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Sunday column: Which Fleury? Fuming or fun?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media


UNIONDALE, N.Y.The Sunday column advancing Game 3 takes Marc-Andre Fleury’s temperature after that strange showing and comes up with … well, more questions.

Here’s a video of some of our talk yesterday after practice …

Here’s the totality of our Penguins coverage.

Rob Rossi and I will cover Game 3, as well as appearing on WPXI’s 11:30 a.m. pregame show 11 On The Ice. The game will follow on the same station as part of NBC’s national broadcast.

Also, our new Sunday sports show on WPXI, ‘The Final Word’ will be heavy on hockey, and I’ll be participating remotely from the studio of WNBC in Manhattan. It airs at 11:35 p.m.

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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. These teams are so unequal, both in talent and depth.

    This isn’t a may-the-best-team-win series.

    Best is obvious. The winner is not.

    This series is essentially a choice for the Pens.

    Fight or quit.

    Nothing less and nothing more.

    • Drew,
      That post reads like some “blank verse” poetry – now if you could rhyme that stuff it would be reall cool!!

      All BS aside, agreed -”Nothing less and nothing more”.

  2. Hey DK,
    Do you get any sense, feeling, or whatever you what to call it that DB may start V man tomorrow? Not so much that the Flower played so bad , but to send a message to the rest of the team. Like ” hey guys you really sucked in front of the Flower, so now he is sittin, think ya might pick it up a bit?”.
    I am on the fence w/this one. Start Fleury and be sorta sayin “pick the guy up” would ya please.
    Start V man and be sayin what I said above.

    Not goin to get into all the “hard to digest” issues that are there- that field has been well plowed in prior blogs.

    And for all the “nattering nabobs of negativism” that are out there – yes I am 100% a homer and will console myself with all the cliches ie: “it’s just one game” et al.

    That said – the Pens gotta get their s**t together tomorrow and play a decent game or I will be on my way to being a “nattering nabob”. :)

    Sorta miss ol Bill Safire.

    GO PENS !!

    DK: Fleury will start.

    • Actually, the “nattering nabobs of negativity” quote is courtesy of the late, not really all that lamented former VP, Spiro T. Agnew.

      And I agree that Fleury should start, no question…


      • Jose, my friend, that’s true that Spiro first uttered it, but it has been pretty universally credited to Safire as the one who came up with it. He was a speechwriter in the administration at the time.

  3. I am going to go out on a limb on this one and say the DD is going with MAF. DD as per his MO will figure out when to make a change when it is toooooo late!

    And yes, call me a “nattering nabob”, whatever that may or may not be? I just never figured out why people on this blog are so adverse to people that say anything that is NOT status quo???? I like to call them like I see ‘em and if the people can’t handle that, well too bad! Put your big boy and girl panties on and deal:)

    DK: Come on, man. Make your point and leave everyone else out of it. Comes across as … well, what Drew says below.

    • I agree with your first sentence. I guess I disagree with your second sentence because I would start him, too.

      And I agree in general terms with the last paragraph.

      No reason to call anyone a nattering nabob of negativity…or apologist…or any of our other pet names. Or questioning each other’s fan-ness or sense of reality. Frankly, even referring to oneself as a realist on a point of opinion implies a lack of reality to others.

      I see name-calling as defensiveness. It weakens rather than strengthens the argument.

      People should just make an argument. It is usually valid. Both sides. Make it robustly. Even heatedly.

      That’s what a blog is for.

      • Well put Drew! Point well taken. :)

        DK: Thanks, dwf. You bring quality hockey talk here. It’s appreciated.

      • “Nattering nabob of negativity.”
        Methinks someone has either: A) overdosed on old, Rush Limbaugh recordings; or B) is telling us in pig-Latin code a special secret about about one Nutting, Bob and something Ol’ Bob did in a nativity scene.

  4. Hopefully it will be easier for the team to focus on strong defense while on the road. Playing in a hostile environment, against a team that has a decent amount of momentum and confidence after game 2, should allow the many veterans on the Penguins to showcase their leadership talents. I fully expect a more focused, determined team effort. There’s no way Bylsma or the players can allow anything less.

  5. I know you’re all about the columns but doing a tv spot from 30 rock is pretty cool..

    DK: I don’t know if that’s where that station is based. Haven’t looked into it yet.

    And you’re right about the columns!

  6. I know the Pens were outplayed the other day, and that was a game that they should win, but on the other hand, the Islanders are a playoff team, and I can’t recall any Stanley Cup winners not facing any adversity on their way to the trophy. Game 3 will be huge in how the Pens respond but there is a lot of doom and gloom over a single loss. Now if they lay an egg today then maybe I could see the panic setting in a little.

    • Agreed this is a big game and on adversity point.

      Pens were not going to go undefeated on the way to a cup. If game 2 brings the proper focus and effort to the team, we could end up looking back on it as a positive.

      I think the gloom and doom comes from the way game 2 looked rather than a loss itself. It looked too similar to the the losses in last years playoffs and early in the season where the Pens seem to be constantly chasing the play/puck and when they do get the puck they turn it over or can’t establish cycle in attacking zone.

      I still think they win this series, they just need to learn from game 2 as the Islanders did from game 1.

      LET’S GO PENS!!!!

      • Did not get to see the game…out of town. From what I have read and whats I know, even with all the talent and the depth, nothing is guaranteed for the Pens nor should it be. When they fell, they fell as a team. They now have to rise as a team. Learn from what went wrong, make adjustments, move on.

  7. Yohe article on Crosby is recommended reading. Very good! As far as the team goes, if the sloppiness continues today, I’ll start to worry, but I expect them to take back control of the game & series!

  8. Let’s go Pens! Time for a great bounce back game!

  9. @Milo…

    Poor Mike Smith… said Palace Malice took off and he couldn’t pull him back…said they’d have fought the whole way through the first half mile in a way that could have netted bad results for the rest of the field.

    As for my plays, had Golden Soul and Revolutionary. Had a modest play on Orb as a future at 12-1. Spent some time at the track last Tuesday morning with Golden Soul and his trainer Dallas Stewart. Interviewed him and his good friend Bellarmine Univ. basketball coach Scott Davenport (who was an assistant for both Denny Crum and Rick Pitino at UofL). Got some very good insight into the Derby and what Golden Soul would be capable of doing.

  10. No Marathon thread?

    Quick. Eric. Put up that Sign link again.

    The Nattering Nabob of Charity must be punished.

    • A friend of mine’s wife is running in the Marathon.

      She is nuts!
      But I am rooting for her from afar.

      I just hope she makes it without incident.

      • Wife and daughter ran today. Both returned looking no worse for wear.
        Wife ran the half – daughter ran the 26 – both had good times for them.
        Me – I am gonna pop a beer to celebrate for them! :)

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