings’ loss.

– After winning his first Cup, Bucky Gleason notes that “Sid Kid” Sidney Crosby isn’t a kid anymore – he’s a bona fide champ.

– Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Wings leave the 2009 season with a quiet, empty feeling.

– Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that gritty Max Talbot turned things around.

Blogging the Bloggers: Raul Ibanez, Bobby Valentine & David Letterman

DEADSPIN discusses the unfortunate ambushing of blogger Jerod Morris, who is catching massive criticism for his piece about Phillies’ outfielder Raul Ibanez-steroids piece. For TSR’s take on the situation, click here.

UNCOACHED groups together a photo gallery of the most noteworthy Yahoo! baseball profile pictures.

SPORTSbyBROOKS says that Japanese fans really want manager Bobby Valentine back.

– As the Penguins get ready to take on the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight, THE LOVE OF SPORTS ranks the top 10 “road warriors” in Game 7s.

TONY BLOGS.NET has video of David Letterman sending Steve Nash to the NBA Finals.

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