Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday roundup

Just because we haven't done one in a while.

Pens 3, Leafs 1
Pascal Dupuis might have scored both goals, but Sid dominated the entire third period. His no-look pass to Dupuis on the first goal adds to the mounting column of evidence that Crosby can see through space-time, and across multiple dimensions. The number of dimensions remains unclear, and we probably won't have more information on Sid's full spectrum of vision until CERN reboots the LHC in early 2015. Regardless, the dude was all over the ice, digging pucks out of corners and making huge passes the entire period. Craig Adams got the lucky empty-netter. Brooks Orpik made a couple of nice plays and took a few terrible penalties, as per his usual. Kris Letang worked his ass off, pinched in and played near the net in the offensive zone when the Pens got aggressive in the third, and did so with great efficacy. 

Tanner Glass, Dustin Jeffrey and Tyler Kennedy continue to be utterly worthless, and yet I'm still hearing talk about how great it would be to get Jarome Iginla. The Pens are already leads the league in goals per game, and by no small margin. This team doesn't need a top-six forward. It needs two bottom-six forwards and it needs a stay-at-home defensemen.
Keenan Lewis to the Saints
It was only a matter of time, right? The Steelers' cap problems notwithstanding, it doesn't seem they had any desire to pay Lewis anyway. For as good as he was last year, the Steelers remain  committed to Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen -- as well they should. It's not that Lewis got outrageous money; $26 million, $11 guaranteed, a $6 million bonus is a little high, but it's not unreasonable. But Cortez Allen is the more gifted athlete, has improved more in two years than Lewis did in four and the Steelers have quite correctly committed to William Gay for three years as their nickel corner. Before spending last year in Arizona, Gay played one year as the Steelers' No. 2 corner and was totally overmatched in that role. But he was more than competent in the as the nickel corner in 2009-2010. William Gay is Deshea Townsend: a known commodity and a safe role player.

The first half sucked. I fell asleep before the too-little-too-late comeback. It's extremely upsetting that the Panthers were so damn timid on offense in the first half, given that they have the tools and talent to pick apart the 2-3 zone. But Steven Adams didn't show up, and perhaps more importantly, James Robinson was far too tentative. So too, for that matter, was Adams. I don't expect much out of these guys in the tournament this year -- I've said that since December. 

That said, next year is should be a very big year for the program. With Robinson and Adams each a year more experienced, Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson as the seniors, reliable depth in J.J. Moore, Cam Wright and Durand Johnson, the only player this team is going to possibly miss is Tray Woodall. That shouldn't be a big deal -- Robinson is at least twice as talented as Woodall. In fact, he might be the most talented, athletic point guard Pitt has had in the Howland-Dixon years. Brandin Knight got by on guile, Carl Krauser was a ballhog with no interest in or talent for passing, Levance Fields was a gifted ball handler with zero athleticism. Ashton Gibbs was a natural gunner -- a two-guard who, like Woodall, has been forced to play the point. Brad Wannamaker had amazing moves to the basket and no shot to speak of. Woodall's become a far better player than he's had any right to, but he's not a point guard. Robinson is the real deal. But he's got to be more confident off the dribble and work on driving the lane.

Everyone associated with the Pittsburgh Police Bureau is going to jail
The Pittsburgh Police take money seized in narcotics busts and spend it on stuff like Gatorade. Oh, but it's totally okay because the people who are currently in charge of the narcotics unit, as well as the acting chief who used to run the narcotics unit, says that's how they've always done it! 
"I kind of went by what was done previously," said Chief Bryant, who oversaw narcotics when she was assistant chief of investigations. That post was previously held by Regina McDonald, now the acting chief.
At least, that's one of things they can account for. There's still a big chunk of money missing.

I'm glad someone else listens to Vinny and Cook so that I don't have to. Props to Deadspin's Dom Consentino, formerly of Mondesi's House, for getting this the attention it deserves.

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