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Wakeup Call: Resilient, remarkable Penguins

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Wednesday column honors the Flyers … kind of. Go ahead and click, anyway.

>> Talking about the Penguins’ resiliency can sound like a broken record, but it’s worth it: They’ve lost one game all season by more than a goal. Even when they lose, they come right back and make a game of it.

This isn’t about moral victories, though. That huge rally last night to beat Colorado, 6-3, came against the NHL’s top road team and improved the Penguins’ overall record to 11-4-3, tied with Chicago for best in the league. And all this has happened a) with a really hard schedule that’s sent them all over creation and b) without the best player in the world.

>> On a negative note, Paul Martin has played at an abysmal level this season, now minus-12. The plus-minus stat usually is about as hollow as pitching wins in baseball, but this figure really jumps out on a team whose starting goaltender has a 1.93 goals-against average.

Martin is prone to extended bouts with confidence, but this one is pretty bad, especially for a guy making $5 million. That third Colorado goal last night by David Jones was about as poorly as a defenseman can handle a simple one-on-one.

>> I’m no fashion icon, but I can’t stand the Penguins’ blue sweaters. This is Pittsburgh.

>> The amount of comments from various Penn State parties contradicting their statements to the grand jury grows by the day. Mike McQueary joined the parade last night on CBS by saying the opposite of what it’s in the report.

The least you’d think would come of this is that someone, at least one person, would sound like they’re telling the truth.


  1. Love what the FLyer’s did, point out what a joke that system is and what a disgrace to the fans paying for tickets.

    The Pens are so far ahead of what anyone could reasonably expect that it is inconcievable that they have achieved this. The amazing thing is that this is aproduct of a great franchise top to bottom. Owner,President, G.M., Coach, -players. The system is in place and the team is committed. Shero and Bylsma are unreal. They are a serious pleasure to watch and support.

  2. Dejan, I am NO fan of the Lightning. When friends asked if I wanted to join them for a Lightning game (I live in Tampa Bay), I said no thanks. I don’t like THEM and I don’t like their style of play.

    That said, I have one word: SCOREBOARD. Ok, a few more. THAT was a Lightning VICTORY. The Flyers LOST. It WORKS.

    Be careful what you ask for. The GMs might institute something like a shot clock which would SUPPORT the 1-3-1. By forcing the OTHER team to attack it within a certain amount of time.

    My guess is the GMs will just form a committee. On Friday.

    DK: Drew, who suggested it doesn’t work? That’s not at all the issue here. The issue is that it’s horribly dull and takes all the life out of the game.

  3. Why is the Tampa coach doing this?
    He has a good team.

  4. And while i dislike THOSE weird dark-blue jerseys, I love the powder blue that is a throwbacks to the Syl Apps-Jean Pronovost days. Though a Steeler-Pirate fan at the time, I disliked the Pens’ move to Black n Gold when it initially occurred…robbed them of their identity. At the time, too much reflected glory and not enough respect for history and uniqueness.

    Ditch the DARK blue but keep the powder blue.

    Because they are not “Pittsburgh”. They are the “Pittsburgh PENGUINS.”

  5. Because it is working, Radio. Remember what they did in the playoffs last year.

    This year, they started the season with a tailspin. So he reinforced this ugly system, and boring as it is, it works. They started winning again and now they are back in the playoff picture.

    As I write that, nothing would please me more – in hockey terms – if it DIDN’T work. After the Caps, Flyers and Rangers, they are my least liked team. Ahead of the Devils now.

    (I only watched the Flyers-Lightning game to root against the Flyers. But only barely. In this case, it was a tight 2-1 game that was decided in overtime. You know, boring.)

    I don’t have to like it to acknowledge that it works.

  6. DK, I have to admit I rooted for the Lightning after they knocked us out of the playoffs last season. However, this 1-3-1 kills the enjoyment of the game. So, what might YOU do to counter it if you were the coach of the other team? Something other than what the Flyers did, that is.

    Anyone else have a strategy? I’m curious.

    DK: It’s right at the end of the column. There is a counter. More than one, actually. But it still makes for terrible overall hockey.


    10 Canada Free Press

    Interview with an icon (Vern Law)

    11 Conway Daily Sun

    Locke and Carpenter to attend the Granite State Baseball Dinner Nov. 19

    12 SF Chronicle

    Baseball a paragon of labor stability

    13 Sporting News

    MLB GMs get down to business in Milwaukee



    14 PBC Site

    Paul involved in identity hoax with Aussie league

    15 Yahoo Sports

    Should the Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Neil Walker to an Extension? Fan’s Take

  8. Pitt Blogs

    Pitt Blather

    Drafting An All-Time All-Big East Squad

    Cardiac Hill

    Pitt Basketball: Durand Johnson Headed For Redshirt; John Not?

    WVU Blogs

    Metro News

    Opinion-WVU Hoops Loss to Kent State No Surprise

    WV Illustrated

    WVU Freshmen Stopped Competing in Loss to Kent State

    Miramar Pipeline Continues With Mathis



    Tough Start, Strong Finish: Pens Down Avs 6-3

  9. Now that game last night was definitely amazing and fun to watch. Losing 3-1…then scoring 5…count them….5 unanswered goals. Gotta love it!
    The only dark spot was Martin’s play. Seriously, what is wrong with the guy? I have not bashed him until now. I’m not one of the fans who expect him to get a lot of points. But the funk he is in is embarrassing.

  10. DK, wonder if Martin’s recent play might accelerate the “development” of some of the young defensemen waiting in the wings. Hope so. BTW, not sure why the line juggling occurred but Sullivan really upgraded his game in the third period.


    DK: You don’t mess with prospects because of issues with the parent team. Martin needs to get out of this somehow. They’ve got him for almost four more years.

  11. Re: McQueary
    The GJ report was 23 pages long. It was based on dozens of interviews, with presumably 1000+ pp of testimony. The Grand Jury was focused only on presenting enough evidence to indict Sandusky. It does not tell the whole story – it was never inteded to. A “computer glitch” has made it public, allowing everyone to play Perry Mason.

    The report made it clear that the attacker and victim saw him – a detail that is never expounded upon. It would be just as reasonable to assume the attack stopped and all parties fled, as it would to assume MM fled and the attack continued. Both would be factually correct in the report, as written.

  12. “Noel Gallagher”…… your new album.

    Flying Bird Foo

    Re: McQ…….well…….if he DID go to the police, why did he go to Paterno? Makes no sense. I expect JoePa to get exonerated. If he knew McQ went to the police, he did EXACTLY what he should have done. No moral ineptitude there after all, since Joe knew that Mike McQ went to the police.

    Media had a Paterno witch hunt going…burned JoePa at the stake.


  13. leefoo:

    Lots of questions that come out of a public review of the report. Lots of questions about the case that can’t definitively be answered by the report.

    That’s why they hold trials.

  14. If in fact there was a rape of a 10-11 year old as described by McQueary, and I assume there was, there is no way this gets better for Penn State (or the guy who some people mistake for Penn State). The molten lava underneath the surface that is getting ready to blow surrounds the details of who knew what when about the 1998 incident. Joe’s son Scott has flat out denied his father knew anything at all about it, and at least indirectly, has admitted if he did then that would be it for Joe IMO. I’ve been told Joe did not attend Sandusky’s retirement dinner in 1999. Probably busy.

    I’ll be surprised if Sandusky ever goes to trial.

  15. JoePa and Jerry were not ‘friends’ when Sandusky’s job ended.

    With this ‘new info’ coming out, I am rooting REAL HARD for that Chief of Police and Corbett to get implicated somehow, someway.
    Historically, neither one of them cared for PSU or JoePa.

    It would make my day/week/, etc.

    PSU Foo

  16. Arriba, I hope Sandusky goes to prison for a long time and gets his due from the inmates. That said, if he does happen to get off, he’s ruined. Things blow over, but this is something people won’t ever forget.

  17. The biggest problem I see with Paul Martin going forward is the albatross of a contract he’s signed to. I’m a big Ray Shero fan, but signing Martin to a 5 year deal at $5.5 million per when you were unwilling to pay Rob Scuderi $3.5 million just doesn’t add up. And since I believe it’s an un-moveable contract, it’s going to cost them at least one player they would like to keep, like Neal, Staal, or Malkin

  18. Jandy–Don’t misunderstand. I don’t think Sandusky’s getting off. He’ll either plead or take the Bud Shuster or Ray Gricar route.

    Wow, Foo. What makes you think the Governor “never cared for PSU or JoePa?”

    Joe and Jerry may or may not have been “friends” when Jerry retired, but Jerry retired from his position as Joe’s longtime defensive coordinator, which he was at the time of the 1998 investigation.

  19. Funny line re: the blue sweaters for the Pens, DK! Indeed, Black and Gold!

  20. Foo, you are on to something. If it turns out McQueary went to police, then Paterno’s level of culpability in this case is reduced to zero and he comes out looking like a scapegoat. There would have been no need for him to go to police, since police already knew. That’s another reason why people should wait for all the facts to come out instead of rushing to judgment.

  21. Arriba…….lots of stuff here in Central Pa here about Corbett not liking JoePa down through the years. Even when he was being elected, there was some PSU resistance.
    I bet he enjoyed being in that ‘trustee’ position.

    That 98 investigation went to the police and Gricar the DA. DA decided not to prosecute. Once again, nothing JoePa could do.

  22. Scott……..yep……they wanted a scapegoat. The witch hunt did its job.

    PSU Foo


  23. If I hear the term “witch hunt” one more time, I’m going to puke.

    Here’s a good read from Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror on Penn State’s bowl possibilities. He says they should stay home.

  24. Whether or not McQ went to police or not, it was still Joe Paterno’s MORAL DUTY to do so himself.

  25. Jandy……..that is stupid………why call the police twice? You’re just trying to place all the blame on JoePa.



  26. Milo…….on that read, money will trump toxicity every time.

  27. @Foo

    I couldn’t have lobbed it up there any softer. Do you think they’ll let me go home now ?

  28. Foo–sounds like maybe the so-called antipathy of the Governor to Joe and Penn State (you do know that they are different, right), is because he didn’t bow at the altar that is Joe. To me, The ONLY way he comes out looking bad in this is if he erred on Penn State’s side during the investigation when he was Attorney General, which i would be shocked if he did. (Full disclosure–I first met the Governor about 30 years ago when he was an Assistant US Attorney. While we’re not close, I’ve never heard him say a disparaging word about Penn State or Joe).

    Whether or not Joe could do anything about the ’98 investigation, his son, acting as his attorney, has unequivocally stated Joe knew nothing, not a single iota, about it. If that isn’t true, you still think he doesn’t have problems?

  29. @ Noel Gallagher:
    “The GJ report was 23 pages long. It was based on dozens of interviews, with presumably 1000+ pp of testimony. The Grand Jury was focused only on presenting enough evidence to indict Sandusky. It does not tell the whole story – it was never inteded to. A “computer glitch” has made it public, allowing everyone to play Perry Mason.”

    The grand jury report was not based on “dozens of interviews.” A grand jury report is based on grand jury testimony, conducted under oath in a courtroom.

    And while a grand jury report need only contain enough evidence to indict someone, it usually is replete with as much evidence as possible. I’m not sure where people get the notion that the prosecutors withhold certain really good evidence to spring it on the defendant at trial. The defendant would have access to the notes of testimony before trial, so there’s not going to be an “aha” moment there. Which is precisely why the prosecution team writing the grand jury report includes as much damning information as possible.

    As I said numerous times in the other thread, if McQueary testified that he took some sort of action to “make sure it stopped,” the grand jury report would have referenced such testimony. It did not. Instead, the report stated that McQueary immediately left and called his father, and then called Paterno the next morning.

    As for a computer glitch making the report public, that’s the first I’ve heard of that in this case. And in my experience, the grand jury report is public from the time that it’s issued.

  30. AW
    “if that isn’t true, you still think he doesn’t have problems?”


  31. Hey Penn Staters,

    What do you think those black helicopters flying over your houses are all about, anyway.

  32. @Leefoo ~ hey now, that “s” word is uncalled for ;p

    regarding the GJ report: I guess when all this comes out…or as much as “they” allow to come out…all of us armchair detectives will be proven right or wrong. it’s just gonna take a while.
    Anyone who thinks Joe knew nothing of the ’98 incident and less of the 2002 incident is s….err….;X well, naive =)

  33. and some of use are in denial…still…

  34. Foo—thanks for the honesty about your delusion/hero worship. And I mean that sincerely.

    BenderHeel—”Which is precisely why the prosecution team writing the grand jury report includes as much damning information as possible.” This is one of the places I don’t get your argument. How is it “damning” if Sandusky stopped his assault when, as the report states, Sandusky and the boy saw McQueary see what was going on. Like I said yesterday, it seems more logical that people scattered than that they just continued on once discovered. We’re not talking about coming across an illegal gambling operation (which may also scatter, but you get the point).

  35. @ Scott:
    “Foo, you are on to something. If it turns out McQueary went to police, then Paterno’s level of culpability in this case is reduced to zero and he comes out looking like a scapegoat. There would have been no need for him to go to police, since police already knew. That’s another reason why people should wait for all the facts to come out instead of rushing to judgment.”

    I disagree entirely with your argument that IF McQueary went to the police, then Paterno’s culpability – moral moreso than legal – is reduced to zero. At the time in 2002, McQueary was a grad assistant; Paterno, in contrast, was the most powerful person in Central Pennsylvania. Even if McQueary went to them already, a call from JoePa would have catapulted the investigation into the priority list and would have warranted prosecution. Given that there was no prosecution and the allegations recited by McQueary before the grand jury, call me crazy but I conclude that NOBODY went to the police.

  36. @Arriba: Sure, they may have stopped as a result of McQueary peering in and witnessing the rape of a child. But we don’t know for sure that Sandusky did, in fact, stop (although logic dictates a conclusion that he did). And stopping as a result of being seen is much different than the picture that McQueary draws in his recent emails saying that he “made sure it stopped.”

    Also, a grand jury report would include as much damning information as possible. But perhaps in the specific context of what McQueary did or didn’t do, perhaps “damning” isn’t the right word since that evidence isn’t, in and of itself, “damning” (though I would argue it’s pretty important to the narrative of what happened). But my main point is that the grand jury report would have noted that McQueary took action to stop the rape if he had offered any testimony consistent with that.

  37. There’s one other possibility, BenderHeel, in addition to the idea no one went to the police. The grand jury report said the police records from the University police did not show any evidence of a report of the 2002 incident. It’s possible, however unlikely, that the report was made and not recorded. However, it THAT’s the case, it doesn’t leave Penn State and Joe off the hook. In my view, it would only make things worse. (Of course, Foo would blame it on a rogue University police that took it on themselves to try to protect Joe and the football program).

  38. Arriba: I can’t comment on how police investigations work in State College. But I would like to believe that if a police department received a credible report that a sixty year old man was anally raping a 10 year old boy in a shower in the Penn State football facilities – especially after that same police department had investigated and recommended charges against the same suspect only four years earlier – the police department would open a formal investigation into those allegations, resulting in some kind of paper trail (a formal “48″ complaint report or a “49″ police investigation report). Now, maybe the police did and after conducting their investigation and electing not to refer the matter to the DA’s Office (which is unlikely), they have a record retention policy of 5 years, which would have expired before the AG’s office started its own investigation. But even using those very unlikely assumptions, I would think that the AG’s own investigators would have talked to the members of the State College police department who handled their investigation, even if there was no paperwork still around, to determine whether a report was filed and what happened subsequent to that report being filed.

  39. I don’t think we’re on different sides on this, BenderHeel (but I’m not sure you agree with that assessment). I would have to assume the GJ report wouldn’t say that they subpoenaed the records and didn’t see any evidence of a report if the records didn’t include stuff back at least to 2002, even if it was a 2 minute discussion with McCreary. In other words, if the records stopped in 2004 for everything, so what, it wouldn’t be evidence that was relevant to say there was no report in the records? I don’t have experience with State College investigations, either, but I do have some experience (limited) in how police departments work, and my understanding is if someone calls in and says they have an ingrown toenail, a report is made (maybe a little exaggeration, but not much). They may not investigate it, but they document it. That’s why I say it’s even worse if it comes out McQueary talked to them and there is no record and no investigation. (Just to make it clear, I agree that it is extremely unlikely, although not impossible, that he did contact the police, unless there is someone else to talk to other than the University police and the State Police).

  40. Jandy…..I may be naive, but it beats being stupid. Not that I’m being in denial or anything.

    StupidLee & NaiveLee yours

  41. “Foo—thanks for the honesty about your delusion/hero worship. And I mean that sincerely.”

    AW…….It’s quite the HURDLE to overcome. :)

  42. It’d be interesting to see if there is a police report from 2002 and what happened to it (and why).

    Benderheel….I don’t buy the argument that a call from JoePa would’ve had more impact. They seemed to do ‘fairly well’ in ’98 w/o Joe’s involvement. It was the DA who stopped it.

    Also, in State College, the McQ’s are well known and well respected. His dad is/was the SC High FB coach. ‘Second in respect’ behind JoePa. I doubt if the cops would’ve tossed it out.

  43. Lee: You’re not being honest if you really think that a call from McQueary would have the same impact on law enforcement as a call from Joe freakin’ Paterno. C’mon, man!

  44. Benderheel……..we’ll agree to disagree. Yes I am being honest.

    FB is king in State College and that includes McQ’s dad. The school is HUGE. If not FOR JoePa, he might be king of the hill.

    Seriously. But, you can believe what you wanna.


  45. As can you.

  46. Is that it ? Is it over ?

  47. From MLBRumors

    “10:23am: There will be Type B free agents this offseason, clarifies Sherman in a tweet.

    WEDNESDAY, 8:33am: Lesser Type As such as Kelly Johnson, Octavio Dotel, and Takashi Saito will be made Type Bs in the new CBA, tweets Sherman. The players’ teams will still get compensation, but the players’ markets will not be hurt by the cost of a draft pick. Sherman talked yesterday about Type B compensation being eliminated, but I am guessing that would go into effect for the 2012-13 offseason. By the way, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Brewers have already agreed not to offer arbitration to Saito.

    Sherman says the new CBA will be for five years, and could be announced as early as Friday. A hard cap and floor for international signings will be included, tweets SI’s Melissa Segura.”

    A hard cap and floor for Int’l signings???? Why???
    Does this include the Yu Darvish ‘posting’ types?

    Yu Foo

    DK: Japan always has fallen into its own category, so as not to disrupt the long-time leagues there. I’m sure that exception will remain.

  48. Milo………”Is that it ? Is it over ?”

    I sure hope so. :)

    BelievabLee yours


  49. Milo………..btw, if I haven’t said so, how dare you have the temerity to replace Bob Prince!!!
    :) :) :)

  50. @Foo

    Holy Toledo !

  51. @Milo…….:p

  52. Let’s try that again…


  53. Just an update from the baseball hot stove. Today, the Pirates have done nothing.

    DK: I’d copy that one, Milo. Might need to paste it often.

  54. Too bad there’s not a “like” button here, Milo. That, again, was funny. In looking for reasons to be optimistic on that “other blog” today, it hit me that, with the Pirates’ record on exercising options, Neal is Toast in 4 years. How desperate are we Pirate fans that we find some comfort in such little things?

  55. AW, is that “other blog” open for business? All it tells me is it can’t find the place.

    This place is much better anyways.

    But how long till this Penn State thing goes away?

    DK: Long, long, long time, Biz.

  56. It’s kind of funny. The “media” gets criticized for running a story into the ground. Then they get criticized for moving onto the next big thing and running it into the ground. (Not that there isn’t some truth to that, just not in this instance yet). This Penn State thing has been described as the biggest scandal in college sports (and it’s in our backyard and it involves SPORTS). And stuff, like the Sandusky interview Monday and the McQueary stuff yesterday with the e-mails and the CBS non-interview, is still coming out daily. Probably not going to die down till stuff doesn’t keep coming out on a daily basis.

    DK: And let’s not forget. The “media” is criticized, rightly in many cases, for not doing enough to get a story. I’d say that certainly applies in this Penn State story, especially since the grand jury investigation itself became public earlier in the year. I’m no exception. I did have other duties, obviously, but I wasn’t even aware of it as a citizen.

  57. “Just an update from the baseball hot stove. Today, the Pirates have done nothing.”

    However, NH was interviewed about the Type A and B CBA stuff and said, “business as usual in Pittsburgh.” And people have called him a liar..

  58. Remember 2015. Neal Huntington’s option year. That’s the new target. Very rarely does one GM get to rebuild twice. I think he might be able to fit 2 more rebuilds in before then. Three rebuilds & not even one winning season. An almost unprecedented chance to be a three time loser as a GM. In the same place.

  59. Well, in order for him to rebuild again, he’ll have to get to the point where he trades away AMac….which isn’t that far away in reality.

    I think I might actually jump ship this year…..why bother with that pain and agony.

  60. He will absolutely trade McCutchen. And probably Walker too. Think of the “prospects” we can get for these guys. Take all those prospects, the players already drafted, and 4 more rule 5 picks – 2015 baby. And don’t underestimate the ability of Frank Coonelly to sell this new “plan” to the lemmings.

    I’m going to be sick. Again.

  61. I agree…on all of the above.

    I understand they have a tight budget, I get it…but I believe some other teams do as well, and do not suck year after year…….I know this is an old subject, I bet it will go on longer than the Penn State talk!!

  62. I know Dejan, and as more is found, the plot thickens with PSU

    I listen to the FAN every morning, getting the dogs fed, getting ready for work and on the way to work, cripes, the whole show was just talking about that mess till Caufield came on.

    Part of that is driven by the public though.

    Only the Shadow knows where this may go

    @Ryan, if you have stuck around this long, the PBC is in your genes, you are genetically attracted to this club, as I am

    I visited my son and his family last weekend, he was threatening the same thing

    No chance, no chance at all, it is our cross to bear

    A good point on 2015, that is when wacky Neal will maybe try to win, until then, the PLAN RULES

  63. Biz-I think I say it every year actually……..until February/March time frame..and stay pissy all summer long.

  64. I just saw that the Mariners will give Danny Hultzen an opportunity to make their starting rotation out of spring training. I laugh at these teams. Don’t they know that he needs to start out in A ball & throw 80 or 90 innings so his 2nd year in A ball he’ll be really ready to take off ? Maybe Neal should hold a seminar.

  65. @ Milo

    I don’t get your sarcasm. Are you really suggesting Taillon should have been given a chance to win a MLB rotation spot last season?

    There is a big difference between a college pitcher getting a chance and a high school pitcher getting a chance.

    By the way does anyone else see a big flaw in Cooke’s idea of penalizing a team if noone is within two zones of the puck. A team could just skate into the opponents zone and throw the puck backwards and be awarded with a power play. Don’t see how that would work.

    I also don’t get the fuss about seeing defense being played in hockey. Yes it may be “boring” to some but if its effective there is a place for it. The way I see it this defensive strategy should cause more close games meaning more excitement late in games, right?

  66. @David

    Two separate issues of course. Taillon should have gotten the ball every 5th day & pitched until he was either no longer effective or tired in each of those games. 93 innings in 23 starts ? How does that prepare you to win at the big league level ? That’s 4 innings a start. He had 5 decisions. That kind of babying doesn’t make you a competitor. But it should keep you fresh for 2015.

    Gerrit Cole should start this season at AA, if he doesn’t show he’s one of their 5 best starters in spring training. He should get the ball every 5 days & be given the chance to learn to win baseball games. If he does well at AA he should be promoted to AAA. A college pitcher that was picked 1st overall should be in the big leagues by 2013 at the latest.

  67. Milo

    I think you have Cole’s schedule correct. He will start in AA and if he does well, say dominates first few starts, might go to AAA well before mid-season and be up in 2013, maybe even September 2012. But that only if he as good as advertised.

    As for Talion, not concerned. He will build up as moves through the system. Thnk he will throw a lot more this season.

  68. Arriba…….getting that ‘renew your subscription’ notice again on that other blog.

    Tim just said that 98.6 % of the problems were fixed. I guess I have fallen in the 1.4%



  69. @JAL

    I’ll bet you a beverage of your choice that Cole starts in A. I’ll be pleasantly surprised, no shocked if he starts in AA. And of course, all advancement should be performance related.

  70. Ok Milo

    12 oz bottle of Coca Cola

  71. @JAL

    You’re on. I’ll go with pepsi. I hope you win.

  72. Have to agree on the blue sweaters–horrible. And the light blue ones bring back memories of only one thing, bad hockey.

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