TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

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 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.

374 Comments

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

    Go penguins!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

      • 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.

        • Message received, Mr. Milo.

          • 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.

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

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

  5. “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.

  6. Second the motion of:

    ALL IN !

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

    i believe I have hit all the bases. :)

    GO PENS!!

  8. 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.

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

  10. Go Pens!

  11. Great night for a game!

  12. Hey Jandy – u there?

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Hey Lunatics!

  17. 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.

  18. According to Pens twitter account

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

    Orpik – Martin
    Eaton – Letang
    Murray – Niskanen

  19. Orpik & Neal both IN.

  20. LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  21. 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!!!

  22. Lazy hook by Malkin… plain lazy

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

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

  25. I hope the SI jinx hasn’t struck already.

  26. Unreal.

  27. NEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. 1-1 game but Isles are dominating the ice in Pens end.

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

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

  30. 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.

  31. Questionable reffing so far.

    Will the Pens get a PP tonight?

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

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

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

  35. 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.

  36. Playing STOOOPID again! Unreal!

  37. Hamonic really gets away with a lot doesnt he?

  38. 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.

    • 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.

    • Word is the Pens are scouting Gay as we speak.

    • 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.

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

  40. Murray is having a brutal game

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

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

  43. Pens are backing down to Hamonic…. weak

  44. Give Nabakov an Academy for that one…

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

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

  47. take penalties, play stupid, you deserve to lose.

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

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

  50. MALKIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. really bad change by Isles

    Malkin scores on 2on1

  52. OK Geno just redeemed himself

  53. And Malkin ties the game.

  54. Nice change. Ham-n-egger.

  55. 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.

  56. SUTTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. That’s all Matt Cooke.

  58. Physical play pays off boys!!

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

  60. Welcome to the show Mr Sutter

  61. Dump it… chase it… hit somebody… score.

    Pretty freakin’ simple sometimes.

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

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

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

  65. More stupidity from Malkin and Letang on the PP.

  66. Great shift by the Islanders. No shots.

  67. Crosby and/or Iginla needs to score tonight.

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

  69. 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.

  70. Complete mental breakdown again by Fleury.

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

  71. 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.

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

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

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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?

  78. 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.

  79. Who scored for us?

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

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

  81. 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.

  82. Friggin Malkin Grrrr!!!!

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

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

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

  86. can you believe it?

  87. Malkin is trade bait next season.

  88. another Genover, another Isles goal

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

  90. I dont believe what I am seeing……

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

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

  93. I don’t think we give up enough goals.

  94. Malkin giveth and taketh away…

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

  96. This is just sad :(

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

  98. 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

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. Neck, sorry.

  102. 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.

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

  104. The lower is a total sieve tonight

  105. Guess who’s not in goal for game 5?

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

  107. 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.

  108. This team looks like a bunch of paper champions.

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

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

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

  112. 6 goals on 24 shots.

  113. Good job Fleury and Bylsma.

  114. 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.

  115. now we are stooping to their level

  116. Malkin-tent… what a wuss.

  117. Bench Fleury for Game 5

    The hot seat is burning for Bylsma

    Pathetic performance by Pens

  118. 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.

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

      • 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

  119. 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?

    • 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.

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

    Man, this is 1993 all over again.

  121. It’s like I’m watching Pitt basketball.

  122. 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?

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

    • Officiating had nothing do do with this loss.

      • 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.

  123. 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!

  124. 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.

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

      • Sorry, forgot the HAHAHAHAHAHA!

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

          • 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.

            • 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.

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

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

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

    • 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

  128. 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

  129. 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.

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

  131. 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.

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

  133. 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.

    • 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.

    • . . . 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.

  134. 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.

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

  136. 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.

  137. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  138. 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. ;)

  139. 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?

    • 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!

  140. 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 .

  141. 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

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

    • 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. ;)

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

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

        • 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.

          • 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

            • sorry, “say anything.”

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

        • 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?

  143. 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.

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

    • Eric,

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

    • 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?

      • SJB,

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

        • 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.

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

            • 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.

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

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News