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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Devils 3, Penguins 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (8-4) vs. New Jersey Devils (7-1-3)

Time: 7:38 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: NBC Sports Network, WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is the Trib’s Penguins page. Josh Yohe, Rob Rossi and I are on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Eric Bowser says:

    - Kris Letang placed on IR
    – Joe Morrow recalled from WB/S
    – Paul Martin didn’t skate during optional practice
    – Deryk Engelland didn’t seem to have any issues after his pointless fight yesterday

  2. Drew71 says:

    For a season with fewer games, there does seem to be alotta them, huh?

  3. Bizrow says:

    Whats the duration for the IR? 7 days?

  4. Eric Bowser says:

    14 days, which I believe he’s eligible to return on Wednesday.

  5. Bizrow says:

    Never know when someone new will pop in

    Sign in to the Lunatics, just post where you currently reside

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Austrailia – Mackay
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka
    China – Beijing
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera), St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Nebraska – Omaha
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville
    New Mexico – Mike
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack
    Nevada, Las Vegas
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Charleston, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point
    North Dakota
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale

    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, DuBois, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilks-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, Erie, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls
    The Philipines
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander

    306 locations represented in the blog,
    Honorary members, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference
    Lemonaid Guy
    The Gunner
    Mr Roberto Clemente
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin Mcclachety
    13 countries
    43 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 7 states, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii, Alabama, Kansas and Oklahoma
    Two planets, at least confirmed
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    2/10/2013 4:27 PM

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    apparently, it is 7 days… my bad.

  7. Bizrow says:


    I believe that is the first post ever that was in error here ;-)

  8. Eric Bowser says:

    I *never* make a mistake……… hahahaha

  9. Eric Bowser says:

    a whole lotta what?

  10. Arriba Wilver says:


  11. Eric Bowser says:

    48 games in 99 days… that would do it.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    Average score when Pens win 4.25 – 1.63

    Average score when Pens lose 1.50 – 4.00

  13. poz says:

    Stay out of the damn penalty box.

  14. poz says:

    Stay our of the damn penalty box.

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens avg +5 shot differential in their 4 losses, only +2.38 in their 8 wins

  16. Eric Bowser says:


    Games they win, Pens avg .38 PP goal against
    Games they lose Pens avg 1.33 PP goal against

  17. Drew71 says:

    The Pens score more goals than the opponent when they win

    The Pens score fewer goals than the opponent when they lose

  18. Bizrow says:

    Kidding Eric, just kidding

    This place, us lunatics, well we are all mistakes ;-)

  19. 21sthebest says:

    Drew, are you really Bob Pompeani?

  20. philthegroundhog says:


    I’m old and easily confused. What do you mean when you say Two planets, at least confirmed. I looked at the entire list for several months and I see the Moon, but no other [;anet. I thought Mars would be a lock, but it isn’t there. Can you help an old guy out?


  21. Bizrow says:

    Does that work for the PBC?

    If so, we need a telegraph to the bunker on Federal St

    Its official, Demon and family are moving to Austin

    A good thing, we’ll have another location

    Bad things

    Unless I get down there in a few weeks, I’ll never see Bradenton again

    No Tijuana Flats in Austin

    No direct flight to Austin from the burgh

    Such is life

    Lets go Pens

  22. Bizrow says:

    Actually 3, Phil

    Earth, Mars and Uranus

    Mars for the anger we used to see here far too often, we are family here

    Uranus for well you know, speaking out of that area

    I’ve been members of all three sites

  23. 21sthebest says:


  24. Bizrow says:

    Chirp, chirp

  25. philthegroundhog says:

    That’s funny! I’d add an emoticon, but I’m too old to figure out how. Think I’ll ask my grandkids,

  26. Eric Bowser says:

    obvious, you have no idea about hockey… so don’t even bother.

  27. Bizrow says:

    The list is just a fun thing, in a way

    The last part anyways

    Locations are a hobby for me

    I gave up golf and fishing many years ago

    Colon dash ) or :-)

  28. Bizrow says:

    That kid from USC is pretty solid from what I see so far

  29. Bizrow says:

    I dount he has the hair, Pompeani that is

    Nor the pups

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    nice depth defensemen as good skater, moves the puck well. Every team needs to have a guy like him.

  31. Eric Bowser says:

    So much for playing a sound game, Malkin’s cycling high in zone gives Devils easy breakout and Clarkson scores as Engelland couldn’t get back to help support Bortuzzo.

  32. sjb says:

    Crosby on the PP is an effing joke. How many times does he have to try forcing a pass through the center to realize that’s a very low percentage play and he shouldn’t do it.

  33. sjb says:

    Delay of game…let’s see how this PP sh!ts away this chance. Prove me wrong Pens…please.

  34. Eric Bowser says:

    No one wants to stand in front of the goalie on the Pens PP… so simple, it is ridiculous.

  35. sjb says:

    This team has no net front presence and no desire to score the ugly goals when you need one. Always trying to snipe and pick corners. Hard to win especially in the playoffs wearing white gloves.

  36. Eric Bowser says:

    When your coach doesn’t demand it, doesn’t coach it… it won’t happen.

    I can’t say it enough, solution to their problems are so simple, it is a joke.

  37. sjb says:

    Trade someone to get Malone back already. You put a guy in front who’s unwilling to move and you draw all the defenders in a bit closer and they don’t pressure the points as much. Right now the PK is all over the Pens and that casual perimeter game.

    You outshoot the opponent 10-4 and trail by a goal that mean your shots are weak ones yet at the end, someone will give Hedberg a friggin star.

  38. sjb says:

    Also, when your GM doesn’t trade or draft for it, it ain’t happening either. A right handed shot would be nice too Mr. Shero.

    DK: Bennett’s a righty. He’ll be up before long.

  39. Jason81 says:

    Apparently humor doesn’t reach some people.

  40. sjb says:

    The only thing I liked about this game early on was the Pens attention to center ice and forcing the turnovers there…trying to make the game a half-court one. That’s something I’ve seen almost ziltch of all last season and this season so far. That’s what helped them get to the finals two years in a row at one time. Now they just have to get dirty and score some garbage goals.

  41. sjb says:

    Smurf Down! Smurf Down!

  42. Thundercrack says:

    Where is the thread for the Grammys?

  43. Arriba Wilver says:


  44. sjb says:

    Yeah, but they’ve been lacking there since Guerin and before that, Hossa. By the time Bennett makes a meaningful impact (if he ever does) there will have been a long void in that department.

  45. sjb says:

    Pathetic. The Malkin line gets scored on yet again. Good thing Orpik was there to wave his stick a bit.

  46. sjb says:

    And Neal with yet ANOTHER dumb penalty. He’s been just wonderful at that recently.

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    Even though the song is tiresomely ubiquitous, Mumford and Sons did a nice jam at the Grammys. Came out and simply played-no theatrical BS.

  48. sjb says:

    What I see here is the same team that lost to NJ in 2001. Like a blonde bimbo…Lot’s of talent and no brains.

  49. 21sthebest says:

    Yes they did.

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    BTW – a “like” for Katy Perry’s dress. :)

  51. sjb says:

    Remember the days when Crosby could all by himself make something happen and spark the team? Remember that drive and desire? Been a while I know. I don’t plan on ever seeing that again.

    Two losses in two days to the same team that clearly show what is lacking with this team and yet Shero and Bylsma will learn nothing from it or do anything about it.

  52. Eric Bowser says:

    I hear there’s some show called Walking Dead….

    apparently, Penguins thought that was their playing assignment yesterday and tonight.

  53. Thundercrack says:

    Did I miss the tribute to Levon Helm?

  54. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hasn’t been on as of about 10 minutes ago, TC.

  55. poz says:

    Yesterday and for two periods today the Devils are playing like a cup contender. Great goal tending, tough defense that leads to frustration and turnovers, and taking advantage of every opportunity given to them. Impressive. How do the Pens respond in the 3rd?

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    Probably with another disorganized PP to start the third period. Then more frustration, another penalty or two, and before you know it. 5-0…. that’s the way this game is heading.

    The only adjustment we’ll see is putting Crosby out with Malkin and Neal.. yet no one will stand in front of net and their defense will be positioned at points to not shoot the puck on net as the cycle will draw the box too close to the blue line.

  57. sjb says:

    The Pens are just a slightly more scarier version of the Capitals….talent but not enough blue collar work ethic and want. The 180 degree opposite of a Badger Bob team. Yeah, they can win some games but the details are in the losses. You WON”T see this team rally to come from behind like they were once capable of and known for and you won’t see them play a solid game from beginning to end, allowing other teams to get to their game while the Pens have no answer for it. More than likely you will see them blow multiple goal leads and play sporadically from shift to shift but rarely put together two solid periods in a row, let alone a full game. Excuse me if I blame coaching but two games in a row Neal was awful and has hurt his team with dumb decisions and a good coach would bench Neal in the next game or demote him to the 3rd line to shake things up with his thinking. Bylsma won’t though and Neal will learn nothing from this.

  58. sjb says:

    Neal scores and all is forgiven. Sorry, not from me.

  59. Eric Bowser says:

    well….. how about that.. first unit PP due to hard push by Malkin, quick stop at blue line and guys going down middle. Neal 1-timer

  60. sjb says:

    Too little, too late. If they can magically manage to crawl withing one goal of the Devils I might consider even giving them a chance in hell.

    Do the Pens lead the league in icing? I’d be surprised if the don’t.

  61. Jandy says:

    Ryan Malone did it well when he was a Penguin

  62. Jandy says:

    it really upsets me when the Pens make Uncle Daddy look better than he is.

  63. sjb says:

    Here’s a clue Penguins and Bylsma; When the other team has all 5 of it’s players behind the net defending, you should probably at least bring one of your blue-line hugging,, apprehensive, scared to chip-in defenseman in to help with the forecheck, create some offense and take advantage of the situation. FYI: 5 on 3 situations usually favors the team with more men.

    If the Pens were a basketball team they’d be great from three point land but down low, under the net and rebounding would be abysmal. Does this team even know what sweat is?

    Here’s a good sign of a weak forechecking team…When’s the last time you’ve seen the Pens force the net off it’s mooring?

  64. sjb says:

    Well, this team is clearly inferior to the Devils. Not by a little bit but by a lot. This clearly (like it did in 2001) proves winning has less to do with skill and more to do with smart, balanced systems and coaching that can enforce it. Plus, the Devils wanted to win and the Penguins simply thought they should win. It sucks that we have to waste yet another entire (sorry; half) season of see the inevitable result and Bylsma get canned. I think Shero should go too as he supplies the players needed to make this train wreck idea of what it takes to win, work.

    What did I tell everyone, They would give Hedberg the major credit he didn’t deserve, just because the Pens can make a goalie look as good as they can make look bad. Sorry, but I didn’t see one great save from him all night. He simply played well enough to win, especially when the other team played well enough to lose.

  65. sjb says:

    The Pens could play the Devils 10 times in a row and win maybe one game (I think they accomplished that in their first meeting) So, is this going to be one of those playoff seeding scenarios where we hope for someone else to knock the better team out (NJ) so we can advance? Only so we can lose to the team we should have beat in the first round? Sad.

  66. Stuart says:


    when a monk in Tibet is as unhappy as you, they occasionally set themselves on fire.

    Just saying.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:


  68. Drew says:

    This is excatly why I’m worried about this team

  69. Jag7 says:

    Can anyone tell me what the point of Tyler Kennedy is? Was at this game and he is so lost on the ice. also, Engelland is a disaster, what they see in this guy is beyond me. He’s good for at least 1 opposing goal a game.

    DK: He has not played well for more than a week, no question.

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