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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Islanders 4, Penguins 3, Game 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media


Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game 2: Penguins vs. New York Islanders, Stanley Cup playoffs, first round

Series: Penguins, 1-0.

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: Root Sports, NBC Sports Network (national), MSG Plus (New York), WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I know what the Denis Potvin whistle means.

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. theplanisworking says:

    With Crosby returning, I see another Pens win tonight.

    I am concerned about the dirty play by the Islanders.
    No team can afford multiple injuries in the playoffs.
    My biggest fear is that the Pens jump out to a big lead, and then the Isles injure more of our players.

    Any word on Neal’s status for tonight? Is he ruled out?

  2. Bizrow says:

    Lets go Pens

    Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

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    342 locations represented in the blog,
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    5/3/2013 5:32 PM

  3. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sounds like a perfect storm scenario for Pittsburgh traffic!

    Pity the relatives coming into town for Duquesne’s graduation.

  4. Pucknutz says:

    GO PENS !!

    Great, got a couple of my superstitions outa the way.
    Luckey Pens shirt on, Go Pens flashie light turned off, pink scoobie doo stuffed dog sitting in correct position facing TV, (don’t ask long story,but they have hardly lost since he has been there) , green weenie on the shelf in case of a real emergency, (never have used it for a Pens game, but the ghost of old liver lip can’t hurt), tested the remote goal light and horn to make sure in working order. Take care of the others when the game starts. :)

    What the heck another GO PENS !!! can’t hurt !!

  5. Karen22 says:

    Pittsburgh will be ROCKING tonight!

    What a beautiful day for some WINS!



  6. Pucknutz says:

    Did not know about Duquesne’s grad. Wife and daughter left about 3 to pick up stuff for the marathon. Maybe they get lucky and get in/out before it gets too bad.

  7. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good lord, the marathon is this weekend as well? lol.

  8. theplanisworking says:

    I predict a 4-2 Pens win tonight.

    I also predict a chippier game. I certainly hope I am wrong.

  9. Pucknutz says:

    Chippier game – I believe you are correct Plan.
    Thing is, NYI is gonna run outta chips, Murrey will have a big stack in front of him!! :)

    GO PENS!

  10. theplanisworking says:


  11. Dave G says:

    Let’s Go Pens!

  12. BillyBaduka says:


    Thanks for sharing.

    Pink scoobie doo image is funny.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!! Like you said, can’t hurt.

  13. BillyBaduka says:


  14. theplanisworking says:

    Love the opening intro on the arena video board…….

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    ….just got home, I hear some guy named Crosby is playing… great to see he’ll bless us with his presence tonight. Maybe he’ll actually play some hockey too.


    ok ok, that was dripping with pure sarcasm. Glad he’s back.

    What a disgusting decision (no shock) by Ottawa Sun to put that headline in that picture of Eller all bloody. I mean… really, are people in Ottawa that stupid to accept that as respectable journalism?

    Let’s get ready…. Penguins hockey is next!!

  16. Eric Bowser says:

    That intro…. followed by the siren…. that’s some AWESOME stuff!

  17. theplanisworking says:


    All famous Crosby’s for one reason or another.
    Take your pick…………………………………………………………….. ;)

  18. Pucknutz says:

    Sent chills up my spine !!!

    GO PENS !!!

  19. Eric Bowser says:

    Penguins scratches: Neal, Orpik, Jeffrey, Bortuzzo, Vitale, Despres, Kennedy, Hartzell

    1st: Dupuis – Crosby – Iginla
    2nd: Kunitz – Malkin – Bennett
    3rd: Morrow – Sutter – Cooke
    4th: Glass – Jokinen – Adams

    DP1: Martin – Engelland
    DP2: Eaton – Letang
    DP3: Murray – Niskanen

    Goalies: Fleury – Vokoun

  20. Eric Bowser says:

    Well… lines to start are Iginla – Malkin – Bennett

  21. Pucknutz says:

    Pretty cool too – gave towels to the fans outside!!!

  22. theplanisworking says:

    MALKIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Eric Bowser says:

    Men 1
    Isles 0

    Great shift by Malkin, Iginla, and Bennett to keep down low and just like that Malkin forces one into net.

  24. theplanisworking says:

    Nabokov has never been a good playoff goalie.

  25. Eric Bowser says:

    coming into series, had 2.29 GAA and .913 SV%… those are good numbers, unfortunately, he played for a bad organization (Sharks). W-L record was average at 40-38.

  26. theplanisworking says:

    BING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  27. Eric Bowser says:

    There it is… Crosby…

    No More Sid and Gino have never scored….

    2-0 Pens

    PP goal

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Fleury looks better this year.
    No shakiness in his game.

  29. Sarah says:

    Cripes what a save!!

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    Shocker… Engelland (useless at the tools in my garage) gets called for a penalty.

  31. Eric Bowser says:


  32. Eric Bowser says:

    he’s playing good… really good.

  33. Sarah says:

    Don’t get me started on Depres scratched

  34. theplanisworking says:

    You really do not like either your tools, or your garage, do you? ;)

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    on top of his game right now.

  36. Sarah says:


  37. theplanisworking says:

    + a bunch…..

  38. Eric Bowser says:

    I do not!!


  39. Sarah says:

    Lift the stick….

  40. theplanisworking says:

    Not realistic for Fleury to post 4 shutouts.

    Give credit to the Isles.

  41. theplanisworking says:

    BING AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Sarah says:


  43. Eric Bowser says:

    Isles didn’t stop working hard, give them credit.

  44. Eric Bowser says:

    Always something special by Sid

  45. theplanisworking says:

    It appears to be coming up all “cherries” for Bing tonight, so far! 8-)

  46. theplanisworking says:

    Pirates winning 1-0 on a Cutch HR.

  47. Pucknutz says:

    And your point is….


  48. theplanisworking says:

    Just giving updates as a public service.
    I know the Pirates arent on TV tonight. (Except where I live…….)

    Hippos are kind creatures like that…..

  49. Eric Bowser says:

    Another stupid penalty by the weakest link on the Pens… aka Engelland.

  50. Pucknutz says:

    I could say something about liking my tool s and garage but I won’t!! LOL

  51. Eric Bowser says:

    just saw video…. he launched that HR

  52. Pucknutz says:

    Don’t worry Eric – Sid will pick him up !!

  53. Pucknutz says:

    Just kidding – but you knew that! :)

  54. theplanisworking says:


  55. Eric Bowser says:

    Islanders speed and positioning to attack the puck is pretty good in this game as well as some points in game one while in the offensive zone but once Pens get control of the puck, Isles are a wreck in the defensive zone.

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    3rd penalty of period for Penguins giving the Isles way too much time to get free shots and momentum.

  57. Eric Bowser says:

    Big time save by Nabokov on Malkin in front of net.

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    Travis Ham-and-egger.

  59. Sarah says:

    How does Cooke get a penalty there?

  60. Eric Bowser says:

    That was a horrible, pathetic, completely horse-bleep call by official to penalize Cooke for an imaginary slashing penalty while he’s getting his helmet ripped off.

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    The score is all that matters, but that wasn’t a very good period.

  62. theplanisworking says:

    1) Because he is Matt Cooke.
    2) Ottawa execs paid the refs. ;)

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    With some obvious exceptions of course – 29 & 87.

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, agree and disagree.

    It wasnt as dominating as Wednesday, but they did get 3 goals.

    I am concerned about the penalties, and the 18!!! shots on goal the Islanders got.

    Fleury played well also.

  65. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry, didnt see your additional post…….

  66. Drew71 says:

    This is a fun series.

    Islanders are a fun opponent.

    It’s too bad they only play each other two more games.

  67. Eric Bowser says:

    Islanders had 20 shots, 12 blocked and missed 3… 35 shots attempted… insane.

    Penguins need to stop taking penalties, get the puck low and grind them down.

  68. Eric Bowser says:

    Isles are working hard… that should keep the Pens on top of their game.

  69. Sarah says:

    Yes doesn’t feel like we shoUld be ahead. TG for MAF or we might not be

  70. theplanisworking says:


  71. Sarah says:

    Uh oh

  72. Eric Bowser says:

    WEAK goal against Fleury… weak

  73. florida steeler says:

    Paul Martin gives NOTHING offensively and is responsible for both goals tonite. I do not see what people like about his game.

  74. Jandy says:

    bahaha go ahead and say it I dare ya :P

  75. Eric Bowser says:

    Isles are dictating

  76. Jandy says:

    You’re full of yourself tonight my Hippo friend ;)

  77. theplanisworking says:

    They look out of sync.

    And Disco already took the timeout………….

  78. Eric Bowser says:

    Sloppy, Isles dictating, defense struggling, and Fleury… 2 bad goals against.

  79. Jandy says:

    Better settle down. Time to lock things down a bit.

  80. DJ says:

    Note to HC DB: Next game, scratch Engelland and play Depres. Horrible play tonight by Engelland, and dominant puck possession by Islanders as a result. Skillful d-men who can skate (a la Depres) will help. Forget about “perceived” toughness and go with skill.

  81. florida steeler says:

    DJ–agree Engelland is horrible. With Martin and Engelland on the ice, we are in trouble. Weak effort by the Pens tonight.

  82. Sarah says:

    Too stubborn

  83. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens defense making WAY too many turnovers

  84. DJ says:

    FS: Second goal not Martin’s fault if you watch the replay, No effort by Engelland from blue line in. His man goes right around him, bets him to wall and then chips to Islesforward who then brings it out to goal line and scores.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:


  86. Jandy says:


  87. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Jandy!

  88. Sarah says:

    Crosbys back and the seem to relax too much

  89. DJ says:

    Correct, Sarah. Prefers guys in his own image when he played. We lose tonight and it will remind him of his own career.

  90. Jandy says:

    Hi Mr. Plan Man :)

  91. pattonbb says:

    Paul Martin picked a bad time to look like the 2012 version of Paul Martin.

  92. Sarah says:

    33 mins to wake up

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    And now Nabokov looks like Tretiak.

  94. Jandy says:

    Somebody better speak up in the locker room

  95. Dave G says:

    Popped in here to say how awful Engelland has been around hit own net, but it looks like y’all have that covered. The D is slacking tonight.

    Pens look uninspired at times. Need more urgency.

    Hopefully they’ll get a spark in the third.

  96. Eric Bowser says:

    Isles are working smarter, working harder and not passing up shots. Meanwhile, defense has been terrible and two of those goals against by Fleury just can’t happen. You can’t get beat on that wrap around and then losing his control to the post on the puck coming off the boards, should have simply been poked away by him.

    The first two periods were a blueprint from the 2012 playoffs by the Flyers.

    Bad penalties, bad defense, sloppy breakout, no adjustments and suspect goaltending.

  97. DJ says:

    Agree on bp, bd, sb, na and sg.

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    Would you agree that this season when the Pens have problems they are effort related. A pretty easy thing to fix.

  99. MadTurk says:

    We need to start hitting them. Playing way to far away from guys with the puck. Need to tighten it up and pop some people. Tavares mostly, giving them to much room to work. Puts us in a chase mode.

  100. DJ says:

    Is Chris Kunitz playing tonight? Oh yeah, I remember seeing him once on a play along the wall.

  101. Dave G says:

    Pens are at home and it seems like they are losing the match-ups right now. Bylsma has to mix it up better.

    Not winning the battles along the boards either.

    We need a hero.

    Iginla? Jokkinen? Sid?

  102. MadTurk says:

    Duper as well

  103. DJ says:

    Agree on chasing. Someone should tell Murray to watch the film of Orpik against Philly last spring.

  104. Danch70 says:

    Exactly Eric. I saw a different team game 1. A team that wasn’t afraid to dominate. A team that was willing to make the smart play, the safe play, the tough play. Tonight they have reverted back to last year. Lets hope they step up on the third.

  105. Jandy says:


  106. Jandy says:

    How bout Sutter?

  107. JohninOshkosh says:

    2 possessions in last 1:30 where Pens could not clear their zone and Islanders got shots at Flower.

  108. Jandy says:

    These stupid passes have to stop. Passing right to the Isles.

  109. theplanisworking says:

    Malkin needs to step up.

  110. Eric Bowser says:

    Are you talking about the same head coach who shouldn’t have any pressure to win?

  111. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sick of hearing about how great Evgeni Nabokov is. Lets get one by this mope.

  112. theplanisworking says:

    Talking about the HC who wasted the timeout in the 1st period……

  113. theplanisworking says:

    Man, this is getting ugly.

  114. JohninOshkosh says:


  115. Eric Bowser says:

    Another BAD BAD goal

  116. florida steeler says:

    Here we go–choke artist Fleury–like last year against Philly. He is pathetic but the entire team, other than Crosby and Malkin have been awful and that includes Iginla.

  117. Jandy says:

    Please stay away from the bridges

  118. Eric Bowser says:

    Just remember, it was teflon Dan who decided to dress Engelland… the same guy who changed the momentum of this game with two bad penalties.

  119. theplanisworking says:

    Islanders playing harder.

    Pens have 3 minutes to wake up the effort.

  120. MadTurk says:

    Man the guys on the ice are not doing anything. Really Blysma is not a player. He has put multiple lines out trying to mix it up and no one is working hard enough. Playing way to safe for some reason. Giving them to much room to work.

  121. theplanisworking says:


  122. theplanisworking says:

    Thank Goodness Hippos dont go that high, eh?? ;)

  123. Jandy says:

    That Hamonic is a little p^ss^

  124. Jandy says:


  125. Eric Bowser says:

    You know, I hated 2012 and feels like I’m watching it again.

  126. sarah says:

    If england starts game 3….i really will have to stay away from bridges

  127. theplanisworking says:


    Need to step up the effort that was there in Game 1.

  128. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’re going to have to show me.

  129. Dave G says:

    45 seconds left… Shoot the dabnm puck!


  130. theplanisworking says:

    At Least the Bucs are winning…………… ;)

  131. sarah says:

    What is their home rec last 4 playoffs?

  132. MadTurk says:

    Tell us how you really feel about Blysma. Gee the world class players we have and no one taking it to the Islanders. Yeah that is the coaches fault.

  133. Dave G says:

    Clearly did not deserve to win.

    After the first 7 minutes of this game, nothing went right.

  134. DJ says:

    Nice to hear our announcers complimenting the speed of Isles defenseman, and jumping into the play. Gee, there’s a thought. Let’s makes sure we keep guys like Engelland in. Dan can keep telling himself that Depres has not “earned his trust” and we’ll be knocked out in first round. Shero should be taking Dan aside before this gets out of hand.

  135. theplanisworking says:

    After the first 7 minutes of this game, their effort trailed off………..

    they have to reverse this in game 3

  136. MadTurk says:

    I agree, but hey lets fire Bylsma because he played Flower and Engeland. Yo know he let thosesoft goals get by Flower and he didn’t hit or play aggressive enough and let the Islanders have all that room to work their game.

  137. Eric Bowser says:

    Players get plenty of blame… I’m pretty sure I made it CLEAR that I think the whole team stunk tonight.

  138. DJ says:

    DB overthinks it many times. He likes to show he’s the coach. Take your earlier comment about giving the Isles forwards too much room to work. Well, why is that? Perhaps it’s because Isles have their speed and skill guys in the line-up, and with exception of LeTang, they are outclassing us on that aspect. Don’t want to beat a dead horse, but Dan needs to consider match-ups. Depres is a great fit for this series, but Dan wants to prove he will not let others dictate who he plays.

  139. MadTurk says:

    So having one player in eh game cost us the win. Well in that case lets fire him. Not like we don’t have others players that shuold be helping out the D like they did in the first game. Playing for pretty passes and not dumping it in or forchecking enough. Yep one player cost us the game.
    Look I may always agreee with Blysma but in this game he mixed and matched about all he could and no one stepped it up. Just get tired of the old fire the coach thing.

  140. MadTurk says:

    Caught the Jandy disease (type o’s) and I meant to say I don’t always agree with Blysma.

  141. Drew71 says:


  142. CWalton_67 says:

    There have been a number of bad playoff defeats over the years, can’t recall many worse than this. Simply unacceptable.

  143. DJ says:

    You’re overstating my point, in order to make your points which I am not advancing. I did not say fire Dan Bylsma or that only one player would make a difference. I am pointing out that Dan does not always consider match-ups and then properly react to what is occurring on the ice. How many times did we see tonight our defensemen going into puck retrieval mode with Isles a respectable distance away, and yet, given the lack of overall speed and skating ability of our d-men, and the Isles’ speed and closing ability, we could not turn to make an up-ice pass and were relegated to weak backhands along the wall or, worse yet, immediate turnovers? The point is that skill and skating ability trump “perceived” toughness in my book. Engelland is a below average d-man by any measure. A good start would be going with our best players at every position, not just 9/10ths of the line-up, and seeing where that takes us.

  144. Drew71 says:

    I dunno. An elimination game loss seems a bit worse.

  145. Eric Bowser says:

    I blame you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  146. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That’s exactly right.
    Strikes me like they thought they could coast, and the next thing they knew they were in a quagmire.
    Highly disappointing…..

  147. CWalton_67 says:

    That is true, Drew. But this loss is so reminiscent of the last three years. Thought this team had a chance to be different. Maybe it still does, but a blown two goal lead on home ice to a team with inferior talent does not bode well.

  148. theplanisworking says:

    History is littered with more-talented teams putting forth little effort, thinking they were so superior, that lost. Being that it is has happened to many teams for years, it is a phenomenom that is puzzling.

    Greater effort, and more discipline is needed for game 3 and beyond.

  149. DJ says:

    . . . btw, in this game in particular, I do think that Depres would have made a huge difference. Engelland was absolutely horrible. It is silly for us to be playing him over Depres.

  150. MadTurk says:

    I agree with your assessment here, I like Depres better then Engelland as well as some others do. I was getting tired of the it’s all Blysma fault thing over and over again. overall our D is slow with one exception. One guy tonight like him or not cannot be held responsible for this loss. It was a team effort.

  151. Drew71 says:

    Yeah. Turns out that guy wearing my coffee WAS Potvin.

  152. DJ says:

    I’m not a Dan B hater. You’re right that it was a team effort. But the frustrating part with Dan is that he has his little quirks, giving rise to my comments that he overthinks it too often and doesn’t react to what the other team is doing. We need more speed and skill on the d-line in this series, not so-called “toughness”. It’s that simple. You see it. I see it. So why does Dan just not recognize this fact instead of fighting it? And even here, I would argue that Depres is as tough, if not tougher, than Engelland. Again, it’s really silly to be playing Engelland. His two penalties and overall horrid play — he whiffed on his man back-pedaling at the blue line, still got beaten to the back wall, leading to a chip and the Isles second goal — tells me he should not see another minute in this series.

  153. DJ says:

    . . . and so if I’m not mistaken, that’s one goal stemming from an Engelland penalty and one goal resulting from his whiff at full strength.

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