Buck’s Weekly Column

 

Look back to some of our posts dating back to August. Yes we were the ones who said the Baltimore Ravens are for real and finally Pittsburgh Steeler fans have to admit it. Baltimore 9-2 squeaked past Cleveland, San Diego and Tennessee in all games they should have lost but they did what Super Bowl Contenders do: They find a way to win. The only thing that matters is they are 9-2 and can clinch the AFC North with a win Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Indy Colts are the crop of the AFC at 10-1 and San Diego at 9-2 are a step better than the Ravens but the playoffs are all about matchups and the Ravens have the best chance to end Peyton Mannings hope of reaching the big game. Baltimore resembles the Steelers in 04 and 05 with their ability to pound the ball andRead More »

Armstrong and Ekman lack scoring punch

 

The Penguins lost 3 games over the Thanksgiving holiday without superstar Sidney Crosby and when is someone going to step up. The past three games have been the Evgeni Malkin show and that’s it. Let’s give credit to players when it’s due and Mark Recchi deserves some praise. Recchi called out his teammates following the Buffalo lost on November 17th and he has stepped up his game a notch. Ray Shero has done a solid job improving this team but is having too many role players going to hinder the Penguins chances at returning to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. Most likely it will. Ryan Malone is expected to return as early as this week and he will be given a chance to be on of the top 2 lines. Malone out with a broken forearm for 4 weeks was a disappointment in the early goingRead More »

Bruins 4 – Penguins 3

 

Tim Thomas came on in relief and stifiled the Penguins in their first shootout of the season Evgeni Malkin showed the NHL what a impact he is going to have in this league. Malkin led a Pittsburgh Penguins rally in the third period scoring with 10 minutes left the third then setting up Mark Recchi for tying goal with less than 35 seconds in the game. The Penguins gained a point out of nothing and Malkin took control of the game late in the third which was Mario Esque. Mark Recchi is really turning it on offensively and right now he is not looking like the bad pickup we thought. His first goal in the first period from the right side was one of the nicest goals i’ve seen all year. Jordan Staal needs to play more. Especially with Crosby out for the game, you would have thought Staal wouldRead More »

Diamond Notes

 

Will the Pirates make a bold move this off-season and land Adam Dunn? Jerry Cransicks a contributor to ESPN.com is reporting 5 big name players are on on the trading block 1. Adam Dunn 2. Vernon Wells 3. Mark Teixeira 4. Andrew Jones 5. Carl Crawford. Crasnick says that Pittsburgh makes the most sense to land Adam Dunn but whether management would make such a bold move is a different story. “Pittsburgh makes some sense, given the short right field at PNC Park and the team’s need for a lefty power hitter. But it’s hard to see the Pirates shelling out the coin for Dunn. They’re more likely to focus on a younger, less costly bat, such as Arizona’s Chad Tracy or Florida’s Mike Jacobs. The Reds would most likely want a impact pitcher and impact hitting in return for Dunn. Marlins first base man Mike Jacobs is one nameRead More »

Young Stars snap winless streak

 

Sidney Crosby led to the Penguins to a 3-2 Win at Mellon Arena It was just a matter of time before Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would strike in the third period. Malkin and Crosby have been playing on separate lines for the past 3 games but the two reunited late in the third as Evgeni Malkin scored the game winner with 2:03 left in the third period to snap the Penguins 5 game winless streak. Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal also scored. The young stars Staal 18, Crosby 19, and Malkin 20 showed the hockey world what a bright future the Penguins have. The loss for the Flyers extended their winless streak to 6 games and after seeing them for the third time this year, they are just not a good hockey team. Defense is built for the old NHL and offensively they don’t have a good mix upfront.Read More »

Quick Hits

 

The Steelers 38-31 win over the Saints is a nice confidence booster to turning around the season but these next two games against Cleveland and Baltimore will tell their season. The division title is out of hands but the 6th playoff spot is not. Losses by Kansas City, Jacksonville each 5-4 have given the Steelers a glimpse of hope. A loss to Baltimore in week 12 will end the Steelers season. The Steelers haven’t shown anyone that they can run the table but wins against Cleveland and Baltimore will put them at 5-6 and right back in the thick of things. These next two weeks are crucial. CBS NFL “insider” Charley Casserly said Sunday that if Bill Cowher quits coaching Pittsburgh, the Steelers will promote offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt to head coach. Word around Pittsburgh is Russ Grimm is the favorite to replace Bill Cowher but i’m not buying it.Read More »

Penguins in need of change

 

Are the Penguins starting to show their true self? Maybe – Maybe not. Despite being on a four game losing streak, the Penguins are showing they can play with the big boys but they’re also showing they are a team that is undermanned upfront. This team is not a playoff team at the moment and unless a few forwards step up offensively to help out Sid and Malkin, the Penguins will be out of the playoff race by March. Michel Therrien has done a solid job thus far, but recently the line juggling has gotten out of hand. The Penguins have no continuity up front due to the fact their forwards are not very good and because they get about 3 shifts together before they are split up. I don’t have a problem with feeling some guys in here and there but enough is enough. The first problem Michel TherrienRead More »

Pavel Datsyuk eyeing new deal

 

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is seeking a long term deal to remain with the club past this season. According to a report in the Detroit News, Pavel Datsyuk’s agent, Gary Greenstin, is in Hockeytown this week and has talked with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland about a new contract for his client. Datsyuk can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is seeking 4-5 million per season. Boston Bruins defenseman Brad Stuart has been the subject of trade rumors for the past couple weeks. ESPN insider is reporting a veteran agent told the Boston Herald that Stuart’s name has been involved in potential trade talks with the New York Islanders. Stuart a unrestricted free agent at seasons end most likely will be dealt before the deadline. LA Kings center Craig Conroy is reportedly being shopped around and Thrashers, Flames and Senators are all believed to beRead More »

Changes in Steeler Country

 

INJURY REPORTOUT: James Harrison & Willie ReidDOUBTFUL: Jeff Hartings & Clint KriewaldtQUESTIONABLE: James Farrior & Mike LoganPROBABLE: Troy Polamalu, Najeh Davenport, Sean Morey, Clark Haggans, Deshea Townsend Bill Cowher’s weekly press conference has come and gone. Coach Cowher would not discuss any changes in the lineup but did say expect a few changes before gameday. Will Cowher finally pull the plug on Cedric Wilson being the teams #2 receiver?. It’s hard to believe that he will because of how stubborn Cowher is but from his tone at the press conference it seems like that is going to happen. The Steelers (2-6) need to realize they are playing for next year and one key to next year is putting Santonio Holmes in the starting lineup so he can grow as a receiver. Say all you about his fumbling problems. Holmes has tons of potential as receiver and it makes no senseRead More »

MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL

 

MLBThe Yankees intend to inquire about starters Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, the New York Daily News reports. Both pitchers have filed for free agency but have yet to announce whether they plan to play in 2007. Pettitte, according to the newspaper, reportedly has told confidants that he would consider a return to New York. The Houston Chronicle is reporting the Houston Astros and 2nd baseman Craig Biggio are close to finalizing a one year contract. Detroit News is reporting the Tigers are very interested in Yankee outfielder Gary Sheffield. NFLJacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich is scheduled to make 5 million next season and most likely will be traded this off-season. Washington and Chicago are likely suitors. USA Today is reporting that running back Ricky Williams is considering playing in Canada next season instead of asking for reinstatement to the NFL. NHLIf you want to be at the bottom ofRead More »