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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Flyers 8, Penguins 4


PHILADELPHIA — Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Game 3, Stanley Cup playoffs first round

Series: Flyers, 2-0.

Time: 3:08 p.m.

Site: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

TV, radio: NBC, 105.9 The X

Here is the official live summary.

Updates are on our Penguins page. I’ll be column-izing off this game, and we’ll have the usual Trib team on the scene, led by beat writer Josh Yohe.

Oh, and I wrote this mini-column for our Insider section of the Sunday paper.


  1. Karen22 says:

    Am I nuts to think if we jump out to an early lead my heart will sink?

    DK: Probably not, Karen.

  2. Craig Smith says:

    Game 3 in Philadelphia – April 15th, 2012 – Game 3

  3. pghboyinca says:

    I can’t believe we ae down two to nothing. I need the Pen sto at least get us close to the opening of Steelers training camp. If we getswept by the Flyers and then have to endure no Pitsburgh sports but the Pirates for 90 days it would be a jail sentence.

  4. Jandy says:

    Karen, I have the same sinking feeling. I hope they start out losing, and have to play smart to get ahead. At my daughter’s visiting with my grand daughter. I won’t be posting much. Go Pens!!!!

  5. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Win or lose, I’d just like them to play all 3 periods.

    Prefer the win though.

  6. JAL says:

    Would like to see a bit of defense.

  7. RobertoForever says:


    Need a dominating win. Shut down the Cryers and the Philly Felony Fans

  8. JohninOshkosh says:

    Taking my alka seltzer now in anticipation of possible reaction to both Pens defense and sight of home orange Flyer sweaters.

  9. Karen22 says:


  10. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, I have just changed my mind about the league. I am starting to think that they really want the Penguins to lose in this round, to offset some of the whiny “the Pens get all the calls and are punks” talk.

    How can the Penguins have gotten the extra minor from that scrum with Niskanen? Giroux should have received an instigator penalty, and not just a roughing.

    Yes, I am frustrated with the Pens play, but I just watched the Red Wings get away with a ton of high hits to the head, elbows, etc against Nashville. As usual, I might add. Anyone who has been to a BlueJackets-Red Wings game knows that the Red Wings are given a ton of “Michael Jordan” exceptions.

    Now watching the Flyers hold, slash, elbow, rough, interfere, and then when the Pens respond they are penalized. I hope the Pens bring up McIntyre for the next game. Our stars should be protected and not have Giroux targeting an injured Niskanen.

  11. RobertoForever says:

    Oh, and I am sure that some of my frustration level being raised is listening to Pierre McGuire bash the Penguins and praise everything about the Flyers, including labeling a non-call trip of a Pens player that lead to the Briere goal on the 3 on 2 break, as “great defense”

    Sure wish I had the homer calls on Root Sports

  12. RobertoForever says:

    Can someone also tell me, seriously, isn’t it an extra penalty when one player drops the glove and the other one doesn’t?

    PS – Giroux the 3rd man in again on the Crosby / Timmonen . Should have been an instigator. Maybe someone who knows how the instigator rule gets called can explain it to me. Because it doesn’t make sense to me in the application.

  13. RobertoForever says:

    Don’t know if anyone is watching the NBC feed with Pierre McGuire, or if you get to see the home feed.

    I would love to know what the home announcers said on the Schenn and then Asham hits? McGuire said you can be the most ardent Pens fan, but you have to think the Schenn hit was clean, and the Asham hit (he called it “direct to the adam’s apple”, which was actually a cross-check in the chest that road up) as “not good”.

    So Giroux can be 3rd man in on everything, but if a Pens player protects Neal, its “terrible”?

    Would love to know what the Pens home announcers said about that.

  14. Nate says:

    McGuire is an idiot. He is so far up the you know what of which team is winning.

  15. likeabugonarug says:

    Asham’s hit was a cheap shot, with a punch for good measure. The one that bugged me was the cross-check call against Letang when the fly player had his stick up, too.

    We are going to miss Letang for the rest of the game. And I’m sure the fly’s are all laughing in between periods at how they got the Pens rattled. If the Pens continue this way and don’t regain control during the intermission this series will be over in 4. And MAF better get his game together QUICK! Will we see Johnson to begin the 2nd?

  16. Eric Bowser says:

    Did not witness the first period but sure as heck heard it as called by Mike Lange, what a joke performance by this entire team (players, coaches, front office).

    Dan Bylsma should be fired, this will be three early exists since he took Michel Therrien’s team to a Cup and won.

  17. Eric Bowser says:

    James Neal PP goal to make it 4-3 thanks to a dumb kneeing hit on Neal

  18. likeabugonarug says:

    Season down to one period. Not impossible to come back from 3-0, but I don’t think we can take 4 in a row.

  19. Officer Mancuso says:

    It was a nice theory that with Crosby back, the team would be overwhelming. It’s practice that was missing, in a game where it’s all about passing and positioning. Even a hockey genius needs practice to work magic with his team.

  20. Nate says:

    How is Fleury not pulled after giving up close to 20 goals in 2 2/3 games? Pulling the goalie sends a message to the team and the defense is normally tightened up.

    Blysma needs to go.

    2009: Took Therrien’s team to the Cup (somehow overcoming two 2-0 series deficits – chalk it up to luck).
    2010: Second round exit in seven games to the 8th seed Montreal Canadiens. This includes a game 7 home loss and giving up 9 goals in the last two games – all after getting the top Eastern seed after several first round upsets.
    2011: Squandered a 3-1 series lead to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game up almost 6 goals a game in 3 of the 4 losses in the series. Second consecutive Game 7 loss at home.
    2012: Run-and-gun, disorganized style of play squandered a 3-0 lead in Game 1, 3-1 lead in Game 2, and a 1-0 lead in Game 3 to be on the precipice of a series sweep against the lower seeded Flyers. Completely inability to counter Flyers adjustments and use back-up goalie effectively. This includes back-to-back losses to the lowly Islanders at the end of the season which cost them the #1 overall seed in the conference and avoiding a first round playoff match up against Philadelphia.

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    There has to be significant changes after this series is over.

    1) Entire coaching staff has to go. They lost these players, they refused to change the system to insulate the defense and goaltending. This team needs Michel Therrien… again. It won’t happen, so maybe a coach who is more of a disciplinarian is needed. Tom Fitzgerald is my vote.

    2) Try to do everything possible to trade Martin and Michalek. You can’t have $9 million in cap space eating up important positions on the roster. The team has Despres and Morrow plus other quality D prospects.

    3) Malkin and Crosby need to start working on the penalty-killing units. It doesn’t have to be every PK or every game but they need to be out there because come playoff time, your best players need to be involved in all facets of the game. Did you see the work by Giroux? And when I watched Russian game tape of Malkin during his draft year and season before he game to Pittsburgh, he would play the PK and much like Lemieux would pressure teams at the point and that caused issues and SH goals.

    …I could keep going but I’m too ticked to type about it at this moment.

  22. Karen22 says:

    Chaotic, putrid patheticness (who cares if that’s a word?). An organization completely out of control. That’s all I have to say about that.

  23. Eric Bowser says:

    It is one thing to understand how the 1992-1993 Penguins lost to the Islanders coming off 2 Cups in a row and having won a ton of games towards end of regular season but I understand it, this edition of the Penguins has no excuse. None.

    Dan Bylsma refused to change his system in game two or three and it has hurt this team because the play from the defense and goaltending has been downright terrible.

    What a pathetic display by Penguins.

  24. likeabugonarug says:

    I don’t know that they are out of control as an organization. They read too much of how they were Cup winners, and I think that got in the craw of the flys. Who knows how much chirping is going on on the ice, but the leading then falling behind is getting into their heads, they are getting very frustrated, the flys are chirping more, and this is what happens. Slap Shot 2. And I would imagine that one of the biggest talkers in Max, which I’m sure makes them even more frustrated.

    As for the comment about SHG’s, the Pens were tied for 4th in the league with 10. NJ led with 13. So I would say the Pens were alright in that dept.

  25. Dan1283 says:

    Wow, the thing that hurts most is after all the smack talked by the Flyers, the fans, coaches in the league whining about the Pens being arrogant…to go down like a pack of choking dogs???

    I still refuse to count this team out. One game at a time. They’ve taken some pretty serious medicine the last three games, but Bryzgalov is trash and can be beat. Malkin almost had 3 goals yesterday on boomers that just missed. They just need to stop with the horrible penalties and sit back a bit, try and play a tighter game.

    When Kunitz was in the box, and Jagr got that puck on his stick before the Read goal…it was like going back in time. I knew the second he gained a little space what was about to happen. Vintage Jags. Seen him make that play a thousand times. It could be ME receiving the pass and I’d score.

  26. RobertoForever says:

    Still wondering about the Instigator penalty. Giroux was 3rd man in on TWO different scrums, 1 resulting in a fighting major, yet got no instigator.

    Adams comes in to protect Neal, and an instigator is assessed.

    DK, I am completely confused on how that happens.

    Also, how was James Neal, retroactively assessed a charging and Misconduct RETROACTIVELY? The penalties were announced and just before play started again, Simmonds and Hartnell went after Neal. THEN they announced the Neal penalties.

    These were not the reasons the Penguins lost, but it was the reason that the game got out of control. Bad game management by the refs.

    DK: You’re looking for logic in NHL officiating?

    Oh, say it ain’t so.

  27. likeabugonarug says:

    After watching Neal’s NHL36 a few times, I wonder how many flys have been telling him he’s still a loser these past couple games?

  28. likeabugonarug says:

    The charging wasn’t retroactive. It was called from him going after Giroux’ head. The misconduct was called for what happened as they sent him to the box from the bench.

  29. Nancy52 says:

    Something is rotten in that locker room. Time for a thorough reassessment.

  30. Dan1283 says:

    @Robert #26

    I agree 100%. And I wonder if Dejan has an explanation for what’s so different between what Giroux and Adams did.

    By the way DK, remember when you cited Shea Weber’s fine as a precedent for the playoffs? Watch the NHL go way overboard on some of the Pens and Flyers and trip over themselves trying to explain it.

  31. Rob says:

    not that it matters, or maybe even would have made a difference, but did they make any system, or scheme changes? any line changes?

    I thankfully didn’t get to see the debacle!

  32. likeabugonarug says:

    Rob, Letang getting tossed in the 1st period kinda threw any of that out the window. The lines still appeared to be the same, except Park was in for Vitale. Then Asham also got tossed late in the 1st period.

    I think Timmonen got tossed because his sweater wasn’t tied down. But does anyone have an idea why Letang was also tossed?

  33. James says:

    Say it: Penguins will go out first round.

    And they have their own arrogance to thank.

    I actually had a feeling they would, especially when they got paired up with the Flyers. It was even quite apparent the series wouldn’t be very long, given how badly the Pens matched up against them this season. A lot of analysts around the league didn’t see this coming, but that’s understandable. Those analysts haven’t watched the Penguins all year; it wouldn’t have been readily apparent to them.

    But anyone watching them objectively knew that the defense was a problem. Leaving Fleury to save the odd-man rushes was never a good strategy. It was a very confident strategy, perhaps even overly-confident, but not a very wise one. Many were saying all year long that this wouldn’t work in the post season. Many astute observers also have noted (like Nate above) that Bylsma wasn’t ever really the answer to the Therrien problem long-term, citing the loss of discipline. But, often they were passed off as “naysayers.” They were told they were “over-reacting.”

    You know what’s REALLY sad? Jaromir Jagr actually tried to throw the Penguins a bone about this after his first appearance in Consol this year and no one bothered to take note. When commenting on his goal that night he said, “I felt pretty good but I had so many chances that if I would have scored five goals, nobody would be surprised.” He joked that 15 years ago, he would’ve gotten those goals, but not now, not at this age. Many analysts in Pittsburgh took his words out of context (even twisted them around) to make it sound like HE was being overly-arrogant. They missed the point. He was trying to say the Penguins had no defense. They give up way too many opportunities.

    As a side note, how fitting is it that Jagr’s game-winning goal will possibly be the last game-winning goal at Consol Energy Center this year?

    This was bound to happen. The Penguins rivals call the organization and their fans arrogant. Sadly, they were right. And it burned this team. The people who were “panicking after only one game” were right. The people who were “panicking after the Senators loss” were right. The people who were “panicking after the Islanders series” were right. The people who were noting the problems in all-out scoring-fests against the Winnipeg Jets were right. The truth is that Game 1 of this series WASN’T “just one game” – it was “just another one of the MANY games in which the same problems were surfacing again and again.”

    How many times have you heard Bylsma and the Penguins say “We don’t really need to change anything” this season? Remember hearing it before Game 7 against the Canadiens? Remember hearing it before Game 7 against the Lightning?

    THAT is arrogance. It has cost them. And I think this is one too many times…

    Guess who has to go?

  34. likeabugonarug says:

    Oh yea. Niskanen was in for Lovejoy.

  35. likeabugonarug says:

    Ok, now I see why they were ejected. They started a fight while there was another fight going on.

  36. Peter says:

    The amount of money the Pens will lose with this first round loss is great, it will hurt the team for years. One home game = Jagr’s salary for a year.

  37. Tim says:

    Ugh. Wow. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see a collapse like this. In my defense, I have been vocal about the defensive issues since early March, but I never saw this coming. This team is totally unglued. They really need to re-think there defensive approach to the game. I mean when Letang and Orpik look bad, and they are your best defenseman….. they must sacrifice outlet passes for big bodies. I would get specific, but there are an obscene amount of examples. My head hurts.

    DK: Well put. This is just nuts.

  38. Derek says:

    Dejan – Relative to your mini column, what are your thoughts on the future of Tangradi and Jeffrey with this organization?

    DK: There isn’t all that much there on either front. Remember, neither is all that young anymore.

    Besides, forwards obviously aren’t the problem, right?

  39. Nate says:

    We need Michel Therrien back.

    He tells it like it is. I doubt Blysma will find a “solution”.

  40. Leah Backus says:

    I wasn’t around when Michel Therrien was coaching the Pens. Just curious…how many of you were calling for his head back in ’09? Hmm? I think it’s ridiculous to even try armchair coaching this team at this point. There are thousands of suggestions that could be made ranging from sensible (restructure the D) to ridiculous (trade Malkin…yeah, I heard that today). The only thing that can be said for certain is that there are clearly systemic problems. I think it can also be strongly inferred that there are problems in the room with chemistry and leadership. Luckily, I truly believe the front office has the expertise to figure out what changes need to be made to right the ship. I have no doubt they will and that this will be a very interesting off-season.

    I hope, for the guys’ sake, they can dig down for a win on Wednesday for pride if for nothing else.

  41. Nate says:

    I think some have been calling for Michel Therrien for a while. Even during the many Capitals playoff collapses, Pens fan suggested they hire him.

    This team a joke. You can’t fire the players.
    Bye Disco Dan. I think 24/7 did them in.

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