AFC Championship fever has swept the city of Pittsburgh and your Pittsburgh Penguins are on board. The team was given the day off from practice, as is typically the case when the boys win a Saturday evening game, but they might have had a little extra incentive today. You see the Penguins and Steelers have become big fans of one another and typically attend one another’s games. A handful of Steelers even have season tickets to watch the birds play.
The vibe around the Penguins room last night was that the team was going to get together to watch the game this evening. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see a handful of the Penguins turning up at Heinz Field to take in the action in person.
During last night’s three stars presentation, Jordan Staal and Marc Andre Fleury came out waving Terrible Towels to the CONSOL Energy Center crowd’s glee. Fleury was even decked out in a Steeler Helmet, as he was two years ago, just hours before the Steelers knocked off the Baltimore Ravens en route to winning their sixth Super Bowl.
To a man, the Penguins are pulling for their cross-town neighbors. Staal, Fleury, and head coach Dan Bylsma all predicted a Steelers victory.
“The Steelers are going to win the game if they win the special teams area,” Bylsma told the gathered media Saturday night. “That’s my feeling of the game.
“I love the defensive matchup for both sides. It will be interesting to see how Polamalu will get involved.”
My personal prediction is a 27-24 Steelers victory… how about you?
A couple of youth hockey players that I am familiar with from the Pittsburgh area received a tour of the player’s dressing room at the CONSOL Energy Center yesterday morning. They reported some starting news… There were All Star jerseys hanging in the room for Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, but each player looked to be on different teams. Has the league secretly chosen the teams already?
My guess is no… they clearly have a jersey stitched for each player for each team so that they are ready to go for whichever team they are selected by on Friday evening. There is no way that the league could have been prepared for Sunday’s game if they had to stitch all 42 jerseys on Saturday morning following the team’s selections.
Don’t be surprised to see Evgeni Malkin held out of the All Star Game as well. At this point, the Penguins would be much better served by giving both of their star centers close to an extra week off.
Who would you select to replace Malkin and Crosby?
Penguins/Steelers combo Renegade Video
BLACK AND YELLOW!