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The Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Columbus Blue Jackets in-game one at the Consol Energy Center. The Blue Jackets didn’t look like a nervous team when Jack Johnson scored 6:20 into the 1st period to give them a 1-0 lead. Jussi Jokinen tied the game at 1, but 45 seconds later Mark Letestu scored a power play goal to give the Blue Jackets a 2 to 1 lead after the First Period.

Forty-three seconds into 2nd period, Derek MacKenzie scored a short-handed goal to give the Blue Jackets a 3 to 1 lead, but on the same power play the Penguins cut to 3-2 on a power play goal by Beau Bennett.  Forty-nine seconds Matt Niskanen’s slap shot tied the game at 3.

At 8:18 of  the 3rd period,  Brandon Sutter scored the goal to give the Penguins a 4 to 3.   Marc-Andre Fleury made some key saves late in the period to give the Penguins the win and 1 to 0 series lead.    Head Coach Dan Bylsma made some key changes like dropping Brian Gibbons to the 3rd line and taking Kris Letang out of the 1st power play unit.   The main concerns are giving up short-handed goals in the playoffs, and taking bad penalties.   The Penguins have to play with the same intensity for game two Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center with the faceoff at 7:00 P.M

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Big news coming out of the swimming world, 22 time medalist Michael Phelps is expected to come out of retirement and make a push for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It has been noted that Phelps, who has an Olympic record 22 medals (18 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze) had told himself he would not swim in his 30′s, but apparently that has all changed as it seems his passion and desire to compete is still there. Phelps turns 29 in June, which would make him 31 if he were to compete in the 2016 Summer Games.

For more on Michael Phelps and his announcement of coming out of retirement, read here! http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/olympic-great-michael-phelps-ending-retirement-23319568

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Here are my picks for the Stanley Cup Finals that start this Wednesday night.

Eastern Conference

Boston defeat Detroit in six games

NY Rangers defeat Philadelphia in seven games

Montreal defeat Tampa Bay in six games

Pittsburgh defeat Columbus in five games

Western Conference

Colorado defeat Minnesota in five games

Anaheim defeat Dallas in five games

Chicago defeat St. Louis in seven games

Los Angeles defeat San Jose in seven games

 

Tattoos are something to think long and hard over if you are serious about getting one. You have to make sure it does not look dumb, it has a purpose, and is not down and outright ridiculous and silly. In the case of a Kentucky basketball fan, all of those definitely pertain to him. The Kentucky basketball fan got a premature tattoo with the Wildcats logo along with the words “2014 Nati9nal Champions” (the ’9′ was in place of the letter ‘o’ to represent with what would have been Kentucky’s 9th national championship had they beaten UConn).

 

 

     This sums it all up pretty nicely

 

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Many probably do not know, but I actually use to compete in powerlifting. My best gym lifts were 505lb. Bench Press (done at age 23 at 260lb body weight)  600lb. Squat (done at age 23 at 260lb body weight), 715lb. Deadlift (done at age 23 with 260lb body weight.  My best competition lifts were a 402.9 Bench Press (done at age 21 at body weight of 250lbs.) Squat- 505lbs (done at age 17 with body weight of 230lbs.) Deadlift- 639.8 lbs (done at age 21 at body weight of 250lbs.). I have since moved on and decided to focus mainly on staying in shape and endurance. I had slimmed down all the way to 208lbs. but now maintain a consistent 215-225lb. body weight (still, 40-50 lb. weight loss is great progress). Though I have moved on from competitive powerlifting (and who knows, maybe one day I will get back into it) I still keep up to date with what is going on in the powerlifting and strongman world. Every year around Christmas ESPN broadcasts that year’s edition of the World’s Strongest Man Competition. One name that is well known throughout the strength world is Zydrunas Savickas.

Savickas has won the World’s Strongest Competition three times and partakes in the annual Arnold Strongman Classic held in Columbus, Ohio (winning that event seven times). Savickas has many other accolades, awards, and achievements. Now he has another one to add to that long list! Savickas went on to win the 2014 edition of the Arnold Strongman Classic and in the process broke the world record in the tire deadlift with a lift of 1,155lbs! Yes 1,155lbs! That is not a typo! Not only is the amount of weight he lifted insurmountable to most humans, but the fact he did so with relative ease makes it all the more impressive! It will be interesting to see what Savickas does next to raise the bar even higher!   Here is the video!

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Richard Sherman is back at it again on Twitter, this time with Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Actually this time around it was the other party instigating the flame war. Hall took a jab at Sherman saying he would like to see him go up against the likes of Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, and A.J. Green. Then Hall made a statement implying Sherman is/would be tired at covering the following players. Sherman retaliates and shoves it right back into Hall’s face and said to him “been tough on u huh lol” The flame war would get a little more heated before former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver had to play peace maker.

Update: Here is another exchange between Sherman and Hall\

     There is said to have been more tweets exchange. As for as Sherman goes, do not expect this to be the last Twitter war he engages in!

 

 

Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, Seattle Seahawks cornerback got into a debate with New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount. Blount made a bold statement saying that the Broncos had signed the best corner in the game, Aqib Talib. Sherman decided to weigh in on this and explain to Blount why that is not the case. Here is the exchange of tweets between Blount and Sherman, which shows that not only can Sherman play a good game, but talk a good one too!

 

Like Michael Crabtree before him, Sherman had to teach Blount a valuable lesson, do not mess with the best corner in the game!

 

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     It is hard nowadays to really admire athletes anymore. Some of them holding out because they demand a bigger or longer contract. Others not wanting to perform because they are experiencing turf toe. Thankfully New York Islanders Center John Tavares (who is out for the remainder of the season with an injury) gave me a breath of fresh air and reminded me that NOT ALL sports stars are like that. When Tavares had heard that 11 year old fan Jake Lotocki (a New York Islanders and John Tavares fan) who had attended a game in Winnipeg  to watch the Islanders play the Jets was subjected to harassment and bullying by opposing fans, Tavares took it to heart. According to The Winnipeg Sun, Jets fans were up in his face calling him “loser” and telling him to “go home” to where it got to the point Lotocki had to walk back to his rides car to try and hide his John Tavares jersey he was wearing.

 

 

After learning what happened Tavares contacted director of communications, Kimber Auerbach (who was with the Islanders as they were in Vancouver to play the Canucks). “He called me during the game and told me he wanted to do something for Jake,” Auerbach said.  Because Lotocki felt so ashamed and embarrassed that he had to take off his jersey of his favorite player, Tavares decided to send him one personally, signed with his autograph! On top of that, Lotocki has been invited to the team’s skate next season when they are in Winnipeg. Too put it in perspective, Tavares who is battling and dealing with his own issues with a season-ending injury, took the time to forget about his problems so he could take care of someone else’s who had been wronged to fix it and make it right! John Tavares, you may not be playing for my favorite team, but you have just gained a new and appreciated fan of yours!

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2014/03/12/john-tavares-gives-jersey-to-little-islanders-fan-mocked-at-mts-centre

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When Dan Bylsma was named interim Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins midway through the 2008-09 NHL Season, no one could have anticipated he would lead them to a Stanley Cup later that spring, despite being out of playoff positioning at that time. Bylsma is described as a “Players Coach”. Real laid back guy, calm demeanor, having a “Country Club” like attitude. Which is easy to understand why a lot of players might like playing for a coach such as Bylsma. Bylsma was awarded the “Jack Adams Award” for most outstanding coach during the 2010-11 season, despite being without star players Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for majority of the season. Unfortunately, Bylsma could not keep the momentum rolling into the playoffs as they were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games after being up 3 games to 1.

The following season, Bylsma coached the Penguins to 51 wins (only the 2nd time ever in franchise history the team reached the 50+ win mark) and were within 1 point of the Eastern Conference Standings of obtaining the number one seed. On top of that, unlike last year, he had a healthy Crosby and Malkin in the lineup! The Penguins headed into the playoffs with a first round match up with cross state rival, Philadelphia Flyers, where they were heavily favored. Pittsburgh quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 1, but a defensive relapse by the Penguins allowed the Flyers to score four unanswered goals and steal the first game. In Game 2, Pittsburgh once again jumped out of the gates fast scoring 15 seconds in, to take a quick 1-0 lead and ended the period with a 3-1 advantage. Yet another defensive meltdown led the Penguins to being outscored 7-2 in the final two periods and fall into a 0-2 series deficit. Philadelphia eventually went on to win the series in six games and many critics questioned Bylsma, especially after in Games 1 & 2 when then Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette took timeout’s after falling behind to the Penguins early to make in-game adjustments. This is one of the areas that Bylsma has been subject to criticism due to his coaching style and sticking to one game plan without having a contingency plan. You will hear Bylsma often say after a loss “We didn’t get to our game”.  Which makes me question if Bylsma really only has one game plan, or is just to stubborn to make any changes?

 

In the 2012-13 strike shortened season, Bylsma and Pittsburgh posted an impressive 15-0-0 recorded during the month of March, and at the trade deadline went out and got veterans Jarome Iginla and Brendan Morrow for leadership and scoring depth. On paper the Penguins were once again Stanley Cup favorites. After a wild and rocky first round series win over a young New York Islanders team, Pittsburgh breezed by the Ottawa Senators in five games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they would face the Boston Bruins. Pittsburgh’s firepower was deemed to be too much for the Bruins to overcome, though you would have sworn that was not the case as the Bruins shutout the Penguins 3-0 in Game 1. Evgeni Malkin would also engage in a fight during the first game against Boston, which is another area where Bylsma receives slack for and that is keeping his players emotions intact and under control. Malkin himself has let his anger and emotions get the better of him, and it is an issue that is still frequent at times with him that Bylsma needs to address. Plus, why would you want one of your top scorers participating in fights and have him risk injury in the process? The Bruins continued the onslaught, as they went on to win Game 2 by a score of 6-1 and eventually swept the Penguins in four games, outscoring Pittsburgh’s “offensive juggernaut” 12-2 in the process. After their disappointing performance and stunning playoff exit, Bylsma was immediately on the hot seat, and some speculated he would be on his way out of Pittsburgh. Many also questioned his decision of not playing deadline acquisition, Jarome Iginla, in his normal position. In spite of it all, the Penguins extended Bylsma’s contract for 2 more years.

 

I cannot deny the amount of success Bylsma has had with this team during the regulation, as I openly admitted that earlier. Having accolades such as being awarded the “Jack Adams Award”, has the record for most regular season wins by a head coach in franchise history, and only the 2nd one to lead the organization to a 50+ win season. Other than leading the Penguins to the  Stanley Cup in 2008-09, Bylsma has not duplicated that same type of success since then. Yes you are going to pile up a great amount of wins during the regular season facing teams like the Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, etc. Especially when you have star players like Crosby, Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, whom all are among the league’s top scorers. Unfortunately Bylsma has not been able to transform the same kind of end result come playoff time when you are playing seven game series against opponents like the Boston Bruins and not the Columbus Blue Jackets. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 (Where the Penguins posted a 16-8 record throughout those playoffs) Pittsburgh has gone 20-21 in playoff games, including two first round exits. Lets not forget Dan Bylsma and Team USA’s performance from the 2014 Winter Olympics. USA won their first four games outscoring the opposition 20-6. When it came time to face an equal or superior opponent like Canada and Finland though, USA could not even net one goal and was outscored 6-0 in their final two games (1-0 Canada, 5-0 Finland) and failed to medal.

I was, and still am a supporter of Dan Bylsma, but my confidence is wearing thin. However, as a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins for 19 of my 25 years on this planet earth, I would love nothing more than to eat crow and have Bylsma prove me wrong and lead the Pens to a Stanley Cup victory come late spring!  Now as far as personal matters go, Dan if by any chance you read my article, please find my hat, I was told you misplaced it!

Sources:  http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2011030141

http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2011030142

http://bruins.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2012030314

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/team-usa-humiliated-in-bronze-medal-game–shut-out-by-finland-172551889.html

 

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Ahh yes, good ole’ ESPN with another blunder! This time with Barry Bonds and his 762 Home Runs he had in the NBA! Yes I said the NBA, that is according to ESPN anyway!

 

 

 

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We often get told by others “You know, you look like so and so” and will either laugh at noticing the slight resemblance (I’ve been told I look like Daniel Bryan when I let me beard grow out) or look at the person and wonder how the hell did they come up with that comparison, and dismiss it. (My dad was once told by some random lady in a store that he looks like Paul McCartney).

For Tom Wrigglesworth, an English Stand Up Comedian, the similarities between he and Aaron Rodgers are uncanny!

Perhaps Wrigglesworth really is Rodger’s identical twin brother, but grew his hair out so people would not hassle him public getting him mixed up with his (supposedly) twin brother Aaron. Another reason might be because he wanted to do what Emilio Estevez (who did not take his father Martin Sheen’s stage name like his brother Charlie) and wanted to make it big as a comedian without using the “Rodgers stage name”! Perhaps there is an other twist to all of this, Aaron Rodgers leads a double life!?

Credit goes to Twitter user https://twitter.com/TheNateWalters

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The St. Ignatius Wildcats and Northview Wildcats battled for the Ohio State Hockey Championship. After the end of regulation the score was tied 1-1. The teams played seven overtimes before both refused to come back out on the ice for an eight extra period of hockey. The decision resulted in both teams being declared CO-State Champs. The reason is said to be because of player safety issues. Here is a thought, if you were concerned about player safety then the game should have been taken to a shootout to declare a decisive winner!

 

http://www.maxpreps.com/blogs/maxwire-national-blog/cEFC-H_yzUqgLlAJB51jfA/st-ignatius,-northview-state-title-hockey-game-ends-in-a-tie.htm

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I always love premature celebrations in sports! In this video, a soccer team is set up for a free kick when it appears they have scored a goal only for it to be denied by the goalie who made a nice diving save! To be fair it was a great kick, but the reaction and premature celebration is priceless and a must watch!

 

 

 

 

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Torii Hunter posted a picture on Instagram of him kissing an alligator after teammate Justin Verlander had dared him to do so. Hunter admitted that he “#stillfearit” even after the kiss. It would be funny to see Torii Hunter to go on and have a career year, breaking personal and even MLB records this season! If he does, may Hunter could have a new pregame ritual by kissing an alligator before each game!

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We are less than 24 hours from the NHL Trade Deadline and rumors are running rampant. The Pittsburgh Penguins are reported front runners for Vancouver Canuck’s Forward Ryan Kesler.

Many questions will be made if in fact the Penguins are able to land Kesler. First being how much will the Penguins have to give up? Many reports are saying a roster player (many saying Brandon Sutter would be that said roster player), two prospects and a 1st round pick. The next question is if the Canucks may possibly through in another player to the deal. However, I think if that were to happen, Penguins would need to give up another roster player. My guess if that were to happen, would be Simon Despres as the Pittsburgh organization really does not have a (consistent)  spot for him currently on the lineup. Going back to Kesler, where the Penguins would place him is another question if they are too land him. The Penguins are desperately searching for a solid and proven player to play Right Wing alongside Sidney Crosby ever since Pascal Dupuis went down with a season ending injury (though there are reports he is ahead of schedule in terms of rehab, but that remains to be seen). The other spot that many think Kesler would play is centering the 3rd line (currently Brandon Sutter’s role) and reverting back to that 3C system they had when Jordan Staal was here (Crosby 1c, Malkin 2c, Staal 3c). One possibility that is mentioned is Kesler primarily playing alongside Crosby, but also centering the third line on occassion to exploit any mismatches and to give him more ice time. What will actually happens is anyone’s guess, but knowing General Manager Ray Shero, the trade deadline for the Pittsburgh Penguins will not be without drama and suspense!

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Remember when you were a young adolescent boy, and you were curious to know more about the female anatomy? First you would start with your mothers Sears underwear catalog and the more curious you got the more you lurked around your parents bedroom. Then you would eventually search your father’s dressing drawer’s and would proceed to hit the “jackpot” as you scored some of his old Playboys he had from high school that he had forgotten he stashed away! Then afterwards, taking and hiding them in your own bedroom closet. You remember that?  You don’t? No…. oh…. yeah I don’t remember doing that either :oops:  But enough about me…. I mean….enough about that.  Lets take a look at the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Actually it seems as someone is two steps ahead of us in terms of looking at this special issue of Sports Illustrated and studying the female anatomy! I do not know about you, be he has my vote to be the next “Gerber Baby”!

source: https://twitter.com/SI_BenReiter/status/440549866805424128

 

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Down two with time winding down between Syracuse and Duke, the Orange’s C.J. fair drove baseline and made the bucket and seemingly drew a foul to potentially put his team up one with 10.4 seconds remaining. Instead of the bucket and the foul, Fair was called for charging and an irate Jim Boehiem began screaming  as he became hostile towards the officials. Boeheim eventually received two Technical Fouls because of his actions. Duke was able to capitalize on the questionable call to secure a win for the Blue Devils. Boeheim’s meltdown is priceless, but watching the replay of the foul for charging against Fair, it’s not that difficult to understand and see why he did so! What do you think, did the refs get it right, or do you side with Boehiem?

 

 

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You mainly seen it done in extreme sports such as biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and on video games such as Sonic! Damien Walters did not need any sort of gear or video game like features to run a loop-the-loop on his own two feet, and in the process became the first person ever to accomplish the feat!(no pun intended) I have to wonder how many times Walters tried it before he finally got it right!?!? Nonetheless, a big congratulations is in order for Damien Walters for essentially setting a new standard in human mechanics!

 

 

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If not for Tukka Rask being too ill to play against Sweden, Finland could very well be playing for the Gold against Canada. Finland still came away with the Bronze, but played very much like a Gold Medal team against USA. Finland used strong play along the boards and a good defensive presence in front of the net to prevent the heavy offensive attack of the USA from scoring and collecting any rebound opportunities.

The United States seemed to have control of the game from the middle of the 1st period all the way into the beginning of the 2nd with excellent scoring chances, including a Penalty Shot by Patrick Kane, but was denied by Rask. Kane would go on receive another Penalty Shot in the 2nd period and actually beat Rask but the puck went off the post and out. After killing the remaining 51 seconds Team USA had on the man advantage to start the 2nd period, Finland would score twice in 11 seconds,with goals coming from Teemu Selanne and Jussi Jokinen.

The United States would try and continue to generate chances, but Finland’s defense prevented the U.S. from getting deep into the zone and in front of the net, forcing the USA to shoot out near the blue line. United States thought they had one finally go into the net right before time expired in the 2nd period, but replayed clearly showed it went wide and hit the outside part of the net.

Entering the 3rd period, The U.S. still had plenty of reason to be optimistic. In spite of giving up two quick goals, Team USA still created turnovers and odd man rushes throughout two periods and would hope to finally have a couple of shots go into the back of the net. Instead, it was Finland that dominated and generated the scoring in the 3rd period. Finland would score three times in the span of 3 minutes and 59 seconds with goals coming from Juuso Hietanen, Selanne, and Olli Matta (Selanne and Matta’s goals came on powerplays) putting Finland up and in complete control over the USA 5-0 and never looked back!

Shutout for the 2nd game in a row (1st time in U.S. Olympic Hockey history) the United States failed to repeat as medalist and build off the success from the 2010 Vancouver Games. Finland has now won a medal in 5 of the last 6 Winter Games (4 Bronze 1 Silver).

 

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The United States came into today’s match up against Canada with the most goals in the 2014 Olympics, registering 19 in four games. Canada who had struggled throughout the tournament by not putting away their opposition, stood tall and strong as its defense and goaltending shutdown the high octane offense of the United States. After a scoreless first period, Jamie Benn scored a goal set up by Jay Bouwmeester and tipped the puck into the net past Jonathan Quick to give Canada a 1-0 lead 1:41 into the 2nd period.

 

 

Despite giving up the goal, Quick had a fantastic game, stopping 36 of 37 shots, but it was not enough as Carey Price stopped all 31 shots he faced from the USA offense. Team USA had great ample scoring opportunities, as moments before Benn’s goal that put Canada ahead, Defenseman Duncan Keith sprawled out and broke up a 2 on 1 attack from Joe Pavelski and Phil Kessel. Kessel came into the game leading all scorers in the tournament with the most goals (5) and tied for the most points (8).

The United States powerplay could not get anything to click either, going 0 for 3 on the extra man attack. Canada prevented the U.S. from putting any shots on goal on the Americans first man advantage. Patrick Kane, who was set up by Zach Parise was denied a great scoring chance on the U.S.’s 2nd powerplay as Carey Price made another fine save to keep the Americans off the board. USA received its third man advantage late in the 2nd after a slashing call on Chris Kunitz. Unfortunately for the Americans, they again could not get capitalize on the opportunity and headed into the 2nd intermission down by one goal.

The United States would come out strong with aggressive fore-checking to open the 3rd period. After Sidney Crosby came close to scoring and putting Canada up two, both James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel had chances for the Americans but once again could not get the puck past Price. No matter how much pressure the United States brought, they could not break Canada as they played a sound game all around with good defensive stops, outstanding goaltending, and did enough offensively to come away with the victory! With the win Canada will face Sweden in the Gold Medal Game and as for the United States, they will face Finland in the Bronze Medal Game. The Gold Medal Game between Canada and Sweden is also featuring the last two Gold Medal winners in Men’s Hockey (Sweden 2006, Canada 2010).

 

 

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