Shero’s Deadline Deals Were Clear Winners

March 7, 2011

Wrote another article for SB Nation Pittsburgh this past week about Ray Shero’s pre-deadline deals for James Neal, Matt Niskanen, and Alexei Kovalev, comparing them to the other deals commiserated on the Trade Deadline. In short, no matter how the acquisitions pan out, the Penguins received tremendous value in the deals themselves compared to other teams’ similar trades on the day of the Deadline.

Check out the article here:


Lemieux’s Statement About Islanders’ Fighting Not Hypocritical

February 15, 2011

I wrote a piece for SB Nation Pittsburgh about the absurd media and fan reaction to Lemieux’s “whiny, hypocritical” statement about the Islanders slugfest from Friday night.

You can check it out here:

Crosby Will Definitely Return This Season Or Not

February 11, 2011

BREAKING CROSBY NEWS, you guys! Reporting on the scene are ESPN and the Post-Gazette:

Now we know for sure: Crosby may return this season, or may be out for the year. THANK GOD. All that uncertainty was such a distraction.

The Pirates Offseason: The Value Of Change For The Sake Of Change

January 19, 2011


Ehrm, sorry about that. I’m a loveless blogging machine and sometimes my machine parts malfunction. But my Apolo-Tron 9000 is kicking in and telling you humans that I am sorry for my behavior and or actions.

Anyway, I wrote an article about the Pirates’ dismal offseason for SB Nation Pittsburgh. Go there. Read it. Be like “‘Salright.” Thanks, you!

Jets 22, Steelers 17: New York Wins Battle Of Playing The Most OK

December 20, 2010

When you’re playing a comparable team, and you’re both playing comparably, and you give up a special teams touchdown and create zero turnovers, you’re pretty much going to lose. Roethlisberger played ok, not great or terrible, the offensive line played ok, not great or terrible, the Polamalu-less defense played ok, not great or terrible, the special teams played not ok, not great, but terrible, and the end result was an unsurprising close defeat.

Also, yes, the officiating in this game was again awful, with the refs missing a pretty obvious Pass Interference call on a potential Emmanuel Sanders game-winning touchdown, as well another weekly installment of NFL Personal Foul Wacky FlagzTM. I’ve grown so completely numb to the prospects of arguing over the NFL’s new helmet-to-helmet mandate this season and the exhausting “Am I even seeing the same dimension of reality as these commentators?” questions contained within, I have no energy nor new insight to expend on this subject anymore. I also have no idea what anything means anymore — we are through the officiating looking glass, people.

Hopefully on this side of the looking glass, the Steelers just beat Carolina and Cleveland and snag the #2 seed anyway (if they cannot do this, they’ll have certainly earned a not-#2 seed), then get Polamalu and Heath Miller back for the Playoffs, because seriously, those human beings are good at football. Are the Steelers going to beat New England? Nope. Could they conceivably lose a home playoff game to Baltimore, The Jets, San Diego, Indy, or Kansas City? Except Kansas City, yep.

Basically, I think we’re all in Gravy-mode at this point, where we realize the Steelers are banged-up and are a major long shot to win the Super Bowl, despite having their #2 seeded destiny in their hands, but there’s so many other teams with similar question marks that we’re just for the Steelers to go out later than other teams we dislike more. Meaning, it’s an NFL season.

Flyers 3, Penguins 2: The Streak Was Bound To End Eventually But Screw This Game Anyway

December 15, 2010

I had a sinking feeling the Pens were gonna lose tonight, but that’s not worth any Nostradamus points, cause I had the same feeling before the recent Devils and Maple Leafs games and the Pens won both of those in regulation. Really, they were destined to lose eventually, and 12 straight wins is still incredibly impressive, so I’m not that annoyed…

Dammit, homepage, I’m really trying not to get mad at you guys tonight.

Basically, there’s not much to say tonight other than the Pens got slightly outplayed by a team that’s currently even deeper than they are offensively and defensively. I wish that weren’t the case — I wish I could point to a specific breakdown or an unlucky bounce or two or a blown call here or there (there were several, but ended up mostly a wash) and say that the Penguins should’ve won so I can sleep tonight feeling superior, but really, the Flyers just did a little more than the Pens to win the game, gave up almost no significant scoring chances 5-on-5, and came away with the win.

Deryk Engelland has played mostly ok in his starts this season, but he looked slow and out of place tonight, finishing the game with only 9:48 of ice time — either Dan Bylsma saw what I saw and benched him, or Engelland had an undisclosed injury. The Engelland/Lovejoy pair has been mostly passable throughout the season, if at times unspectacular, but if the Penguins are gonna make a move at the trade deadline in a couple months, I can foresee them going after a Jordan Leopold / Phillippe Boucher type veteran defenseman to fill the 6th D spot. Right now it’s not a huge issue, but Engelland and Lovejoy still have a ways to go to prove they won’t be playoff liabilities, and if a late-season blue line injury forces both of them into the Pens’ lineup, particularly with Goligoski’s defensive deficiencies already evident, the Pens will suddenly face a glaring hole.

Malkin looked decent in his return, an assessment which I don’t intend to sound disingenuous as he provided both Penguin goals, but he was forcing constant inessential passes through traffic and turning the puck over too frequently, and his retaliatory penalty in the Third led to the Flyers’ go-ahead goal. He still has a ways to go before I (and the other less-forgiving Pens fans) will completely set aside my current Malkin FrustrationsTM. I realize I just used the phrase “ways to go” twice in the same short recap, but it’s late and I’m tired and the Pens just lost to the Flyers in a boring game and we can all deal with it.

The Flyers assume First Place in the Eastern Conference for the time being, though they’re also one of the few teams in either conference that’s been essentially 100% healthy the entire season (besides Michael Leighton, who is unquestionably a crucial component of Michael Leighton’s family). This isn’t really a knock against their success over the past month and a half, just a reminder that the rest of the conference won’t necessarily be as far behind them talent-wise come Playoff time, particularly if Jordan Staal returns to his previous level of utility and Danny Briere suddenly remembers he’s Danny Briere and misses the next three years.

SB Nation Pittsburgh: Why The Penguins Lead The NHL In Fighting Majors

December 8, 2010

My latest post for SB Nation Pittsburgh: Why The Penguins Lead The NHL In Fighting Majors. Be warned, it almost contains something resembling analysis (I’ll try to cram an old Fruity Pebbles commercial into the next one).

I’ll post something about the Pirates’ winter meetings moves eventually, once I start making some sense of them.

The Only Possible Dave Wannstedt Replacement

December 8, 2010

I don’t particularly follow Pitt Panthers football, but I was a bit taken aback by the resignation of Dave Wannstedt as head coach, not because his teams have underperformed for years, but because of his undisputed status as the Pittsburghest Dude Ever.

With Wannstedt gone, the Panthers are gonna have their hands full trying to hire a new coach who’s anywhere near as Pittsburghy. As far as I see it, the team only has one option for their next coach – they have to hire the woman in this clip:

Steelers Cut Jeff Reed; Future Of Ed Hardy Cleet Industry In Jeopardy

November 16, 2010

Bad news, operators of Pittsburgh-area bottleservice clubs: The Steelers have released Jeff Reed. In his place, the Steelers signed former Redskins and Cowboys kicker Shaun Suisham, who’s spent the past eight months as a free agent looking for work as part of a tongue twister.

There’s always an inherent risk when a team switches kickers, since individuals’ performances at the position can fluctuate wildly at random times, but Reed’s recent performance forced the Steelers’ hand here. Plus, even in the worst-case scenario, Suisham likely won’t be worse than Reed has been so far this year, just either the same or an obvious upgrade (hopefully the latter).

Reed’s tenure with the team has been more than productive, and he does have two Super Bowls on his resume, but after constant inexcusable missed field goals throughout the 2010 season, now’s as good a time as any to dust off the old “NFL is a business” cliches. I just hope Kevin Colbert remembered to pad the towel dispenser in the bathroom outside his office.

Why Dejan Kovacevic’s Rookie Of The Year Ballot Might Not Be Crazy

November 16, 2010

Hello couple friends of mine reading this! FY Information, I’ve joined the website SB Nation Pittsburgh as a part-time contributor, so if you think my writing on Elvis Has Left isn’t completely terrible, you can go over there and hopefully continue to think that!

I published my first post today, an examination of the controversy surrounding Pittsburgh Beat Writer Dejan Kovacevic’s National League Rookie of the Year ballot, as he was the only writer to vote for any Pirates.

You can read the piece here.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue to post on Elvis Has Left for the foreseeable future just as often as I usually do, which is not very! Thanks for reading!