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Mehno: Penguins clicking on all cylinders

Commentary

March 18, 2012
By John Mehno , The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - Two-thirds of their way through an eastern swing, the Pittsburgh Penguins are still golden.

They've had decisive victories over the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils to run their winning streak to 11.

They've also successfully worked Sidney Crosby back into the lineup (five assists in two games) and served notice that they're still chasing first place overall in the Eastern Conference.

Coach Dan Bylsma's biggest challenge these days is finding ways to get Evgeni Malkin and Crosby enough ice time.

That's as tough as deciding which Rolex to wear to the four-star restaurant for the date with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models.

Off the radar

Pitt is playing in the College Basketball Invitational, which isn't even as important as the NIT.

Schools pay their way into it, and Pitt has yet to cover its entry fee. Only 1,449 tickets were sold for the first-round game against Wofford.

Seems like those true believers should be rewarded with a discount on next year's tickets.

Pitt will have a chance to top that crowd on Monday, when the tournament proceeds with a game against Princeton.

It's a short trip to the Final Four in the CBI, since only 16 teams participate.

We're checking on rumors that the championship trophy is actually a Hickory Farms cheese log.

Cashing in

It's a great weekend for the Penguins, no matter what happens on the ice.

They've raked in money from NCAA Tournament games at the Consol Energy Center, thanks to the sweetheart lease.

In a city, county and state that are all having trouble paying the bills, you'd think maybe the public should have a bigger share in that. That ship sailed , though, and billionaire owner Ron Burkle is getting wealthier.

Remembering Harry

Former major league umpire Harry Wendelstedt died recently.

He was a big burly man who once had an idea for an interesting off-season job.

Wendelstedt and fellow umpire Lee Weyer contacted a wrestling promoter about forming a tag team that would work in the winter months and trade on their summer jobs as big league umpires.

Weyer was even bigger than Wendelstedt, so the plan was viable. Wendelstedt and Weyer were ready to start training as wrestlers.

The National League office got wind of their plan and immediately put the kibosh on it. They didn't think it was right for umpires to be associated with a dubious business like pro wrestling.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com.

 
 

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