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On location: Islanders 6, Penguins 4, Game 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

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

Game 4: Penguins vs. New York Islanders, Stanley Cup playoffs, first round

Series: Penguins, 2-1.

Time: 7:08 p.m.

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

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

Here is the official live box score.

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

Here is my Tuesday column on the need to HIT SOMEBODY.

And here are a couple vids from this morning’s skate, where you can hear from both of the prominent players who might be returning to the lineup tonight.

This is Brooks Orpik

And this is James Neal

Ask me, and they’ll both be in there. Beau Bennett and Simon Despres virtual locks to be scratched. Could be other moves, too. We’ll see. Do with this what you will, but Tyler Kennedy and Deryk Engelland came off the ice with the regular players. Those who lingered more than a half-hour afterward — almost always the scratches — were Bennett, Despres, Joe Vitale, Dustin Jeffrey and Robert Bortuzzo.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, here’s Sidney Crosby on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated …

He hadn’t seen it until I showed him off my iPhone, and he reacted in typically understated fashion: “Nice.”

No getting through to him on a game day.

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.

Comments

  1. Kevin says:

    That picture of Crosby is obviously pre-jaw mangling. Now we know who to blame aside from the nameless “hockey gods”.

    Go penguins!

  2. Brandie says:

    Mental image of Greek and Roman gods in togas with hockey sticks, skate blades on sandals, and hockey hair is hilarious. Seconding your Go Pens with a sobering message…Always Skate Responsibly.

  3. Patrick says:

    I wouldn’t think its an over statement to say this is the most important game the Penguins have played all year. It’s not a true “must win”…but its pretty close.

  4. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think Sid will be denied tonight. I’m projecting 1G, 2A in a 5-3 Pens win. Flying all over the ice all night! When the great ones perceive that their teammates may not be at the top of their games, they take matters into their own hands. That will be Sid’s MO tonight.

  5. Brandie says:

    I hope he does not try to do too much. Teammates cannot afford to be lazy. Must go all in.

  6. Jandy says:

    +1000000000000000

  7. Jandy says:

    I don’t buy SI, but I think I’m going to have to buy this one.

  8. Milo Hamilton says:

    No more shortcuts. No more taking the easy way out. No more lip service. They have to be willing to put in the work necessary to play playoff hockey. They haven’t shown that willingness up to this point.

  9. Brandie says:

    Message received, Mr. Milo.

  10. Jim S. says:

    I agree. This is a very talented team, but sometimes even normally hard working teams that are very talented forget that they need to sweat the details and stick with the plan. Hopefully, the wake-up call from Games 2 & 3 has been received.

  11. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “Do with this what you will, but Tyler Kennedy and Deryk Engelland came off the ice with the regular players.”

    Hissing like angry cat is what I’m doing!

    Only at Tyler Kennedy. Engelland would beat the snot out of me. Kennedy would shoot a puck at me and miss by 7 feet.

  12. Jandy says:

    go get some catnip ;)

  13. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    We need a hissing cat emotioncon on here

  14. Patrick says:

    I watched the Kings/Blues last night. What a great display of playoff hockey. Was exactly all of the things you just said.

  15. tpbco says:

    Second the motion of:

    ALL IN !

  16. dwf says:

    Brad,

    I think DD is not listening to you anymore :)

  17. Pucknutz says:

    GO PENS!! – HIT SOMEBODY!! – SHOOT THE PUCK – STUPID !!!

    i believe I have hit all the bases. :)

    GO PENS!!

  18. Sarah says:

    Hey Lunatics. Stuck in a hotel outside Boston and hoping the Pens are on NBC….

    Trying to catch up on the HIT SOMETHING column….

    My thoughts, muddled as they are:
    IN Game 1, when the NYI were standing around like deer in headlghts, the Pens were mowing them down. Morrow was a 1-man wrecking crew. Somehow we even seemed to match the Sutter line v Tavares (which disappeared in Game 2 but anyway)….

    When the Pens were unobstructed breaking out/chipping deep, they were able to grind, and yes, HIT SOMETHING. See exhibit A, Morrow, above.

    Once the NYI woke up, adjusted, and started pinching the boards/picking off stretch passes, a couple things happened.

    1) They were coming with speed and space into the Pens’ zone. Pens D is too slow to catch them, much less hit them, anyway, hitting needs time and space all reduced, and the opposite was happening. So not much hitting in our end.
    And
    2) With our breakout being effectively countered, and the Pens apparent inability to chip in deep, or when they did, the NYI beat them easily to the puck, guys like Morrow CANNOT get in there in time to grind the forecheck or hit anybody. You can’t hit opponents on the forecheck if they already have control and are breaking out with speed while you’re still trying to catch up. And we scratch our heads and go “Where’s Morrow??”

    So….again forgive my muddled thoughts but I don’t think it is as simple as just deciding to start hitting something. In fact, that can cost you, when you go for something that isn’t there, whiff, and give up an opportunity (anyody recall 44′s big miss v PHL late in a period that resulted in a goal last spring? Yeah, me too.)

    So – I’d LOVE to see them start hitting things….
    Because I think that would mean they’ve actually made some moves to counter what NYI has been doing.

    But I don’t think it’s as easy as it sounds.

  19. Brandie says:

    DEEEEE-FENSE!

  20. blazer says:

    Can anyone confirm that Orpik and Neal are in the lineup? Won’t get home till after the first period here….

  21. SamnRita says:

    Go Pens!

  22. Sarah says:

    Wow!!

  23. Karen22 says:

    Ditto! All the bases!

  24. SamnRita says:

    Great night for a game!

  25. SamnRita says:

    Hey Jandy – u there?

  26. Sarah says:

    OK trying a new posting email addy per DK’s advice, as all my comments are now mysteriously blocked…..

  27. JD says:

    Hey OshKosh. I’m heading to BW’s. if you show up, 1st beer is on me.

    I’m wearing a black Steelers t-shirt.

  28. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m home, I’m home…

    The Islanders want to play the boards, then make them eat the boards. Finish your checks and when on the breakouts, give support in the middle and make the right play chip it out or go to center outlet.

  29. theplanisworking says:

    Wait a minute!

    Are we talking hockey, or baseball????

    Please, as a public service, do not confuse the Hippo! ;)

  30. Sarah says:

    Hey Lunatics!

  31. Eric Bowser says:

    Nothing official but it looks like James Neal and Brooks Orpik will be playing, have to figure that means Beau Bennett and Simon Despres are healthy scratches.

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bennett & Despres didn’t even take the warmup.

  33. Eric Bowser says:

    According to Pens twitter account

    Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    Iginla – Malkin – Neal
    Morrow – Jokinen – Cooke
    Glass – Sutter – Adams

    Orpik – Martin
    Eaton – Letang
    Murray – Niskanen

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Orpik & Neal both IN.

  35. Pucknutz says:

    Are we talking hockey, or baseball????

    Yes.

  36. BillyBaduka says:

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  37. theplanisworking says:

    BRANDIE !!!!!

  38. theplanisworking says:

    Puck,

    if you confuse me, I will get dizzy, and fall and sit on you.

    Be careful…………..

  39. theplanisworking says:

    Where they going? ;)

  40. Sarah says:

    Hey Lunatics greetings from a hotel outside Boston.
    Crazy day and have some jumbled thoughts on the Hit Something column.

    I think in Game 1 while the NYI were deer in headlights, the Pens could hit anything they wanted, hard. And they did. Morrow did, and Murray and others. They also somehow matched the Sutter line v Tavares (which seemed to disappear by Game 2 but anyway)…

    Point is, once the NYI woke up and began actually using their speed and countering our breakout, stuff started to happen which makes it Hard to Hit Anything.
    If boards are pinched/stretch passes taken away and turnovers result, the NYI are coming with speed and space, which makes our slow D barely able to gain position on them much less throw good checks. You need to take away space and time to throw hits and the NYI had way too much of that in our end frequently.

    At the other end, if the Pens are unable to chip the puck deep and compete for/win loose pucks, then the forecheck evaporates pretty fast. Guys like Morrow ran rampant in Game 1, but by Games 2 and 3 with the Pens failing to get the puck deep/retrieve/cycle, there was not much to hit there either. You can’t hit an opponent if you can’t at least match their speed to the puck, and we weren’t doing that. So no hitting there either. And we scratch our heads and go “What happened to Morrow?”

    And while I’d love to see Murray or whomever flatten someone in blue, just going for the hit can burn you too, if you go for something that’s not there, whiff, and an opportunity results. I think we can all remember Orpik’s big miss late in a period v PHL last spring, resulting in a goal which helped change the tide.

    Anyway – pretty muddled…..but I think lack of Hitting is as much Symptom as Problem. We didn’t just stop after Game 1 – they changed, and took those chances away from us.

    I think it’s a lot easier to say than to do…..

    GO PENS!!!

  41. BillyBaduka says:

    With more effort, hits and better decisions … The next round I hope.

  42. Eric Bowser says:

    Lazy hook by Malkin… plain lazy

  43. Eric Bowser says:

    Ok, I understand the Malkin penalty but THAT call on Orpik is horrible.

  44. Brandie says:

    To the Mountaintop, Hipposter! To the Mountaintop.

  45. Eric Bowser says:

    Classless response by Islanders fans after Crosby takes puck high in throat/collarbone.

  46. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope the SI jinx hasn’t struck already.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    LOL !!

  48. theplanisworking says:

    Unreal.

  49. theplanisworking says:

    NEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. Eric Bowser says:

    1-1 game but Isles are dominating the ice in Pens end.

  51. Iceman says:

    Just have to say that I just saw Martin clear the front of the net. Just sayin…

  52. SJB says:

    3rd puck in the face of Crosby against the Isles this season. Even coincidence is blushing.

  53. Brandie says:

    Jealousy is an ugly thing.

  54. SJB says:

    Pens refuse trying taking away center ice or the puck. They’d rather stand to the side and hand out passports.

  55. Konstantin says:

    Crosby doesn’t look right since being hit. And Neal’s goal is even more impressive when he looks to be skating at about 2/3 strength.

  56. theplanisworking says:

    Questionable reffing so far.

    Will the Pens get a PP tonight?

  57. Brandie says:

    Keep doing that. Make sure you get him open. Matt Cooke in the sin bin for being Matt Cooke. Can’t play sloppy guys.

  58. SJB says:

    Pens are sh*tting the bed in epic fashion. Simply can not play a defensive game to save their lives.

  59. Eric Bowser says:

    Bylsma’s coaching…. what a guy he is…..

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why don’t we just offer to play one man short the entire game & be done with it.

  61. Konstantin says:

    How many penalties until Sunday’s (entirely correct) OT call is made up for? 3 should do it, though maybe penance isn’t complete until they score on one. If so, just give them the goal so we can get on with the game.

  62. SJB says:

    But on the upside; fans can fall back on the injury excuse once again if they lose.

  63. Karen22 says:

    Playing STOOOPID again! Unreal!

  64. TK39 says:

    Agreed. Hamonic gets away with an awful lot doesnt he?

  65. TK39 says:

    Hamonic really gets away with a lot doesnt he?

  66. Eric Bowser says:

    When Pens won the Cup, Bylsma kept the defensive system in place but changed their forechecking approach and let loose the forwards to attack the puck with F3 (high forward).

    The Pens defensive zone tracking is horrible right now. Same stuff we saw the last few years, no response or change in tactics by Bylsma.

    You can’t allow the opposition an easy 5-10 feet cushion to enter the zone, it is about as bad as watching the Steelers cornerbacks backing off 10 yards.

  67. SJB says:

    Iginla still not comfortable on the other side but as long as Sid is happy…screw Iggy. ;)

  68. Jandy says:

    FFLLLLEEEUUURRRYYY!!!!!

  69. Jandy says:

    ::snicker::

  70. TK39 says:

    I’ve seen the Isles with huge amounts of space down low quite a few times on rushes, just waiting for that to bite the Pens.

    Sadly, it still looks a little bit better than Sunday. With any luck they’ll be able to kill this penalty and stay out of the box so they can find some rhythm 5 on 5.

  71. Jandy says:

    Did that help any???

  72. SJB says:

    Word is the Pens are scouting Gay as we speak.

  73. Jandy says:

    yup!

  74. Jandy says:

    I am now….

  75. SJB says:

    Luck. It seems the only thing that will allow them to move to round 2.

  76. TK39 says:

    classic cheap shot while the refs were looking the other way. Disappointing.

  77. TK39 says:

    Did everyone else see the montage they played of Crosby getting hit in the face? What’s up with that?

  78. Jandy says:

    hey Eric! Glad you’re here :)

  79. Brandie says:

    Hipposterized.

  80. Jandy says:

    Sarah and Brandie…YAY!

  81. TK39 says:

    After watching game 3 I put the sheer will of Sidney Crosby ahead of luck.. but not by much.

    He wants this BAD.

  82. SJB says:

    When Pens won the cup, they kinda played like the Isles…just with more talent…and heart it seems.

    It’s what happens when you drive a Ferrari for a while and are all of a sudden asked to take it off road.

  83. theplanisworking says:

    I got my “fan club” here!

    I am one Happy Hippo tonight! ;)

  84. Jandy says:

    THAT’S why I want Malkin to sit a bit…hammer it into his brain that this is unacceptable.

  85. SJB says:

    Bad enough to score on a deflection off his face? He just might have to…and it just might happen.

  86. Jandy says:

    +100000000000

    ;)

  87. Jandy says:

    You got Koharski and Devorski…two of the biggest Penguins-biased refs in the league.

  88. Jandy says:

    +1

  89. Brandie says:

    Jandyliscious, you are Scandaliscious.

  90. Jandy says:

    I’m glad someone besides me sees that. I just want to plant my size 9 wides in his….

  91. Brandie says:

    I’m a Plan Fan!

  92. Jandy says:

    me toooooo!!!!

  93. theplanisworking says:

    Please dont give these refs any ideas………

  94. theplanisworking says:

    You and Jandy are just too funny !!!

  95. Jandy says:

    well that sucks Sarah

  96. Jandy says:

    woah! ;)

  97. Jandy says:

    good stuff Sarah!

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    I thought that period was something to build on. Just stay out of the box & everything’s OK.

  99. Brandie says:

    Sarah,
    Your insights are well reasoned and backed up by facts. I just want them to play smarter with passion, not reckless, and, for goodness sake, find a way to counter their speed. This half-a#%ed play is getting old.

  100. Jandy says:

    Ha!

  101. SJB says:

    With you Milo, I’m not sure if that was sarcastic or not.

  102. Eric Bowser says:

    Murray is having a brutal game

  103. Brandie says:

    Fire Malkin, Fire Bylsma, Fire Cooke, Fire Everyone.

  104. Jandy says:

    you forgot the ;)

  105. Milo Hamilton says:

    Islanders now 1-14 on power play. Can’t win a series with those numbers.

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not at all.

  107. Brandie says:

    We should take our act on the road.

  108. theplanisworking says:

    “Hipposterized”…… f. Brandie and Jandy!

    ;)

  109. SJB says:

    Just checking. ;)

  110. Jandy says:

    fuggin Devorski and Koharski refuse to see what is right in front of them….dorktards p*ss me off

  111. Brandie says:

    Spot on, Mr. Milo.

  112. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens are backing down to Hamonic…. weak

  113. Jandy says:

    Yeah and I’m Mother Theresa ;)

  114. Brandie says:

    Living in the land of duh. Think Millbury bought them off?

  115. Brandie says:

    Hail Jandy.

  116. Jandy says:

    I’ve hated those two refs for over 10 years now

  117. Brandie says:

    Beep! Just hit the dump button.

  118. theplanisworking says:

    They can if the refs give the Isles 6 PP’s for every one the give the Pens…….

  119. Jandy says:

    I wish someone would clean his clock

  120. Jandy says:

    Give Nabakov an Academy for that one…

  121. Brandie says:

    Cooke gets a penalty on a flop. The fix is in!

  122. SJB says:

    Pens have to beat the officials tonight…this game has been bought by the NHL.

  123. Eric Bowser says:

    take penalties, play stupid, you deserve to lose.

  124. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    What was Craig Adams thinking there ? Brutal. Get it in deep.

  126. TK39 says:

    Wow, what another ridiculous penalty. Guess Matt Cooke is gonna get called any time he’s on the ice..

  127. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed.

    But it is tough to win 4 on 9 all night……….

  128. Naje says:

    Unbelievably weak… he takes runs at anybody he wants and no one in a Pens sweater gives a damn. So tired of watching these guys play this way. Kunitz and Morrow attempted some hits early in this period, but that’s about it.

  129. Brandie says:

    Hipposterized…The Musical.

  130. theplanisworking says:

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

  131. Eric Bowser says:

    really bad change by Isles

    Malkin scores on 2on1

  132. Jandy says:

    OK Geno just redeemed himself

  133. Brandie says:

    And Malkin ties the game.

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nice change. Ham-n-egger.

  135. SJB says:

    The worst thing that can happen to a team is have a questionable call help you to a win. The NHL and the officials will go out of their way to make sure the losing team gets every call imaginable no matter how wrong or how crooked it looks. The WWF had nothing on the NHL…the most fixed sport in the world.

  136. Jandy says:

    he will as long as Devorski and Koharski are the refs

  137. SJB says:

    So. The officials will take care of that soon enough.

  138. theplanisworking says:

    Brandie…………… I cant carry a tune even if you were to give me 6 sets of luggage………. :(

  139. Jandy says:

    Is that like MdD’s…I’m lovin’ it???

  140. theplanisworking says:

    a size 9W would help more………. ;)

  141. Brandie says:

    Even better. You can whistle, though.

  142. Jandy says:

    +1

  143. SJB says:

    The same two veteran officials that made it a mission to screw the Pens as much as possible early on in their careers… just ask Mario. He loves those guys.

  144. Jandy says:

    So maybe we need Engo back on the ice?

  145. theplanisworking says:

    No.
    McD’s doesnt have a Ham McMuffin……………

  146. theplanisworking says:

    That I can!!!

    There is hope yet!!! ;)

  147. Jandy says:

    I’ma gettin it cocked!

  148. Jandy says:

    Hey I kill me too ;)

  149. Jandy says:

    I am puzzled…who is SamnRita???

  150. Jandy says:

    again, I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it !!!!

  151. Jandy says:

    well, darn!

  152. Brandie says:

    The butt end of the hockey world, prepare to take the thunderous size 9w of Jandy right in the sweet spot.

  153. theplanisworking says:

    SUTTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  154. Jandy says:

    lol

  155. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s all Matt Cooke.

  156. SJB says:

    Physical play pays off boys!!

  157. Jandy says:

    He** yeah!!!!

  158. Brandie says:

    Sutter, like Butter, Baby, like butter. 3-2.

  159. theplanisworking says:

    Lol………. but lots of pigs…….. well, you know ;)

  160. Eric Bowser says:

    Welcome to the show Mr Sutter

  161. Naje says:

    Dump it… chase it… hit somebody… score.

    Pretty freakin’ simple sometimes.

  162. Milo Hamilton says:

    Last time I saw a glove that slow Dick Stuart was wearing it.

  163. Eric Bowser says:

    ALL x 1,000,000

  164. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed.

  165. Jandy says:

    yup!

  166. Jandy says:

    nice work by Craig Effin Adams to goad MacDonald into that penalty

  167. Jandy says:

    dittos!

  168. Brandie says:

    Good middle name, effin.

  169. Jandy says:

    someone help an ol’ lady out…who is SamnRita???

  170. Jandy says:

    LOL got that from my son-in-law’s blog….FaceOffFactor

  171. SJB says:

    More stupidity from Malkin and Letang on the PP.

  172. Jandy says:

    Foo?

  173. Milo Hamilton says:

    Great shift by the Islanders. No shots.

  174. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  175. SJB says:

    Crosby and/or Iginla needs to score tonight.

  176. SJB says:

    More behind the net BS that the Pens have no answer from. Ponderous.

  177. Jandy says:

    Fleury has to cover that chiznet

  178. SJB says:

    for.

  179. theplanisworking says:

    Fleury just isnt playing well.
    Too many goals get past him like that.

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    Islanders have 3 goals on a grand total of 17 shots. Through 2 periods of a road playoff game, you’ve been shorthanded 4 times and allowed only 17 shots. You would expect better than a tie.

  181. Eric Bowser says:

    Complete mental breakdown again by Fleury.

    He just sits there out of position, net… at that angle…. you can’t sit still…

  182. theplanisworking says:

    +1 Milo.

  183. TK39 says:

    The Malkin line has certainly done it’s part. Time for sid to dominate a few shifts in the third to put this one away. Iggy has looked dangerous too.

  184. florida steeler says:

    I am so sick of people saying how good Fleury is. HE STINKS.

  185. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s got to glove that weak shot from the point then shenanigans don’t occur.

  186. Jandy says:

    +2

  187. Jandy says:

    :yawn:

  188. florida steeler says:

    Iginla looks more and more like the game has passed him. Good looks but cannot bury the shot. Getting out hustled AGAIN.

  189. SJB says:

    I’d also expect a team with all the “supposed” talent the Pens have to be up 3-0 in a series on a barely .500 team. But what are you gonna do? It’s the Pens.

  190. Naje says:

    How do you allow a goal like that? I mean, that’s a complete airhead move. That’s like watching Garrett Jones run the bases in 2011…

    What a lax group of players.

  191. scapper says:

    While I have time between periods, anyone know where there are any more touching articles about how the new baby is going to make Fleury more calm and focused? That was laugh out loud funny last week. Not saying the baby is the cause of his 3+ goals per game after game one, of course. I mean, we’ve seen these types of goals go in too often over the last few years.

    But that theory…too funny.

  192. DJ says:

    Trying to cover the puck with his glove hand rather scrambling to lock down the post with his body. Incredibly amateur play. You get the sense he is one goal away from being broken in this game, and then being replaced by Vokoun.

  193. Jandy says:

    :yawn:

  194. SJB says:

    Thanks. I was just sitting here waiting for a bad and untimely Pirates reference to sum things up.

  195. Jandy says:

    yeah but the Buccos are winning 2 – 0

  196. theplanisworking says:

    Easy now…………. many fans call Fleury an “elite” goalie.

    I just think he makes the spectacular saves, followed by many, many brain farts……

  197. SJB says:

    Rossi will have it ready for next month’s Chipped Ice.

  198. Jandy says:

    Hippo my friend, save your breath :)

  199. SJB says:

    Awesome! Should I pre-register for playoff tickets?

  200. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, back to the pond for me……..

  201. poz says:

    Soft goal by Fleury late while the rest of the team continues the uneven play of the past three games. Will the Pens use their superior talent to banish the ghosts of playoffs past? Or will those ghosts hang like an albattross around their necks and result in more excuses later tonight and tomorrow?

  202. danch70 says:

    There may have only been 17 shots, but the Islanders have controlled the play for the third game in a row. The Pens do seem more committed to defense, and the smart play this game … don’t know how many blocked shots, but likely many. They just seem tight, though. Now that they seem committed to defense, don’t know what it would take to get them to breathe.

  203. Jandy says:

    Puck is spending too much time in our zone…no matter how you look at it

  204. Jandy says:

    whatever floats your boat Sunshine 8-)

  205. Jandy says:

    LOL no stay here silly goose

  206. theplanisworking says:

    Who scored for us?

    GOAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  207. Jandy says:

    YES!!!!!

  208. Jandy says:

    Kunie got a goonie

  209. theplanisworking says:

    PLAN THE PARADE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8-)

  210. Jandy says:

    good call TK39

  211. SJB says:

    Can the Pens hold this lead? Hahahaha! I know funny, right?

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    When they finally take the wrecking ball to that old barn, they need to paint a #9 on it in black & gold because Pascal Dupuis is burying the Islanders.

  213. Jandy says:

    Friggin Malkin Grrrr!!!!

  214. Naje says:

    Malkin with another (announcer’s words, not mine) “stupid penalty.”

  215. Jandy says:

    +1

  216. SJB says:

    Yeaaaaay!! Thumbs up for the dive! About effin time.

  217. theplanisworking says:

    I think the time Geno spent in the Russian league hurt him.

  218. Jandy says:

    lol

  219. SJB says:

    Unreal…Isles fans chanting refs suck! They have given them everything tonight and the idiots do that.

  220. Jandy says:

    can you believe it?

  221. Jandy says:

    About as classy as Philly fans

  222. SJB says:

    Yup. What I won’t be able to believe at this point is the Pens winning this series. Has the greatest player in the world been on the ice this period?

  223. Jandy says:

    you have a short memory…he assisted on Kunitz goal

  224. SJB says:

    I was in the bathroom. lol

  225. SJB says:

    Malkin is trade bait next season.

  226. Jandy says:

    another Genover, another Isles goal

  227. Naje says:

    Orpik then Malkin just lazy sacks of poo with the puck… unreal. What a weak effort.

  228. Jandy says:

    TMI lol

  229. theplanisworking says:

    I dont believe what I am seeing……

  230. Iceman says:

    Go up the wall and get the puck out of the zone. Come on now.

  231. SJB says:

    Good thing Orpik came back tonight. He really made a difference.

  232. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t think we give up enough goals.

  233. OZ says:

    Malkin giveth and taketh away…

  234. SJB says:

    Why not? It only happens every year now.

  235. SJB says:

    They’ll give up more…don’t worry.

  236. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m good, I took the over.

  237. SJB says:

    This is when the Isles hog the neutral zone and the game is over.

  238. Jandy says:

    This is just sad :(

  239. Naje says:

    Who’s the better captain in this series: 91 or 87?

  240. Naje says:

    You don’t win with soff hearts and soffer guts.

  241. Bizrow says:

    Its a seven game test of mettle and character

    Right now, the Islanders believe, Pens seem to be playing not to lose

    Its not over yet, but I don’t like the signs right now

  242. SJB says:

    So next season, when they are tip-toeing through the regular season tulips and the playoffs come around who here will be right back up on that horse thinking it will be different this time? I know odds say eventually it has to be, but if the Pirates have shown us, that’s not always the case.

  243. Jandy says:

    what number is Hamonic?

  244. Jandy says:

    agreed but this display is making me wanna lose my dinner

  245. florida steeler says:

    Crosby may be bothered by that puck to the net. But, we must admit the Isles are the better team in this series and will probably win it. them, time for Bylsma to be discussed. Still not certain how much Iginla has added and not worth keeping.

  246. florida steeler says:

    Neck, sorry.

  247. Jandy says:

    Quit braggin, Milo, you’re making us feel bad

  248. SJB says:

    Can’t wait to hear the Pens excuses after this one. More talk about what they need to do, only to go out and not do it. Bunch of mouth-breathers.

    Again the Isles – like the Flyers and others before them – come out with a plan to beat the Pens and the Pens (since they’re better, right?) think they only have to play their game and everything will be fine. Eff Bylsma already. If they lose this series, he’s gone and anyone would have to be crazy to think otherwise (DK?). Shero won’t take the blame for this one. Not this time.

  249. SJB says:

    No. 1 seeds DON”T give up 5 or more goals to No. 8 seeds and advance to the second round.

  250. Jandy says:

    The lower is a total sieve tonight

  251. SJB says:

    Guess who’s not in goal for game 5?

  252. Naje says:

    That’s pretty much the last of what we should see of Fleury for a while.

  253. Jandy says:

    errrr flower

  254. theplanisworking says:

    This is 1993 all over again.

    Effort——Poor.
    Smarts—–Even poorer.

    I cannot believe this team turns the puck over so much.

    1993.

    Disgusting.

    Vokoun better be in net for Game 5.

  255. OZ says:

    Vokoun time

  256. Naje says:

    This team looks like a bunch of paper champions.

  257. Jandy says:

    I’m so upset I really can’t type

  258. DJ says:

    Vokoun time. This is why Shero got him. Let’s use him.

  259. Jandy says:

    :*(

  260. Lad9 says:

    They might as well score that as an empty net goal. Wow!

  261. scapper says:

    All you people with tickets for Thursday, start practicing: VO-KOOOOOUUUUUUUNNNN!

  262. Milo Hamilton says:

    6 goals on 24 shots.

  263. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just that one ?

  264. florida steeler says:

    Good job Fleury and Bylsma.

  265. CWalton_67 says:

    MAF is a disease that infects this team. Many reasons they lost this game tonight, they are a bunch of arrogant, spoiled children, but they will never win the Cup with Fleury in net. It is over unless they switch to Vokoun.

  266. Jandy says:

    now we are stooping to their level

  267. Naje says:

    Malkin-tent… what a wuss.

  268. Eric Bowser says:

    Bench Fleury for Game 5

    The hot seat is burning for Bylsma

    Pathetic performance by Pens

  269. florida steeler says:

    You are 100% correct.

  270. Jandy says:

    Quit blaming just Fleury. Sure he has been poor this game. But the team has been poor as a whole for the past 3 games.

  271. Naje says:

    The really sour attitude comes from Malkin… what a chump, punk move at the end of the game… how about hitting DURING the game… before they hit you?

  272. theplanisworking says:

    If Vokoun isnt in net for Game 5, why did Shero trade for him????

    Man, this is 1993 all over again.

  273. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s like I’m watching Pitt basketball.

  274. SJB says:

    Isles win and I bet no complaints, dive talk, or slanderous comments about officiating from that F*ck-nosed, Barney Rubble wanna-be Milbury, right?

  275. florida steeler says:

    Let’s hope so–same thing year after year but maybe this ster talent isn’t as good as they think they are??? Iginla has given little.

  276. poz says:

    Goalie stinks and the rest of the team in front of him not much better. As they prep the excuses and start the over-analysis, what I see is a great regular season team that soils itself in the playoffs. And a bad as Fleury has been, I don’t think a goalie change saves this team. It is a total collapse. The puck management was horrible. Malkin and Letang – well done!

  277. TJ says:

    MAF has lost his mojo; time for Vokoun. I’d say the future of Bylsma could be determined by who is or isn’t in net come thursday night. Inexcuseable to give up 6 goals, after 5 goals in the PLAYOFFS against a NUMBER 8 SEED.

    I’ve seen little to no change in strategy on the part of the Pens; great they are scoring 4 goals a game in the playoffs but they are giving up 5 or 6. Inexcusable. SOMEONE needs to stand up in that locker room and take charge of this team. Disco wasted a time out in the last loss and has done little to change his plan of attack. Reminds me of Jamie Dixon; great coach when everything stays the same but throw a curveball and he has zero idea how to adapt in the past few seasons.

  278. SJB says:

    Mirror image of last season. The all suck together. At least that’s SOME kinda team effort.

  279. TJ says:

    who cares about Milbury; the last thing the Pens or their fans should worry about is Milbury.

  280. Jandy says:

    Agreed, Eric. This is sad indeed.

  281. TJ says:

    Totally agree Milo; Bylsma has zero concept on how to change his style of play based on opponents.

  282. poz says:

    Officiating had nothing do do with this loss.

  283. SJB says:

    But he won more games faster than any coach in NHL history.

  284. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m a little concerned about my prediction. It may not take 7 games.

  285. SJB says:

    Sorry, forgot the HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  286. TJ says:

    You know why there is a sour attitude is because no one has stood up and called guys out. Someone needs to step up whether it be Sid or Iginla or Vokoun and start calling guys out on their play bottom line.

  287. SJB says:

    I predicted 7 too. Didn’t pick a winner though.

  288. poz says:

    Hard to tell who is the #1 seed. It’s the Pens who are playing tight.

  289. TJ says:

    Yeah and that worked out how well for the guy who owned the record before him?

  290. TJ says:

    Sorry I find it hard to believe they all “suck” together when your putting pucks in the net at a rate of 4 per game. Yes there is a defensive side to this game but based on your Theory the Islanders must suck just as bad for as many goals as they are giving up

  291. Naje says:

    Very curious about DK’s response to this mess of a team and the lacking effort. The entitled paper champions last year and this. They will need a tremendous spark from someone to snap out of this.

    And Max Talbot is not walking through the locker room door anytime soon.

  292. theplanisworking says:

    Looks like the Pens are thinking about summer vacation more than winning.
    Great job tonight by many Pens. Not.

    Islanders have a huge amount of confidence now.
    Pens timid.

    There better NOT be any “optional” skate tomorrow.
    This teams needs a swift kick………. or 2.

    Good night everybody.
    1993. How damn sad.

  293. TJ says:

    I believe its time for Rick Tochett and Kevin Stevens to give the pre-game talk come game 5. Time for someone to come out with a guarantee

  294. scapper says:

    SJB…start a blog and I’ll be your first loyal reader. Your posts crack me up every time. Keep them coming.

    Can the Isles keep this relentlessness up for two more wins? (Okay, don’t answer that.)

    Gotta keep reminding myself it’s 2-2 against what might have been the hottest team in hockey coming into the playoffs.

    Gee…somehow that doesn’t make me feel better.

  295. TJ says:

    They lost; plain and simple but you want to lump the whole damn team in this? How the hell do you score 4 goals in the playoffs if your not playing quality hockey at least in one end of the rink?

    I know its a horrible loss but christ some of the comments are going deep end

  296. poz says:

    If they lose this series then there is no reason for me to watch another regular season. Not until they stop collapsing when it counts. There is no way around it. They are playing terrible – again, in the playoffs.

  297. SJB says:

    I won’t go that far. The officials blatantly took the Pens out of the game early on. Can’t say they didn’t benefit from obviously slanted and premeditated officiating. Whether it resulted in goals for the Isles or not, it sure kept the Pens off the scoreboard.

  298. dwf says:

    NOW, everyone is screaming for a goalie change! Just like every other decision DD has made, it is a game tooooo late!

  299. Tim says:

    If Vokoun doesn’t play thurs just fire Bylsma Friday morning. Guessing Shero’s rabbit out of his hat should of been Jonathon Quick or Tim Thomas coming out of retirement at the trade deadline.

  300. SJB says:

    Well, he’s with the Ducks now so maybe Disco can find magic somewhere else… just get him out of here. I just hope they don’t take too long to get back into playoff form. I’d gladly trade a season or two of crap hockey to be where the Caps are now compared to where the Pens are. This is sickening.

  301. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, you are right.

    We didnt turn the puck over 50 times tonight?
    Cooke, and Malkin didnt take stupid penalties tonight?
    The effort was top-notch again, right?
    Defense was great, right?

    This was a TEAM loss. Plain and simple.

  302. Tim says:

    TJ here’s a guarantee. This teams going no where with wilting flower in goal.

  303. DJ says:

    If Bylsma says anything about “not getting to OUR game” after this one, I think I will hurl. He needs to hit the lab and devote time dissecting “THEIR game”.

    Does Malkin know that a chip off the wall to himself can be effective way to clear another player?

    Game 5 changes: Vokoun, TK for Glass (latter is worthless), some post-game complaints about the refs by Bylsma so we get the first 3 calls at home al la the Isles, and anything else that will work.

  304. poz says:

    Just curious. Are you saying the team in front of Fleury was not turning the puck over at an alarming rate? Maybe I’m one of those deep enders, because I saw a team that didn’t look anything like the #1 seed. Instead they played without disipline, and lacked puck control.

  305. TJ says:

    Unfortunately the Pens traded away some of their future in next years draft and a top quality defensive prospect to win now; not 2 years from now when they will be a shell of what they are now once Kunitz and Dupuis hit the FA market and get huge contracts on top of Malkin and Letang.

  306. Jandy says:

    They are ALL responsible. Not just Fleury. And that includes Bylsma.

  307. theplanisworking says:

    TJ says we are all wrong, Jandy. ;)
    All hail.

  308. Jandy says:

    Good stuff, Hippo

  309. SJB says:

    The team as a whole played about 10-15 minutes of good hockey and that’s unacceptable in the playoffs against what should be an inferior opponent. Goals scored, or even goals allowed, is really not the telling truth here.

  310. poz says:

    For what its worth, I saw the same game as you. Horrible play by the entire team. The turnovers by Malkin and Letang were vomit-inducing.

  311. Jandy says:

    That’s his opinion. I disagree with him :)

  312. poz says:

    I’m so disgusted I think I disagree with myself.

  313. Jandy says:

    Nope, no Superstar to lift us up

  314. theplanisworking says:

    I think many do.
    But he is entitled to it.

    The “deep end” stuff was classless, but hey………

  315. Danch70 says:

    No question a big move needs to be made. DD is coaching timid, too. I would have benched Letang this game. Now, you have to take MAF out, you just have to. That was the sole reason for bringing in Vokoun. You can’t just keep doing the same thing when it isn’t working. Coach scared, play scared. At least that is my immediate take – likely change tomorrow.

  316. SJB says:

    I hope Mario gives them the opposite of the text he gave to them in ’09.

  317. Jandy says:

    -1

  318. Jandy says:

    OK I’m off to bed…please…stay away from bridges!

  319. theplanisworking says:

    + many……

  320. Eric Bowser says:

    The level of frustration that I have right now is beyond words…

    COMPOSURE…

    This team has none of it and that’s a HUGE concern after acquiring veterans.

  321. Danch70 says:

    Agreed about “not getting to OUR game.” Dumbest plan ever. Let’s try to play an imaginary game, even if the real game has is completely different.

  322. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos dont like heights………. ;)

    Night Jandy!

  323. Jandy says:

    ;) he’s upset.

  324. SJB says:

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I was trying to prepare you guys for this kinda thing from the start and everyone was busy farting rainbows and gummy bears.

  325. Jandy says:

    +1

  326. DJ says:

    . . . or even Vitale for Glass at this point, and meet speed with speed. Really sad that I am even thinking about TK, Glass or Vitale as possible jump-starters for this team.

  327. J Walter Weatherman says:

    MAF is D-O-N-E. If he’s is starting Game 5, you might as well start planning for a long summer. Problem is, Bylsma probably doesn’t have the guts to make that move. Honestly, when is the last time he made a good coaching decision in the last 4 playoffs?

    The signs were there at the end of the season. Sloppy play. Suspect goaltending. Problem is that they were still winning some of those games, which disillusioned the players and fans.

    Not over by any stretch, but they’ve given the Isles a reason to believe and that may be enough. Dejan, you starting to sweat about that Bylsma is safe no matter what column prior to the playoffs?

  328. DJ says:

    Speed is killing the new vets. With a few exceptions (Sid, Cooke, Adams and Dupuis) we are playing very timid.

  329. SJB says:

    Maybe next season they can add LeClair and Palffy.

  330. DJ says:

    Vokoun WILL be in goal for Game 5 . . . book it. Frankly, it’s the safe play for Bylsma right now, so you know he will make it. He (and certainly Shero) won’t want to be questioned all summer (if HC DB is even still around) if he DOESN’T make the move right now. This why Ray got him, so Bylsma won’t buck the change.

  331. SJB says:

    I just love the comments trying to add calm to the situation. Someone always feels the need to be the “level-headed” responsible one. Cute.

    Question: What’s the last thing said that sets off the villagers with torches and pitchforks?

    Answer: “OK, everyone, let’s all just caaaalm down here!…”

    Gotta love the Ned Flanders of the world. ;)

  332. SJB says:

    Who know Adams was a speedster? :)

  333. J Walter Weatherman says:

    That’s what everyone said the last 3 series as well. Where there’s smoke, there’s MAF flaming out.

  334. dwf says:

    Such a civilized fan base :)

  335. Dom says:

    Oh, don’t worry, Fleury will have the game of his life on Thursday. He is still an elite goaltender.

  336. Dom says:

    I still think we’ll win this series and I think we’ll do it in the next two games. My question is, if we lost on Sunday and were down 3-1, would you think we’d be done?

  337. Papa Croz says:

    I’ve always have believed in MAF, with the strong
    regular seasons the Pens have had and his undeniable
    athleticism he has displayed, but (again) he is rattled
    in the playoffs and is snake bit by rebounds off the
    back boards. It’s time for a change, that’s why
    RS acquired T Vokoun .

  338. DJ says:

    The four were those not playing timid. The speed comment was directed to our newly acquired vets.

  339. scapper says:

    I was being serious. Love your posts.

  340. SJB says:

    Bylsma ain’t safe. That was one of the oddest things I’ve hear DK say. Maybe Disco winked at him and he gotta douche chill or something but rest assured, if they flame out in this series, Disco is gone before he walks off the bench

    Shero will not be the fall guy for this, not after adding all the players that should have made this team so hard to beat and pissed off the rest of the league in the process. You can only blame the players for so long and when they are as good as these ones should be, you can’t blame them anymore.

  341. SJB says:

    Awesome…thanks for the heads up!

  342. dwf says:

    MAF is a head case! Once the opposing team gets in his head, he is a basket case! Soooooo fragile! Or as MT would say SOFFF

  343. SJB says:

    Naaaw…being down 3-1 is the perfect situation to be in. That has win written all over it. It’s the up 2-1′s like the Pens in that are the tough ones.

    DK, can we get some emoticons here? A rolleyes would be perfect. Thanks!

  344. dwf says:

    CANNOT wait to read DK’s column tomorrow!!!

  345. SJB says:

    Thanks.

  346. SJB says:

    Your’re right. Sorry, I failed to read that properly.

  347. Eric Bowser says:

    Game 5 changes

    1) Vokoun starts, Fleury backup
    2) Bortuzzo in, Niskanen benched
    3) Bennett in, Glass benched
    4) Iginla to Crosby and Dupuis line
    5) Kunitz to Malkin and Neal line
    6) Jokinen centers Morrow and Bennett
    7) Sutter centers Cooke and Adams
    8) D combos – Orpik/Martin, Eaton/Letang, Murray-Bortuzzo
    9) Go into a 1-2-2 trap…. hate this but this team needs to insulate right now.

  348. SJB says:

    Since he ripped them today, I bet he’ll have a “The Sky Isn’t Falling” piece tomorrow.

    He likes playing good cop, bad cop…but with himself.

    Ooops, didn’t mean it that way. ;)

  349. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe we could change the color of the uniforms. I’ve always liked green.

  350. dwf says:

    Eric,

    Agree with everything, but would put TK in lieu of Bennett. D is just going to be a problem. PERIOD.

  351. SJB says:

    Iginla to Crosby and Dupuis line and Kunitz to Malkin and Neal line?

    How dare you speak such blasphemous things! Why…that could create two good lines and they might find things easier. I think this loss has made everyone a bit mad and dare I say it…logical?

  352. dwf says:

    Not sure how even DK could put a positive spin on this debacle!??

    DK: Yeah, I’m a real positive-spin kind of guy.

  353. SJB says:

    Ahhh, the old green ones. Yes, those were my favorite.

  354. dwf says:

    SJB,

    Don’t get too excited, these are just hypotheticals by “crazy” non sensical fans :)

  355. SJB says:

    Wheeew, was scared there. I thought somehow if Bylsma heard such things he might try it and who knows what could happen…they might even win.

  356. dwf says:

    You’re a little late on that thought SJB, we have already had that discussion here. Sorry

  357. SJB says:

    Ron Cook is good at it. I think it’s part of the “objective” sports writers training or something. I bet whatever he says he tries to make soup out of stones.

  358. SJB says:

    He sure won’t any anything like “Put a fork in them”. He still has to talk to these guys. But that’s ok, he’s unbiased. lol

  359. SJB says:

    sorry, “say anything.”

    Did you know: When you pour beer into a laptop funny things happen to the keyboard?

  360. SJB says:

    On the Iginla/Crosby/Dupuis line?
    I was talking about that line three weeks into the season long before anyone even thought about Iginla, let alone who he would play with.

    I wanted Iginla on this team at the deadline last season.

    I had Iggy penciled in as the perfect winger for Crosby long ago. Still kinda PO’d it’s not happened yet.

    Nope, not late at all.

  361. dwf says:

    Well then, maybe YOU should be coaching?? Or, at least take over for RS?? :)

  362. SJB says:

    I’m gonna hit the hay. Take care everyone.

  363. DJ says:

    Very much agree. If it’s four years in a row and only once to the second round, it’s not going to be good enough for management. IF, however, they can get out from under the first round pressure Bylsma and the team seem to be experiencing, maybe we get on a roll and look back on this series later and have a good laugh at all the “panic button” comments. Then again, if the Isles bury us in 6 or 7, we’ll look at the same comments as prescient.

  364. dwf says:

    DK,

    I won’t respond to that till I see your column tomorrow. As I posted above, I CANNOT wait to read it :)

    DK: It’s online right now. Can do without the snark. We can talk like people, you know?

  365. dwf says:

    Lighten up DK!!! You have to be one of the most SENSITIVE writers I have ever seen! Bar None!!!

  366. Sarah says:

    Nope. The Pens are a disease that infects goalies.
    Fleury has the gene defect to be very susceptible, unfortunately.

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