It’s all on the line tomorrow night. The Penguins hosting the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Sidney Crosby scored what turned out to be the gamewinner last night on an incredible individual effort. Sid has all three gamewinning goals in this series.
But he’s not feeling the pressure to do that again tomorrow, “you want to produce especially this time of year you want to contribute, but I think we have a lot of belief, a lot of trust in everybody, but it’s worked out that way. I really think we believe in one another, believe that someone will step up to get that big play whether it’s a goal or or a blocked shot, anything so that’s what you need.”

The US Open at Oakmont is one month away, and one of the questions golf fans everywhere are asking is, will Tiger Woods play? Even Tiger doesn’t know the answer, “I want to play, trust me, I want to. Now whether I can or I do is a different story and if I could tell you I would. But I can’t, not yet. I’m still working, I’m still trying to get stronger and still need to try and recover.”

Sidney Crosby is continuing to look to put his teammates in position to score, even if it means not getting on the scoresheet himself. Crosby only has one even-strength point in the last seven games. So is he sick of being asked about that? “It’s common. I think as someone who’s looked to produce offesnively, it’s something you understand is just part of it. If I had a half-hour to dissect the game to tell you what I thought, it would be a lot easier. I gotta answer it all in 30 seconds.”

The last time the US Open was at Oakmont, Tiger Woods finished tied for second.  A year later, he beat Rocco Mediate in a US Open playoff. That was the last time Tiger won a major. He hasn’t won any tournament in about three years. It’s possible that Woods could win a tournament, or even a major again, but we can say with certainty that the Tiger Woods era as we knew it is gone, and never to return. Tiger’s now 40-years-old, and his dominance has given way to a new wave. Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McElroy are now 1-2-3 in the world. Tiger’s world golf ranking is 515th. So with the Oakmont Open exactly one month away, wave goodbye to Tiger, and welcome a new generation of golf superstars.

So who will be in net tomorrow night for game one between the Penguins and Lightning? Will it be Marc-Andre Fleury, or will the Pens stick with Matt Murray, the 21-year-old goalie who’s won seven playoff games? Head coach Mike Sullivan will decide tomorrow, but Fleury says he’s not concerned with that decision. He says he’s focused on the team, “that’s his decision. I’m working trying to be ready if the team needs me. I’ll keep cheering Matty. He’s been playing great, cheer the rest of the guys, and hopefully we win some more games here.”

Patric Hornqvist is talking about about his mysterious lack of playing time late in Saturday night’s loss. Hornqvist leads the pens with 5 goals in the playoffs, but he played only 2 shifts in the 3rd period in game 5–one of them on the power play. Horqvist says he’s not hurt. Instead, he says it’s a matter of performance, “I was, you know, I said this a hundred times, I wasn’t good enough to play. Doesn’t matter what you do the night before or the rest of the season. It’s the night when the puck drops, and if you’re not good enough then you shouldn’t play.”

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has announced his starting goaltender for Tuesday night’s game 6. That was the first question for Sullivan at Monday’s post-practice interview session. Matt Murray, who’s 5-2 in the playoffs, will be the Penguins game 6 starter. Sullivan didn’t hesitate in making this decision, “Matt Murray has taken the load here when Marc’s been hurt, and has played really well for us, and so we’re trying to make the best decisions that we can to help this team win, given the circumstance surrounding the group.”

Some national media outlets are focused in on a potential Penguins goalie controversy. Is it time for the Pens to start Marc-Andre Fleury in net? Matt Murray is still playing well, and is 5-2 in the playoffs. Here’s Murray’s assessment of Saturday night’s performance, “I wasn’t happy with the result but I thought I competed hard, missed saves here and there, and that’s the difference.”

A Pittsburgh Riverhounds player is making national headlines for all the wrong reasons. Romeo Parkes viciously kicked Carl Ouiemette of the New York Red Bull Two team, right in the back, this after both players had received red cards. Ouiemette was taken off on a stretcher but traveled back with his team. Today, the Riverhounds acted swiftly and kicked their leading scorer off the team for his actions. Team owner tuffy Shallenbeger apologized, “Romeo’s actions are not representative of what our organization and its academy stands for in regards to helping promote and grow this sport, in not only the greater Allegheny area but also nationwide.”

The U.S. Open is closing in fast at Oakmont, and on Wednesday, the defending champ had a first-hand look at the course. Jordan Spieth played nine holes at Oakmont on Tuesday night, followed by a full 18 holes on Wednesday. The champ found out just how tough it is.
I had the only one-on-one interview with Spieth after the media event, and he told me what it would mean to win at Oakmont, “yeah winning the U.S. Open at Oakmont has similarities to winning an Open Championship at Saint Andrews, it’s just the U.S. Open. This is the U.S. Open. This is what it’s supposed to look like, such a great golf course. Hopefully the weather holds up and it can play the way Oakmont should play.”

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