Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tomorrow the Steelers will play the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII for a chance to win an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl title. We're sure you've heard all of the talk, from radio to TV to print and everything in between. Whether you want to take in as much as you possibly can or whether you try to avoid as much of it as possible, it doesn't matter. Nothing that any of these so-called experts can say or write will make a difference tomorrow.

The NFL Network sucked us in with their hours and hours of Super Bowl coverage. They've talked about anything and everything they could possibly think of. The Cardinals first trip to the Super Bowl and Kurt Warner. They all ooh and ahh at the story. Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm vs. Mike Tomlin. Hines Ward and his knee and how it'll affect the game. The Cardinals potent offense and the Steelers dominating defense. We could go on and on.

You can dissect the game as many times as you want, but you won't get an answer until the game is over. For us the game really comes down to the Cardinals offense against the Steelers defense. The Cardinals have a potent offense with three 1000 yard receivers, but they have yet to see a defense like the Steelers, the number one defense in the league. If the Steelers can shut down the Cardinals offense, we have no doubt they will win this game.

We could sit here and write on and on about the game but we really have nothing else to say. Lots of blogs have written some great articles and game previews, but if you haven't noticed, we're not big on previews. We don't even really like reading them and generally skip them. Call us weird if you want, but we'll be here with the recap. Let's just hope it's a recap of a win over a loss because it'll be a much better recap.

We have way too many links to post that you can go through and pick out the ones you want to read. We'll let you know which ones we think are must-reads with a *. These are in no particular order.


Pens blow lead, lose to Devils


Malkin gets his 100th goal!

The Pens had a 3-1 lead and blew it by letting the Devils tie the game with 30.1 seconds left in the game and then surrendered the game-winning goal in overtime. Why can't things ever be just a little simpler? Building a lead and then letting in go down the drain is, well, draining. The Pens didn't have a great game, but they cashed in on the chances they got and looked like they were going to get two points in Jersey. Should have known better. At least they managed to get one point out of it.

Does anyone really want a recap? We feel like crap and this game didn't make it any better. We're going to get some sleep and get a big Steelers post up later today hopefully. But before we go, we'll go over a couple things from the Pens game.

How often are we going to hear, we just have to play hard and finish? Talk is exactly that, talk. It's not going to get you anywhere. Until you actually put that mentality into play, it's not going to do you a damn bit of good. We feel like they're so close to it, whatever it is, but can't quite close that gap. They have positive aspects to basically every game and haven't been horrible as of late, but something is still missing. They need to finally finish building that bridge to close the gap. It feels so close, but something keeps slipping by. 

Hopefully that made sense because we tend to become somewhat incoherent when sleep deprived.

Moving on, the positives of last night's game being that they got one point out of the game, which is obviously better than nothing. Crosby and Malkin scoring goals and striking once again as the "Two-Headed Monster." Malkin's goal being his 100th of his career was a huge milestone for him. Fleury played very well again and definitely kept the Penguins in this game. Kris Letang also looks really good and we're glad he's in a Pens uniform.

We are also still upset that Go-go is a no-go. We don't see how Boucher is an upgrade. We remember one huge turnover by him in the game that really should have ended up a goal for the Devils, but Fleury was sharp. We like Gogo's abilities all the way around, especially in the fact that he's not afraid to take a shot. Get the puck on net! Please! And is Gill really that bad too? We can't say we think he's been great lately but geez. Talk about frustration. If the Steelers don't win the Super Bowl, we may just freak out.

Speaking of the Steelers, the Terrible Towel behind the bench in New Jersey was a nice touch. Nice to see the team, Dana Heinze especially, supporting the Steelers away from home. It's also nice to see the large crowd of Steelers fans in Tampa. We've watched way too much NFL Network and the Steelers fans are definitely out in full force, chanting Here we go Steelers, here we go! We wish we were there.

The Pens will play the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight at 7:00. Garon is expected to get his first start in net for the Pens since his arrival. Should be interesting. Here's to Gogo starting tomorrow! We can only hope.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pens vs. Devils

The Pens will play the New Jersey Devils tonight in NJ at 7:00. The last time the Pens played the Devils they won the game 1-0. We liked last night's six goals against the Rangers, but we're definitely not going to complain if one goal is all it takes to win the game because the Pens need all the wins they can get. It's still too early to say that the Pens have turned around completely, but we can't help but dream of the Pens going on a hot streak and winning a good majority of the rest of their regular season games. And going into the playoffs hot is a good thing. They just need to keep doing what they're doing and keep it simple.

Although if Gogo keeps being a healthy scratch, we're going to throw a fit because we don't get what Boucher is doing to be the one in the game.

That's all for now, we have to get up early in the morning and we're not morning people. We have a ton of Steelers links we'll pass along in case you haven't found them later on.

Enjoy the Pens game and as always, Let's go Pens!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Letang heats up, Pens win

The Penguins beat the Rangers at home 6-2 with a third period explosion. This is more like the Pens we want to see. Playing pretty decent hockey all game and putting it away in the third. We can deal with that completely.

This game started out fast with a fight between Eric Godard and Colton Orr, which was definitely won by Godard. Nice final punch.

Then, almost as fast, the Rangers' Nikolai Zherdev score a goal with 17:36 left in the first period. Now we definitely didn't think the game was over on one goal so extremely early in the game, but it was a kind of oh boy here we go again feeling. You want your team to score first and often.

Not too long after the Rangers' goal, Petr Sykora puts the Pens on the board with 13:25 left in the first. Chris Minard and Jordan Staal get the assists. The Pens are in business.

Pascal Dupuis  gets a penalty for an accidental high stick and the Pens are on the penalty kill and they succeed. Dupuis also had a nice chance to score towards the end of the period, but Lundqvist makes the save.

The second period wasn't too full of excitement. With 12:20 left in the second, Talbot gets called for charging after he bumps Lundqvist after being pushed by a Rangers player. WTF?! Terrible call. Nice flop to the ground by Lundqvist too. The Pens kill it no problem. Just after Talbot gets out of the sin bin, he gets another penalty for delay of game for sending the puck over the glass. Ugh. No problem though, the Pens have it covered. 

Fleury made a nice save with 3:10 remaining that only flexible goalies like himself could make. Sidney Crosby also got a steal behind his own net to get something going for the Pens. As Bob Errey said, he got on his horse and was off to the races. Getting the puck, he made some sweet moves, but unfortunately nothing comes of it. On to the third...

Soon after the period started with 18:49 left in the third, Staal gets a goal to make it 2-1 Pens. Whitney gets the only assist. Shortly after the Rangers take a penalty and the Pens are on the power play, but no goal.

With 13:42 left in the game, Kris Letang scores his second goal of the season to make it 3-1 Pens. Crosby and Eaton get the assists. Letang was looking good.

The Rangers are called for hooking Malkin with 11:45 left and the Pens get another power play. Nothing was happening at first and then the Rangers get called for another penalty for sending the puck over the glass. Now it's a 5-on-3 for 53 seconds. Then the unimaginable happens, the Pens score on a 5-on-3! Sykora scores his second goal of the game to make it 4-1 Pens with Crosby and Whitney getting the assists. They still has the rest of the second penalty, but no goal.

Later on, the Pens and Rangers both get penalties and it's 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes. Nothing much brewing here. With 6:05 left in the game, Marc Staal scores a goal for the Rangers to make it 4-2. But the Pens wouldn't be stopped there.

With 3:39 left Letang has a nice five-hole goal. He looked like Sid or Geno on that shot. He needs to go to All-Star activities more often or something because he was definitely playing hot last night. Dupuis and Crosby get the assists.

Another 4-on-4 ensues in the game, and with 1:40 left Crosby puts a beautiful backhander in on Lundqvist to make the game 6-2. Malkin and Boucher get the assists on that one. Crosby had a four point game to move higher up on the scoring list. Rangers take a penalty to end the game, Pens win 6-2.

What a goal here. For those who want to say Sidney Crosby isn't special, let's see you score a goal like that. Not happening. He didn't even look. Top that nay sayers.

- Marc-Andre Fleury was good tonight and kept the Pens in the game in the first two periods especially.

-Tyler Kennedy might not have made the scoring sheet but we definitely still notice him out there. He's everywhere.

-Why is Alex Goligoski a healthy scratch yet again? Was he really that bad? We didn't notice anything and thought he was playing well.

-This is exactly what the Pens needed tonight and they need to keep the momentum going and string together a few wins.

Seth over at Empty Netters caught this interview with Sergei Kostitsyn, the latest player to diss Sidney Crosby. This is getting to be like other teams' fans. You know, how it's so cool to say Crosby sucks and whatever else negative they can come up with. We have no idea what the point is of even doing this, publicity maybe?, but Crosby obviously doesn't care. He'll only respond with goals like above. Wonder if Kostitsyn liked that one?

A couple Steelers things:

Coach Dick LeBeau decided to shoot down rumors that he was going to retire after the Super Bowl. We have no idea where these started and we're glad we didn't hear them before he refuted them because we'd hate to see him go. He may be 71 but he sure doesn't look like it and he's still a great coach that his players love. He said they're going to have to run him out of there with the way his players are playing. Good to hear.

And lastly, a new episode of Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers. It's the Bowl that is Super special. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Pens are back!

It's finally time for some hockey again. The Pens will play the Rangers tonight at 7:30. It's time for the Pens to win or their hopes of getting into the playoffs will go completely down the drain. As Crosby said, the team's playoffs basically start now. Not exactly what Pens fans were hoping for. Along with all the injuries has come a lot of losses. We've seen what they can do even with an injury depleted team, and it's time for all of them to step up or be playing golf a lot sooner than anyone expected.

The Pens don't get a break with the suspension of Matt Cooke for two games. He's definitely stepped up and been great on that top line. He will be missed.

Although Crosby should play, and that's only good news for the Pens. Talbot and Dupuis should return as well. Hopefully this brings good things to the Pens.

That's all from us for tonight, we have a wicked headache. Super Bowl media day was pretty entertaining and we should have some stuff on that later. Enjoy the game and Let's go Pens!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Media Day and a bunch of Steelers stuff

Tuesday is the famous Super Bowl Media Day where players will undoubtedly be asked anything and everything the media can possibly think of and then some. We already heard some pretty bad questions while watching some of the players talk after they arrived in Tampa today, and that's sure to continue on Tuesday. The Steelers are scheduled to talk at noon. According to the NFL Network, they will have coverage starting at noon on the Steelers and then "Extended Sound" - which is described as Media Day interviews - starting at 1:30 and lasts until 2:30. Sounds like a lot of questions. The hour and a half of coverage that is on at noon will be replayed at 4:00. If you're interested, the Cardinals will speak at 9:30 with Extended Sound at 11:00, and replayed at 2:30.

We have a bunch of links. We'll try to pick the better of them.

Questions about Ward's health, Big Ben wants to smack people - Okay so that's not the title, but BB doesn't like it when you ask if Ward is going to play, he is Hines Ward after all. There is also a video here of Deion Sanders talking with Ward.

Are the Steelers the greatest franchise ever?  We like this article. We don't know if we agree completely as that's a huge title, but they definitely deserve to be in the talks. Just the Rooney family alone gives the Steelers an edge.

The Ball Stops Here  Cover story from ESPN the Magazine from last month. Many of you might have seen this, but if you're like us and can't find anywhere that sells the magazine, you miss out. This also includes the video of the photo shoot, which definitely deserves your time to watch it. The guys seem like they had a lot of fun.

Barack Obama will be doing a live interview from the White House before the Super Bowl. It will be his first live interview from the White House.

Troy Polamalu will have a commercial in the Super Bowl that is a remake of the famous Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial. There is a 12 second preview available of the ad and some behind the scenes stuff. Blog 'N' Gold has it covered again. There is lots of other great stuff over there too.

That's all for now. We'll keep reading more later.

Malkin scores a goal in All-Star Game

Short post this morning to showcase Geno's nice ASG goal Sunday. Most of you know we don't get Versus so we didn't see the game, but the East won 12-11 in a shootout.

Coverage at the PG and

We'll get to that Steelers post. We really shouldn't say when we'll do it because then we never do it on time. Someday we'll learn.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Geno and Ovie: BFFs!


Aren't they cute? (Well at least one of them) Geno and Ovie have put bad times behind them and are now BFFs. Don't believe us? Check out these pictures:


Geno helped Ovie in the breakaway competition by providing some props and even some Gatorade.



You can watch the video of that right here:

Awww! Nothing like teamwork between two of the world's best players. It was also reported that the two hit the town last night together. Can this story get any better?! We think we're tearing up. Or not. Does this mean Ovie won't be attacking Geno anymore?

As for the breakaway competition, Ovie's prop stunt was the best part. We weren't impressed to say the least. Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks did the best thing we saw all night in terms of actual skills, but that's just us. You can watch the whole thing here:

Geno participated in the accuracy part of the Superskills competition. Video here:

Can you guess who won? Congrats Geno! He hit 4 of 4 in the first round, as did Dany Heatley. In the tiebreaker, Geno was 3 of 4, while Heatley was only 2 for 4.


Edited to add:

Seth over at Empty Netters has a thing or two to say about the All-Star game and Ovechkin. He says that Ovie gets it that he's in the entertainment business and he's there to entertain. We have to admit Ovie's stunt was pretty amusing and it didn't hurt that Geno was his helper. We still think Ovie could gain a little more class and aren't exactly fans, but we'll give him this one. How can you not like the goofball in this picture? Are we getting soft? Let's hope not.


Ovechkin, Malkin put feud to rest in SuperSkills

Language barriers falling quickly for Penguins' Malkin  Geno is still a little shy speaking English, and still getting away with dodging reporters.

We're going to be total girls here on this. You know we love accents and Geno doesn't disappoint on this interview. Certain parts of his English are getting really good. How can you not love him? Geno talking after the SuperSkills:

Geno after the morning skate 1/24:

Geno on 1/23:

We can't believe we didn't notice until now that Geno cut that mullet off. YES!

We decided if we talked about the suspensions for not participating in the All-Star game or the comments from Sharks player Jeremy Roenick on Sidney Crosby, we'd be here all day and night. Let's just say the suspension thing just seems ridiculous, especially if you are truly hurt. Ruutu gets two games for biting and you get one for missing the All-Star game? Okay.

As for the comments, considering this guy's past, he should keep his mouth shut. We can't stand when people run their mouth when their past is less than stellar. You're better off not saying a word. Yeah, you got yourself some publicity. In a bad way. Unless there is some big problem going on concerning who you're talking about, we think you just look stupid bringing it up. Even if this stuff were true, why did you need to say it? Maybe he should take lessons from Crosby.

We like what Faceoff-Factor had to say, so you should go read that instead of us blabbing on here. Plus, it was probably better worded over there than we would of spit out at 2:30 am.

Lastly, do yourself a favor and watch this Inside Penguins Hockey if you haven't already caught it on FSN. This episode featured Max Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury and it was a good episode that will make you laugh.

Whew, that was quite the post. We'll be back with some Steelers stuff later on.

The last few videos are giving us some trouble now and aren't loading right all of a sudden, if they don't load for you we'll try to fix it tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

No All-Star Game for Sidney

Sidney Crosby has decided not to participate in the All-Star game. The Penguins' team doctor advised him not to play and to stay off skates until next week. The doctor based his recommendation on an MRI. He hopes to be back for the game Wednesday against the Rangers, but he won't know until he gets back on skates Monday how his knee has responded to the week off skates. He will be going to the All-Star game to participate in other activities like the media session that all participants must do.

We think this is a good idea. Why risk your body for a game that essentially means nothing? No disrespect towards the All-Star game, but it's not worth worsening an injury and ultimately not being available for your team. The Pens have a lot of work to do to make the playoffs and they need Crosby out there and healthy. Hopefully he rests long enough that this isn't a problem the rest of the season. Although we were looking forward to the breakaway competition to see what he would do since he has some pretty sweet skills as seen here. Although that would have all been on YouTube more than likely since we don't get Versus. The NHL sucks for putting it's stuff on Versus. Eh.

Geno will still be there for the Pens so if you get Versus, you can watch Geno in the accuracy part of the skills competition and obviously the game. You can at least tune in to see if Ovechkin wants to take runs at Geno when they're on the same team. He doesn't seem to have any common sense when it comes to that so why not? And is anyone else excited for Geno's media obligations other than us? That accent is awesome.

Couple links while we're at it:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't ask Big Ben for Super Bowl Tickets

Things around here are probably going to be pretty slow considering the Pens don't play till next Wednesday and the Super Bowl isn't for like...10 days. Granted the media will suck everything it can out of the Super Bowl and all that surrounds it, and we'll undoubtedly post some of it, but some of it is ridiculous. And we'll probably end up posting some of that too. The NFL starts its coverage on Monday and say they'll have 60 hours of it. Should be a blast. Until then...this crap. Er...intriguing story lines.

Roethlisberger, former coach downplay feud We should have seen this story line coming but we totally forgot about it.

Super Bowl fever looks to be on the tepid side in Tempe This should mean a home game in Tampa for the Steelers even if they are wearing white. But did anyone really think it'd be anything else?

Quote of the day:

Ben Roethlisberger was asked how he deals with friends who want Super Bowl tickets: "All of my friends ask for them and I just tell them no."

As for the Penguins, we're happy to tell you that Yinz Luv 'Da Guins is back! We've been waiting for what seems like forever for a new episode. Enjoy.

Crosby puts premium on his skating ability  Interesting article on Crosby and his skating skills.

The Pens sent Chris Minard, Paul Bissonnette, and Bill Thomas to the Baby Pens for the All-Star break. Most likely to give them playing time and to give the Baby Pens some players considering many of them have been with the big Pens.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pens lose to Hurricanes 2-1

So we're back to losing. Yeah, we know they can't win every game, but we were really getting used to that whole winning thing again. Plus, this is a team that is right there with them trying to get that playoff spot and you'd think the Pens would play a little better. The first period was good and the game was pretty exciting with both teams getting quite a few chances and we felt it kind of went downhill after that.

We took notes like we have been lately so we can put together and semi-cohesive recap but tonight we think we'll just skip that because it really isn't all that exciting. Geno had a goal on the power play only a few minutes into the game and the Pens had plenty of chances to get by Canes goalie Cam Ward and didn't. They had a 4:00 double minor penalty after a high stick on Geno that drew blood and failed to score. They even got Fleury out of the net for an extra attacker. Terrible. Ward did play a great game and made some superior saves and was pretty much the best player out there. 

The best thing we think we saw was the Pens killing a pretty long 5 on 3 power play for the Canes. And Fleury did play really well, but his offense obviously didn't produce for him. His play was overshadowed by Ward's superior play and the rest of his team failing to help him out.

Now the Pens have off until practice on Monday and their next game is Wednesday of next week against the Rangers. Some players are choosing to go home and others are going to Florida (Fleury). Please take us with you, we are sick of the cold and snow. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will be at the All-Star game and taking part in the Super Skills competition. Crosby in the breakaway competition and Malkin in the accuracy portion. Kris Letang will be playing in the Young Stars game. We'd watch it, but we don't get Versus. Maybe we'll catch some highlights online.

President Barack Obama took his oath of office yesterday and is now our 44th President. It's time for change in this country, but it also appears it's time for rooting for the Steelers. Dan and Jim Rooney were invited to a black-tie dinner President Obama held for Senator John McCain at the Washington Hilton on Monday. Obama met with Dan and Jim in a separate room where they personally delivered a game ball from the AFC Championship game. Dan says that Obama is a Bears fan first, but he's also a Steelers fan and that he and all his staff are rooting for them in the Super Bowl. Hopefully the Steelers will be the first team to get congratulated by the new President.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Steelers stuff, Pens vs. Hurricanes

We have a bunch of Steelers links for you to read up on if you so choose. We also have to tell you that Big Ben was at the Pitt basketball game tonight in the upper deck area. Eating ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. Looked like Dippin' Dots. You just had to know that right? We thought so. Jeff Reed and Santonio Holmes were also there, but first row, center court. Guess they didn't compare schedules. Pitt beat Syracuse 78-60 after losing their first of the season to Louisville and losing their number 1 ranking, dropping to number 4. We just had to mention all this because we recommended you watch Pitt Saturday night and they lost. The team looked a lot better last night and we still recommend you watch a game or two.

We also found out yesterday that Willie Parker loves Michelle Obama. Who can blame him? She's quite beautiful. The link is to a video over at KDKA with an interview with Willie Parker where he is wearing an I (heart) Michelle Obama shirt. He also hopes the Steelers get to be the first team to meet President Obama after winning the Super Bowl.

Barack Obama also knows about the Steelers. Dan Rooney has a short interview further into this video talking about his support for Obama and Obama knowing what was going on with the Steelers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Steelers beat Ravens to go to the Super Bowl


Could yesterday have been any better? The Steelers beat their hated rival the Ravens to get to their second Super Bowl in four years. This match-up is exactly what the Ravens wanted. Do you think they regret that now? The better team won and Steelers fans everywhere rejoice as Mike Tomlin hasn't let anyone down and took his new team to the Super Bowl in his second year. Could it get any better? Yeah, we know, winning the Super Bowl to become the only team to win six of them. Tampa, here we come!

On to the game...

The Ravens won the coin toss and decided to defer to the second half. Glad CBS allowed us to see that, or not because we had to talk about stupid stuff and remind everyone for the first time of about a million that The Mentalist was on after the game. Woo! Thank you CBS.

Moving on, the Steelers started out well on their first possession with the highlight of the drive being Hines Ward's 45 yard catch and run to set the Steelers up for a Jeff Reed field goal. Jeff Reed was money as usual and the Steelers are up 3-0.

The Ravens weren't so lucky and would go three and out on their first possession even though there was some obvious holding on James Harrison right off the bat. Will refs ever call this?!

The Steelers next drive wasn't as good as their first as Ben was sacked on a 3rd and 9 play and it was time to punt. But all wasn't lost as Deshea Townsend intercepted Joe Flacco with about 7:30 left in the first quarter. Ben's first two passes were incomplete and then Hines Ward makes a great catch to give the Steelers a first down, but then he gets up limping. Bad news. On the same drive, Ben threw a nice pass to Santonio Holmes that looks like a touchdown to us, hey - it broke the goal line, but they called him down at the one. The announcers thought it was a touchdown too and were recommending Mike Tomlin challenge the play, and he did. But so did the Ravens. WHAT?! The Ravens were challenging that it was even a catch. So now all of a sudden the announcers were all OMG maybe it's not even a catch! Eh. The play was ruled an incomplete pass and Holmes was angry, which we don't blame him, he thought the ball was at least going to be at the one yard line if not a touchdown. The Steelers had to settle for another Jeff Reed field goal of 42 yards. Steelers up 6-0.

The Ravens went three and out on their next drive, but all would not end up lost for them. Ward was back on the field on this Steelers drive, which was good news. The Steelers converted a first down with a pass to Heath Miller. Then, later in the drive, Willie Parker fumbled on a hit from Ray Lewis and was recovered by Baltimore. The Ravens ended up with a 3rd and 1 and it was a no go, so they decided to go for it on 4th and 1. Bad idea. Joe Flacco kept the ball and Troy Polamalu launched himself over the pile to meet Flacco and keep him from getting the first down. Nice play by Troy. You think you've seen it all and then you see something else crazy.

The Steelers had a 3rd and nine on the next drive and the Ravens brought everyone on a blitz. Ben scrambled out of the pocket, how we have no idea, and threw a nice pass off balance to Santonio Holmes for a catch and run of 65 yards and a touchdown. Holmes had some nice moves and Heath Miller was helping out on some blocks, which we think he's awesome at. Reed was good on the extra point and the Steelers are up 13-0.


On the kickoff, Jeff Reed and the Steelers pin the Ravens at the 12 yard line. With a little over 12 minutes left in the first half, the Ravens get their first first down. After a couple of first downs by the Ravens, Aaron Smith sacks Joe Flacco and forces the Ravens to punt. The Steelers don't do much on their drive and end up with a penalty to make it 3rd and 19 and did not convert and it's time to punt. Leonhard returned Mitch Berger's punt 45 yards before Berger himself tackled him and knocked the ball from his hands, but it went out of bounds. Pass interference was eventually called on Bryant McFadden (bad call) to put the ball on the three yard line and a first down. McGahee then ran the ball in for a touchdown. Extra point is good and it's Steelers up 13-7.

Limas Sweed has a catch on the next drive, but the drive ends up with a punt so nothing much there. But Sweed had a catch! Yes! If we only knew...

After another three and out from Baltimore, Holmes returns the punt to the 50 yard line to set the Steelers up for business with about a minute left in the half. One of Roethlisberger's passes was deep for a wide open Limas Sweed and a sure touchdown. You could see it and it was going to be beautiful and then the kid takes his eyes off the football and it hits his hands and finger tips and is incomplete. Ahhhhh! We sure do hope the kid pans out because he looked great running that route. Nice moves and speed to burn the corner. If only he would have caught it...

The Steelers then have to punt but the Ravens get a roughing the kicker penalty and that's 15 yards and a first down. Big Ben had a nice pass to Heath Miller for a first down in which Limas Sweed redeemed himself a little bit by landing a huge block on Corey Ivy that shook him up. Now that was a Hines Ward block. Do you think Ward gave him a talking to after that dropped pass?

Nice. Looks like the kid is learning. In the end, the Steelers couldn't get the snap off in time to kick a field goal so there goes three points. Steelers still up 13-7.

Ravens get the ball to start the half and use a time out early. Troy Polamalu appears to get a sack but it's actually a tackle for a loss because Flacco was appearing to run on the play. The next play was a tipped ball that was almost intercepted. Time for a punt. Next plays for both teams result in punts. Roethlisberger was sacked on first down by Suggs to make it first and 24. Ben passes to Miller for a nice catch and he picks up some good yards after. Parker had a couple rushes and on third down Ben under throws Sweed and Sweed breaks up the pass to avoid an interception. Nice job by him recognizing that and breaking it up. He's showing some progress, really! It's time for another Reed field goal of 46 yards to put the Steelers up 16-7.

Next up Woodley has a sack on Flacco, a Ravens punt and a pass throw to Sweed that he caught! Yes! We told you he was learning. The Steelers have to punt and it's a bad one. It goes off the side of Mitch Berger's foot and doesn't travel very far. Who would have thought we'd miss a punter so much?

On the next drive for the Ravens, the Steelers finally get a call they've been waiting a long time for; holding against James Harrison. We all know there should be holding called on basically every play, but at least one got called. Ike Taylor gets called for pass interference later in the drive that was bad on his part. He never turned to look for the ball. Now the ball is placed on the one yard line, first down. Willis McGahee practically walks in for the touchdown. Steelers 16-14.

Now we're getting a little nervous, things were going really well and now the Ravens are within two. Who knows what could happen next, especially with these stupid penalties that shouldn't be taken.

A few penalties and a couple of sacks made up the next couple of drives for both teams. Then on a Ravens drive on third and thirteen James Harrison pressured Joe Flacco and his pass was intercepted by Troy Polamalu and returned 40 yards for a touchdown. And what a touchdown it was. Zigging and zagging his way to the endzone and getting some good blockers along the way. This put the Steelers up 23-14 and sealed the game for the Steelers.

On the Ravens next possession, Flacco makes a pass to Willis McGahee and is hit hard by Ryan Clark. Both men laid on the ground after the hit. Ryan Clark eventually got up and walked off the field while McGahee had to be taken off on a stretcher much like Ben Roethlisberger a few weeks earlier. McGahee was moving his limbs at the time and as of today is out of the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. Steelers fans cheered and a few could be heard giving well wishes to McGahee as he left the field. Way to be classy Steelers fans.

Then, with just over a minute left in the game, Tyrone Carter picked off Joe Flacco one last time to end the game. The Steelers are going to Tampa to play in Super Bowl XLIII.

A few thoughts:

-Why was Joe Flacco constantly on the sidelines alone? He was never looking at plays or talking to teammates, just sitting on the bench all alone with a stupid look on his face. Seems a little odd.

-Was anyone else as sick as we were about seeing Ray Lewis' face every 10 seconds? No matter what was going on, we always had to see Ray Lewis' reaction to it. Why do we care? We don't.

-After Troy Polamalu's interception, announcer Jim Nantz said that Troy could take it back for a touchdown like Ed Reed. Phil Simms had to chime in saying that the difference was Troy was picking off a rookie quarterback and Reed was working with a veteran. WTF?! So Troy's running skills have what to do with Flacco being a rookie? Nothing. All game we were going WTF?! to a lot of Simms' comments. We don't agree with his comments in any form, although we're sure he meant the interception, but they were talking about him taking it back for a touchdown. The experience of the quarterback has nothing to do with his skills to take the interception back for a touchdown. Thank you Phil for your insightful commentary.

-Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden have some mad dance skills. They were dancing after the game, Ike Taylor with his AFC Champions t-shirt on his head.

More later, including Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers!

We're goin' to the Super Bowl baby!




What a game. We can't believe it's almost over and the next stop is Tampa for the Super Bowl. Up next is coach Whiz and about 12 million ex Steelers players and coaches. Only two weeks to wait. Talk about torture.

We're exhausted so we'll type up our recap and thoughts tomorrow since it's 4 a.m. We know that we totally suck for not getting it done tonight, but trust us, it'll take a while. We've got video, pictures, articles and who knows what else. We'll see you tomorrow for that. In the meantime, you know who we love, the Post-Gazette!

Pens, Fleury shutout Rangers


The Pens finally win two in a row for the first time since November and beat the Rangers 3-0. Marc-Andre Fleury was money, making some big saves. The Pens played a good game, a good FULL game, which isn't something we've been able to say about the Pens too often lately, if at all. Sidney Crosby was back, as were Scuderi and Letang. Which is a good thing since Alex Goligoski had the flu and did not play. Janne Pesonen was a healthy scratch and was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the game.

Jordan Staal had a couple of big chances today and missed on a breakaway and hit a post earlier in the game. We really hope he breaks out some game and stays on a roll. It seems like he has great talent and quite a few chances, but seems to not capitalize on enough of them. We get why people are frustrated with him and wanted him gone, but we see an upside. Hopefully he finds it.

Chris Minard finally got his first goal in the NHL with 12:25 left in the first period. Petr Sykora and Hal Gill got the assists. We think Minard changing his number to 14 was good luck for him because he looked good today. 

With 4:26 left in the first period, Tyler Kennedy had a nice goal, hitting the top corner and knocking the water bottle off the net. Satan and Scuderi got the assists.

In the second period, right off the bat Crosby had a nice chance at a shot one on one with Lundqvist but was taken down and awarded a penalty shot. Crosby tried to go high glove but Lundqvist made the save.

With 12:22 left in the second, Sykora scored a power play goal with Whitney and Staal getting the assists.

Overall, good game by the Pens and Fleury looked sharp, which is exactly what this team needs. Hopefully they continue on a roll, although there is only one more game before the All-Star break. Let's hope it carries over.

After the game when Marc-Andre Fleury was named the game's number one star, he came skating out with a gold Steelers helmet and a Terrible Towel. We loved it. It's nice to see the Pens supporting the Steelers and vice versa. Most of the Penguins went to the Steelers game yesterday as well.

Game recap

Mike Zigomanis underwent shoulder surgery and will be out 4 to 6 months. He said he tried to wait and rehab, but surgery was needed.

The Pens next game is at home Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30. Yes, the Staals will be brothers once again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

AFC Championship Game: Steelers vs. Ravens

We're going to hold off on all the cliche talk about how the best team will win and it's all about who wants it more. We all know it's going to be a dogfight to the end. Although, if the Steelers just completely crush the Ravens, we'll be totally cool with it.

There is so much you can say about the Ravens and Steelers, but in the end it really comes down to two gritty teams with the number 1 and number 2 defenses. With players like Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed, teams don't rack up a ton of points, so whoever can squeeze out a few points will be the winner. And the team that wins the turnover battle will more than likely end up the winner.

The Ravens are pretty beat up after playing the Titans and not having a week off since week two thanks to a hurricane. Terrell Suggs and Samari Rolle appear to be no gos for the game. A whole host of other Ravens are banged up in some way including Ed Reed, Mark Clayton, Todd Heap, and Derrick Mason among others. The Ravens say they'll be ready to go, but what else can you say? Adrenaline may get you a little ways, but as a lot of teams know, going against the Steelers is not going to be a day in the park. Especially if you're on offense.

Overall, we definitely think the Steelers are going to win this match-up. A banged up Ravens team is no match for a healthy Steelers team. With Big Ben's shoulder feeling good and his ability to throw the ball long, and Willie Parker finally looking like Willie Parker, it means big plays from the Steelers. We can't wait for the Steelers to shut up Ray Lewis and his big mouth.

All kinds of coverage over at the PG. More articles than you can stand to read.

Get out those Terrible Towels and enjoy the game. 


Pens get a new face, Pens vs. Rangers

The Penguins acquired a new face yesterday in goalie Mathieu Garon. The Pens sent Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, and a fourth round draft pick in the 2011 draft to the Edmonton Oilers for Garon.

We were a little surprised by this, but not much. Sabourin had been good at times, but wasn't the consistent backup the Pens needed. We don't know much about Garon but he appears to be a good upgrade for the Pens. More is included about him in the link above.

The Pens will host the Rangers today at 12:30 on NBC. The Pens will be in powder blue. Some good news is that the Pens could get Crosby, Scuderi, and Letang back as they are all game-time decisions. Dupuis, Orpik, and Talbot did not practice and will not play against the Rangers.

The Pens played a good game against the Ducks even with all the player losses they had. The Rangers are a familiar opponent and hopefully the Pens can put together a full (or as close to it as possible) sixty minutes of hockey and beat the Rangers for their first back-to-back wins in a long time.

We're also excited to see all the Terrible Towels in Mellon Arena today. We're definitely jealous of anyone who may be going to both. A few of the Pens taped some well wishes for the Steelers in today's game. We think Marc-Andre Fleury looks excellent in that hat.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pens sink the Ducks

We actually had a pretty good attitude going into tonight's game considering the recent slide and the mounting list of injuries. The bottom two lines were almost entirely from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton except for Eric Godard. Turns out, that didn't matter. With 3:44 left in the first period Biz Nasty drops the gloves with Nathan McIver. Biz Nasty dominates that fight and takes McIver down. Biz skates to the box yelling "WOOOOOOO LET'S F&*%$@# GO!" Good fight and great emotion. We think he should play more. Between his willingness to drop the gloves and his emotion, we like him.

Not long after that with 20 seconds left in the first period, Matt Cooke scores a nice goal. Pens up 1-0. We just have to say that we love Matt Cooke. We thought he's been doing a lot of nice things for a while, and now that he's been on the top line, he's doing even more nice things. He fights for pucks along the boards, isn't afraid to go to the front of the net, sticks up for teammates, and now scores goals with ease. Only 28 seconds into the second period and Cooke strikes again. He put in a rebound that was initially shot by Whitney into an open net. Pens up 2-0. At this point we were really hoping for a hat trick and it wasn't too much longer before he got a good chance that unfortunately didn't go in. The Ducks had an empty net late in the third, and he just wasn't ready for a pass to him to put it in the empty cage. Either way, he's playing really hard and we like his attitude.

The Ducks would score a goal in the second period to make it 2-1.

With 4:55 left in the third period Hal Gill takes a shot from the right point that the goalie can't find and he scores. Pens up 3-1. Sure was nice to have that two goal lead late in the game.

The Pens stepped up when they needed to and this was a great win. Missing so many players looked maybe too tough to handle, but the Pens handled it well. Marc-Andre Fleury looked good and the defense wasn't near as horrendous as we thought it would be. Brooks Orpik also went down in the second period with what we hope isn't a serious injury. With Letang and Scuderi already out, losing Orpik wasn't good. Not that losing Orpik is ever good. Also missing were Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, and Max Talbot. Janne Pesonen and Bill Thomas were called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to help fill those spots.

The Penguins are encouraging fans to bring their Terrible Towels to the game on Sunday. It will be nationally televised on NBC. Sidney Crosby came out with a Terrible Towel back when the Steelers made their Super Bowl run a couple years ago (looked for the video quickly and couldn't find it) and we think this is a nice gesture. Hopefully the place is filled with them. Dana Heinze is also a well known Steelers fan so we expect to see the Terrible Towel behind the bench on Sunday.


The Pens next game is Sunday against the Rangers at 12:30 p.m. at Mellon Arena.

We'll try to get that Steelers post up later today. Maybe while watching the Pitt basketball game. If you haven't watched Pitt yet this year, we recommend checking them out. After all, they are the number 1 team in the nation. DeJuan Blair is a big man with a big game and fun to watch. They play at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pens - Ducks

We're just posting the Ducks preview and a couple of other things. Sorry for the short post. We're tired and spent way too much time playing Lego Batman on the Wii (how cheesy is that?!). We'll be back later today hopefully for some Steelers stuff and after the Pens game. We can only hope we don't have to type Pens lose. Try to enjoy the game.

Sidney Crosby is day-to-day with a "lower body injury." He won't know if he can play until just before game time. Hopefully he's okay and back soon.

As always...Let's Go Pens!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pens lose, Ovie still sucks

We tried to take some notes and be ready to do some sort of recap/post but we don't feel so hot and we're just in a crappy mood. Then watching the Pens lose to the Caps just sucked. The game was pretty entertaining, but we still think Ovie sucks. Obviously. Once again, in case anyone wants to start complaining, we respect his play but we don't respect him as a person. His attitude is less than stellar. And no, we're not jealous, we'd take Crosby and/or Malkin any day. And on a night like tonight, booing Ovie and Semin was awesome. We're obviously bitchy when we don't feel good AND are in a crappy mood. Excuse us please.

The things we feel we need to talk about are all the injuries and Whitney's goal because it was a pretty good one. And maybe even Fleury's almost hand a goal to the opposite team again. Although in the end we found it entertaining to see him come out that far and then dart back in there. First Crosby goes down hard in the first period when his legs were taken out and goes to the locker room. Everyone stops breathing for a bit while he seems to favor his right leg, but then everyone feels better when it's an equipment manager he's leaving with and not a medical professional. Then towards the end of the first, Scuderi blocks a shot with his forehead and had to leave the game. There was plenty of blood on the ice as well and he never returned. Then in the third, it seemed like practically the whole team went down. Talbot gets injured somehow and we honestly don't know how. Letang goes down after a shot hits him in the knee area and he can't even get up. Luckily, he seemed to be fine and returned to the ice. Then the unthinkable happens and Crosby goes down again, similar to the way he was taken down before. This time he favors his left leg and gets help to the bench where he is doubled over in obvious pain. After a few minutes he goes to the locker room. Crosby said this on his injury:

"I don't think it's too bad," Crosby said. "We'll see [today]. I haven't seen [the replay], but it felt pretty bad. Hopefully, all goes well."

Hopefully he's fine because if he were to be out for an extended period of time, we doubt the Pens will be as good as last year in his absence. 

The Pens next game is against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday at 7:30 in Pittsburgh.

We couldn't resist this one. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl temporarily removed the 'ravens' from his name and changed it to Steelerstahl. This is a rather interesting thing to do. We have no comment.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Keep It Fun

Today we're going to post a little information about a new apparel line that wants to remind people why they play amateur sports, which is to have fun. If you read the information and you're interested in purchasing something from their website, you can use code Faceoffs to get 20% off your order.

Keep It Fun™ casual apparel is igniting a revolution that reinforces the positive and inspires the true reason individuals participate in amateur athletics- to have FUN. Keep It Fun's vision is to become a billboard that's proudly adorned by people who believe and live the message... codified in the Keep It Fun Pledge
Keep It Fun's inaugural line is comprised of 3 collections targeting the amateur hockey community:

Hockey Animals brings light-hearted characters to the 10-and-under players... reminding them that everybody brings something unique and special to the team.

Dinosaur Hockey celebrates the burning passion that adult hockey players have for the game despite the late nights and the realization that their bodies (and wives) are pleading for retirement.

Keep It Fun™ Branded line for men, women and children proclaims the real reason why we play, coach and cheer.

Finally, Keep It Fun™ Labs dramatically expands the Keep It Fun offering across multiple sports and a wider range of apparel styles for men, women, children and toddlers. There are also a multitude of stickers for the "family sports taxi" available. The approximately 500 (and growing) products in Labs are made to order by partners via state-of-the-art, on-demand digital printing technology. Via Labs, Keep It Fun plans to gauge which product concepts are the most popular and worthy to be entered into the Keep It Fun™ line which is stocked and shipped from its warehouse in Chicopee, MA.

Stay tuned, Keep It Fun will soon expand across additional sports and offer exciting original concepts targeting middle & high school athletes. There are also plans to incorporate compelling web technology within to bring like-minded people together to make the amateur sports experience even more enriching.

Remember, if you want to order from them, use code Faceoffs to get 20% off your order.

Call your Mom, PENS WIN!

Hey Ma! Wooooooooooooooo! PENS WIN! We just had to get that out, it's been a while. The Pens were back tonight. They looked solid, weren't making a bunch of mistakes, and were playing tough. The Pens used the trap tonight to shut down the Flyers and we know quite a few people are complaining it's boring but we have no problem with it. We enjoyed watching the game and what they were doing was working.

The Pens have had trouble winning in Philly, we believe they've lost the last five or so, and the Flyers had an eight-game winning streak going at home. Between all that and the fact that the Flyers were 17-1-5 after scoring first, we thought it was over before it began. Shame on us. We also thought the whole Crosby, Cooke, and Malkin line was going to be...well not that hot, and we were obviously wrong there too. Right away that line looked good with some good puck cycling and they were moving. Things were looking pretty good and before you knew it, it was a weird/crappy goal by the Flyers. Marc-Andre Fleury went behind the net to play the puck and it hit his stick and took some sort of weird bounce and the puck went right to a Flyer and he tapped into the cage with 12:24 left in the first period. Philly up 0-1. We were being bad fans again and thinking, great, between the eight games in a row at home, the 17-1-5 record after they score first, and just the fact that the Pens have struggled to score points that this wasn't looking good. Wrong again.

With 10:16 left in the first period, Godard and Cote drop the gloves and it's time to fight. We definitely think Godard won this one. Pretty entertaining.

With 8:12 left in the first, Miro Satan takes a hooking penalty. The Pens put together an aggressive penalty kill and deny the Flyers. With 3:13 left Tyler Kennedy puts in a goal while going to the net. Talbot and Bissonnette get assists and the Pens have tied it up 1-1. That was Bissonnette's first NHL point. Right after getting his first point, he follows it up with a fight with Aaron Asham a few seconds later. We give this one to Biz-Nasty.

The second period started with a bang as Crosby stole the puck from Richards along the boards and dished it to Geno who took a nice shot and scored. Pens up 2-1. Crosby's assist on that goal was his 350th career point. Congratulations to Sid! With 7:35 left in the second period, Staal takes off and gets a nice backhander by Biron to put the Pens up 3-1. Maybe that contract did something good for Staal because he now has three goals in three games. Still hating on him now? Then with less than a minute left in the period Crosby gets the puck behind the net and tries a wraparound on Biron that doesn't go in, but Matt Cooke is there to put it home. Pens up 4-1 and we so called that Cooke goal.

In the third period, Lupul made the score 4-2 with 11:53 left in the third and things were still looking good. The Pens had a couple of power plays, but didn't score again. Doesn't matter though, because the Pens held off the Flyers and won 4-2.

-It sure is nice to see the Pens back in business.
-Bob Errey was in rare form tonight. Are we the only ones who enjoy listening to him and laughing?
-Those orange Flyers jerseys are horrible. That white name patch on the back is just tacky.
-We liked Paul Steigerwald's "Little Tiger" comment on Tyler Kennedy.
-Crosby's heel to heel skating along the boards was pretty nice. It's fun watching those little things he can do.
-Do the Flyers fans really need to do a Crosby Sucks chant? Leave it to Philly to encourage something like that. What do they chant when Crosby isn't around?

The Pens will play the Washington Capitals tonight at Mellon Arena at 7:38. We all know what this means. Ovechkin launching himself at Malkin all night long. The whole thing is incredibly ridiculous. We were glad that Malkin handled himself well the last time they met by not getting caught up in Ovechkin's little game. All it did was make Ovie look stupid. Hopefully that continues this time around. We could hope that Ovie won't do it again, but we doubt he's that smart considering last time. Now before anyone gets on our backs about our comments on Ovie, we respect his talents and he's a good player, but we don't like his attitude. Throwing yourself at someone for an entire game and not really playing hockey is just stupid. We won't comment on any of his other low points.

We hope Bissonnette is staying in the lineup for tonight's game in case things get out of hand. Dupuis isn't going to play according to Therrien, so we would think he would be staying. Crosby says if things cross the line, teammates have to stick up for each other. Always good to have some tough guys out there. Matt Cooke staying on the top line would be great too, as he can throw himself as Ovie a few times. Plus the line played so well last night, how could you not?

Ovie and Crosby have also both been chosen to participate in the breakaway challenge event at the All-Star skills competition in Montreal on January 24th. You might have to endure hearing about that tonight as well as how Ovie is the reigning champ. And don't forget the Crosby/Semin issue. Crosby could care less, but you know you're going to hear about it. Semin said this and Semin said that. Hey, if it motivates Crosby to be unreal, then we're all for it. Should be a good game.

Enjoy the game. Let's hope the Pens make it two in row for the first time in a long time. Time to get this ship turned around. LET'S GO PENS!

Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers

New episode of Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers for you to enjoy. Jim shares our sentiments on Ray Lewis. Here's to the Steelers shutting him up!

Someone please give Jim a job in Pittsburgh!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cooke gets upgraded

Matt Cooke got promoted to the top line for tonight's game against Philadelphia. This is the first time he has been on a top line since late in 2003-04 with the Vancouver Canucks. He will be on Crosby's wing with Geno. Think maybe he's out there to pound some people? We're gonna say he gets a goal tonight. Now do it!

Chris Minard will join the number two line of Staal and Sykora, while Satan, Talbot, and Kennedy are third liners, and Bissonnette, Jeffrey, and Godard are on the fourth line.

Dupuis did not make the trip to Philly, so the Pens called up Paul Bissonnette from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Now this can only mean one thing...there's gonna be a fight tonight! We sure hope there's a good fight tonight, what better than Biz Nasty fighting a Flyer?

Also from the Pens site the morning skate update says that the defensive pairings are Orpik and Whitney, Letang and Scuderi, Gill and Goligoski. Eaton and Boucher should be the scratches tonight. We're happy to see Go-go back.

Enjoy the game. Let's Go Pens!

Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers later!

Pens, Flyers

What better team for the Pens to start turning this ship around than the Flyers. There aren't too many other wins that would feel as good as beating the dirty Flyers in Philadelphia. We would think this slump would be enough to motivate them, but if it takes the Flyers, well then so be it, we're not here to argue. A win there would be a good momentum builder to go into Wednesday's game against the Capitals. We all know what happens when the Pens play the Capitals. First off, it's OMG Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin! And then Ovie's little issue with Malkin and basically trying to kill him every time they're on the ice together. It'd be nice to beat them too. But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here.

Tim Wallace has been sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Coach Therrien says Pascal Dupuis is a maybe to play in Philly. He made it through half of yesterday's practice. Therrien must think it's a good possibility if Wallace was sent back to the Baby Pens. We think Wallace is a pretty good player, shouldn't be too long before he's back again at some point.

The lines were once again mixed around in practice. They looked like this: Crosby with Malkin and Dupuis, Staal with Sykora and Cooke, Talbot with Satan and Kennedy, and Jeffrey with Minard and Godard. When Dupuis left practice, Satan took his spot on the top line. This whole line juggling thing is just getting more and more annoying. If it works out then we're willing to admit we're wrong, but geez.

Mario Lemieux was watching practice closely yesterday during the last half an hour, which is something he doesn't normally do. Lemieux also followed Therrien off the ice and had a talk with him. Therrien said they took time to review some things about where they're supposed to play and made some adjustments. Uh-oh. Looks like Lemieux could be unhappy. Which he has every right to be at this point. We shall see what unfolds in the days ahead. And whether the Pens can win a game or not.

Let's Go Pens!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Steelers beat Chargers to advance to AFC Championship Game

(Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette)

Steelers win! Can we say wooooooooooooooo?! The Steelers looked good yesterday as they beat the San Diego Chargers 35-24. The score makes the game look closer than it was. The defense was big and Fast Willie Parker was back. Big Ben had no turnovers and only one sack. The offensive line did a good job. Even special teams helped out. We might actually have a coherent recap for you because we took notes. Yes!

San Diego had possession first and it only took a few plays for them to score a touchdown and be up seven to nada early. Ike Taylor allowed a 41-yard touchdown to Vincent Jackson after only three plays. We were thinking, wow what a great way to start the game, we're in trouble. The Steelers got the ball but eventually failed to convert on third down. It was fourth down and the Steelers looked like they were going for it but then Big Ben backed up, took the snap, and punted for 25 yards to pin the Chargers at the nine yard line. Who knew Big Ben had punting skills? Especially left footed. 

The Steelers refused to be down for long though when Santonio Holmes returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown. And there were no penalties! Woo. Score 7-7. To round out the first quarter, LaMarr Woodley sacked Philip Rivers and has a nice little kick to celebrate, to which Phil Simms had to say, "What a kick!" What a call Phil!

The second quarter wasn't too exciting, including a ball fake punt call that ended up giving the Chargers good field position, which led to a field goal to put them up 10-7. We like Mike Tomlin, but sometimes those aggressive calls scare us a bit. Especially so early in game with the score tied. But nonetheless, the Steelers would answer. Before the half the Steelers put together a drive with a nice catch by Hines Ward with 45-seconds left. Willie Parker capped off that drive with a touchdown to put the Steelers up 14-10 with 40-seconds left on the clock.

The Steelers would keep the momentum going in the second half by scoring a touchdown on their first possession to start the half. Heath Miller had a nice third down catch to keep a drive alive that would result in a touchdown to none other than Heath himself. This made the score 21-10. The Chargers would look like they had some life after Darren Sproles returned the kickoff 63 yards to give the Chargers good field position. But that wouldn't last long when Rivers' first pass was tipped by Brett Keisel and intercepted by Larry Foote. Or James Harrison and taken away by Foote, whatever happened there. Either way, the Steelers stopped the Chargers from getting any points. Big Ben did something else in this quarter to add to his resume along with his left-footed punt. On a Santonio Holmes reverse, Big Ben took out a guy for a key block. Nicely done. To end the third quarter, the Steelers punted but it was a bit short and ended up hitting a Charger in the head. William Gay was the first man to it to recover it for the Steelers. He looked like he had himself a touchdown, but in that situation the team can't advance the ball, so the Steelers ended up with the ball on the 23-yard line. The Chargers had the ball for a whole 17-seconds in the third and had technically two plays, the punt return by Sproles and Rivers' interception.

The beginning of the fourth quarter led to the Steelers being stopped on fourth-and-goal, but we thought it looked like Davis was breaking the goal line. But it turned out things weren't so bad. The Chargers got the ball at their own one and ended up advancing out of danger, or so they thought, before Woodley had his second sack to push them back to their own two-yard line. San Diego had to punt from the back of their own endzone. On the Steelers next drive Big Ben threw a pass to Nate Washington in the endzone that was incomplete, but the defender was called for pass interference. That meant the ball at the one-yard line and a first down. Gary Russell would score that touchdown to put the Steelers up 28-10. Somewhere throughout the fourth quarter Brett Keisel got a sack to add to his good day so far, while James Harrison was continuing to be held on basically every play, including a down-right tackle with no-call. BS! Troy Polamalu was called for roughing the passer. The ref said it was a hit to head. What?! He barely touched him. And this is why Troy calls the game a pansy game... 

San Diego would eventually score another touchdown to make the score 28-17. The Steelers would also add a touchdown on a 16-yard touchdown run with 4:11 to go to make the score 35-17. James Harrison would get his first sack of the game, which was about time considering all the holding that was being done on him. Byron Leftwich would come in with a little over three minutes left in the game. Leftwich threw a heck of a pass to Limas Sweed, on we believe third down, that he dropped. He definitely should have caught that ball. We'd really like to see Sweed succeed, but at this rate, it's not looking good.

Ike Taylor looked like he had an interception with 2:03 left in the game, but it was determined to be an incomplete pass. It wasn't explained by the ref, but it must have been because he was out of bounds. San Diego and Sproles would add another touchdown with 1:53 left to make the score 35-24. Granted it was a meaningless touchdown, but Clark and Polamalu basically watched him score. 

The Chargers would try an onside kick, twice actually because of a penalty on William Gay, but the Steelers would get the ball and GAME OVER!

Now it's on to the Ravens, who will come to Heinz Field for the AFC Championship game next Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Should be quite the slug fest.

It's now 3 a.m. so we're going to get some sleep. The Post-Gazette, as you know, is our favorite source of information and good articles, so feel free to head over there and check out their great coverage. We'll post any good links we may find later. In the meantime, enjoy the win and get ready for the Ravens.

Quote of the day:

"There's a big, black, ugly bird standing between us and Tampa," said offensive tackle Max Starks. "It's the only obstacle in our way before we can go."

Penguins info later today/tomorrow.