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Rossi: Pens look willing to give it away now

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Sidney Crosby has been credited with six giveaways in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Columbus Blue Jackets have five.

Think about that.

A lot is being made about the hit difference between these teams. Columbus has 99 hits to the Penguins’ 55.

Full disclosure: NHL real-time stats such as hits and blocks and giveaways – well, let’s just go with there being no consistency. What constitutes a hit in Pittsburgh is not necessarily the same definition of one in Columbus, Philadelphia or Montreal.

Still, the number that will generate a lot of talk between Easter Sunday and Game 3 is the Blue Jacket’s plus-44 advantage in hits.

Clearly, they have prioritized physicality.

Clearly, too, it is working in one way. The Penguins are turning over the puck way too often.

They have seemingly had more turnovers than the 23 giveaways for which they are credited. Crosby surely has more than the six on his ledger.

Still, whatever measured a giveaway in Games 1 and 2, Columbus ended up with 17 fewer than the Penguins.

Maybe the Blue Jackets cannot win this series, though that seems unfair to suggest given how they conceivably could have a 2-0 lead.

However, the Penguins surely can give it to them – and so far, they have tried.

 

 

>> Check out the quote in this Game 2 recap from Columbus coach Todd Richards regarding the Crosby matchup: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/pensgalleries/5947865-74/penguins-jackets-blue#axzz2zLQahD5i

 

>> Jason Mackey captures the scene surrounding Columbus’ first playoff victory: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5947889-74/game-columbus-calvert#axzz2zLQahD5i

 

>> Also from Mackey, the burgeoning Interstate Rivalry is on: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5955995-74/penguins-playoff-columbus#axzz2zLQahD5i

 

>> Chris Adamski with assorted notes from Game 2: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5947886-74/power-bylsma-game#axzz2zLQahD5i

 

>> Adamski on Brian Gibbons up-then-down Game 2: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5976745-74/gibbons-penguins-game#axzz2zLQahD5i

 

>> Adamski on the sequence that swung Game 2: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5947878-74/penguins-calvert-goal#axzz2zLQahD5i

 

>> Columnist Joe Starkey on the something foul in the air for the Penguins: http://triblive.com/sports/joestarkey/5947875-74/penguins-power-columbus#axzz2zLQahD5i

Happy Easter.

As always, spare a thought for our troops as you spend time with your loved ones. Thanks to those men and women.

Be EXCELLENT to each other,

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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