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Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: February 19, 2021 (Pt. 1)

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KDKA's Josh Taylor and 93.7 The Fan's Paul Zeise discuss the sports topics of the day.

Video Transcript

- Right now Pittsburgh's best sports show is about to begin. Call us or tweet us, we've got things to talk about on the Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call powered by Fanduel Sports Book.

JOSH TAYLOR: A thousand games for Sid the Kid. Have the pens turned over a new leaf after winning last night against the Islanders? And the Pirates make another addition on their spring training roster. We'll talk about all that and more here in the coming moments on the Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call powered by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Hello again, everybody. I'm Josh Taylor. Good to talk to you again on a Friday night. Got a little bit to talk about here in a lot of it centered around the Penguins. Sidney Crosby, of course, playing his 1,000 the game tomorrow night when he takes the ice against the Islanders. Had a statement that he made today about his future and to help me talk about that, joining us live from the 93.7, th Fan newsroom. He's the host of the Paul Zeise show on 93.7 and also a columnist for The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Paul Zeiss. Paul, let's talk about the statement by Sidney Crosby that he made today addressing his future, pretty much says nothing has changed. He loves playing here, wants to end his career here. I asked this question to Chris Mueller earlier on KDKA news at 4. I ask you the same thing. Did you feel like this was necessary for him to make this statement? Was this ever in question Sidney Crosby not finishing his career in Pittsburgh at any point?

PAUL ZEISE: No, I don't know how it became a story. Well I do know I became a story. A couple of the Canadian National guys apparently wrote about or talked about the fact that, Oh there's all these trade possibilities for Sidney Crosby in places he could end his career. And at the end of the day, it really was just basically, you know chatter that really had no basis to it. The Penguins have made it very clear they're not going to trade Sidney Crosby or get rid of him. And Sidney Crosby has made it pretty clear he wants to end his career here. So you know, I'm not sure where these guys are getting the thoughts or the ideas that this is even something that's worthy of talking about. But that's what happens you know how it is. It's the time of year where these national guys they need something to talk about, I guess.

JOSH TAYLOR: And it's not like we're talking about a late 30s, early 40s Sidney Crosby. We're talking Sidney Crosby at 33 years old, still in fantastic shape. There's no reason to think that there's any kind of drop off or-- or lack of production in any kind. This is a Sidney Crosby that still holds a lot of value to this organization.

PAUL ZEISE: I mean he's still probably got seven or eight years and I mean, at least two. I mean, because he's the kind of guy. He's, you know, he's got that Tom Brady like where he spends a lot of time, energy, and even you effort and money and everything else to keep his body in shape. He's a workaholic. He's a guy who is really, you know. And he's all about hockey. I mean, he loves that-- he loves being a hockey player. And so it's going to be one of these things. We're going to have to drag him away I mean, I think he'll be smart enough when he really declines to the point where he can't do the things he wants to do. He might walk away. But I'm going to tell you, that-- that point is not anywhere close because he is a guy that really, really loves it and really takes care of himself. So he's going to be around for a while.

JOSH TAYLOR: All right, let's talk about the team here and what they've done in the past 24 hours or so. They beat in New York last night, beating the Islanders. And the way they played that game against the team that quite honestly, in the past few years has given them a lot of problems with the style of play that they had. But the penguins had the lead. They maintained that the entire time. They never trailed in this game, and they found a way to actually dominate a team that's been very physical and dominant with other teams. So I ask you this question Paul, with what we're seeing now from this group knowing that there's a bit of a regime change that's happened a couple of weeks before this, is this something we can come to expect every night now or is this maybe an aberration?

PAUL ZEISE: I mean, I think they played a really good game. I don't know that we can expect it every single night. We'll see. They've got to do it every single night, and they've got to do it consistently. And I think that we will start to see it because they're going to be playing a lot of good teams there, Josh. They got the Islanders. They got the Capitals. They got the Flyers all in their next eight games. I think that's who they're playing, so. If it's not, if it is actually a trend, we're going to see it pretty quickly because they're going to start to beat these teams and give themselves an opportunity to get back into the playoff race. And really start to make noise in the East.

JOSH TAYLOR: And if there's two things that make you feel a little bit better about what this team is doing, maybe it's the roster getting healthy. Mike Mathesons come back and given a bit of a spark on the back end on the blue line. Tristan Jarry, his last three games, I believe a 93.3% save percentage. So that's something that maybe you look at as a positive, but you're right. It's something that has to be done more consistently. We have to see more of this happen on a daily basis. I think the defense getting healthy is one of those things that probably makes you feel better, maybe when Brian Dumoulin comes back healthy. You have to make some difficult decisions as opposed to as-- is-- in terms of who's on that six in the back, the back end every single night. You got a really tough decision to make with PO Joseph, so all those things start to stack up and maybe that starts to help raise that trend a little bit. In the meantime, we need to take a break and come back we'll talk more Penguins. We'll talk Steelers. We'll talk Pirates, if you want. They brought in a player on a minor league deal. Taking your phone calls for 412-575-2600 on the Bordas and Bordas Hotline. Talk to me. See you in a few.