Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 1/23/13
Toronto Maple Leafs (1-1-0) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0) ROOT, TSN, RDS2, 7:00 pm/et CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA Home opener time and the Toronto Maple Leafs (and the mass of Toronto media that comes with them) are in town. It's finally a hockey night in Pittsburgh. If you're going to the game tonight, feel free to post photos or whatever on our Facebook page.  But first, a programming note from Tony of the Confluence: Root Sports Pittsburgh Now Blacks Out Penguins Pregame/Postgame Broadcasts [A]s the Penguins prepared to meet the New York Rangers, as I prepared to watch the pregame show on Root, the same "blacked out" alert came up. Huh? ... I also subscribe to DirecTV's "Sports Pack", which provides access to numerous regional sports channels, such as Root, FSN regional networks, and several others. Root Sports Pittsburgh regularly shows pregame/postgame shows for both the Penguins and Pirates, not to mention several other Pittsburgh sports specials. Another important note: DirecTV owns Root Sports Pittsburgh. They also own Root Sports Northwest and Root Sports Rocky Mountain/Root Sports Utah. So I've forked a lot of money over the years to get my Pittsburgh sports. And I'm sure I'm no different than thousands of other fans, regardless of their particular teams. When the blackout alert came up on the pregame show, I called DirecTV. After being passed around by several agents, I talked to a supervisor, who advised me that the contract between Root Sports and their providers had changed recently. And as a result, the pregame and postgame broadcasts would no longer be shown outside of the Pittsburgh viewing area. NOTE: I do not know what exact area makes up the "Pittsburgh viewing area". In addition, I do not know what other cable and/or satellite systems are affected by this policy besides DirecTV. However, to be fair, I must also state that after the Penguins' win over the Rangers on Sunday night, the Penguins' postgame show was indeed on Root Sports Pittsburgh. I have no idea whether this was shown because of the outrage given to Root Sports via Facebook/Twitter, or whether someone simply forgot to turn it off because of the new policy. So I suppose we will just see what happens tonight, as Root Sports Pittsburgh broadcasts tonight's Penguins home opener against Toronto, as well as pregame/postgame shows. But this is a bizarre decision. It seems like there have been lots of issues with blackouts this season. It's frustrating when you can't watch what you want to watch because some media company is looking to protect its "territory."  Season Series: 0-0-0 Last meeting that counted: March 7, 2012. Penguins won 3-2. What we said in our recap: What is there to say about this one? It was almost a pray-no-one-gets-hurt kind of game. Pens fell into a 2-0 hole and somehow climbed out of those depths to take a 3-2 win all the way to the bank. Thiessen looks like exactly what he is. He's not gonna steal any games for the Pens, and he's not going to be asked to anytime soon. The Neal-Malkin-Kunitz line carried this team through the dog days of winter. That line may be laying low for a while, so here comes the Pens secondary scoring. Dupuis put home two in this game, and Jordan Staal, who honestly can't be considered a secondary scorer at this point, is in the best shape of his career. Still can't find anything bad to say about Strait, either. Mentioned in that recap: Staal, Strait and Thiessen. Via Me In My Place. Happy Birthday by the way. Know Your Enemy: Pension Plan Puppets What they're saying: The Toronto Maple Leafs will go to the Steel City to take on one of the NHL's elite teams that they have somehow managed to compete with over the past three years. They have a 5-4-3 record over the past three years which covers 12 games including nine one goal games. Of course, the three that were decided by more than one all went the Penguins' way. I'm going to chalk this anomaly up to the Leafs getting up for the game out of fear of being embarrassed and the Penguins deciding to take a bad team easy. Pittsburgh Penguins Notes: Fans are asked to be in their seats by 6:50pm tonight for a "special presentation." More on Mark Eaton and WBS. Toronto Maple Leafs Notes: James Reimer will be in the Leafs' net. There's apparently "no truth" to the rumors of Wayne Gretzky becoming President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pittsburgh Penguins Lines: Kunitz - Crosby - Dupuis Tangradi - Malkin - Neal Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy Glass - Vitale - Adams Niskanen - Letang Orpik - Martin Despres - Engelland Fleury Toronto Maple Leafs Lines: MacArthur - Bozak - Kessel van Reimsdyk - Grabovski - Kulemin Lupul - Kadri - Komarov Brown - McClement - Orr Phaneuf - Kostka Liles - Franson Fraser - Gunnarsson Reimer Pens lines via Penguins.NHL.com. Leafs line via PPP. Do It. Go Pens.
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