Archive for May, 2009

After 2 Periods

May 31, 2009

The Wings lead 2-1 b/c it suddenly became legal for Marian Hossa to slash Pascal Dupuis so badly his stick broke.  That is as close as you come in the NHL to an automatic penalty call, but the refs were either blind or chose to not make to not make that call in “Hockeytown” and it led to the go-ahead goal.  Of course, while the power play was at that point over, the whole sequence was set up by a weak-ass interference call on Geno Malkin behind the play.  The Wings are able to play such wonderful defense because they commit interference all the time, like Kronwall on Staal late in the period not letting him get deep on a forecheck, but thoes plays don’t draw calls.  And when the Pens do overcome that, Osgood has been very solid in net.  He’s misplayed a couple pucks behind his net, but he’s been good in his crease.  Still time to pull this one out, and if they don’t, they were down 2-0 in the Washington series also and came back; they can do it again.  Even-handed officiating would help, though.

Game 2 About to Start

May 31, 2009

Of the Stanley Cup Finals.  The Red Wings will be looking for the same 2-0 lead they staked themselves to last year, and the Pens will be looking for the split they wanted heading back to Pittsburgh.  I think if the Pens play with the same intensity they did in Game 1 they have a solid chance.  What cost them Game 1 were some fluke bounces off the rubbery Joe Louis Arena boards and their inability to bury the chances they had early in the 2nd period.  For all his talent Geno Malkin (and for that matter Crosby) is not the best breakaway/penalty shot scorer and the Pens failed on 2 power play chances.  I figure that special teams will play a more prominent role in Game 2 as tired players grab each other more and aggravated players beat up on each other more.  The Pens will need to come out on the plus side of the scoring in that area you would think.  Also, did the Pens win a faceoff the last 25 minutes of the game?  Its a sometimes overrated stat, but not when you are starting a power play (seeing as how the Pens seem to struggle at getting it set back up from the neutral zone) and not when you need to clear your defensive zone with tired players trapped by an icing call.  But we’ll see what happens in a few minutes.

A Question for PennDOT

May 29, 2009

I would just like to know what genius thought it would be a good idea to put a traffic signal up on Campbell’s Run Road at the 22/30 off ramp at Exxon?  I mean, I would like thank that genius for adding 3-5 minutes to my afternoon commute.  That ramp doesn’t need a traffic signal.  People that get off the Parkway there and turn right will find chances to turn right.  People that get off there looking to turn left deserve whatever waiting time they get, though usually someone lets them out.  Tell those people just to go up to Ridge Rd and get off there where they can turn right to come back down to the McMichael Rd area and beyond, or use a red light to turn left towards Steubenville Pike in a protected fashion.

Now, if they want to improve that section of Campbell’s Run, which is very heavily congested, might I suggest left turn lanes.  Specifically, a turn lane for people heading up towards Settler’s Cabin or the Parkway Inbound on-ramp so that people waiting for a chance to turn left don’t so badly back traffic up behind them.  But that would make too much sense.

G-20 Coming to Pittsburgh

May 29, 2009

The September 24-25 gathering of the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies will be held in downtown Pittsburgh at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/05/28/g-20_to_meet_in_pittsburgh_in.html?wprss=44

Should be fun stuff.  Will be interesting to see what sort of perimeter the authorities set up around the shores of the Allegheny River.  More to the point, how far away do they keep the sure to come anti-globalization protesters?  I’m sure Oakland will be abuzz with activity that week, but the professional agitators will want to be much closer than that.  I feel for anyone that works downtown.  Even where I work out in Robinson could be interesting if my commute to/from Ohio is poorly timed wrt a dignitary travelling to/from Pittsburgh International.  But in any event its a nice bit of publicity for the city and the region.  Hopefully the world enjoys their stay!

Affirmative Action SCOTUS Style?

May 29, 2009

Joe Conason has a few good words for hot-heads of the right wing punditocracy oppossed to Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2009/05/29/clarence_thomas/index.html?source=newsletter

Pens Sweep Aside Carolina

May 26, 2009

4-1 was the final in Game 4 as the Pittsburgh Penguins once again lay claim to the Prince of Wales Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions.  Good to see Crosby and his assistant captains actually hold the trophy this year; I understand the hockey tradition that says this is not the trophy you want, but its a necessary step and an accomplishment nonetheless.  The story tonight was not Crosby and Malkin, who had but two assists (one on the empty-netter) between them, but on role guys and on Fleury who had easily his best night of the series in goal.

So now the Pens sit back and see who they play in the Finals.  My hunch is its just a 24 hour wait until the Detroit Red Wings are officially minted Western Conference champs again, thus creating a rematch of last year’s Final.  If the Wings win Wednesday night look for Game 1 to be this Saturday May 30th on NBC at Joe Louis Arena.  If the Blackhawks do extend things I don’t think the Finals will start until Friday June 5th hosted by the West champs.  The first 2 games are on NBC with Games 3 & 4 on Versus, with NBC resuming coverage of any and all “if necessary” contests.  Go Pens!

Its Sotomayor!

May 26, 2009

President Obama today announced his choice to replace the retiring SCOTUS Associate Justice David Souter, and its Sonia Maria Sotomayor.  She would be only the 3rd woman, and 1st hispanic, to serve on the high bench.  I am not a legal scholar, but it sounds like she has a strong resume with plenty of experience as a prosecutor and judge, and the 54 year old should be able to add vitality to the Court.  Of course conservatives will not be happy with the choice, but they weren’t going to be.  I have heard some complain that she is an activist that will bring an agenda to the court.  My first thought is to think that is not a bad thing; her agenda can cancel out Antonin Scalia’s.  Either way, her biography should prove hard for conservatives to block; not that they really have the votes to do so, especially if Al Franken gets to take his seat sometime.  Obama wants her confirmed before Congress’ August recess.  Not sure if that is realistic, but there is no reason she can’t at least be confirmed after Labor Day and before the new Court session in October.

Major Columbiana County Highways To Be Resurfaced

May 26, 2009

Work begins Monday June 1st:

http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/may/26/work-to-begin-monday-on-highways-in-columbiana/

I can vouch personally that the stretch of US 62 from Salem to Westville and the stretch of Rt 14 from Columbiana to Washingtonville are in desperate need of repair.  Of course, it sounds like getting to/from Salem from the east or west w/o headache is going to be a bit of a challenge.  People coming from Alliance could take 165 from Westville through Beloit to Rt 45 and south, or turn south at Westville and then left onto Georgetown Rd.  People coming from Columbiana can take Rt 344.  Either way, the repairs will be appreciated when finished.  Now if ODOT would resurface the entirety of Rt 11 in the county, and not just the stretch from West Point to Calcutta, local motorists would be really pleased.

Possible Stanley Cup Final Schedule Alteration

May 25, 2009

If the Pens and Wings close their series out Tuesday and Wednesday as is possible, the Stanley Cup Finals will likely start on Saturday May 30th rather than wait for Friday June 5th as was originally planned:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs/2009/news?id=4203658

Of course, the Pens have not been able the past 2 seasons to close out a series on their first opportunity to do so and Game 5 in the East would not be until Friday the 29th so that would make this discussion moot.  Obviously, we’ll see what happens.

Pens Take Stranglehold in Series

May 23, 2009

By winning Game 3 in Raleigh 6-2 over the Hurricanes.  As you would figure the ‘Canes came out storming in the opening minutes and got the game’s first goal.  But the Pens responded quickly to tie it, and 2 huge goals the final minute of the 1st period gave them a firm working margin.  Carolina scored quickly again in the 3rd but the Pens didn’t panic, and got a safer margin again on Fedotenko’s goal just after the halfway point.  Both teams, but especially the Pens, played with incredible energy all night, and Geno Malkin has been everywhere making great play after great play.

So now the Pens will look for the closeout in Game 4 Tuesday night in Raleigh.  And this is where it gets interesting.  In the Crosby Era, the Pens have never been able to win their first attempt at closing out a series.  For what its worth, they also prevented Detroit from closing them out the first night the Cup was in the building last June.  Its just hard to match the desperate energy the other team plays with trying to avoid the end of their season.  We’ll see if the Pens can do it Tuesday.