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On location: Penguins 5, Islanders 4, OT, Game 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game 3: Penguins vs. New York Islanders, Stanley Cup playoffs, first round

Series: 1-1.

Time: 12:08 p.m.

Site: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.

TV, radio: NBC (national), WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi and I are covering the festivities.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: Video of Dan Bylsma’s brief (and immensely uneventful) pregame press gathering just now outside the locker room …

12:07: The Penguins will make only one lineup change from Game 2: Simon Despres in on defense, Deryk Engelland out. Rest of the scratches: James Neal, Brooks Orpik, Tyler Kennedy, Joe Vitale, Dustin Jeffrey, Robert Bortuzzo.

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. Brandie says:

    Let’s Go Pens!

  2. Bizrow says:


  3. Jandy says:

    double ditto!

  4. Pucknutz says:

    Triple ditto !!

  5. JohninOshkosh says:

    Those pictures of the Mausoleum say it all.

    Is Uniondale really on Long Island or in some unnamed Eastern European former Soviet bloc nation?

    Just dreadful. And I haven’t even finished my breakfast yet. Oh well, this game starts at 9:00 AM for those poor Left Coasters.

    Go Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Club!

  6. Dave G says:

    It’s validation time for the Pens!

    A Great Day For Hockey!

  7. Eric Bowser says:

    Time to erase the doubts and take control of this series.

    I’m leaving in a few minutes and won’t be around today as I’ll be filming a commercial with my son for a local cheesecake company (Jason’s Cheesecake Company). When the commercial production is all done, I’ll be sure to post links to it and the outtakes.

    Have fun guys-n-gals….

    Are you ready!

    Go Pens!

  8. Naje says:

    Abdelkader’s hit…all that is wrong with the NHL. No place, whatsoever, for those types of antics in any sport at any time. He better be out for the series, and then another 10+ games. An out of control, out of his mind, reckless, dangerous, malicious hit.

    DK: Had very similar thoughts. That’s one where the player is practically begging for a long, message-sending suspension.

  9. theplanisworking says:

    But, since it was the Wings, he will get a slap on the wrist.
    Sad, but true.

  10. BillyBaduka says:

    Quad ditto!

  11. BillyBaduka says:


    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  12. BillyBaduka says:

    That’s cool Eric. Good luck today.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  13. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos cannot count that high, but let’s add a ditto ;)

  14. CWalton_67 says:

    A defining game for the Crosby era Pens today.

  15. theplanisworking says:

    GO PENS!

  16. Jandy says:


  17. Jandy says:

    dittos good luck and have fun

  18. Jandy says:

    and here we go.

  19. Brandie says:

    Time to tie it up.

  20. theplanisworking says:


  21. theplanisworking says:


  22. Jandy says:

    my friend Hippo :)

  23. theplanisworking says:

    First a goal, now a penalty.

    Need to wake up………

  24. Naje says:

    Isles could not ask for a better start… raising same warts we’ve seen too often from this club come playoff time.

  25. theplanisworking says:

    You need to take the size 9’s to the Pens………

  26. theplanisworking says:

    Love the name!

    Thanks! :)

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Put Vokoun in, please!

  28. Jandy says:

    time to change goalies…put in Vokoun

  29. Jandy says:


  30. Jandy says:

    Believe me I’d love to Grrr!

  31. Brandie says:

    WTFU! Agreed.

  32. Jandy says:


  33. Sarah says:

    Not maf’s fault pens got beaten to the puck behind the net and then never picked up the trailer.

  34. Sarah says:

    Astonishingly bad start.

  35. Naje says:

    Niskanen just gave that puck away to lead to the 2nd goal… one forechecker in front of him and he puts it right on the guy’s stick… that’s a scared defensman.

  36. Jandy says:

    Great another penalty, just what we need

  37. Brandie says:

    As I have said before…win or lose as a team…everyone has a part to play, coaches on down.

  38. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed. But you could say the same thing in his entire playoff career.
    These goals will effect his mind.

  39. Jandy says:

    This is gonna make me lose my lunch

  40. Brandie says:

    Need to light it up!

  41. Jandy says:

    That’s why I say put Vokoun in.

  42. florida steeler says:

    One soft goal given up by Fleury and the second has Niskanen(standing as usual in front of the net) just watching the game.
    Pathetic–Islanders so much faster and better coached than our super stars.

  43. Sarah says:

    Dunno. Might affect him more to be yanked. I give him the period and see.

  44. theplanisworking says:

    please do NOT light up this Hippo!

  45. Jandy says:

    You might be right, but he’s already in a funk from Friday night

  46. theplanisworking says:

    5- on 3 for 1:27.

    Have to score!

  47. Sarah says:

    They must score her. Momentum swing either way.

  48. Jandy says:

    IF THEY don’t score 5 on 3 game is over

  49. BillyBaduka says:

    Long 5-3.

    Had a good PK. Looking faster to loose pucks.

    Plenty of time to come back.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  50. theplanisworking says:

    THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Jandy says:

    there it is!

  52. Sarah says:


  53. TK39 says:

    And 1!!!

  54. BillyBaduka says:

    Cut in half!

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  55. theplanisworking says:

    YAY !!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Jandy says:

    OK now get another!

  57. theplanisworking says:

    YAY X 2 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. Jandy says:

    ALL rIGHT!!!

  59. BillyBaduka says:


    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  60. Sarah says:


  61. TK39 says:

    Nice to see them cash in at least once on all this obstruction. For a fast team, the Islanders sure hold and hook a lot.

    There ya go, KUNITZ EVEN’s it up as I type!

  62. theplanisworking says:

    THEY DID !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. BillyBaduka says:

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  64. Jandy says:

    Now keep the game on our terms…play the game the right way

  65. Jandy says:

    need to get the puck out of our zone quickly

  66. theplanisworking says:

    ………..or else I will sit on them !!! ;)

  67. BillyBaduka says:


    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  68. Naje says:

    Big playmakers making big plays… keep it rollin’.

  69. TK39 says:

    I’m with you. Have to “get back to our game” lol

  70. Sarah says:

    Ok it feels like there’s a teensy bit more oxygen in my living room…..

  71. Jandy says:

    LOL you tell ‘em Hipposter!

  72. Brandie says:

    You light up others, Hippo Daddy. Not to worry. Tie game.

  73. BillyBaduka says:

    Yes, the heart palpitations have subsided. :)

  74. Jandy says:

    same here ;)

  75. theplanisworking says:

    I just love that name………..

  76. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos dont need oxygen.

    But I feel calmer in my pond now……..

  77. Jandy says:


  78. theplanisworking says:

    Just an observation here…………..
    Fleury looks like a flopping fish. Very shaky.
    He needs to calm down.

  79. BillyBaduka says:

    I like the patience coming out of Pens zone.

    Don’t go for something that’s not there.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  80. theplanisworking says:

    Now THAT is effort!

  81. Jandy says:

    GOAL DUPUIS!!!!!!

  82. BillyBaduka says:


    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  83. TK39 says:

    Nassau Colliseaum is silent. Let’s see how long that lasts

  84. Jandy says:

    sheer force of will

  85. BillyBaduka says:

    Up to the Pens to keep it that way.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    maybe a while.
    Never know when the roof is going to cave in……..

  87. BillyBaduka says:

    It is a nice sound.

  88. Jandy says:


  89. Jandy says:

    he definitely looks nervous

  90. BillyBaduka says:

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  91. theplanisworking says:

    Off to the deep end of my pond for intermission.

    Will swim back later. :)

  92. BillyBaduka says:

    Wow, what a first period!

    You knew Islanders would come out with energy. Pens played right into that with penalties.

    Pens took their lumps in first 5 min. That 2nd PK seemed to turn things around.

    Then 5-3 and Pens seized their opportunity.

    Keep it up. Don’t let them back in.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  93. BillyBaduka says:

    I think they need to get possession quickly.

    But I like the patience shown in second half of first in the breakout.

    Don’t go north too quickly for the sake of going north.

    Take what’s there. If its D-D fine.

    Nice adjustment Mr Bylsma and players.

  94. BillyBaduka says:

    It is a great name.

  95. theplanisworking says:

    When is the last time you saw a team score on both parts of a 5 on 3 ??

    Need to keep it up…………….. the longer the Isles stay in the game, the more dangerous it becomes.

  96. TK39 says:

    I hate to bring it up but I’d imagine the Flyers did it at least once during the first round last year…

    On the other hand, that ended up working out ok for them.

  97. BillyBaduka says:

    Been a while Hipposter.

    It was just what they needed.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  98. theplanisworking says:

    Great save Fleury!

  99. Jandy says:

    nice save by the flower

  100. Jandy says:

    GMTA again lol

  101. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know, TK…………..
    I dont remember that many 5 on 3’s last year.

    I do know the Flyers did score a lot of PP goals

    And we lost. Ugly loss too

  102. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, help a Hippo out,…………. what does GMTA stand for?

  103. florida steeler says:

    Get Niskanen the hell out of there.

  104. Jandy says:

    Great minds think alike :)

  105. Jandy says:

    he sure looks shaky doesn’t he? I haven’t seen him look this bad ever

  106. theplanisworking says:

    Ah, ok.

    Swimmin’ with the Hippos, eh? ;)

  107. BillyBaduka says:

    Nice play by Murray!

  108. Jandy says:

    Fleury seems to have settled down…another nice save

  109. Jandy says:

    I can’t imagine how he managed that lol

  110. Jandy says:


  111. Jandy says:

    WTF are the Isle the new Flyers? Dirty hits from the bench..what next?

  112. BillyBaduka says:

    For big slow guy, he does a remarkable job of playing within his range. Surprisingly not often out of position.

  113. TK39 says:

    I dont remember for sure, it just seems like as many penalties there were and as poorly as the Pens PK played it wouldnt surprise me. Not to take anything away from a very good Flyers PP.

  114. theplanisworking says:


    Nasty play by Carkner. Afraid that type of chippy play might occur……

  115. BillyBaduka says:


    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  116. Jandy says:

    I agree

  117. theplanisworking says:

    Dont ask……..

  118. TK39 says:

    Agreed. I hope the Pens can get out of this series quickly. This could get pretty nasty come game 6 or 7.

  119. BillyBaduka says:

    That was total BS!

  120. TK39 says:

    eechk, Letang just blasted someone…. head was down.

  121. Jandy says:

    MaDonald deserves that and then some

  122. Jandy says:

    How the hell does Hamonic get away with all that chit?????

  123. theplanisworking says:

    MURRAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. BillyBaduka says:


  125. TK39 says:

    I guess the Pens system is starting to rub off on Douglas Murray!

  126. BillyBaduka says:

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  127. Jandy says:

    Oh yeah Crankshaft Shafts one!

  128. Jandy says:


  129. theplanisworking says:

    see what happens when effort is good?

  130. BillyBaduka says:



  131. CWalton_67 says:

    Anyone have any idea what this team is doing?

  132. Jandy says:

    which one?

  133. Jandy says:

    He** yeah

  134. BillyBaduka says:

    Turning this series around.

    Keep it up.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  135. theplanisworking says:

    Talent is great, but effort wins games.

  136. Brandie says:

    You just said a mouthful, Hipposter! I have to go find my good effort!

  137. theplanisworking says:


  138. theplanisworking says:

    Off to the deep end of the pond again……….

    Back in a bit.

    Pens need to keep the effort high, while I swim low………. ;)

  139. CWalton_67 says:

    Pens might be winning, but this is an exact replay of the Philly series. What happens to this team in the playoffs?

  140. Jandy says:

    I’ts weird, I agree

  141. theplanisworking says:

    Pens need to keep up the effort, and make this a Stinko de Mayo for the Isles!

  142. BillyBaduka says:

    I think I know what you mean about the playoffs.

    I think it’s overconfidence and trying to put teams away too quickly.

    Can’t win a game in the first without 40 more minutes of solid effort.

    Can’t win a series in game 1.

    But I respectfully disagree on replay of last year.

    Pens squandered 3 goal lead in first game and never really recovered. 2013, 5-0 Pens.

    Game 2, I agree similarities were disturbingly similar.

    Game 3 and rest of series TBD.
    At this point, it was 7-4 Flyers. 2013, 4-2 Pens.

  143. Jandy says:


  144. theplanisworking says:

    Are you just absolutely kidding me???????

  145. Jandy says:

    Blast it!

  146. BillyBaduka says:

    Can’t let that happen.

    Still have the lead.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  147. Jandy says:

    offsides by a mile

  148. Jandy says:

    Tanger’s about ready to knock someone out! lol

  149. tcb says:

    Just hoping the better team today does not win. Isles are playing better.

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Crossbar is not our friend……

  151. Jandy says:

    not today

  152. BillyBaduka says:

    Man was that loud.

  153. Jandy says:

    i said before this series began…the isles have a very good team. If Pens lose it’s because they underestimated them.

  154. florida steeler says:

    lazy, lazy play by Morrow. This is how you lose in the playoffs. Isles speed is killing us.

  155. Jandy says:

    now that was sad

  156. theplanisworking says:

    You have simply got to be kidding me!

  157. Jandy says:

    Morrow is anything but lazy

  158. CWalton_67 says:

    The better team, the one with more heart, will win this series. And that team is wearing blue.

  159. Jandy says:

    then Iginla tripping…not good

  160. theplanisworking says:

    May be looking at a series defining shift here.

    Being outworked again, sofffffff goal, silly penalty.

  161. BillyBaduka says:

    Although if this keeps up, you could be right about game 3.

  162. Jandy says:

    the Isles are definitely outplaying the Penguins

  163. Jandy says:

    great effort by Cookie

  164. Naje says:

    Hey Sid… your team really needs you…broken jaw and all… desperately needs you. The good you…the great you… the best player in the world, you. Lift the team now or lose the series.

  165. Jandy says:

    why does malkin not get called upon?

  166. Karen22 says:


  167. BillyBaduka says:

    Any body. Just score a goal Pens!

    Sutter has been known to score a few late.

    I’ll take any Penguin.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  168. florida steeler says:

    Three years in a row–same crap

  169. Naje says:

    because he’s just not reliable… too many mistakes from him… team needs it’s collective head pulled out of the doldrums… back passes to no one on a power play by a long-time captain?

  170. BillyBaduka says:

    Another crossbar

  171. theplanisworking says:

    Crossbar again !!!!

  172. BillyBaduka says:

    His inconsistency is maddening.

  173. Naje says:

    This overtime should be a referendum on Bylsma’s tenure. They lose it and the series, there’s got to be a very long look at his ability to get the best talent in the world to win in the playoffs.

  174. Jandy says:

    that’s a cop out. and you made my point…he has too many Genovers. So shouldn’t he sit?

  175. florida steeler says:

    How can you even comprehend that that was not a lazy play by Morrow?? He threw a blind pass to the middle of the ice and cost us a goal. What game are you watching?? Great players do not do stupid things like he did in a playoff game.

  176. dwf says:

    If these Pens somehow manage to win this series they will go no further! This team just is not, and I repeat, NOT looking like they belong in the playoffs let alone want to win! Unbelievable! Very disappointing!

  177. TK39 says:

    Wow, they just looked lazy that whole period. Looked like they were trying to run out the clock with about 15 minutes left. Lets see if they come out with some urgency in OT.

  178. Naje says:

    Yes, meant that Geno can’t lift the team, but that Crosby can… Genovers are rampant today and in game 2…

    And Niskanen…my goodness he looks like last year’s version of Martin. Getting abused over and over.

  179. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m sitting here in disbelief. How can NYI come back two games in a row. Absolutely puzzling third period after how this team looked this season.

  180. TK39 says:

    It’s like they’re taking the Steelers attitude of playing not to lose. They take their foot off the gas when they have the lead rather than putting teams away.

    Give credit to the Isles though, no quit in that team at all.

  181. Jandy says:

    I’ll say one thing on this and one thing only. If what you say is tru…then geno is NOT a great player.

  182. florida steeler says:

    That is Bylsma hockey, 4-2 lead and try to sit on it. 4-2 lead WITH THE POWER PLAY, get lazy and give up shorthanded goal. Then Morrow throws a lazy, blind pass and whoops–TIE GAME.
    They are looking like the Steelers play against inferior teams.

  183. Jandy says:

    Sorry Naje, right now I’m so pissed, I didn’t follow what you meant but I follow you now…
    as far as Niskie…seems since the fight he was in last game…he’s haunted.

  184. Jandy says:

    This is what I warned about happening with the isles. those kids are a good team. They play hard.

  185. Drew71 says:

    This doesn’t feel like the last several years.

    To me, it feels like the mid 90s after the first set of Stanley Cups.

    Don’t know why. Can’t say why.

    Just does.

  186. Jandy says:

    sweep indeed :/

  187. Drew71 says:

    I can only point the way.

    Or as the expression goes…

    Some lead. Some follow. Some play like crap.

  188. Drew71 says:

    Pirates just gave up a two out two strike two run HR to go down by two.

    It’s a disease.

    I heard the steelers just forfeited their first game of the season.

    And the Riverhounds just are.

  189. TK39 says:

    Agreed. Despite the regular season record, they’re a tough match for the Pens. Pittsburgh is definitely the better team but New York is dangerous. Their speed is tough for anyone but the Pens have always had trouble defending against speed teams.

  190. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know everyone loves playoff overtime.

    It scares the heck out of me

  191. Jandy says:


  192. Jandy says:

    me too, I hate it

  193. Drew71 says:

    I’d go kick the dog but that’s what I do on a good day.

  194. TK39 says:

    same here

  195. TK39 says:

    Where is the intensity?

  196. JohninOshkosh says:

    Geez-is NYI on the power play in this OT?

  197. Drew71 says:

    Seriously, though. Doesn’t this feel more like 93 – 95 rather than the last couple of seasons? Same result , different feel.

  198. dwf says:

    Someone needs to let the Pens know they are in OT of a Stanley Cup Playoff game!

  199. JohninOshkosh says:


  200. theplanisworking says:

    YAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  201. TK39 says:

    Wow, got out of that one….

  202. dwf says:


  203. BillyBaduka says:


    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  204. Jandy says:

    Thank you Brian Strait

  205. Drew71 says:

    They just announced that Charlie Morton had a setback.

    And scientists believe that the sun won’t rise tomorrow.

    Or ever again.

  206. Drew71 says:

    I take it all back.

  207. BillyBaduka says:


  208. Jandy says:


  209. Naje says:

    Sid draws the penalty and makes the game winning play happen…that’s the way to lift the team. Broken jaw and all.

  210. Jandy says:


  211. Jandy says:

    I must get to the grocery store. Wish i could stay and watch the Buccos.

  212. BillyBaduka says:

    Good call above.

    Sid’s set up of Kunitz too.

  213. Jandy says:

    Tanger had 33:33 of ice time. wow

  214. BillyBaduka says:

    It’s pins and needles when Pens in it.

    Relief or disappointment always a moment away.

    Luckily we got relief today.

  215. MadTurk says:

    Good good noticing that I was tellingt he wife the sme thing.

  216. theplanisworking says:

    Dont buy any Hippos. ;)

  217. dj says:

    Milbury and Roenick are ridiculous. Starit has right arm on Sid’s left shoulder driving the net, then Strait brings left hand back to push backward on on Sid’s shoulder at same time, and Milbury and Roenick are complaining it should have been a no call??!! Absurd!

  218. theplanisworking says:

    2 huge Penguin haters!

  219. Pucknutz says:

    Well it’s a W. That’s about the only good thing about this game. Very disappointing performance by the Pens. I type too slow to list all my complaints here .
    Oh well – fresh ice Tuesday. :)

    Go pens!

  220. dj says:

    My point exactly . . .

  221. DJ says:

    Big happy face and giddy attitude by Roenick after third period, all prepared to to cover big loss by Pens. Cut to after OT coverage. Big sad face by Roenick and whining about the call. Glad he was never a Pen.

  222. florida steeler says:

    Hey, is it time to think about trading Malkin for a few speedy defenders?? He has been absolutely HORRIBLE!!!

  223. theplanisworking says:

    This team seems too timid at times, too overconfident at others.

    Being outworked.
    Cant clear the zone. I cant recall the last time a team had so many problems clearing their own zone.

    What makes this more maddening, is that the Pens scored 3 goals quick.

    Better effort needed in Game 4.
    By a lot!

  224. Piano Legs Hickman says:

    Sidney Crosby is simply the world’s best player. His determination in the OT won them the game–he just wasn’t going to be denied. The rest of the team could take a lesson from his focus–they looked half-asleep out there sometimes. And Mike Milbury is a still an idiot.

  225. Pucknutz says:

    I agree w/every thing you said!! esp. Milbury!! :)

  226. theplanisworking says:

    All you need to know about Milbury is he helped ruin 2 franchises………… that got better after he left.

    Roenick STILL bitter about being swept by the Pens in the ’92 Cup Finals.

  227. DJ says:

    FS: Hope you aren’t serious. Tape-to-tape to Kunitz to get him completely in stride behind Isles defense for first goal and battles along right boards in heavy traffic to come out of it with cross ice, tape-to-taper on Murray goal. I’d say both deserve a little mention.

  228. DJ says:

    . . . I meant Kunitz for second goal of game (but his first of two).

  229. Naje says:

    @DK…. Happy Easter!

  230. Sarah says:

    Well, wow.
    Just wow.
    Missed the last half, had to DVR and catch Up.
    I’m torn between happy/sad.
    Or maybe Extremely received/extremely frustrated.
    Great that our talent somehow won out and we pulled a W out of this mess.

    But really, as per DKs tweet re the unhappy locker room, is anybody pleased with anything about this game, except the result?

    It seemed another Deja Vu to me….and TG we eked it out.
    But our Birds have been IMO badly outplayed the last 2 ,games.
    NYI continue to exploit our predictable breakout. We continue to be inconsistent in our D end coverage, and sadly Depres was out of position first 2 goals. (How much ice time did he get after the 1st ? Not much I think….)

    TG for the PP which happens to be firing right now, but yikes if it goes off the boil (like last game w the 4 min) we could be in the sh-t big time.

    I dunno guys.
    Drew to your point re 93….dunno. I watched 93 and didn’t feel like this. And anyway the game is so different.

    This feels just like last year to me.
    The breakout has been adjusted to and exploited, and loads of bad things from poor position to turnovers to frustration and bad penalties flow from there.

    I know some were hoping for Vokoun early. I was not. I was hoping MAF could bounce back and get some confidence….and he seemed to. Til that blocker side 4th goal which he HAS to stop screen or no. He is what he is gang. I think on the whole, short of a complete meltdown, we stay with him. Remember that Vokoun has been no better when the Dzone coverage has sucked. Which it often did today. Again.

    Dunno. I guess I just hate that very predictable high risk high reward breakout. The Pens have too much depth to be risking home run North passes, at the expense of interceptions and fast breaks the other way vs slow D with the Fs too far north to help. If I was coaching, its a scheme I would use for an UNDER talented team that had 1 or 2 threat players and was trying to spring them and surprise the opposition, cos there was not enough skill to contro,the play in the offesnive zone with possession and forechecking. NOT for a team deep enough to bring a C back deep, play a safe breakout, and grind the opponent to dust with the forecheck.

    What can I say? I think a LOT flows from the DB Breakout, the fact that it is known and is being countered well by a team with superior speed. You can say its lak of effort or the Fs don’t come back to help, but I think those are symptoms of a larg issue.

  231. Drew71 says:

    Good diagnosis, doctor. Seriously.

    So what’s the treatment plan for this disease?

    I may be reading between the lines, but are you suggesting slowing the team down, take fewer risks and just make the isles beat you in a “man on man” grind? Taking more advantage of the talent differentiation?

    On the other hand, they seemed to slow down and play passively in the third. And, well, didn’t work.

    If it sounds like I’m lost, I am. I am not sure how to fix this mess.

    By the way, except for one goal, I didn’t think MAF played badly at all. But I don’t follow hockey like you folks do. To me, the biggest problem with this game was the third period play.

    So. I agree with your description. And I’m totally lost about solutions.

  232. Pucknutz says:

    Sarah, agree w/most if not all of your very thoughtful analysis.
    The guys on the ice “have” to think and execute, if the high risk play is there – take it – if not don’t force it – dump and chase if ya gotta.
    I think I am saying the same thing as you are ” bring a C back deep, play a safe breakout, and grind the opponent to dust with the forecheck.”
    Ya, I know DB’s mantra is north, north, north. But the guys on the ice need play a little smarter and slow it down if necessary. Too much skill and talent there not to have much better puck control than we have seen in the last two games.

    “is anybody pleased with anything about this game, except the result?”
    Good sign, the room was quite.

    Not in panic mode yet, but a bit concerned

    That said – GO PENS!!.

  233. Jandy says:


  234. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just grabbing a quick cup of coffee & I saw Brandon Sutter on the milk carton. Wondered where he’d been.

  235. Matt says:

    I’m confused about the different strategies employed by each team in each game, and how they are being adjusted to by different coaching decisions. Are the penguins adapting to what the Islanders are doing, or are they trying 1 main thing? Are the Islanders adapting to what the Penguins are doing?

    Are there sports writers or in-depth bloggers out there who talk about these things? Or is it that in hockey people just skate are around and try and score, and that’s it.

    Could someone offer me some help? I read some comments above, which were helpful, but I am still overall confused about what is going on in these series.

  236. Sarah says:

    Drew, PuckNutz thanks for your kind words….
    But again…. I dunno.

    I look at all this through the prism of being a goalie for 30+ years.

    For me, “slowing down” the breakout by bringing an F, probably the C, down low to give the D on the boards an easy outlet to escape pressure is not just a “simple” answer – it is the “typical” answer. I am describing the Classic Breakout – what most teams do in their own end. It’s typical for almost every breakout from PeeWee to the Pros. BUT – it’s just not what DB does with his breakout.

    What DB does with his unusual breakout is, he bets the farm. He bets that his D can control the puck quickly enough, send around the back of the net to the near boards, and then hit a long North pass fast enough, to one of the (ALL THREE) Fs who are ahead in the neutral zone, to catch the opponents off guard.

    Works GREAT when it works. You get their guys on their heels and opportunities abound….

    However – as a Goalie myself, it makes me go “Holy SH-T!” cos if it doesn’t work, I have 1 D low in the corner who reversed the puck behind me around the near boards, and the other D who’s ON the near boards trying to hit the long pass through neutral….and….NO Fs in my zone AT ALL to help me if the pass is broken up and there’s a fast rush my way. Actually, the whole middle of the ice is EMPTY in this situation. A four lane highway coming back my way, if we do not execute perfectly.


    And this is our normal breakout.

    High risk/high reward.

    I just don’t think, with our skill and depth, we need to bet the farm on anything, ever. (As I mentioned last post, this would be a scheme for an UNDER talented team trying to hit an occasional HomeRun surprise attack….)

    My thoughts: Be typical. Bring the C back deep. Shorten the outlet pass, make it reliable. Slow the breakout down. Who cares? We’re still going to dump it in and grind those ba-stards to dust with our forecheck, and our skill will make the chances we need to score in their end.

    WHY RISK the interceptions of long Go North passes? Our D is already SLOW. It’s really our ONLY WEAKNESS, and our Scheme, if not executed perfectly, EXPOSES IT. WHY place the Fs so far ahead they can’t come back and help on an intercept? OUR D ARE SLOW. I really cannot understand this – however – I’m looking through the prism of a Goalie.

    Really – this breakout has always seemed to me, designed for a LESS skilled team. Not an OVERLY SKILLED TEAM that has the depth to do most anything it wants.

    Anyway THANKS for indulging me LOL!

    But Drew, PuckNutz…. As for the treatment to the illness…well, HCDB may have to adjust his Breakout. Make it more typical, and simply bring the C back deep for an easy outlet…
    Not very glamorous, or exciting. But not too risky either.

    Again – this team is TOO GOOD to need to risk anything, especially near their own end where a mistake means a chance for the Bad Guys.

    Would DB make that kind of change? Sadly, I doubt it.

    But as a Goalie, man, I wish he would.

  237. Danch70 says:


    Well said. Is this really their typical breakout, though? I know this was exposed by the Flyers last playoffs, but it wasn’t in the regular season. So, why only in the playoffs? I’ve been thinking that it is the players being overanxious to make some offense. It’s like they are all little kids playing pond hockey.

    Not only is the breakout looking terrible (particularly when Letang is passing it) but the slot seems to be open most of the time. The Islanders (and the Flyers last year) can consistently work it into the slot and have a free shot on goal from close in. And multiple whacks. So, frustrating.

    And, Drew, yes, they did slow it down in the third and that didn’t look good either. It’s like they have shown 2 personalities: 1 is overanxious, overaggressive, forget about defense, go for broke. And the other, is a lackluster, uninspired, timid, ultra conservative, and slow defensive posture. The answer is dedication and belief in what Sarah was describing. Be committed to defense. Move your legs and your sticks. Make the safe play, take the body, block shots. Play as a team in all three zones. Don’t be scared to play defense, it isn’t punishment, relish in it because it is how you win. And, allow your superior talent to take over when the opportunity presents itself.

  238. Sarah says:

    Hi Matt – I can only offer my opinion.
    I think the Pens under Dan Bylsma do not much adapt to any opponent, they just Play Their Game. They attack in a predicat able Go North style.
    The NYI have adapted well to this style and despite being competitively far less talented have outplayed the Pens this series though they are still down 2 games to 1.

    Many sports writers and bloggers follow this. Follow Dejan Kovacevic to begin to know the local coverage.


  239. John says:

    Here’s my question – if you watched the pens in ’08 or ’09 and they were down a goal or 2 in the first or second period, you knew they would
    Make a push and come back, now it’s almost the exact opposite, if the pens have a lead or are behind late you almost sit there waiting for the other team to make their push and tie the game/take the lead. Why? The talent has been better each of the past 3 years – hard to digest…weird when a win feels like a loss….

    No discipline, no adjutsments, just dumb play? What is it? The favorite and not the underdog anymore???

  240. BillyBaduka says:

    Great posts Sarah.

    I agree with you on the breakouts.

    I thought at times they were more patient with the breakout in game 2, particularly second half of 1st period and most of 2nd.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence the Pens went 4-0 in goals during that stretch.

    Can’t say I saw the patience in the 3rd with the Isles pressuring and dictating tempo. Under pressure from Isles the Pens revert to what they know best and NYI tie it up.

    But I think there was a dynamic we haven’t see in this series yet that impacted poor third. Trying to sit on lead. I think they were too passive to start the 3rd, they got no shots on that power play.

    Aside from breakout strategy, this teams biggest problem IMO is trying tp put teams away too early. They are always looking to score that next goal to put the game out of reach and/or break other team’s spirit.

    Teams don’t give up often in playoffs.

    Can’t win a game in the first without another solid 40 minutes.

    Can’t win a series in game 1. Last year they tried to get the fourth goal on way to route. Flyers come back and win game andPens never recover.

    I have no doubt the Pens want to win the cup. From their play, I start to question that they realize that it takes 60 minutes of consistent effort for 12-21 games just to get to the finals.

  241. Sarah says:

    To add to that, if you watched the Pens in 08 or 09, and they were AHEAD by 2 goals, the game was over. That team RARELY blew leads. They were immensely responsible defensively, especially 09. For that, we must thank Therrian.
    Because that mentality began to erode almost immediately under Bylsma.

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