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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Plenty of room for 87+71 on power play

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BRADENTON, Fla. – Brief and to the Point …

>> My news story for the day is that the Pirates are discussing using Neil Walker at cleanup.

The floor is yours on this topic this morning.

>> My notebook focuses on the return of Joel Hanrahan’s slider, and I have this from Clint Hurdle

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj4lhs52r0Y

>> Sidney Crosby retakes the ice tonight on the Garden’s ninth floor, and I’ll find more interesting than anything to see how the Penguins use him on what’s been a highly effective power play without him.

Our Josh Yohe covers the specifics in his game advance today.

I don’t buy the idea that Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can’t coexist any more than the people quoted in that story. But I also don’t think it’s necessary to reinvent the wheel: Malkin can stay on the right boards, and Crosby can work down low. From there, they can switch off and do the same on the left side to avoid being too predictable.

Crosby’s best work always has been down low. This isn’t some dramatic adjustment.

>> So Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson collects $132 million to stay with the Lions, the day after Vincent Jackson hits it huge on the open market, as well.

You might not like it — and some of your responses yesterday suggest you don’t — but that’s the going rate for receivers now. And either the Steelers get Mike Wallace done before this season, or they can fully expect him to walk.

I’m a proponent of keeping Wallace, I really am. But more than $10 million per for a speed guy?

The reason that should raise a red flag is that a speed guy is one seemingly minor injury away from losing most of his effectiveness. Every step counts with a deep guy. Every half-step counts. Strain a hamstring, and that’s lost.

>> Pitt set itself up for the joke, then took the punchline.

>> Our chat will have to be delayed until Monday. Was going to try it from Fort Myers today, but I’ve got some one-on-one stuff lined up in the clubhouse that can’t wait. And first pitch is 1:05 p.m.

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