John Mehno

McCutchen move sign of the times

PITTSBURGH — Somewhere this morning, some old-timer is ready to explode. That will happen shortly after he finds out that Andrew McCutchen returned to the No. 3 spot in the Pirates’ batting order because he told Clint Hurdle he was ready to make the move. A player dictating the lineup? ...

It was time for Fleury, Pens to part ways

PITTSBURGH — That’s it. Marc-Andre Fleury plays for another team now. He was a wonderful guy, a very good goalie and a universally-liked teammate. He served the Penguins well through 13 seasons and leaves town as the busiest and winningest goalie in franchise history. He departs as a ...

Consider wisely before trading McCutchen

PITTSBURGH — The debate rages on about whether the Pirates should trade Andrew McCutchen. It’s all too early. McCutchen has finally been hitting at a hot clip. Maybe it’s a coincidence that he finally started hitting when he moved to the No. 6 spot in the batting order. Maybe not. The ...

NHL nearby to help Pens enjoy the Cup

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Over the next several months, you’ll read a lot of stories about the Stanley Cup. The Penguins have possession of it, and it will be touring more than Metallica this summer. Every player gets a day with the Cup, and so do many staff members. A lot of the visits ...

Penguins riding high

PITTSBURGH—The Penguins are five-time Stanley Cup champions. If you’re of a certain age, that’s like hearing that Gomer Pyle is running the Marines. Five championships in 25 seasons is better than just about everybody else, and the Penguins are firmly established as one of the NHL’s ...

Some type of history awaits Pens

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins have three options tonight: make history, defer history for three more days or avoid history. They’re this close to wrapping up their second straight Stanley Cup championship, becoming the first team in almost 20 years to repeat. This playoff journey shows why ...

Goalie turns series tide for Nashville

PITTSBURGH — Now it’s a series. Some hockey thoughts as the Penguins and Nashville Predators have made the NHL season a best-of-3: n As bad as Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was in the first two games, he was that good in the next two games. Yes, the Penguins are running on fumes and ...

Star treatment not happening in hockey

PITTSBURGH — One of the constants of the Penguins’ run through the playoffs has been non-stop complaining about NHL officiating. This continues a tradition that first started when Stanley was just a sippy cup. There have been some egregious miscalls, as there always are. How did Ottawa ...

Pittsburgh should feel fortunate

Commentary PITTSBURGH — If you’re going to learn a lesson, it’s always good to turn a profit while doing it. That’s exactly what happened to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Monday’s Stanley Cup Final opener against Nashville. They played poorly for long stretches, and didn’t have an ...

Penguins nearing end of long grind

PITTSBURGH — June arrives this week, and an NHL season that started with September training camps is still at least four games away from ending. To say it’s a grind would be inadequate. This has become an endurance contest, as it often does. If Pittsburgh wins, this won’t be the best ...

Getting harder to defend Cutch

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Batting third for the Pirates ... Andrew McCutchen. But for how much longer? How long can manager Clint Hurdle continue to use a prime lineup spot on a player who is struggling to keep his batting average above .200? The Pirates are undoubtedly hoping for a ...

Murray has always been Sullivan’s guy

PITTSBURGH — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called his goaltender choice for Game 4 an incredibly difficult decision. Was it really? Sullivan believes in Matt Murray. He stuck with him in the playoffs last season long after Marc-Andre Fleury was available. He installed him as the No. 1 ...

Steigerwald out as Pens’ broadcaster

PITTSBURGH — If Paul Steigerwald had any bitterness about losing his television play-by-play job for Penguins games, he worked it out in private. Root Sports announced on Tuesday that Steigerwald was out and Steve Mears will be the new TV voice of the team. At the same time, the Penguins ...

Hurdle challenged just putting lineup together

PITTSBURGH — There’s a TV cooking show that gives chefs an assortment of ingredients and challenges them to make a meal of the random mix. They might get chicken thighs, artichokes, peanut butter, bananas and bamboo shoots. The impossible task is to take those items and create a meal that ...

Daunting task awaits Penguins

Commentary PITTSBURGH — This has become a best-of-one series, the deciding game to be played tonight. Make sure your pizza order arrives by 7:30 because this will require your full attention. Despite having leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the series against the Washington Capitals, the Penguins ...

Fenway trouble could be alcohol related

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There was a problem last week in Fenway Park with someone yelling racial slurs at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones. But maybe it’s part of a bigger problem, which is the over-consumption of alcohol at sports venues. Even though tickets are already ...

NHL shows inconsistency with its calls

PITTSBURGH — Matt Niskanen will play for the Washington Capitals tonight, and he should probably be grateful for that. The NHL could have suspended him for the cross check that dealt Sidney Crosby a concussion in Game Three of their Stanley Cup series against the Penguins on ...

Connor drafted because he can contribute

PITTSBURGH — Many decades ago the Steelers would have drafted a player from Pitt with the idea of appeasing the fans, getting some publicity and ultimately selling some tickets. Those days are long gone. Theirs is not an organization that leans on sentiment or panders heavily to ticket ...

Time will only tell with Art II

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Art Rooney II has been running the Steelers for a while now, so there’s no official change in leadership with the team. The difference is he can no longer walk down the hall and tap into the knowledge his father accumulated over a lifetime in the game. Dan ...

Pirates hurt themselves

PITTSBURGH — Turns out the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals aren’t the Pirates’ most formidable enemy. Instead that distinction applies to the recklessness of their own players. Tuesday brought the shocking news that Starling Marte is suspended for 80 games, the second half of a ...