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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Don’t change the D

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PHILADELPHIA — Brief and to the Point …

>> My special-edition Thursday column looks at the Penguins’ most important performance in the 10-3 annihilation in Game 4. It might surprise you a bit.

This is usually Joe Starkey’s day to column-ize, but we flipped days this week because of the Penguins being on the road. Mine runs today, and his will run tomorrow.

>> Do not change the defense.

For one thing, teams don’t change up after a win. Sure, James Neal will be back in the lineup. But I wouldn’t be changing anyone on the defense after the Penguins limited the Flyers to 25 shots and, if you watched closely, very few chances five-on-five. Colleague Josh Yohe said he counted maybe two of the quality variety.

That means leave Simon Despres, who was plus-2 in 13:05 of ice time, stays put. Brian Strait was a plus-3 in 12:01. Leave them in, and leave Paul Martin out, whether he’s legitimately injured or not.

>> When we grow up as kids, we dream of scoring a goal like Steve Sullivan did. What a beauty.

>> Pedro Alvarez has two hits this season in 27 at-bats, and both are home runs, including his shot to left in Phoenix yesterday.

Drives you nuts, doesn’t it?

I know Daniel Hudson made a mistake pitch, judging by the video, but you see that swing and that power and can’t help but wonder what it would all look like with contact.

>> That said, the Pirates are 5-7 coming out of a really rough stretch of opponents and pitching. That’s not all bad, assuming they can still hold their own — and have some semblance of offense — this weekend against the Albert-free Cardinals.

>> Duquesne did, indeed, lose out on Donovon Jack, one of the state’s top prospects at forward, and are now left with no one from Ron Everhart’s highly promising recruiting class. Jim Ferry really has his work cut out for him, essentially starting from scratch.

>> There will be no chat today. We’re pushing it back to tomorrow at noon because of travel.

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