Pittsburgh Penguins Cup Contention

It Appears To Be The End Of The Pittsburgh Penguins' Cup Contention

After being swept in the 1st Round of the 2019 Playoffs, the current Penguins' best days appear to be behind them.

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Loss amidst the collapse of the Tampa Bay Lightning in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs is the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins were swept in four games to the New York Islanders. After back to back Cups in 2016 and 2017, the Penguins have disappointed many after losing to the Washington Capitals in the 2nd Round in 2018, and now this year's 1st Round defeat to the Islanders. It appears that their run of Stanley Cup contention is over.

With star forwards Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, and Evgeni Malkin, as well as top defenseman Kris Letang all 31 years old or older, the chances of any major improvement are quite slim, and it is likely that their production starts to decline in the near future. Crosby, the best player of his generation, had an amazing season with 100 pts, but he will not be able to do it forever. Malkin has been injury plagued throughout his career, and he dealt with some of that this season as well.

The regression of Patric Hornqvist, also over 31, from 49 pts last year to 37 pts this year in nearly the same number of games played, is quite concerning. Hornqvist, making $5.3 million per year until 2023, was instrumental in the Penguins' depth that helped win them back to back Cups, so it appears that he is entering major decline in his career.

Also hurting the Penguins is the lack of talented young forwards to step up and eventually fill the void of Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel. With the exception of Jake Guentzel, age 24, who had 40 goals and 76 pts this year, most of the young players appear to be little more than cheap depth. Dominik Simon, also age 24, once highly touted in the Penguins' farm system, registered just 28 pts in 71 games this season. Coach Mike Sullivan will need to use Simon much more next year in hopes of furthering his development as a forward. 22 year old forward Jared McCann was big in helping the Penguins make the playoffs this year, as he had 17 pts in 32 games after acquired in a trade from the Florida Panthers, but he had just 1 pt in 3 games in the Islanders series.

In terms of disappointing acquisitions that General Manager Jim Rutherford has made recently, signing defenseman Jack Johnson in 2018 ranks high. Johnson is 32 and has 4 years left on a $3.2 million per year deal, and was largely ineffective for most of the season. 27 year old defenseman Erik Gudbranson was acquired at the 2019 trade deadline, and while being serviceable at times, does not suit most of today's faster paced game.

Goaltender Matt Murray is still just 24 years old and had a better season compared to his 2017-18 campaign, but he appears to not be the goaltender who won two Cups as a rookie for the Penguins. It will be interesting to see if he gets back to those type of performances over a full schedule, or if stretches of inconsistency will plague him further.

While the Penguins appear to be falling down the ladder out of serious contention for another Stanley Cup, those memories from 2016 and 2017 will never be forgotten by their fans. Even with a slow decline, the franchise appears to be in decent shape to maintain good attendance considering the fanbase they have cultivated during the Crosby era. Nevertheless, the Penguins are joining fellow former and recent multiple Cup winners in the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks in regression.

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My Freckles Are Not A Beauty Trend For You To Appropriate And Immitate

Those with faces full of freckles can't wipe them off like you can after a photo shoot.

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While it is fun to use makeup to express yourself, one can argue unless you are in costume, it should be used to enhance your features, not create new ones. The trend of artificial freckles puts a nasty taste in my mouth reminiscent to the feeling I get when I see a Caucasian woman apply such dark foundation to her face that she appears to be donning blackface.

To someone who has a face full of freckles, it is offensive to see you paint on freckles as if they were not permanent features of other people's skin that they cannot remove with a makeup wipe. I remember asking my cousin at 5 years old if I could surgically remove my freckles and crying when she broke to me that I'd be stuck with what she called giraffe spots my whole life.

I'm not alone in feeling self-conscious about my freckles. The face is the fulcrum of the identity, and it can feel like my facial identity is like a haphazard splash of orange/brown debris. Another against the fake freckles movement retorts: "you'll soon regret them when people begin to describe you as a polka-dot-skinned troll or a cinnamon-toast-faced goblin. Also, when your eyebags start to sag in middle-age, that 'cute' skin art will probably deteriorate into something more closely resembling oblong blackheads. Sincerely, A Freckled Person"

One woman recalls her struggle with accepting the patterns of her skin from a very young age:

“When I was a young girl, I remember staring at myself in my bathroom mirror and imagining my face without the scattered brown dots that littered my face and body. I dreamed of having the small imperfections removed from my face and obtaining the smooth porcelain skin that I envied. I looked at my bare-faced friends in awe because they had what I wanted and would never know. For some odd reason, I had made myself believe that my freckles made me ugly."

I've come to appreciate the beauty of these sun kisses, and many nowadays have too. However, freckles haven't always been considered cute. There is a history of contempt toward red reader freckled people, just ask Anne Shirley! The dramatic young heroine laments: "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don't mind the other things so much — the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, "Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven's wing." But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow." (Montgomery).

Historically, freckles on ones face have been seen as dirty or imperfect. It's easy to forget that Irish features such as red hair and freckles have been subject to hateful discrimination for centuries. In some places, the word ginger is even used as a slur.

I am not a red-headed stepchild for you to beat — or for you to appropriate.

My facial texture is not a toy for you to play with.

It is rude and inconsiderate to pock your face for a selfie while those with randomly splashed spots get someone once a week trying to rub off the "dirt speck" on their face.

Greg Stevens has a theory to why there is anti-red prejudice

“Skin tone is another one of those well-studied features that has been shown to consistently have an impact on people's assessment of physical beauty: Those with clear, evenly-colored skin are widely regarded as being more attractive than people with patchy, blotchy, or freckled skin.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at professional photos of redheaded models and celebrities. Even those "hot redheads" that flaunt the redness of their hair usually are made-up on magazine covers to have almost unnaturally even skin tones. Moreover, there is a reasonable theory to explain why the bias against freckles might be more than just a cultural prejudice. Not to be too blunt about it, but freckles are cancer factories."

By that, the author means freckles can be early indicators of sun damage or skin cancer. This illusion that freckles indicate deficiency may also play in negative connotations toward a person with freckles

While I acknowledge the intention of people with clear skin who paint freckles on their face isn't to offend — rather it is to appreciate freckles as a beauty statement — the effect is still offensive. If you are thinking about trying this freckle fad, you should put down your fine tipped brush and consider what it would be like if you couldn't wipe away the spots.

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10 Gift Ideas For College Students That Won't Break The Bank

Cheap gift ideas for college students, gifted by a college student.

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Your paycheck isn't coming until Friday, and you're short on cash. Here are some free or low cost gift ideas to give to a family member, friend, or significant other!

1. Homemade Dinner

This one is obvious. Find out what they're favorite meal is and cook it for them! You can have a nice dinner planned with them, or you could just drop it off.

2. Used Book

If you're like me, you have books lying around that you could part with. Why not gift it to someone who would appreciate it? Used books are more heartfelt than new books or gift cards, anyways.

3. Scrapbook 

You have those pictures on your phone, why not print them out? Put some heartfelt notes and stickers in a book next to the pictures, and you're done.

4. Write a Letter

Do your loved ones really know how much they mean to you? Tell them! Write a letter about how much you appreciate them and specifics about your relationship. The more personal the better.

5. Spotify Playlist 

The new mixtape. Make a playlist of all the songs that remind you of them, and share it with them! They can listen at their own leisure.

6. Wish.com

This one you have to plan for in advance-- their delivery system isn't the best. But a lot of stuff on there is FREE, you only have to pay for shipping.

7. Poetry

Nothing is more personal than sharing your creative work with another person. Give them a personalized poem, or just a poem that reminds you of them.

8. Personalized Screensaver

Do they have a computer? Tablet? Phone? Hopefully they have something that requires a lockscreen. Make them a collage or a customized background that you know they'll love.

9. Regift 

Make sure to let them know it's a regift! Write a note about how you're passing something on.

10. Your time! 

Plan a day just to hang out with them! Plan activities like watching movies, picnics, or even just lounging around on the couch.

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