News You Can Use: C.M. Punk, Sting & WWE Slam City

From misfits.cinderblock.com

From misfits.cinderblock.com

– A couple of stories struck me over the weekend. One being that Dana White was asked if CM Punk would fight in the UFC. It always reminds me that the majority of wrestling fans are dumb as bricks. CM Punk wears a Gracie Jiu Jitsu hoodie and incorporates mixed martial arts moves into his professional wrestling move set so that automatically makes him good enough to fight in the best MMA company in the world. I can’t wait to start playing hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins because I wear their shirts often and have been known to use moves by Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin on my nephews to score goals in bubble hockey. CM Punk was also in the news because he was on “The Talking Dead“. I guess that would make him an actor so he should immediately be one of the detectives on the next season of True Detectives.

Sting participated in a Q&A in England and was asked if he was going to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31. I’m glad that bricks can now speak or else I wouldn’t have content for the site. At least Sting was smart enough to say “I really don’t know. I can say that I would love for that to happen.” because that is as likely to happen as CM Punk capturing a title in the UFC.

WWE has teamed with Mattel to make WWE Slam City, a cartoon that will have 26 two minute episodes. They already have four episodes posted. It’s definitely for children so I’m not sure I can review it properly. I may watch a PG product about fake fighting but I have standards. I’ll have my nephews view it and give me a review for the site. I’m sure they’ll do that for their super cool uncle who happens to play for the Penguins. – Kevin

Thanks to Prowrestling.net for the news stories.

The Pittsburgh Penguins Dilemma

Poker chips, large sum conceptJeremy thought this topic would be more interesting than another ROH bashing. I’m not sure his level of surprise when he IMed me this article from Deadspin but he did get me riled up enough to do this article. Here’s my take on their questions.

As I noted back on March 28th, the Pittsburgh Penguins decided to go all in during the trade deadline. I hoped they wouldn’t go bust but here they are. My beloved Penguins went down in flames in four short games in the Eastern Conference Final to the unheralded Boston Bruins. They scored a measly two goals in four games. Two goals might not even allow you to win a game much less a series. I’m going to break this down into a couple of categories for what happened and what needs to be addressed.

The Games

One pivotal moment came in the Penguins first round series against the New York Islanders. Marc-Andre Fleury has been the franchise goaltender since being picked with the number one overall in 2003. He started at the NHL level for a majority of that time. The guy even backed the team that went to back to back Stanley Cup Finals in ’08 and ’09 and winning the later of the two match ups against the Detroit Red Wings. Fleury wrapped up the Stanley Cup victory with a diving save on Niklas Lidstrom. In those years, he had a save percentages of 93.3% and 90.8%.  For those that don’t watch hockey, anything below 90% is bad. Ever since that save though, he has fallen apart in the playoffs starting with a terrible showing when they played Montreal in ’10. He had a save percentage of 89.1%. The hope of playoff success was low in 2011 because Evgeni Malkin had blown his ACL and Sidney Crosby was sitting with a concussion. Fleury could have stolen a series against the lowly Tampa Bay Lighting but he posted an 89.9% and the Penguins got booted in the first round. Last year is when things went to hell in a hand basket. Both the Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins decided that playing defense was no fun so they turned the playoffs into an All Star game by potting goals at a ridiculous pace. Fleury gave up 4.33 goals a game for a 83.4% save percentage. He couldn’t even stop basic shots and when the defense is that bad you need that to happen.

He rebounded from the terrible offseason (I’m going to skip over that whole lock out thing because it isn’t relevant to this discussion) and helped to lead the Penguins to a first place finish in the Eastern Conference. The problems looked resolved with a first game shut out of the Islanders. Unfortunately, he gave up four goals in the next three consecutive games. Fleury’s stats aren’t online now but you can’t win many games giving away four goal. The Penguins did pull out one of the three games. Former starter Tomas Vokoun played Game 5 and never looked back. Vokoun had one bad game though and it was Game 2 against the Boston Bruins. The Pens went down 3-0 in the first period. Dan Bylsma, the Pen’s coach, decided to pull Vokoun and send Fluery back in for the first time in a round and a half. Pens Center Brandon Sutter came streaking down the right wing and sniped a shoot over Tuuka Rask’s shoulder to make it 3-1 with a minute left in the first. Brad Marchand, who scored a goal earlier, came down less than thirty seconds later and floats a goal over Fleury’s glove hand which broke the Pens back. All Fleury had to do was make a damn save on a wrister from about the middle of the circles and the Pens have momentum going into the second period.  The guy let’s a floater go over his glove hand? Christ on a pony.

Game 3 in Boston had a bad moment too. The Pens needed a win. Despite playing well, they played their way into overtime knotted 1-1. The referees called three penalties in the first overtime. Mike “Doc” Emrick, NBCSports play by play man, noted with each penalty how long it had been since that number of penalties had been called in a playoff overtime game. Evgeni Malkin got the third while tired and trying to flip a puck up over the defense of Boston for a streaking, fresh Sidney Crosby. It went over the glass half a rink away. The Pens finished the first OT with some penalty time to kill still in the next OT. They killed the penalty. Later in the period, Malkin steals the puck from Jaromir Jagr, an ex-Penguin, who then clearly hooks Malkin to regain the puck. The Pens didn’t have time to recover as Jagr dished it to Marchand who scored the game winner. Former referee Kelly Fraser was asked whether this call should have been a penalty and he ripped the referees for not calling the penalty. Even my room mate Baby Momma Drama, who was born and raised in Boston, had to admit upon seeing a replay that Jagr committed a penalty. None of that matter though because the referees on ice didn’t call it. The Bruins are up 3-0 and pretty much all hope is gone.

The Coach

Dan Bylsma has been under fire at various points in his tenure in Pittsburgh because he’s at the helm of a team that boasts two of the most talented players in the world, Crosby & Malkin. He won a Stanley Cup after Michel Therrien had been fired in February or March of ’09. From what I’ve read, he has had some innovative strategies that he’s brought into the NHL as far as puck retrieval, especially for defensemen, go.  Ever since then, it seems other coaches have adjusted to his strategies. Last year’s debacle against the Flyers landed Bylsma on the hot seat. Crosby wasn’t playing well against Claude Giroux so instead of getting away from that match up at home when they have the last change, he stuck with it. Malkin was getting frustrated by Sean Courturier but he stuck by that match up too. Jordan Staal, the defensive specialist amongst their elite centers, sat by twiddling his thumbs. It may have been for the “better” considering that the Pens penalty killing, number one during the regular season, which was anchored by Staal was stinking out the joint too. Did Bylsma change strategies on the PK? Nope.

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Stunt Granny Sports Show #3

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Welcome back everyone for another edition of the Stunt Granny Sports Show. Eric2 and Jeremy are back with a women themed show, well, it starts off that way at least. What woman was responsible for the worst free throw in the history of recorded basketball? How did she possibly top Brian Okam from Appalachian State? How jaded have we become when a cheerleader makes a phenomenal trick shot and no one cheers? How and why would you possibly perform the same move on the soccer pitch? How cool are Geno Auriemma and Kim Mulkey? How screwed are the Pittsburgh Penguins now that Evgani Malkin may be concussed? How fast do you rush him back and should you? How can Johnny Manziel sue people over the Johnny Football tag? How does Jeremy keep Eric2 from going on another anti-NCAA rant? They offer no predictions on UFC 157 but they discuss it regardless. How progressive is The UFC. What non-issue was noticeable and discussed? Well download and find out already. As always, video links after the break.

Stunt Granny Sports Show #3

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Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of Raw

Welcome back Sidney Crosby & Zybnek Michalek

Tonight was never going to start on time. Not with Sidney Crosby returning to the Penguins. He did not disappoint. 2 goals and 2 assists after nearly a year off. Incredible. Bring on the haters. On a minor note, Zybnek Michalek, a superb shut down defenseman, came back too. The Pensblog gave him the nickname Michalek Island last year because of how shut down he is. Let’s roll.

Booker T joins the broad cast booth. I love 3 man booths. (That’s sarcasm.) CM Punk really puts over the WWE Title. Old school bitches. Where’s Johnny Wooden GM? There he is. Punk gets Dolph Ziggler. Drink for the Twitter symbol. A fairly boring segment. I had to explain everything to my buddy Sean so I didn’t pay attention. Punk was drug down.

Zack Ryder leads off against Alberto Del Rio. Drink again for Ryder’s petition on Twitter. I don’t like the hair dye by Ryder. Zack looked good and lost in a reasonable amount of time. Neither of these guysa re good enough to sustain a match like Punk & Ziggler will. We hear from John Cena, later!

Sheamus gets to beat down Jack Swagger. Booker informs us that we’re not playing Tiddlywinks. Sean even hates Vickie’s screeching. She does her job. Sean says “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sheamus lose.” He’s probably right. Sean catches it infrequently. He thinks the Great White is hilarious in a bad way.

They recap the Kevin Nash storyline. Big Sexy walks to the top of the ramp because he can’t go any further than that. He’s mad because HHH was a boss. I would have taken Nash & HHH against Rock & Cena. He’s the last of the Cliq. Good for you, I’m still not terribly interested. Nothing wrong with the promo though.

Sean is gone so I can concentrate a bit more. I’m glad because I’m liking Cody Rhodes already. Short but better than anything else tonight. Santino is even noted as a joker by the announcers. Well, Cody squashed him. Santino is still a joke. Cody talks trash to Booker. It seems we know why Booker joined the booth tonight. Josh talks to my boy Dolph & Vickie. They push his two wins at Survivor Series. I’m pumped that he’s laying claim to the face of the WWE! Kent State represent!

Booker gets questioned coming back but he’s saving his answer for Smackdown because he’s not important enough for a Raw segment. Dolph gets pimped by Cole, Booker blows CM Punk. Drink for a Twitter mention twice, on screen & by Cole. King is under the weather. Hadn’t thought about it until Cole mentioned it. Not a good distinction for Lawler. They’re pushing his KSU creds again. Booker continuing to call him Zig Zag is cracking me up. Booker put over both Del Rio & Punk well. Hurts Ziggler a bit. Ziggler going with the cross face. Nice addition to the arsenal. The high knee miss leads us to commercial? Wow, the 10 count would well be over by the end of the commercials. Have him tossed back into the ring by Ziggler before the break or at least show him going to get him.

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Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of Raw

This image came up when I typed in "Oh shit". Who am I to argue?

I typed in “Oh shit” because the Penguins are going to a game seven on Wednesday. Time to do or go home. I can’t say I expected much out of them without Sidney Crosby & Geno Malkin but damn it, I want this first round. I’m almost debating driving there. As the Pensblog will undoubtedly say “Time to sac up.”

Well, actually time to draft up. We start with a battle royal. My buddy Sean as he’s going out the door says “That’s gay.” Couldn’t agree more. By the way, couldn’t be less excited about the NFL draft this weekend. This one doesn’t hold much weight for me either. People are getting eliminated left and right. Why did Mark Henry eliminate himself basically to eliminate Clay? The announcer draft factoids are more mundane than any stat Todd McShay can come up with. We hit a commercial.

Big Show & Kofi for SD take on Mason Ryan & Evan Bourne. This could help Bourne out if he survives. He’s been on a losing streak. Of course Bourne does the worst possible thing, jumping into Big Show’s arms. Mason Ryan loses in a valiant effort, I suppose. He lost a lot of momentum when he got punted. Stupidest draft ever. Cena to Smackdown. I like it. It was him or Orton. He has a history with the Smackdown brand. Cole acting upset is hilarious in a bad way.

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