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Perspective, prayers for OK; and #TribHKY takes at Cooke, Iginla, ‘The Breakdown’ and Pens’ focus.


OTTAWA — The Stanley Cup doesn’t matter that much.

This was my only thought late Monday, when, after talking with one of the Trib editors, I learned of the devastation in Oklahoma.

Fifty-one people died on Monday. Their lives ended, and the lives of their loved ones were forever changed.

Let that simmer, as I did for about 15 minutes on Monday.

I learned of that news late in the day, but into the evening I was still getting emails from Penguins fans about the Game 3 loss to the Senators.

That makes sense. Sports are the distraction. Sports is my livelihood, so I’d be a hypocrite for knocking the people who take sports seriously, even too seriously.

Still, as I read an email early Monday evening from a reader who felt it necessary to use obscenities when sharing his fanatical opinions on Dan Bylsma and Evgeni Malkin, I could not help but wonder if maybe there are moments when sports should not be a distraction.

Maybe paying attention more to everything else would be good for all of us and serve as a necessary reminder that these games that are played, covered and obsessed over are, well, just games.

Life is a bigger, and it ended tragically for too many innocent people on Monday.

My thoughts and prayers are with everybody in Oklahoma – as I hope theirs would be if the situations were flipped, parts of Pittsburgh was in rubble, and the Thunder were only ahead 2-1 in an NBA playoff series.

Anyway, the #TribHKY links…


=   Josh Yohe offers an observation about Matt Cooke, specifically as it pertains to the noise that surrounds him in Canada’s capital city:


= Dejan Kovacevic’s column dares to ask what so many have been thinking. Why exactly did the Penguins trade for Jarome Iginla only to use him like they have?


= A breakdown of the The Breakdown that changed, temporarily, the narrative of this Penguins-Senators series:


= Difficult to mistake Monday was the Penguins’ collective resolve to not let Game 3 mean too much in the long run – at least, the result of Game 3:


= By the way, that was some big-time history that happened here on Sunday night. Blown leads like that in a situation like that just haven’t happened a lot in the NHL:


= Senators players have found their mojo. Yeah, baby, yeah!


= And, finally, notes about the Pens:

Notes about the Sens:


That is all for this morning. Both clubs practice, starting with the Senators at noon.


Go vote. Hug somebody you love before and after. Pray for Oklahoma.







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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