Take 5 | The Penguins are still elite, Chase Claypool should remain a Steeler


AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Kris Letang (58) of the Pittsburgh Penguins brings the puck up ice as Alexandre Carrier (45) of the Nashville Predators defends during a game in April.

By The Pitt News Staff

In this week’s edition of Take 5, The Pitt News Sports Desk breaks down the Penguins’ chances at winning the Stanley Cup, if the Steelers should trade Chase Claypool ahead of the trade deadline and more.

The Penguins are still elite // Zack Gibney, Senior Staff Writer

Every year, hockey beat writers, fans and others around the NHL have the same conversation about the Penguins regressing, largely due to the increasing age of their core players. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang aren’t getting any younger and no one lets them forget it.

But the hypothetical decline of the Penguins has never actually come to fruition.

After playing three games, the Penguins haven’t lost in regulation and look like they haven’t lost a step. Crosby and Malkin are still scoring at a Hall-of-Fame clip and continue to elevate players around them.

On the blue line, Letang still looks like the same player who finished in the top 10 of the Norris Trophy voting in three of the last four seasons.

It’s true that the season is still very young, but the logic behind the Penguins’ predicted decline still lacks merit. The Penguins’ “Big Three” continue to produce at an elite level and show no signs of slowing down.

There’s a reason this team has made the playoffs in each of the last 16 seasons.

The Steelers shouldn’t trade Chase Claypool // David Scott, Staff Writer

In the wake of the Steelers’ unusually slow start to the season, both fans and analysts alike are calling for change. Whether it’s firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada or shifting quarterbacks, the Steelers are on uneven ground. In recent weeks, analysts have mentioned wide receiver Chase Claypool’s as a potential trade chip before the NFL’s deadline.

While Claypool wasn’t especially productive through six games, it’s a rash decision to send him away at the first sign of struggle. The Steelers’ wide receiving corps isn’t strong to start with and Claypool does possess the skill set necessary to play at a high level.

Claypool’s blood runs black and yellow. He is a proud Steeler and, following a strong week against the Buccaneers, where he pulled in seven receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown, he is clearly a big part of this offense. The Steelers have plenty of problems — Claypool is not one of them.

Game of Thrones fans should root for the Jets and Giants // Ben Pisano, Staff Writer

The Jets and the Giants both have winning records which can only mean one thing — winter is coming.

Aside from winning records, these teams have something else in common — “A Game of Thrones” book series author George R. R. Martin’s vocal support. Fans of “A Song of Ice and Fire” have hounded Martin for years to provide an update about “The Winds of Winter,” the long-anticipated sixth book in the series.

Unfortunately for them, Martin is too busy sharing his opinions about Giants and Jets football. During the 2019 offseason, Martin very publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the Giants’ front office for trading away Odell Beckham Jr. and selecting Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick of the NFL draft.

The last time both of these teams had winning seasons was in 2010. The following summer, Martin released the fifth book in the series “A Dance with Dragons.” It seems that when both teams are winning, Martin is more productive. In a blog post last week, Martin wrote that he is very pleased with the recent successes of the New York franchises — potentially good news for readers eager to return to Westeros.

Anyone who wants to see a definitive end to the series should root for the Jets and the Giants to keep winning.

Aaron Judge deserves to have the “Home Run King” title // Sara Meyer, Staff Writer

Aaron Judge hit home run No. 62 against the Texas Rangers on Oct. 4, breaking Roger Maris’ American League single-season home run record. Behind Roger Maris was Babe Ruth and his 60 home runs in a season — another baseball legend that looks up at Judge in the record books now. These legendary MLB players earned their crowned titles with hard work.

They did it all without performance enhancing drugs — something the other record holders for single-season home runs can’t say. Multiple National League players have hit more than 62 home runs in a single season, including Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds. But fans agree, they all employed PEDs.

Fans have drawn out the ongoing debate about the MLB’s steroid era. But with Aaron Judge’s new record eclipsing Sosa and Bonds’, is expunging their tainted records now justified? 

Aaron Judge should, at the very least, gain the recognition of earning the most legitimate home runs in a single season. He performed incredibly all season long and reached record-breaking heights, all while playing within the rules of the game. Aaron Judge doesn’t deserve to sit behind Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in history for the most home runs hit in an MLB season. 

Warriors dynasty will capture fifth NBA Championship // Mason Carter, Staff Writer

366 days ago, the Golden State Warriors took down the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night. When the season ended, the Warriors reclaimed their throne as champions. Almost one year later on NBA’s opening night in 2022, the Warriors shut down the Lakers again, with all signs pointing towards this season ending with similar results. 

The Warriors looked dominant on Tuesday night, defeating the Lakers 123-109. 

The trio of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are still performing at a very high level. But the rest of the roster, including the young players, look better than last year. 

Former No. 2 overall pick center James Wiseman returned on opening night. Before the season started, the Warriors locked in Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins with contract extensions as well. Poole looked like an all-star while Wiggins was an all-star starter last season.

After losing key role pieces Otto Porter and Gary Payton II, the Warriors still managed to sign Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green. Their defense and three-point shooting will play pivotal roles. They also still have two lottery picks from last year, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga, waiting to check in.

The Warriors may have another clear path to yet another NBA Championship with this roster.