I always welcome the NHL All-Star break. It gives me a chance catch my breath. To pause and reflect on the first part of the season and to look ahead for things to come.
Last year at this time the Penguins were only beginning to coalesce. Carl Hagelin had just arrived. The kids, too. Justin Schultz was soon to follow. The HBK Line was still a [...]
On March 8, 1971, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier met former champ Muhammad Ali in the first of an epic three-fight trilogy. Appropriately dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” the bout hung in the balance until Frazier floored Ali with a vicious left hook in the 15th round to earn a unanimous decision.
A different type of slugger-vs-bo [...]
Back in the day, the Italian-American Mafia and Jewish mob carried out their nefarious activities with the aid of well-established enforcement groups. Headed by notorious gangsters such as Louis “Lepke” Buchalter and Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia, “Murder, Inc.” was believed to have iced as many as 1000 unfortunate souls during the 1930s [...]
September 29, 1973. Brantford (Ontario) Civic Centre. The Pittsburgh Penguins squared off against their arch-nemesis—the truculent St. Louis Blues—in an NHL exhibition game.
Early in the second period all hell broke loose. The Pens’ pint-sized policeman Bryan Watson—an early version of Bobby Farnham—was hunched forward into the wheelhouse of [...]
The late Barclay Plager, noted St. Louis villain and early Penguins tormentor once said, “It’s not who wins the fight that’s important, it’s being willing to fight. If you get challenged and renege, everyone wants to take a shot at you.”
He didn’t know it at the time. But “Barc the Spark” could’ve been addressing our present-day Pens. The one [...]
It wasn’t a fancy pass. Or a sizzling shot. Or even a dazzling one-on-one move. On the contrary, the pivotal play of last night’s 2-1 Penguins loss to Columbus occurred midway through the second period when Blue Jackets villain Scott Hartnell barged into the slot and flattened glamour boy Beau Bennett.
A red-alert scramble ensued. The free-f [...]