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Sunday column: Hard lessons should help Penguins, Malkin

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

The Sunday column compares the handling of Evgeni Malkin’s concussion symptoms to how the Penguins badly bungled the early days with Sidney Crosby.

Related to that, here’s the latest Malkin news from our Rob Rossi.

Also Sunday, columnist Joe Starkey tells the Steelers to zip it.

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. Drew71 says:

    Can we get Joe Starkey to tell that to my wife?

  2. JD says:

    DK – When I click on the Starkey link it takes me to the Malkin article. Keep in mind, that this may due to the many Yuenglings I consumed tonight.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. JD says:

    Drew – I consumed my beers at a joint in Toledo called “Burger Bar 419″. It’s a pretty good place on Heatherdowns near the Stranahan. Next time you’re up here you should check it out. Great variety of burgers and 13 beers on tap.

  4. LuckyNKentucky says:

    13 is not enough for Drew. His lucky number is 14.

  5. Drew71 says:

    I see Dejan has been in the Yuenglings again, too. Does the same mis-link for me. And at 6:20 AM, I am sober.

    (But give me an hour…)

  6. Drew71 says:

    All it takes is one. Sounds like a cool place. Wish it was open when we lived there.

    We used to say that the the Toledo area had more restaurants per capita than any place we had lived, and almost all of them crappy national chains.

    Glad to hear an interesting place broke through.

  7. Eric Bowser says:

    * Malkin hasn’t been right all year and now this. He better not see the ice again until he’s 100% mentally and physically.

    * Hopefully Fleury starts today, Vokoun had his one start for the week.

    * Sutter hasn’t produced much offense to this point. Pens will need that to change with Malkin out with the concussion.

    * Pirates beat Tampa Bay. Any truth to the rumor that loud sounds similar to champagne bottles popping were heard across the state after the game?

    * Nice column by Starkey but he failed to mention the most irritating part of Brown’s game. The taunting after a lousy catch… no one in Pittsburgh wants to see their players jawing after a stupid catch. No one wants to see Brown standing there with the ball stretched out in his hands and then dropping it as the officials are converging to place the ball. No class, no respect… it has happened for three years, which means Tomlin thinks this is acceptable.

    * Colbert said there must be change.. then what is he waiting for. Release these aging veterans that are obviously not going to be leaders. Time to see what a starting unit of Hood, Heyward, and McLendon can do compared to Hood, Hampton and Kiesel. Say goodbye to Harrison and Foote and hello to Worilds and Sylvester/Spencer/anyone at inside linebacker.

    * Steelers have an empty space at inside linebacker next to Timmons, I hear an imaginary Manti Te’o could fit that position nicely.

    * Speaking of empty spaces, there might be a lot of that found this coming season against the Steelers secondary if they don’t retain Lewis at cornerback.

  8. MadTurk says:

    Rousey Defeats Carmouche By First-Round Submission

    7 fights, 7 first round wins via armbar submission. All in the first round. This one went to 11 seconds befoe the round ended.

  9. MadTurk says:

    This is the UFC thread right?

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    I think the Pirates thread is for fringe sports… LOL

    I saw a ton of people commenting on Twitter about UFC last night, they definitely have a good base of fans. Not sure I’m all that excited to see women fighting but if they want to do it, then fine by me.

  11. MadTurk says:

    :-) Agreed about the Pirate thread lately. Posted for the women on the blog since this was brought up the other day. Not bad eye candy as well as a good Judo fighter. This was history being made for women. First UFC title ever for women. I think she could take Drew and his sunshine in one round as well.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    Never know, some Pirates fans might have signed up for Navy SEALS training.

  13. Eric Bowser says:

    Did you know former Pirates, Padres, and Cubs OF Marvel Wynne’s son plays soccer for the Colorado Rapids (MLS)?

  14. Drew71 says:

    Know now.

    Wait. This conversation seems disconcertingly familiar.

  15. Drew71 says:

    I hope she takes me. How can I make an appointment?

    We’ll refer to it as our little fringe sport.

    Maybe I should not use the word little in that context.

  16. MadTurk says:

    After the All Star break it is appropriate or is that do little or dolittle?

  17. officer mancoso says:

    If you can still spell “Yuengling” you’re unimpaired.

  18. officer mancoso says:

    Starkey’s column has extra mustard.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    I like Neil Walker a lot. Good player, great hometown story. But in RB (24/7) story today he writes:

    When he finally reaches free agency after the 2016 season, Walker will be 31 years old — and, most likely, in perfect position to snag a hefty, multiyear deal.

    This is what I wonder: how many years in this multi-year deal, and how ‘heft’ will it be.

    The tipping point for a lot of players is at age 30. Certainly age 32.
    So I really wonder what type of ballplayer Walker will be in 2016.

    I do hope they sign him to a longer term deal now, but I hope they don’t do something stupid.

    (and let me be the first to write; hope but expect)

  20. Thundercrack says:

    In his column today John Perrotto wants us to care and maybe even be outraged that Bob Nutting may fly first class.

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    I agree.

    Walker is a tough one to judge. Can he stay healthy, remain productive, and capable of playing second base beyond the 2015 season? I think he can be a good hitter with average to below average defense afterwards but the question the team has to ask, will they have a replacement that can be just as good in 2016?

    If I’m the Pirates GM, I keep having a dialogue with Walker’s agent into late April, just to be able to get a read on how he plays coming off the back injury. If Walker can get on base near .340-350 range and plays good defense, team should feel good enough to get him signed to a multi-year extension.

  22. Eric Bowser says:

    yeah, that was lame.

  23. Bizrow says:

    Reading his columns, its easy to see he is still ticked from his time on Nuttings payroll

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    If I was stinking rich, I would always fly first class. I hate walking past those big seats while schlepping back to coach and hoping there is room in the overhead bins for my carry on. If you have the money, then why not. Plus it helps keep down prices in coach a bit.

    Has anyone seen those ads for Emirates? Large privatel bathrooms with hot showers in first class. Now that’s living.

  25. Thundercrack says:

    Oh JinO.
    I hope this doesn’t start some weird discussion on the blog about the Pirate FO taking showes in first-class.

    You know how we like our fringe topics & discussions.

  26. JohninOshkosh says:

    OK. We will end it here. :)

  27. JMB says:

    From Buster O:

    “After they open with the Cubs, the Pirates’ next 29 games — that’s twenty-nine straight — are against teams that contended last year, including the Cardinals, Nationals and Braves.”


    It will be interesting.

  28. JohnH says:

    He took first class. just imagine how pissed everyone would have been if he took his own jet from 7springs to bradenton

  29. DemonDachshund says:

    Seems like a deal that would eat up the three arbitration years and go a year or two into his potential FA years would be appropriate, though it may be hard to get Walker to push that “hefty, multiyear deal” back until he’s 32 or 33.

    PRNW may therefore only be interested in a longer term deal than that, in which case I agree that the Bucs probably need to pass. I’m not willing to give 6 or 7 years to a guy with recent back issues, especially when you’re talking about the end of the deal hitting age 34 or 35.

  30. 21sthebest says:

    It’s no wonder that the cheap SOB made the Baldwin girls softball team take a bus to Myrtle Beach.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    I would think that if he is still looking for a full time job with another paper, he would learn to keep those types of comments to himself.

  32. JD says:

    I cheated. I had a bottle in my hand.

  33. Jandy says:

    Gotta love Yeunglings ;)

  34. Jandy says:

    Congrats to Rousey…she’s amazing

  35. Jandy says:

    SHe’d hand you your butt, Drew, and you’d thank her ;)

  36. Pucknutz says:

    DK – Just clicked through some of your tweets here (don’t have or want twitter).

    Pens Blue Unis= Evil! Love it – I have hated them from the start.
    Improperly attired indeed!!! LOL

  37. Dave G says:

    I was just thinking about this earlier today!

    Seems like every recent misfortune that befalls this team has been during a time that they wear the hideous blue alt uniform.

  38. Sarah says:

    Hey Eric –
    Hoping for Fleury also. We’ll see how Neal does without his woobie, Malkin!
    Here’s hoping Sutter can step up, and Bennett keeps on fitting in.

    Most of all, as DJ implied – seems clear the Pens learned their lesson re Crosby. All good. We should all be grateful the kid is playing, and playing well.

    I guess TK gets a spot today?

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