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LinksLog: Fruit of Jussi, Geno’s focus, Iginla as Fedotenko, and a reason to buy the paper.

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The Stanley Cup playoffs are off and running, and the marathon, two-month NHL tournament has a great start Tuesday with overtime wins by Chicago and St. Louis. (Anaheim and Detroit faced off, too; but somebody had to get a decent night’s sleep because the club he covers opens it series Wednesday.)

The Penguins, top seeded in the East, face the New York Islanders in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series (best of seven) at Consol Energy Center. Given their very recent history – winning streaks of 15 and seven games in the final 30 – and their kind-of recent playoff history – three straight losses to lower-seeded opponents – it is tough to figure a Game 1 for which a Penguins squad faced more pressure than this one against the upstart Islanders.

A look at the #TribHKY coverage leading into Game the First:

= Josh Yohe reports that these Penguins are prepared to play the playoff opener with their Captain and their Conscience:

http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3931419-74/crosby-penguins-games#axzz2RuqJ4CUx

= Joining our coverage for the playoffs is veteran scribe Jerry DiPaola, who come to think of it, is kind of like Trib Sports’ Conscience. He reports on Penguins coach Dan Bylsma making use of extra time before Game 1:

http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3931184-74/penguins-game-grabner#axzz2RuqJ4CUx

= Back for the postseason is the off-day “NHL Insider,” which will attempt to dig deep to explain what is really happening with subjects pertinent to the series. This one looks at Jarome Iginla possibly playing the off wing:

http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3931169-74/iginla-malkin-penguins#axzz2RuqJ4CUx

= Evgeni Malkin is looking at these playoffs as a re-do, and he looked serious about that at practice:

http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3938078-74/malkin-penguins-fleury#axzz2RuqJ4CUx

= Columnist Dejan Kovacevic chips in with a well written scene setting piece that has a little bit of something for every Pittsburgh hockey fan:

http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/3931111-74/penguins-kovacevic-team#axzz2RuqJ4CUx

= Finally, do pick up a print product on Wednesday, because Trib editor Mike Palm has compiled a must-see look at every opening-round series in Penguins history. This specialty page is a keeper, kids.

Cheers,

Rossi

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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