When Political Activism Devours the NFL

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On Sunday morning before game time against the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said to the media that his team would remain the locker room during the national anthem because he didn’t want his team involved in the politics of whether certain players would stand or not stand for the national anthem. Continue reading “When Political Activism Devours the NFL”

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Good Guy, Good Goaltender: Goodbye, Marc-Andre Fleury

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We won’t forget you, Flower.

None of us will forget you flicking your glove like a switchblade during Game 7 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, robbing Alexander Ovechkin on a breakaway. And how could any of us lose sight of you plowing across the crease, deflecting Nicklas Lidstrom’s snap shot in the waning moments of Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. Continue reading “Good Guy, Good Goaltender: Goodbye, Marc-Andre Fleury”

It Is Finished: Pens Grab Back-to-Back Titles

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For the length and breadth of this Stanley Cup Final, the national media fawned over Nashville’s arena atmosphere, heaping upon it the same aura they do when talking about Jonathan Toews’ leadership.

But Smashville suffered a Steel City Invasion, the kind of invasion that hushed the whole of Bridgestone Arena’s collective vocal cords. Continue reading “It Is Finished: Pens Grab Back-to-Back Titles”

Is Jake Guentzel a Conn Smythe Contender?

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Jake Guentzel served as Phil Kessel’s stick boy when Kessel attended the University of Minnesota. Guentzel’s father was an assistant coach for the Golden Gophers at the time, and the pre-teen Guentzel inevitably hung around the rink. Thus, during games, Guentzel was responsible for getting Kessel a new stick during games when one snapped. Continue reading “Is Jake Guentzel a Conn Smythe Contender?”

We’ll Take It: Penguins Snatch Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

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I don’t care who should have won, who might have won, or who deserved to win Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. I’m concerned with who did win. And the Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed the game last night, despite their foibles and fault lines. Continue reading “We’ll Take It: Penguins Snatch Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final”

Watching Game 7 from a Hospital Bed

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A hospital attendant rolled me down the hallway into a spacious physical therapy room. Fresh off of spinal fusion surgery, I waited my turn for a physical therapist to work with me on the simple things: getting out of a chair, walking, and climbing stairs. After such a surgery, which includes cutting through muscle, bone grafts, and rods, every patient requires daily PT post-operation. Continue reading “Watching Game 7 from a Hospital Bed”

Penguins Blue Line Play Changes Complexion of Series

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In my last post, I argued that Marc-Andre Fleury was not the fault line upon which the Penguins fractured in Game 3 against the Ottawa Senators. The team needed to give its goaltender a few pucks in the net and the blue line had to stiffen up. Continue reading “Penguins Blue Line Play Changes Complexion of Series”

Marc-Andre Fleury is Not the Problem

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If he’s not the most loyal Pittsburgh Penguin to don a uniform, Marc-Andre Fleury certainly makes it onto the team’s Mount Rushmore in that regard. Loyalty stirs the sentiments, but “what about play?” one might ask.

Continue reading “Marc-Andre Fleury is Not the Problem”

Thank You Phil: Penguins Even Up Series

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Phil Kessel can push his own buttons. Throughout Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, the camera caught Kessel broadcasting his internal monologue on the bench, shaking his head and castigating himself out loud. Continue reading “Thank You Phil: Penguins Even Up Series”