Which new sports home will stand the test of time?



NEWARK, N.J.— On the delayed flight from Pittsburgh to Newark today I looked out my window shortly after takeoff and caught an overhead shot to be savored: Mellon Arena and the Consol Energy Center side-by-side. I remember a former colleague taking a picture of Three Rivers Stadium with a near-complete Heinz Field on one side and PNC Park on the other, and that pictures hangs in my home as evidence of those “remember then” days when Pittsburgh had three sports stadiums standing. Given that I am about three years removed from covering the story that during which I wasn’t sure if Pittsburgh would have one arena being used by 2010, I’m amazed that I so often pass under-construction Consol Energy Center on my way into Mellon Arena without so much as a shrug.

The first concert at CEC will be held in August — and, trust me, dear readers, LADY GAGA (Radio Goo-Goo/Lady Gaga/clapclap!) is not the “big act” that Penguins president DAVID MOREHOUSE alluded to in November when he talked of the first event. By then, Pittsburgh will have opened four new major facilities since 2001: PNC Park, Heinz Field, Petersen Events Center and Consol Energy Center.

My question: In 2050, which of the four will the most treasured locally and storied nationally?

Emails should include YOUR FULL NAME and HOMETOWN: hockeyday@tribweb.com or rrossi@tribweb.com.

*By the way, check out this arena video from TTM’s JUSTIN LaBAR: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid9113557001?bclid=5982073001&bctid=72355452001



I have no authority to comment on the controversial hit by and subsequent suspension of Capitals RW ALEX OVECHKIN, but I’ll offer this thought about him:, anyway: The Capitals must get him to dial it down to at least 10, because going to 11 as he always does will ultimately leave Ovechkin in a bad spot — either as an often-suspended player or one who hurts himself at some point. I am pretty sure he will remain one of the two most impactful NHL forces by dialing it down only slightly and playing a little more responsibly; and, personally, I don’t want to see him sitting in a luxury suite because of suspension of injury. Goalies might, but not me.

Anyway, some around-the-league words on the subject:

— Washington Post’s DAN STEINBERG and the D.C. Sports Blog: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/03/boudreau_the_boards_caused_the.html

— The Post’s beat reporter, and blogging-best buddy, TARIK EL-BASHIR with video of Ovechkin’s reaction: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalsinsider/alex-ovechkin-skates-comments.html

— Great friend COREY MASISAK, now of CSNWashington.com, and Yours Truly will disagree on the Hart Trophy, but check out his current NHL Awards race opinions: http://www.csnwashington.com/pages/corey_masisak

— Pittsburgh Adopted Media Son, Uncle Scotty Burnside of ESPN.com:  http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=4998669


So, I’m trying to think of a situation similar to the Penguins-Devils this season. Has Team A every finished first in the division over Team B when Team B has swept a season series of four or more games? It cannot have happened all too often.

Anyway, Pens will look to avoid going 0-6-0 against the Devils at New Jersey on Wednesday. Some numbers to chew on, though I would recommend flossing afterward if you favor the Black and Pittsburgh Gold:

· New Jersey has won every game by multiple goals

· PP: Pens 0-for-18, Devils 3-for-16

· Devils G MARTIN BRODEUR: 5-0-0, 0.60 GAA, .981 SV%, two shutouts

· Penguins G MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: 0-4-0, 4.04 GAA, .857 SV%

· Penguins have outshot Devils in four of five games

· Devils D ANDY GREENE: 2 goals, 6 points. Penguins C SIDNEY CROBSY: 1 goal, 3 points. Penguins C EVGENI MALKIN: zero, zip, zilch.

— BY ROB ROSSI (3/16/10)