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Tuesday Wakeup Call: Global transmission

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

OTTAWA — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday column wonders why the Penguins even bothered to acquire Jarome Iginla if they aren’t going to use him properly.

How do you feel about Iginla’s usage?

Would you rather see James Neal get preference?

Looking forward to your feedback in the comments below.

Here’s the rest of the Trib’s team coverage from yesterday’s off day.

And here’s video of some of their media session …

>>The TribLIVE Radio show today — 1-2 p.m. — will come with an opening rant on the power play, which hasn’t been nearly as good as the numbers would suggest, plus a visit from Trib hockey writer Josh Yohe and, of course, the local Twitter treasure @suckmeter offering the Suck of the Week.

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. One click, and we’re on. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app. Also free and easy and everything else.

I want you involved, too.

Email: sportstalk@tribweb.com

Call: 412-320-7925.

>> The Pirates open a series tonight against another powerhouse, the Cubs.

>> The Steelers open OTAs today with a good chance to study the draft crop.

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. Adam says:

    Dejan, I’ve heard the theory tossed about that Sid wants to play with Kunitz and Dupuis, and that’s a big reason Iggy and Neal keep flipping LW/RW. I personally can’t see that at all, and I can’t see Bylsma letting players dictate lines. Thoughts?

    P.S.- keep doing what you’re doing. Very talented writer and don’t let people get you down.

    DK: Never felt better, but thanks. I do believe in the plausibility of the Sid speculation. But that’s all it is.

  2. @412tj says:

    Why on earth is Iginla not on 87′s line?? Makes zero sense. Why make the change?

    DK: Who knows?

    See above.

  3. Eric Bowser says:

    Dejan – Great column

    How many coaches would even think of taking a future HOF player like Jarome Iginla and force him to play out of position at even-strength and then do the same on the power play?

    DK: By all appearances, one.

  4. JP Foanio says:

    DK, when you’re adamant about something, like how the Pens are using Iginla, do you try to get your point across to Coach Bylsma via question? I know many fans would love that chance. Thanks! -JP

    DK: I am VERY glad you brought this up. As longtime readers know, I take pride in asking questions even of people I’m criticizing. But in this specific case, things are a little funny. There’s no one-on-one access to the coach in playoffs, first of all. So any question you ask in a group setting essentially hands everyone else in the room your idea. Second, Bylsma wouldn’t have answered it, anyway, given the new — and silly — policy in which he blanketly refuses to discuss anything related to injuries and even LINEUP decisions.

    One can make a case for the former. The latter is just ducking hard questions.

  5. Ryan says:

    Bylsma’s use of Iginla is simply mind boggling. The guy is a Hall of Famer on the RW. Why is he not with Sid and Duper? If you’re going to win the cup, you need more production out of Neal also. The trio of 14-71-18 just works. Not much more to say there.

  6. Frank Novoa says:

    I’m just a fan watching at home, but I would much rather see Iginla on first line with Crosby. It was just making sense to me. At least rotate more frequently throughout the game (excluding power play). The Malkin line with Iginla just looks too sloppy.

  7. Jessica says:

    I agree that the Pens are using Iggy improperly. He’s a guy who has been in this league for many years and has earned the right to play where he is at his best. Iggy isn’t the type of player who is going to complain about where he plays but you know, deep down, he really wants to be where he is most comfortable. Neal is going to be around for awhile and if he is willing to play at left wing to help out his teammate, then I don’t see what the problem is.

  8. John says:

    Dejan

    Great column. I think it has been proven now over the last 4 seasons that Bylsma really doesn’t know how to coach strategy wise. Sure, he wins games but that is because he is handed an all star lineup

    But his misuse of Iglina, especially leaving him off the power play is inexcusable. And his selection of players in the last minute trying to protect a 1 goal lead yesterday was absurd.

    Old Disco Dan is exposed in every long series when it comes to making adjustments and making strategic moves. It has hurt this team in the past, and will do so in the future unless someone from above counsels him quick

  9. Josh says:

    I dont think Neal has been hot enough yo get preference…and when he’s willing to switch it seems like a no brainer/don’t stupid.

    Ps…Love your work and the access you give the readers. Especially being a fan outside the area I really value the impeccable coverage that is second to none. If I weren’t expecting the Pens to still be playing I’d say I’d hope to see you in Seattle June 25-26.

    DK: I appreciate that, Josh. And I wouldn’t make that trip anyway because a certain little man in my life has a ninth birthday!

  10. Danch70 says:

    I agree, mostly. I think they’ve looked their best with iginla on Crosby’s line. Put him on the right side there with dupuis and return Kunitz to the Malkin line.

    I agree entirely with Martin and letang. Martin moves the puck quickly and accurately. He’s not second guessing. It makes the pp so much more effective. Vokoun for fleury was a good move, perhaps unpopular in the dressing room. Same with this.

  11. Dcpinpgh says:

    What is Sid’s Dad doing behind the scenes?

    DK: Haven’t seen him much. He has been around, though.

  12. Jonathan says:

    Just to answer the question, maybe they got him just to keep him out of the hands of Boston and maybe that’s enough reason. Really, the Penguins have enough talent and grit and goal tending to win the cup without Iginla.

    Put Iginla on the Bruins and the path to the cup finals just got a lot harder. Anything the Penguins actually get from him is bonus. I get your point, Dejan, and I have been asking myself the same question with every passing game, but that’s my positive spin on the situation anyway.

  13. Shawn says:

    Is this mismanagement of Iginla by Bylsma due to arrogance and/or a flawed philosophy? I keep trying to find a rationale for the way Bylsma uses his personnel and it’s just hard to see the logic in it.

    I wonder about arrogance because Bylsma isn’t big on matching lines. He rolls his 4 lines almost in disregard for the game situation. I just wonder if that’s because he thinks his system is too overwhelming for anything like that to matter.

    I wonder about his philosophy on using players too. I know what I’m about to say might seem a bit slanderous, but Bylsma’s gone on record saying he doesn’t believe a switch from LW to RW (or vice versa) is a big issue, correct? If so, I just can’t shake the idea that stems from him being a grinding winger with no offensive acumen in his playing days.

    If your job is just to go and grind out your shifts, yeah, what side you play on isn’t as important. But if you’re a player with offensive skill it matters a lot. There’s a multitude of factors that make a winger comfortable and productive on their preferred side. So I keep coming back to the idea that Bylsma doesn’t see an issue with taking Iginla off RW because it didn’t seem important to him as a player. He doesn’t truly understand the importance.

    It’s just frustrating as a fan to see this roster gimped by baffling coaching decisions. Bylsma is a good coach, don’t get me wrong. But his insistence on playing an (at times) unalterable style of game and a philosophy that every person on the roster is interchangeable weakens the team, creates unnecessary obstacles, and could ultimately prove costly in a close enough series.

    DK: Honestly, Shawn, I think the column speaks to this toward the end.

  14. Eric Bowser says:

    I’ve read and heard this “Sid wants Kunitz and Dupuis” talk and of course he would after all the success but I have to think come playoff time, that sentiment goes out the window.

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    Bylsma didn’t have a problem using the line in game one but that didn’t last come game two. It has to be hard coaching a team of stars but at the same time, how many coaches wouldn’t love the opportunity that he has been given by Shero and ownership.

  16. Jason says:

    i understand why hcdb wants iginla to play on the left wing. it is the same principle as why the pens moved neal to the right wing here – to create more scoring chances and to have more opportunity for one timers. however, adjustments like this take a long time. in fact they can take over half of a season, just look at ovy this year. it is maddening for iginla to be on the left wing at a time that is most crucial. this is not the regular season where there is time to see improvement. this is not the regular season where the end will justify the means of getting there and the struggles for a month or two are no big deal if at the end the coach is correct. this is without a doubt one of the dumbest coaching decisions i’ve seen with the penguins in years. we are playing one of the best players in the nhl for over a decade out of postion. furthermore, like dk says we were using iginla on the point and he was fantastic, yet now he isn’t even getting to play there.

    can’t say enough good things about this article and i only hope bylsma will make the changes that are so obvious to so many people.

    i can’t help but wonder what a truly elite coach like mike babcock would do with a lineup like the pens have currently. bylsma really is blowing it in these playoffs thus far in my opinion, and let’s not even get into the fact that in all reality the pens likely will never have an easier road to the eastern confernce finals than what they’ve drawn this year.

    DK: The stars are, indeed, aligned rather nicely. On the roster front, too. Never know when another Iginla will come your way for a couple of middling college prospects.

  17. Jimmy says:

    I haven’t figured out why Iginla is still on Malkin’s line. The line has zero chemistry. I think coach bylsma’s biggest weakness is having to be right. Sid has proven he can play with anyone and Iggy isn’t just anyway.

    Last thought, the power play at the end of regulation what was he thinking. One why were we sitting back like that? Two, if you’re going to do that why was Geno on the ice. Put your penalty killers out there in that situation. Incredible sloppy/ugly play.

    DK: Listen to the audio, and you’ll have a solid idea of what Bylsma was thinking. Sounded like scrambled eggs.

  18. Sean Campbell says:

    Anybody remember iginla’s shot from the left point on the power play against the islanders? He had two in a row. One went off nabokov’s mask. Yeah. Plus the regular season goals from the same spot.
    Why would you ever get rid of that? Ever.
    I’d let him take that shot every time. 0-6 on the pp last game. Come on.

  19. Dom says:

    Any speculation on if James Neal is playing through injury? He’s been awfully ineffective at creating space and chances.

    DK: Everyone is playing through injury. Neal needs to start hitting the net once in a blue moon.

  20. Eric Bowser says:

    Lines should be

    Dupuis – Crosby – Iginla – Despres – Letang
    Kunitz – Malkin – Neal – Orpik – Martin
    Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy – Murray – Niskanen
    Morrow – Jokinen – Adams

  21. Clint says:

    It is amazing how 30 seconds of a game can change the way a fan thinks… from being up 3-0 in cruise control, to things being a series.

    My question to you is, how bad was/is Jokinen hurt, and will we see him in Game 4, especially since Glass offered so little?

    Iginla/Dupuis/Crosby is a hell of a line, if to just make Neal an offensive threat again with Geno.

    DK: I believe Jokinen will be back. And busy on draws.

  22. Aron Minkoff says:

    Why on earth is Jarome Iginla not on the first line with Sidney Crosby! Also in Games one and two it appeared that Bylsma was mixing the lines all throughout the games which put different players with different skills and tempos together which always kept the defense guessing. In game three it seemed like this was not the case and the lines were more structured. I could be completely wrong though. Your thoughts?

    DK: See above, Aron. This one’s fishy.

  23. Eric Bowser says:

    As Dejan is sure to reply, there’s no point to make as a reporter/columnist. He asks the questions relevant to the story or column and Bylsma answers the questions. The point of Dejan’s opinion should be made in the column, that’s why he gets paid.

  24. Eric Bowser says:

    19 career playoff games for James Neal, all with Penguins, and he has four goals.

    That’s not good enough.

  25. Paul says:

    What is the general mood around the team right now? You would have to think a loss like that would only increase the desire to come out and assert themselves Wednesday. These players know what a loss in Game 4 might mean.

    DK: Initial reaction seemed to be to want to bury Game 3 as quickly as possible.

  26. Eric Bowser says:

    Sloppy is a good way to describe it when you see both Neal and Iginla skating in the same section of the ice on the breakout or back-tracking into defensive zone. I saw it a few times last night and thought to myself… if I can see the problem, why can’t Bylsma or his assistants.

  27. Jriggi87 says:

    Great article, and completely agree with you, especially on the power play. Iginla has made
    The power play so much more dangerous, I can’t comprehend how you don’t use him full time on the point. That said, it’s a tough decision to make with all those players. You take off Kunitz you lose the net front presence. You take off Neal you lose the wicked shot from the left slot. And you can’t take off those other 2 guys… I forget there names, 87 and 71?? Lol… So is there an answer?!

    DK: Yeah, drop all the egos and make the right calls for the right situations. If guys want to be on the power play, they’ve ALL got to be net-front capable, or they sit.

  28. Eric Bowser says:

    I think Neal is quite comfortable there and considering he’s a 40 goal scorer, Pens should be doing everything they can to make sure the trigger men are in the right position on the ice.

    Kunitz and Dupuis are the role players, I think Bylsma… or maybe Crosby if all that “talk” is remotely true, need to remember that.

  29. Scott says:

    Good point – I was going to mention this as well. Keeping him away from the Bruins was huge. He’s also been (I assume) a solid presence in the locker room. I’ve heard players praise him for his cool demeanor after the Isles tied that series 2-2. He’s leading by example and that certainly helps.

    All that said, he was brought here to contribute offensively, and while he’s notching points, he’s rarely a factor five on five. I do think he should be put in a better position to maximize his talents, and that would be with Crosby.

    Still, there’s a long way to go in these playoffs, so I’m sure the lines will be changed again the next time someone sneezes.

  30. Greg says:

    Dejan,
    Love the Iginla column……the best point it makes though, i think, is the Martin for Letang switch……so many more of Martin’s shots seem to get through, and end up on net than Letang’s…..it just seems crazy to me that the coaches haven’t seen and responded to this…..is it the staff’s reluctance to mess with chemistry or is it just plain bad coaching?

    DK: Neither. Just more with the names over abilities. These are smart men. They can see plainly Martin is a better point man.

  31. Eric Bowser says:

    I’ve killed Bylsma all year on this blog but to be fair, he’s been quicker to make adjustments this year. I think the issues now are purely decisions about personnel, at least 5-on-5. I would still like to see some changes in how the power play works.. which as Dejan notes in his column would look nice with Iginla stations high on the LW circle for that booming one-timer.

  32. Ace McTasty says:

    Dan Bylsma seems to have some Bill Cowher in him. Good coach, but stubborn to a fault. Sometimes the answer that everyone can see really is the best solution. It often seems like Bylsma (like Cowher) would rather go down with the ship than hop on the luxury cruise liner that’s flashing a neon “Come Onboard” sign.

    Sometimes good coaches need to be saved from themselves. Let’s not forget Cowher was against drafting Roethlisberger. How many rings would he have, and how different would his legacy be, if everyone in the room had listened to him?

    DK: One of his fingers wouldn’t be weighed down as much.

  33. cojac says:

    GREAT Column DK,
    Malkin’s line needs a guy who can get in and dig the puck out and go right to the net. Kunitz was that guy last year and they haven’t found his replacement yet. Iggy is too much like Neal, they both like to post up and wait for a one timer. I feel Morrow could add that Kunitz element to Geno’s line. I also would move Iggy to RW on the 3rd line, I feel he could finish off some of the hard work Cooke puts in every shift.

  34. Eric Bowser says:

    I agree, Martin has made all the right plays… well except that game tying goal last night…

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    Probably still ticked off with the handling of Sid’s first concussion….

  36. Jeff says:

    Dk, Your spot on! I think Iggy would be much more effective playing on Sid’s RW. Sid adapts to his linemates and Malkins linemates need to adapt to him. That is difficult for Iggy to do on Malkins RW and nearly impossible on his LW.

    As Madden often suggests, Byslma is clearly worried about the ” Happy Family”. For a team that will have you believe they don’t have “EGO’S” the Coach is sure scared to bruise any of them!

    Dan ultimately needs to grow a set, get Iggy back on the RW and on the PP. I have to admit that I’m not overly impressed with Iggy’s speed, physicality or puck skills, but there is no denying his unbelievable one timer from the point.

    If Pens exit short of the Cup finals, Dan needs to go! He has been given all the ingredients to make an awesome meal. Will he become a Master Chef or a decent Home Cook?

    DK: Bylsma isn’t in trouble. At all.

  37. Eric Bowser says:

    Neal should be a RW… not sure this has anything to do with Neal demanding anything. I think it is purely about Bylsma being afraid or unwilling to put players in a position to succeed over the perceived desires of the team’s captain.

  38. Captain of 205 says:

    There is a part of me that agrees with Bylsma that when you have the best line in hockey, which 14-87-9 have been when they have been together, you don’t break that up. However, the complete ineptitude of 12-71-18 at even strength should have convinced the coaching staff that while breaking up the existing first line could reduce its production, the resulting increase of production on the second line would more than make up for it.

    I’m not sure whether the reluctance to break up 14-87-9 is due to strategic factors beyond my understanding, making Sid happy, or a refusal to be wrong. I do know that the lack of even strength production from 71′s line has to change if the Pens are to accomplish the only goal the matters — a fourth Stanley Cup.

    In terms of the Power Play, the times that it ran at its most productive and efficient level was with Paul Martin at the point. The player at the top needs to be a distributor, since the shots you want to be taken need to be by 87, 71, or 12. Having 58 at the top reduces those opportunities.

  39. Eric Bowser says:

    I don’t think Shero made the trade that he did to simply keep him away from Boston. Iginla was a real need for this team as they could use a big RH shot on the left-wing side of the ice during the power-play.

    It just would be nice for Bylsma to utilize the option.

  40. Michael says:

    Completely agree with this. 12-71-18 have no chemistry between them. Neal an Iginla aren’t going to get hot on the same line when they both want to be on the right. But you can criticize me for this all you want but, Vokoun has been shaky the two games and every goal except Ottawa’s second in Game 2 has been a must have. How long until we get to see Fleury back in action?

  41. jriggi87 says:

    I completely agree, especially about the power play. Iggy has made it so much more dangerous, the fact that he is not always on the point is nothing less than mind boggling! that said, it’s not easy too pick a top PP unit with all the talent. If you take off Kunitz you lose your net front presence. If you take off Neal you lose a wicked shot from the right slot, and the PENS leader in powerplay goals last season. Plus you have those other 2 guys, I forget there names… Numbers 87 and 71 I think?? I mean is there an answer to this power play?? Also heard some people suggesting You split Sid and Geno up into their own Units… But I don’t think you can sanely split up the 2 best players in the world on the PP. Whats the answer Dejan??!!

    DK: See above. Go to the front of the net, or take a seat. I’d say both 87 and 71 are good in front in their own way.

  42. Jarryd says:

    I still want to see if morrow/ Crosby/ iginla lights a spark for morrow and iginla. You know they have chemistry from all playing at the Olympics for Canada. Ohh and they were successful. I know Sid wants to play with speed and that is why he likes having dupuis on his wing. But Kunitz can play on the wing with Neal and Geno and that line had success. Dupuis can play a great shut down role and would be hugely valuable on the 3rd or 4th line. I just think that Morrow has a offensive upside and is strong on the puck who could benefit Sid greatly. Thoughts?

    DK: I wouldn’t be looking to Morrow for offense. But he can be doing better at other facets of the game, for sure.

  43. Eric Bowser says:

    Bylsma is loathe to change much, he believes strongly in his core coaching philosophy.

    Good point about DB believing LW and RW should be interchangeable…. he’s coaching like it and I think that’s a big mistake. The positions do matter when considering other variables like experience, speed, skill, handedness.. much easier to play defense as RH RW than RH LW, and vice versa for the LH player.

    But this shouldn’t be all about Bylsma.

    Last night’s game-tying goal was a total team effort by the players on the ice and coaches.

    Once in OT, it is anyone’s game.

  44. Greg says:

    While I was reading this collumn, I was thinking the same thing. Most teams would kill to have that available to them, but the staff seems to give it no thought whatsoever……go figure!

  45. Andy says:

    Totally agree with the column.
    To add, the Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis line may be more effective than a Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla line, but if Iggy is not playing there, the sheer ineffectiveness of anything he does at left wing with Malkin and Neal offsets whatever Sid is doing. Just the fact that he and Neal have to play different positions when the puck transitions from one zone to the next is mind boggling.

    If Bylsma believes the Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis line is too good to split up, perhaps he should make the bold move to play Iginla on the third line and move Morrow up to clear space in front of the net for Geno and Neal to work. Coach just needs to find the proper balance. Whatever that balance is, it does not include Iginla on left wing.

    DK: Right. So you’d go, what, Cooke-Sutter-Iginla?

    There’s a part of me that might actually be OK with that if Sutter weren’t so terribly ineffective all through this postseason.

  46. jriggi87 says:

    Shaky?? He made 47 saves in game 3! and Roy wouldnt have stopped the 28 seconds left goal! that was all lazy defense and back checking!

  47. Meesh says:

    Is it possible that there’s a combination of things going on here leading to Iginla’s misuse?: 1) Perhaps Neal isn’t 100% healthy (something about his initial push off and stride looked off to me last night), so maybe Bylsma wants to cater to him and keep him at RW for that reason + 2) Little desire to break up Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis since they are a known quantity, not only on offense but also on defense. Personally, I value that line as much defensively as offensively because they do an exceptional job as a unit of letting the defense pinch and covering for them without anyone getting caught.

    Really, I’m just trying to reason out the line combinations so far. I completely agree that there is no reason to keep Iginla off the left point on the power play. I can’t come up with a single hypothetical that explains that one away. That’s negligence at this point.

    DK: You know, it’s funny, Meesh. I really didn’t know how readers would react to that. It’s roughly 99 percent in favor.

  48. Eric Bowser says:

    I believe the Penguins planned to have the last 30-45 seconds of the game with Sutter, Cooke, Dupuis, Martin and Orpik but bad possession by Penguins was too quick with dumping puck, which didn’t give them the time to make the changes.

    If they had start the last 1:27 with those 5, players would have been tired towards the last 30 seconds that everyone would have killed Bylsma for it.

    Just as it is Bylsma’s job to get those 5 guys on the ice around 30-45 mark, same can be said for Martin’s role in inexplicably veering to Gonchar along LW boards creating a huge gap between Malkin and Letang that opened the center of the ice for Michalek to easily find Alfredsson for the tap-in. It didn’t help that Letang failed to quickly recognize what Martin and Malkin were doing or that Kunitz gave up on the play or fact that all 5 players had their head toward Michalek and puck and ignore the right side of the ice.

  49. Kevin B says:

    seems to be a common theme, but i agree with a lot of people that they should swap iginla and kunitz. it worked pretty well when they went to it before, and at least everyone will be comfortable. getting jarome iginla was incredible. they have to use him how he will play his best. what a special player to watch. i still don’t think a lot of fans realize how great he was for so long in his career.

  50. Eric Bowser says:

    That shot, those plays were exactly the reason Shero got him.

    No coach besides Bylsma ignores that type of shot with Malkin, Crosby and Neal as LH shooters on the right side of the ice.

  51. tim says:

    Can you tell us who in the pgh media is trying to screw you over?

    DK: I’m not talking about them even if they’re talking about me. That’s stooping to the lowest common denominator.

  52. Eric Bowser says:

    There’s no way he’s fully healed with the ankle, his skating doesn’t look as quick and he looks to loose steam 30 seconds into the shift… I think his stamina is off.

  53. CWalton_67 says:

    Beyond comprehension that Iginla is not being used on Crosby’s right wing. Also totally agree with Martin on number one power play and Iginla on left point.

  54. Eric Bowser says:

    I’ll be quite curious myself to see how Jokinen plays in game 4, if he gets the nod, as he took a pretty good shot to his right knee in game one thanks to Marty Reasoner.

  55. Michael says:

    Well i shouldn’t say completely shaky, he has made some big saves and been stellar the past few games, but it just seems as if he is bobbling a few pucks here and there like he did the first 10 minutes or so in Gm 5 vs. the isles.

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    I agree. I think we’ll see the Penguins win game four because they don’t want to give the Senators a second gasp after blowing game three and frankly, I can’t imagine Anderson playing another almost perfect game.

  57. Andy says:

    I think you’re right about Neal. He’s been getting better (first step is a tiny bit better, as far as I can tell from being at games/watching on TV), but he’s nowhere near 100%. Remember that hit against the Islanders that sidelined him for a game? I’ve heard people say that may be what did it.

    To your #2: I think that is a big reason the Neal/Iginla combo draws such ire. They’ve just been so bad covering in the defensive zone that it almost doesn’t matter that Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis are clicking at an unreal rate.

  58. Michael says:

    which might end up costing them a few goals against. I will say it will be interesting to see how he does handle the pressure from now on.

  59. jriggi87 says:

    I see what your saying, he’s been over commiting, a lot the past 2 games, but i think thats partly his style tho. My favorite thing about him though, is no matter the situation he always seems perfectly calm… Fleury gets rattled pretty easily, especially these last 2 seasons.

  60. Paul says:

    Dejan

    As a Pittsburgher living in Los Angeles your Twitter feed is at times my only source of Pens news, with a little from Rossi. At times I feel myself being highly influenced by your points of view. In this case too, I completely agree with your take on Iggy, but I worry about the bigger picture. The Pens always talk about getting to “their game.” Well, this is the playoffs and any decent coach knows what that game is and addresses it, yet we fail to adapt back. I fear Iggy and Letang are a bi product of that getting to our game mentality. What I mean is, the school of thought that Neal and Letang worked where they are and that’s where they’ll stay, because in those positions with their talent they produce our game. That is, unless injury prevents it, which is the only way Martin ended up on the point and was very successful there, yet we digress back to “our game.” I’m terribly tired of our game and want something that is adaptable, flexible, and lacking the arrogant approach that superior talent will require others to adapt to us and not vice versa. I feel I’m not alone in wondering why “our game” is so rigid and stubborn. What do you think? I feel it cost us two post seasons, and wondered last series if it might cost us again. Then I saw Vitale and TK and thought change was possible, I’m hoping that feeling comes back.

    Thanks for your work! Former fan of Jtown Chiefs & Pen for life living in LA.

    DK: Thanks, Paul. I’ve got to say, I cringe a little at your use of “influence.” I can honestly tell you my thought process in writing never goes there. I’m not trying to change your mind, as much as I am sharing what’s on mine. It would be disrespectful, I think, to believe otherwise.

  61. Eric Bowser says:

    It is mind numbing to say the least…

    Have a great night Sir!

  62. Eric Bowser says:

    Neal did look better in games 2 and 3 than Islanders series.

    4 goals in 19 playoff games (career #’s) just isn’t good enough.

  63. Eric Bowser says:

    I think that Morrow and Iginla switch is something Bylsma probably never even imagined.

  64. Eric Bowser says:

    Let’s say Bylsma flat out refuses to breakup Crosby line and wants Neal at RW with Malkin. Doesn’t that leave you with an option to go with Morrow, Jokinen, and Iginla on the third line?

    Move Cooke to the 2nd line with Malkin and Neal, he’s earned that chance, if you ask me and just “have to” keep the first two things as is.

  65. Michael says:

    That is probably one of the best if not the best part of his game is that he is always calm no matter the situation of the game. With Fleury, he does get rattled more easily but mostly by the fluky goals really, but with the way the defense has played the last 7 games, Fleury would be no doubt playing at the top if his game. Only how Vokoun plays will tell if he gets another shot.

  66. jriggi87 says:

    I’m one of the few ( when I say few i mean like 1 percent) that think Vokoun can carry us to the cup. He’s older, but I think he’s kinda in the same boat as Iggy and Morrow. The end of his career is coming, and he wants to win a cup, and not just as a back up! but we’ll see if he holds up.

    DK: However many are in your 1 percent, add this hard-to-spell name, please.

  67. Michael says:

    I think Vokoun can lead them to the cup as well and by now you’ve probably realized I am a big Fleury supporter. Both goalies have the capability to lead this team to the cup, Fleury already doing so in ’09 and getting to another cup final in’08. and as you said, it depends on if Vokoun holds up.

  68. Joe says:

    Not really related to the article, but something I’ve observed over the years… Malkin and Crosby rarely seem to both play good at the same time… I remember back to the Lemieux and Jagr days, on the ice together it was like a talent show, of who could one up the other. Now if Malkin shows up, you barley notice Sid, and vice versa, plus if there on the ice together it seems they just get in each other’s way! Whats the deal??

    DK: I could over-complicate an answer, or I could just say that Lemieux could play with anyone anywhere any time.

  69. Sean Campbell says:

    You’re commenting on everything. I suggest you write a comment and allow people to reply to it then maintain it. Commenting on every post is annoying to an extent, but I like your enthusiasm.

  70. Mona says:

    Sir,

    I just started following you on twitter after I read one of your retweeted post suggested by a follower last week. Happy I did! The writing and insight you give is superior!

    Those little questions in the back of my head about players lines and what coaches are thinking are being well visited in your columns and I appreciate the work you put into helping this fan understand “Better”.

    So glad I decided to check out the blog. Tweets are interesting, too!

    DK: Thanks, Mona, and welcome to you and the many other newcomers this morning.

  71. Jonathan says:

    Yeah, that’s fine, Eric. He’s obviously and upgrade and COULD be – even SHOULD be – used better, but that doesn’t change the fact that this move was right out of the New York Yankees playbook. I applaud it.

  72. Ghost says:

    Hey! I can actually say something relevant (if fatuous) here.
    Okay…eh hem… So then, you were not in favor of Cowher benching Jerome Bettis in favor of Amos Zereoue either I take it?

  73. Adam Smith says:

    I think Iginla should move to the Crosby line and Kunitz back to the Malkin line. However, if Iginla does stay with Malkin and Neal, I think Neal should move to LW. Iginla is the newcomer and Neal is familiar with the system and comfortable with Malkin; not to mention that Neal played LW his first few years in the league. Why should Iginla have to learn a new position in addition to learning a new system and how to play with new linemates? Brilliant question that the Pens need to answer, Dejan.

    My question is why don’t the Penguins try spreading their talent out over two power play units? Malkin, Neal, and Letang on one unit and Crosby, Iginla, and Martin on the other unit? Kunitz, Morrow, Kennedy, Dupius, and/or Niskanen can make up the remaining spots. In this scenario, everybody can play where he is comfortable AND most effective.

    DK: That sounds good, but possession of the puck usually doesn’t allow for that to be done cleanly. If a power play is going well — ideal — the top unit can be out there for 1:15, even longer.

  74. Steve says:

    Dejan-
    On the money as is usually the case. Who knows what goes on in DB’s mind. I do know it shouldn’t have taken until game 5 of the Isles series to know TK should have been playing (and should be a regular on the 3rd line, move Morrow down.)

    My question is, after reading RR’s column of the “breakdown”, why didn’t Bylsma call a timeout after the penalty to get everyone on the same page? In Rossi’s column he sort of hinted that it was a unique situation being on the PP with a 1 goal lead, with so little time remaining (he said it only happened once in regular season.

    Call a timeout, clearly define your strategy to the players, have your 2 lines set (God only knows why Geno was out there), and execute. Seemed players were in limbo, not knowing how to play with PP and lead.

    Your thought?

    PS Haters gonna hate

  75. Amy Davis says:

    Dejan- in addition to DB’s use of Iggy, I also want to bring up his willingness, or lack thereof, to play Despres. It’s well known that DB is skittish when it comes to playing rookies. The Pens have not lost in these playoffs when 47 is in the lineup. Let the kid play. Show some faith in him. Give him some confidence where he’s not afraid of making a mistake and sitting and I truly believe Despres can be the asset he’s been built up to be.

    DK: You mean other than benching him against “physical” opponents and outright embarrassing him before the rest of the league?

  76. T.S. says:

    Great article, DK. Especially the “hel-lo?”

    Let’s wax philosophical for a moment: We all have to do what we think is best (in life, in general), but when does the time come for someone to consider what the majority of other people are saying/shouting from the rooftops — in this case, about Iginla needing to be on RW / PP — before they’ll (Bylsma) sit down and seriously consider if maybe there’s something to it.

    DK: Today? We’ll see, T.S.

  77. T.S. says:

    P.S. Or when does Sid, or even Mario, offer some counsel when they see what we all
    do — what’s plain as day.

  78. Steve says:

    Dejan

    On the money as is usually the case. Who knows what goes on in DB’s mind. I do know it shouldn’t have taken until game 5 of the Isles series to know TK should have been playing (and should be a regular on the 3rd line, move Morrow down.)

    My question is, after reading RR’s column of the “breakdown”, why didn’t Bylsma call a timeout after the penalty to get everyone on the same page? In Rossi’s column he sort of hinted that it was a unique situation being on the PP with a 1 goal lead, with so little time remaining (he said it only happened once in regular season.

    Call a timeout, clearly define your strategy to the players, have your 2 lines set (God only knows why Geno was out there), and execute. Seemed players were in limbo, not knowing how to play with PP and lead.

    Your thoughts?

    PS Haters gonna hate

    DK: Two ways of looking at that: Call a timeout, and you’re cutting Ottawa’s top guys a breather. Not sure I’d do that. Better solution is to put responsible players on the ice.

    And yes, haters will do that, fueled by the unhealthiest of foundations.

  79. Jimmy says:

    That’s makes some sense, but if your not going to try to score why use a pp unit at all? Start Sid’s line with letang/Eaton. Then roll the sutter line out with orpik/Martin. The whole thing was a massive mistake starting with personnel on the ice for the situation. I also have qualms with the mixing of the lines in the first OT. I thought we had some golden opportunities in front of the net but no one was there. I do think we’ll regroup in game 3. I just don’t think Iginla will be on the top line where he should be.

    DK: do you think DB is hesitant to put Iggy on Sid’s line because Dan doesn’t feel his speed is up to snuff to keep up? I think he would flourish there.

    DK: It’s possible, I suppose. But I don’t see the speed issues others are seeing. First step, yeah. Beyond that, no.

  80. Jonkchar says:

    Ideally, I’d like to think DB is talking with 87, and 87 wants Kunitz. DB may be unsure about it, but on a foundation of trust, lets his captain pick his linemates and sees how they go with a little resistance from DB. I’d hope that soon DB will tell his captain that he has to split the line up.
    All speculation.
    Is it too horrible a thought to think that 87 wants to outshine 71? 87 stayed in Pitt during lockout and practiced with 9 and 14 while 71 was in KHL. Is it possible that Sid wants to be the star?
    Btw im glad im not the only one wondering why 14 71 18 would be broken up. Go pens!

  81. Luiz Mello says:

    Kunitz seems to be the real key guy in this discussion, doesn’t he? Someone [Joe] wrote above that Sid and Geno doesn’t seem to be dominant at the same time, and, while there’s no scientific evidence of that, it does feel to be true. And sometimes I wonder how much of this is related to which line Chris Kunitz is on and opening things up with his net front play.

    It’s no secret that Malkin, in particular, benefits tremendously from his presence, but it was also with Kunitz that Sid scored a hat trick last Friday.

    And, while I hope it isn’t true, it makes sense that Sid requested to be reunited with Kunitz and Dupuis. That’s the only explanation I can think of for Bylsma’s boneheaded decision to revert to this situation after finally having gotten it right a few games earlier.

    Here’s something I tweeted on Friday, May 17, hours before game 2: “Not sure why the #Penguins would switch back Iginla-Kunitz. Maybe to disrupt Sens’ attempts to adjust?”

    Making Sid happy would certainly answer that question, but it would be disappointing in the sense that it’s not what’s best for the team.

  82. Drew71 says:

    An early happy birthday to your little man, Dejan.

    It’s Thunder, right?

  83. Jandy says:

    like

  84. Drew71 says:

    Which part?

  85. Jandy says:

    and everyone on the ice had a brain fart at that time…

  86. JAL says:

    JAL’s Rocky Mountain Way Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP0o_ZzRjUE

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Some Tough Questions to Answer in the Upcoming Prospect Rankings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/first-pitch-some-tough-questions-to-answer-in-the-upcoming-prospect-rankings.html

    After a Rough Start, Alen Hanson Has Done a Complete 180

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/after-a-rough-start-alen-hanson-has-done-a-complete-180.html

    Top Performers: Do the Pirates Have Anything With Felix Pie?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/top-performers-do-the-pirates-have-anything-with-felix-pie.html

    Top Performers: Nick Kingham Continues His Impressive Season With Bradenton

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/top-performers-nick-kingham-continues-his-impressive-season-with-bradenton.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Bucs Dugout Podcast: The Pirates through mid-May

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/5/20/4348864/bucs-dugout-podcast-the-pirates-through-mid-may

    7 Yahoo Sports

    Tossing Up Zeros: The Pittsburgh Pirates Excel at Blanking Opponents

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tossing-zeros-pittsburgh-pirates-excel-blanking-opponents-171600747.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Is Locke A Lock?

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/05/is-locke-lock.html

    9 Rumbunter

    My Pittsburgh Pirates Paranoia

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/05/20/my-pittsburgh-pirates-paranoia/

    10 MLB

    Three up, three down: Rangers raking, Bucs surging

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130520&content_id=48066562&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

  87. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Minor League Ball

    2013 MLB Mock Draft: Version Two

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/5/16/4335316/2013-mlb-mock-draft-version-two-john-sickels-may-16

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Player of the Week: Jeff Locke

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/05/20/pittsburgh-pirates-player-of-the-week-jeff-locke/

    13 Wheeling Intelligencer

    Pirates Manager Offers Game-Changing Advice

    http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/585708/Pirates-Manager-Offers-Game-Changing-Advice.html?nav=515

    14 Weirton Daily Times

    Teamwork, co-operation makes all things possible

    http://www.weirtondailytimes.com/page/content.detail/id/599873/Teamwork–co-operation-makes-all-things-possible.html?nav=5006

    15 Fox Sports

    Correia struggles with command as Twins’ skid reaches 6 games after 5-1 loss

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/05/20/correia-struggles-with-command-as-twins-skid-reaches-6-games-after-5-1-loss/

    16 CBS Sports

    Cub Vs Pirates Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130521_CHC@PIT

    17 Sweetspot

    Don’t blame Mattingly: Blame the Dodgers

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/36161/dont-blame-mattingly-blame-the-dodgers

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates showing organization is on the rise

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130520&content_id=48070732&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Dollar Sign on the Glistening Muscle: Scouting Ballplayers in 1980s Playgirl

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20639

    20 Fangraphs

    Q&A: Vic Black, Pirates’ Future Closer

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/qa-vic-black-pirates-future-closer/

  88. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Matt Spaeth is getting second chance to make same first impression

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/5/20/4349510/steelers-matt-spaeth-is-getting-second-chance-to-make-same-first

    Steelers rookie Justin Brown knows how to put football first

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/5/20/4349392/steelers-rookie-justin-brown-knows-how-to-put-football-first

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Redman Says Locker Room Just Wasn’t the Same Last Season

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/05/steelers-rb-isaac-redman-says-locker-room-just-wasnt-the-same-last-season/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Gareth Bale prepared to commit to Tottenham for one more season despite missing out on Champions League

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/tottenham-hotspur/10069887/Gareth-Bale-prepared-to-commit-to-Tottenham-for-one-more-season-despite-missing-out-on-Champions-League.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 20th May, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-20th-may-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Breaking down Ottawa’s last minute game tying goal

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/5/20/4348542/breaking-down-ottawas-last-minute-game-tying-goal

  89. JAL says:

    Rocky Mountain Way Joe Walsh 1973. Recorded between his time with The James Gang and the Eagles

  90. Jandy says:

    Are you kidding? You must not come around here much if you don’t know Eric DOES write columns. Annoying??? Please!

  91. Jandy says:

    Great options, Eric. I wonder if DB will see what’s in front of his face any time soon?

  92. Jandy says:

    The “ON” part

  93. Drew71 says:

    So. For something completely different. How bout that Pedro?

  94. chethejet says:

    Bylsma is simply not a big time coach. He can’t elevate his coaching to meet the challenges of the playoffs. Nice guy and popular with the Pens brass, but Mario and Ron have to see he and his staff are at best reactive and not proactive. Not winning the cup is not a crime, not winning the cup with this talent is. It was a mistake for Shero to bring him back after last years playoff performance. The Pens will beat the Sens on will and depth and talent. They should beat the Bruins as well. But something tells me Bylsma will be exposed by the western team representative who bring talent, size, skill and confidence to the mix.

  95. Jandy says:

    Mona, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum :)

  96. Jandy says:

    Charlie Morton with a rehab start at Altoona tonight. Karstens Thursday. Wish I could make the time to go :/

  97. Luiz Mello says:

    I wouldn’t put winning the Cup as the minimum acceptable outcome, considering the lottery aspects of facing less-known Western opponents in the Cup final – especially in this shortened season.

    But yeah, not winning the Conference would have to qualify as an epic disappointment. Even before the addition of Iginla/Morrow/Murray (I’m going to leave Jokinen out of the argument, as his signing was a reaction to Sid’s injury), the Penguins were clearly the team to beat in the East, unrivaled in the Conference when playing to potential. With this roster… well, “crime” doesn’t sound too exaggerated.

  98. Kris says:

    This reminded me – how do people think Sid is looking, stamina-wise?

    I’ve got some concern about how all the weight loss from the required diet for the jaw could cause problems, particularly going along in the playoffs just because it’s so physically demanding.

  99. Kris says:

    I don’t know why so many people are kind of down on Vokoun. I’ve liked him since the Black and Gold game – nothing specific I could point to, just a general sense of ‘I like the way this guy plays.’

    Mentally/emotionally he seems to be exactly what we need paired with Fleury – Vokoun obviously doesn’t like to be scored on and doesn’t like to give up bad goals, but when those things happen it doesn’t seem to shake him up nearly as much as those things can get to Fleury.

    (Don’t get me wrong, I love the Flower. But there’s definitely a mental or emotional element to his game that Fleury struggles with sometimes.)

  100. Kris says:

    How much is Sid the type of player who’d make that request and push for it if it wasn’t the best idea for the team overall? He usually seems pretty clued up about the concept of it being a team game – pretty hard for just one guy to win it for the team no matter how good he is. (Unless you’re talking about a phenomenal goalie having one of those days, I suppose. Other team can’t win if they can’t eventually get a puck in the net.)

  101. Jandy says:

    you’re right.

  102. gregenstein says:

    I continue to wonder why it seems like such sacrilege to go:
    Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla
    Kunitz-Malkin-Neal

    Everyone’s in a natural position on a prime, scoring line. Or, flip Kunitz and Dupuis if Crosby needs Kunitz so bad. What is the harm in trying to move around the flexible Pascal Dupuis?

  103. BillyBaduka says:

    Excellent article DK. I agree and have asked the “why did we get Iginla question” while watching games.

    And a lot of great points in posts above. I’ll try to keep repeats to a minimum.

    A few thoughts – “I know I don’t know nuthin’. I’m just speculatin’ on a hypothesis.”

    - Iginla has to be at left point/circle on PP

    - it was good to keep Iginla away from Bruins. Still only makes sense to use his skills properly once he is here.

    - if for whatever reasons Iginla can’t be RW on top two lines, I like idea of him as RW on 3rd with Cooke and either Sutter/Jokinen. Of course this still leaves question of LW on 2nd line. Could put Cooke there and look for 3rd line LW.

    - it’s this sort of stubbornness from Bylsma that drives fans nuts with his coaching

    - I don’t think the biggest obstacle to 2 PP units is ice time. So what that minutes can not be split evenly. One unit gets extra 30 seconds? Start next PP with the other unit. If either PP is effective, full 2 minutes wont come in to play all the time. I think the biggest challenge is the line combinations. Shuffling players from the lines to two PP would result in mixed lines after PP is over until lines could be reunited when all rested for same shift.

    - my preferred lines would be:
    Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla
    Kunitz-Malkin-Neal
    Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy
    Morrow-Jokinen/Vitale-Adams

    - it feels like this team should be playing better. That being said it is better to be discussing what to do with Iginla while Pens have a 2-1 advantage in series (30 seconds from 3-0) than be down 1-2 and discussing what Pens can do to cover gap in personnel.

    - I think Pens biggest issue is 60 minutes of solid effort and decisions not line combinations.

    - if Pens match the effort of their opponent, I like their chances in any seven game series. Problem is we have yet to see that consistently.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  104. Pucknutz says:

    Wow DK – Musta hit a nerve w/that column. Took me 2 cups of coffee to scroll down through the overnights in the blog. Lots of new faces too – cool !

    Eric’s lines waaay above look good to me. But in any case get Iggy on the RW, you are correct. wasting him otherwise.

    GO PENS !!

  105. Deb says:

    Dejan, I don’t understand Bylsma anymore than the next person but I don’t buy the “pandering to the stars” theory. Not when Bylsma sat Sid on the power play last year instead of figuring out how to use him. If he can sit Sid then why would he bat an eye at Iggy’s reassignment on wing?.

    Also what’s up with singling Kunitz out as responsible for missed assignment on “the breakdown” when it was Malkins man left uncovered ?

  106. rayni9 says:

    Not only do I agree that Iggy should be on Sid’s line (great column btw DK), but I think a part of that plan that is ALMOST as important is the switch of Kunitz to Geno’s line. When the top 2 lines were 9-87-12 and 18-71-14 they not only played very well together, but Geno seemed to have a little extra something. I don’t know exactly what word or words to use, but it was good. He seemed happier and more comfortable as did Iggy.

    And Martin, who most fans would have offered to drive to the airport last year…lol. Please put him on the point. He’s so calm and smooth, keeps things settled. What a difference a year makes right? Can’t wait for tomorrow night!

  107. SJB says:

    With the acquisitions or Morrow, Iginla and the others, Shero basically gave Bylsma the rope he needed to hang himself with. If he doesn’t win the East he’s gone. There’s simply not a good enough reason for a team that has had the regular season they’ve had, and for once since 2009, is again built for the playoffs, to accept anything less. His coaching blunder that cost them game 3 of this series is one Shero will stick in his hat when making the decision whether or not to keep him around if they fail again. Fastest coach to how many wins? Yeah, tell that to Bruce Boudreau.

    I said it before that Shero will not be left looking like the fool who went out to get all this trade deadline talent and have it do nothing to get his team any closer to another cup. Bylsma’s head is on the chopping block if he doesn’t at least make it to the Finals.

    I also agree with DK’s assessment of the handling of Iginla. There is simply no good enough reason to not have him playing his normal position, I don’t care what line he’s on doing it. Between Neal, Malkin and Iginla,that line looks as frustrated as can be and unless Sid is going to score a goal or two every game (which he’s not) then keeping Kunitz on his line at the expense of everything else is boneheaded. Besides, after that gaffe in Game 3, Kunitz earned a demotion, if that’s what it would be considered.

    We’ve already seen Iginla and Crosby have some chemistry when playing together in the Isles series, so there’s no reason for this. Bylsma’s arrogant stubborn act is growing real thin and IMO, they win despite him. It shouldn’t be this hard.

  108. Drew71 says:

    So Dejan. How bout a prediction?

  109. Jandy says:

    Wash your mouth out with dog poop!

  110. Luiz Mello says:

    I agree with you, Kris. And I didn’t try to imply that Sid could have had a me-first attitude. It would be completely unreasonable to suppose such a thing. as his behavior has always indicated otherwise.

    My post was just wondering about on the first comment above, about rumors that Sid might have asked for his line with Dupuis and Kunitz to be kept together, and how it would make sense that this could have been the reason Bylsma went back to that (a move that otherwise didn’t seem to make much sense, at least to me).

    Now, if Sid indeed requested such a move (emphasis on “if”), I have no reason to doubt that he did so thinking about what’s best for the team, at least on a conscious level. Even so, it would still be fair to wonder whether Sid was right about this.

    All speculation, of course. The reasons why I’m very careful in my criticism of coaches is (1) they know hockey a lot more than I do, and (2) they have access to a lot of inside information I don’t.

    Maybe there are perfectly valid reasons to play Iginla the way Bylsma is, but I just can’t see any right now.

  111. Saw Joe Walsh with the James Gang at the Syria Mosque in the late 60′s or early 70′s. Opened for The Who.

    He played with a small Fender amp, but the sound was still perfect in that building. We sat in one of the upper balconies.

    Pete Townsend never stopped moving the entire concert. Of course, he never used drugs. The played almost all of Tommy and much more. Best concert I’ve ever been to.

  112. That should be easy for Drew with those incontinent poodles. Won’t even need duct tape.

  113. Jandy says:

    zing!

  114. Jandy says:

    Hey Spunky, congrats on the new granddaughter :)

  115. Thanks. Chubby little thing. 8′ 12 oz. Real joy. We have the 4-year old for a few days. What a bundle of energy. Wish she could transfer some to old Gramps.

    :D

  116. CWalton_67 says:

    A couple of good pieces on the Pens by Yohe and Rossi today. Insightful. Don’t miss.

  117. JohninOshkosh says:

    Very sad condolences for the great Ray Manzarek.

  118. AL says:

    We can talk about line combinations all we want but the bottom line is that all of this should have been decided before the end of the regular season. Let’s assume for a minute that the Pens are in the finals with the Blackhawks. From what I can see the Hawks have four strong lines, each knowing it’s particular role and working together for the betterment of the team. Are they line-juggling at this point? Trying to figure out who goes where? Of course not!
    Can the Pens (or anyone with so much talent) expect to be competitive in the later rounds by still not knowing what their line combinations are? Not that talent isn’t important but it only takes you so far. I think you won’t stand a chance if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You might get away with it in the regular season but not in the playoffs.
    I think we’re also lucky that Jarome is not a complainer which would make the situation alot worse than it is. Class guy all the way and willing to do whatever it takes.
    Just my two-cents worth rant.
    Thanks!

  119. Jandy says:

    LOL enjoy…they grow up much to fast.

  120. Jandy says:

    RIP Ray Manzarek :/

  121. Kris says:

    I suppose it might make more sense if we allow that maybe Sid is feeling the jaw injury more than seems obvious in terms of his quality of play? Certainly in that scenario then keeping with the line combination that he knows works really well might seem appealing since it’d mean he was more comfortable, less to think about on the ice.

    (Though. Hat trick. Not usually the result of someone playing poorly. Granted, Sid’s poorly is still often ridiculously good by any other standards…)

    If that is the case, I’d still question if it makes enough difference to Sid to be worth the hit to the Malkin line – it may be worth losing a bit of ‘spark’ on Sid’s line to make Malkin’s line more effective. An ‘average’ line with Sid on it is still pretty solid. Even without playoff hat tricks. :)

  122. Thundercrack says:

    I was thinking it might be Eric

  123. Kris says:

    One of these days I want Duper to turn up dressed to play goalie for a practice or something, just for kicks. It seems like he does everything else… :)

  124. dwf says:

    I find it very interesting that suddenly as your “fearless leader”, DK has written a less than glowing assessment of Disco Dan’s coaching, people on this site are NOW starting to question his coaching abilities/decisions? Really???

    DD has been making bad/questionable calls all season, and please, don’t bring up the record! Everybody knows the REAL season begins in the playoffs. And that record speaks for itself over the last few seasons.

    DD’s arrogance and horrible decision making is going to cost the pens yet another shot at the cup.

    But, look at the bright side, all of you DD supporters won’t have to worry, as per DK, Mario, Ron, etc he will be coaching in Pittsburgh for all eternity.

  125. Jandy says:

    well stated

  126. Jandy says:

    too even

  127. Jandy says:

    While you’re so busy patting yourself on the back, so us a favor and knock the wind out of yourself :)

  128. Ryan says:

    At this point, I don’t care if someones feelings get hurt based on where they play or if they play. The point of getting Iginla was to help with the cup now. Not next season but this season. He should play where he is the most productive which is on the right wing and the point on the power play. Kunitz has shown he can be productive on with either Malkin or Crosby. Iginla can play with Crosby and go to the dirty areas like Kunitz and still find ways to get open. Malkin plays better when he has both Neal and Kunitz and maybe Crosby will score more points if we get him a winger.

  129. Dom says:

    Let’s play what’s worse!
    What would be worse?
    The Buccos having a third straight collapse
    Or
    The Pens losing this series to a team we should handle easily.

  130. Jandy says:

    We have one. Dupuis is his name.

  131. Jandy says:

    Darn Dom, that’s a tough one!

  132. dwf says:

    Huh????

  133. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  134. chethejet says:

    I know it is early but does it seem there are a lot of half empty stadiums this year in baseball. Pens cut into the crowd at PNC but watching the replays, seems more empty seats to me around the league. These TV model contracts will not be supportable as currently projected. Yankees have a boatload of money and even they know the stance of just throwing money around is no longer the solution.

  135. Jandy says:

    my bad

  136. hockeymonster says:

    @Dejan

    Paul Martin IS NOT better than letang!!! Offense, defense, pp, pk whatever…he’s not even close…that’s absurd! PM has had a stretch of impressive and much improved play but lets not forget how low his bar was going into the playoffs.

    Would you be content trading letang and keeping PM? I hope not…

    DK: I was getting into specific facets, not making a broader argument over who’s better. I’d ask respectfully that you take another look.

  137. Iceman says:

    Nice column today on Iginla. Personally, I am perfectly fine with Iginla being on the Neal-Malkin Line, however, there is no reason for Iginla to play LW and Neal play RW. Neal has played plenty of time on the LW in the past so he should be able to adjust fairly quickly. Also, Neal has once again proven that he can be fairly ineffective in the playoffs. For some reason when second season rolls around, he seems to disappear.

    On the same note, what the heck is going on with this Neal and Iginla going back and forth on the PP. That is mind boggling to me. You put the best players on the ice and in his time here, Iginla has shown that he can be a force with that slapshot from the point/circle. No reason Neal should be on that top unit above Iginla.

  138. Orlandompensfan54 says:

    DK,
    Was it just me or were the pens tripping, falling, loosing balance during Sundays night game…read everything about game and not one mention…was it bad ice or maybe just bad skating by the pens? Oh yea….is it me or does a power play give us a man advantage for 2 min…if Im right, someone needs to alert the coaching staff to tell the guys to SHOOT THE PUCK. Play to win!

    DK: Both teams fell. Ice wasn’t great. It’s 70 degrees in Canada. That’s like 110 in dog temps.

  139. Iceman says:

    First of all let’s get one thing clear, nowhere did any one ever suggest to keep Martin and trade Letang so let’s just throw out that last point.

    Second, in the playoffs, you play the players that are playing the best, even if they may not be the “best” players. Look at what Ottawa did with Karleson in game 2. He played something like 9 minutes because he was playing like garbage. Karlesson is one of the best defensmen in the league, but he is struggling right now.

    Dealing with Martin and Letang is similar. In these playoffs, Martin has been the Penguins best and most consistent d-man. He has played very well positionally, is blocking tons of shots, is playing an absurd amount of minutes, and he is getting his shots on net. While Letang has played pretty well, he has made quite a few very questionable decisions and he also has a history of struggling with getting shots to the net and passes through d-men. Martin is getting his shots on net and his playing with great vision right now. He should be quarterbacking that powerplay because he has been the better player in these playoffs (again, I am not saying he is the better player in general)

  140. Jandy says:

    Well said, Iceman, but you know…that breath thing ;)

    Some people can’t grasp that sometimes…ONE PLAYER is better than ANOTHER one at a CERTAIN TIME. It’s like riding a hot goalie, or running back until he cools off.

  141. Bizrow says:

    + 1

    I see a lot of new names here today, how do we get them to log in to the nation?

  142. AJS says:

    i was watching an episode of in the room the other night. In it iginla specifically states that what drew him to the Pens was both the opportunity to play for a cup and Shero telling him he would be coming in to play on Crosby’s wing.

    I know DK suggested that Kunitz opens up room for Crosby that he can’t create on his own but that was based on one game’s work. And it isn’t like Kunitz is the only player on this team with that ability.

    how about Crosby
    Morrow
    iginla

    Kunitz
    Neal
    Malkin

    i know this leaves Duper out in the cold and he doesn’t deserve that. But at some point using players where they work best is more important than what you “Owe” a player.

    And a power play with Letang and Iginla on the points with Neal, Crosby, and Malkin seems to make too much sense to me.

  143. Ambassador Jandy will handle it, Biz.

    ;)

  144. Jandy says:

    I’ll get right on it, Boss ;)

  145. Bizrow says:

    + bunches ;-)

  146. DJ says:

    Totally agree with your last two articles, on players having structure and defined roles on the PP (perhaps giving free reign to only Sid and Malkin to roam and exploit aspects of the other team’s PK they are seeing in real time) and the use of Iginla. Seems that HCDB is trying to make certain players happy and, in doing so, the end results suffer. Not saying this is a direct influence in every instance but I am sure he has in the back of his mind the egos / contract situations of Malkin and Letang. Anyone who has watched the on-ice performances this year can see that Martin is a much better fit on the PP in entering the zone, passing and in getting shots through. And Iginla’s use? You nailed that one. You call this Hockey 101. It takes a special coach with a very open mind to meld an abundance of riches thrown at him into a cohesive whole. Bylsma seems to struggle mightily in that department, in many instances over-thinking simple things and in other areas being too slow to adapt. That said, I give him credit for going back to TK and Vitale, although some would argue a game too late in the Isles series. The line-ups, line combinations and deployment on the PP will have a greater effect on the outcome of this series and moving forward (assuming we move forward) than who we play in goal. Let’s hope he and Ray are digesting your straight-to-the-point observations that all of us are seeing (Hockey 101) and the messages — even from “uneducated” masses like us — get through.

  147. Jandy says:

    Luiz, I’ve seen you here before, but have you posted your hometown so Biz can add to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  148. JohnS says:

    The reason that Iginla is playing with Malkin is because he is pretty much used up as a 5 on 5 player and Crosby doesn’t want him. Crosby wants attacking quickness and speed. Iginla has none of that left. The LW/RW thing is overplayed. There isn’t a huge difference. These guys are pros they can flip back and forth easily. They have preferences but that is all they are.

    On the PP I agree. He was very good on the right point. The problem is Letang. For as gifted a player as he is I don’t find him to be a that strong of a PP QB. The Pens have the talent to put together two strong units and I think I would prefer that approach with each unit running a different PP. One unit run an overload and the other run a 1-3-1 or umbrella. I won’t look for it because it simply won’t happen. It just doesn’t seem to be the way they play in the NHL.

  149. Jandy says:

    You too, chetthejet…have you posted your hometown so Bizrow can add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  150. hockeymonster says:

    Well karlsson’s hurt and playing at 80% so bad example goose…oops I mean iceman :)

    And I suggest you 2 re-read the column I was responding to…dejan didn’t say PM was better for a game or 2…he said flat out that PM is better defensively and on the pp.

    Like I said at the time…i’ll refer to the video of okposo and Tavares using PM like it was practice…not a game but Prac-Tice :) But it seems like those rushes on him were wake up calls cuz he has been better since. Matador in a bull fight he is not…atleast not right now.

  151. Jandy says:

    Jonchkar, have you posted your hometown so Bizrow can add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  152. AJS says:

    Oh and in that same show you can here Bylsma telling people that if they want to play with Sid then they are going to have to learn to play the left. it is as if Kunitz is the one that is locked into position. I just don’t get it.

  153. Jandy says:

    Amy, have you posted your hometown? Bizrow will add it to the Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum list :)

  154. Jandy says:

    Adam, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum list :)

  155. Jandy says:

    Joe, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  156. JohnS says:

    Crosby would never play on that line on a regular basis. Way too slow. You need to look at Crosby as a very highly skilled grinder. That is the type of player he is. He is good along the wall and in tight quarters. That is why 14/87/9 works so well. They have skill but their goal is to outwork you.

    71 is more like 66 in that he is an open ice player creating space for himself and others. Which is why he played so well with 14&18. There is no reason that 125/71/18 can’t work. 12 needs to do a little homework (video) and watch how 14 played with 71. I’m not sure 12 has ever played with a player like 71 before and it is different.

  157. Jandy says:

    Paul, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  158. Jandy says:

    Michae, and jriggi87, if you list your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  159. Jandy says:

    Captain, have you given Bizrow your hometown so he can add to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum list?

  160. Jandy says:

    jeff, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  161. Jandy says:

    cojac, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum.

  162. Jandy says:

    Jarryd, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  163. Jandy says:

    Meesh and Andy, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  164. CoachWard says:

    Really feel like Neal has been the player the most affected by the trade aquisitions. As I watch him, focusing on his play and demeanor, it seems as though his role on the team has been clouded. He seems to thrive the more he is relied upon. He seems lost in what his role is. Same with Iggy actually. Part of DB’s job is to clearly define the roles of his players and I’m not seeing that. Simply put, Neal is not playing well, but players play well when allowed to play fast and not think as much (don’t stupid). Put players where they are most comfortable and watch them thrive. This is on DB. Love this blog!

    DK: No question Neal has languished. But a lot is his doing. He’s still taking a regular shift with the guy that helped him to 40 last season.

  165. Jandy says:

    tim, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  166. Jandy says:

    kevin, I see you follow on twitter, so you may know that if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add you to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  167. Kevin says:

    ha!

  168. Jandy says:

    Greg, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  169. You weren’t kiddin’. You got right on it. Wish you worked here.

    :D

  170. Jandy says:

    Paul if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  171. Jandy says:

    Aron, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  172. Jandy says:

    Clint, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum list

  173. Jandy says:

    Sean, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  174. Jandy says:

    Jimmy, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  175. Joe says:

    exactly! And i think Vokouns calming precense calms the team down as well… We all know the Pens Defense was nothing less than horrible in the 1st series, but how much of that could have been because they where effected because every bad bounce was getting by Fleury. That doesnt help an already shaky D’s confidence

  176. Jandy says:

    Jason, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  177. Jandy says:

    Shawn, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  178. Jandy says:

    Scott, Jonathan, if you guys post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  179. Jandy says:

    Josh, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  180. Jandy says:

    Jessica, if you list your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  181. Jandy says:

    John, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  182. Jandy says:

    Frank Novoa, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  183. Joni says:

    I have wondered myself about 87 and 71 out shining each other. Perhaps it’s a matter of exaggerated mutual respect?

    Maybe a case of both guys playing the equivalent of “after you, sir.” And then the other guy says/plays the equivalent of “No,no after you.” that mentality may have worked (to a certain extent) during the regular season. But here we are in the post season, manners be darned.

    What does Kunitz have to say about this? Is his ego allowed to be taken into account? Can he call dibs? Probably not, since we now have DB’s ego to deal with.

    Obviously, I have never been in a professional hockey locker room (they tell me you need a pass for that), so I couldn’t even imagine the hockey-minded happenings and personal strategies that take place in such an environment. All I can do is approach this from my now-where near competitive perspective.

  184. Jandy says:

    Ryan, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  185. Jandy says:

    JP Foanio, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  186. Jandy says:

    @412tj, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  187. Jandy says:

    Adam, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum list ;)

  188. Joni says:

    Should be “nowhere” instead of now-where.

  189. Jandy says:

    :yawn:

  190. LGP says:

    DK, I agree completely with your column. Not to suggest that it happened here – and I’m certainly not asking you to divulge it even if it did – but how often, if ever, are you given ideas for your columns on lineups, strategies, and the like from players or even management? In other words, are you ever directly or implicitly given an idea or topic by someone that could be impacted by a change that parallels something you’d suggest in a column?

    And if this does happen, do you ever get feedback that indicates that your columns or viewpoints helped lead to a change? I would imagine – and hope, I think – that these things don’t happen, but I’m curious if frustrated athletes might approach a trusted local scribe to help bring people around to a given position.

    DK: I won’t take a direct column suggestion from anyone other than my editors and other co-workers. Now, people you cover will tell you stuff that can lead to a column. But it’s way rare for someone to say, ‘Hey, know what you should write?’

    Almost never. They know better

  191. Jandy says:

    Ryan, have you posted your hometown? if you do, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  192. Jandy says:

    AJS, I can’t remember, but is your hometown listed on Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  193. Jandy says:

    John S, there isn’t time for homework and asking Iginla to do that when he brings a fantastic skill set is disrespectful :)
    However, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  194. Jandy says:

    You too, AJS, post your hometown, and Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum

  195. Jandy says:

    DJ, have you posted your hometown so Bizrow can add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  196. Jandy says:

    LGP, (Let’s Go Pens I’m assuming) have you posted your hometown so Bizrow can add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  197. Jandy says:

    This blog rocks :)

  198. Damon says:

    Morrow hasn’t created too much offensively to be bumped to the first line, and Duper is tied for the league lead in goals playing on Sid’s wing. Morrow is perfect on the 3rd line, Duper and Sid have worked together for years now, so keep those two together. I’m OK with Iginla on Sid’s RW – the one game they played together, Iginla got a rebound goal….

  199. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  200. Jandy says:

    isn’t that the truth??? :)

  201. LGP says:

    Yep. And the name is what you thought

  202. Jandy says:

    Damon, well said. have you posted your hometown for Bizrow to add to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum?

  203. Jandy says:

    ATTENTION NEWBIES, FIRST POSTERS, LURKERS, AND ANYONE WHO ISN’T LISTED:
    If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asyum :)
    We’d love to see the list continue to grow.
    Thanks!

  204. Jandy says:

    Ok cool and thanks much, friend :)

  205. Amy Davis says:

    Sewickley, PA Jandy

  206. Damon says:

    Post it here? (Hookstown, PA)

  207. theplanisworking says:

    She is our UN rep here at the blog……. ;)

  208. Jandy says:

    Danke :)

  209. Jandy says:

    Yup, Biz sees all :)
    and Thanks

  210. theplanisworking says:

    Pens losing this series by far.

    We have already witnessed 2 collapses from the Bucs………….

  211. Jandy says:

    Hipposter! :)

  212. Jandy says:

    Thanks Amy :)

  213. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, which one am I ?? ;)

  214. theplanisworking says:

    Jandy, go down to the bottom…….. easier to see ya! :)

  215. Jandy says:

    None of the above, you’re from Hippo’s Pond and we ALL know that ;)

  216. theplanisworking says:

    LOL!!

    I am pleasantly surprised at all the newcomers this morning.
    Would be nice to see some more contributions from them on a regular basis.

    Then they could all see the Hippo. ;)

  217. Jandy says:

    I second that emotion :)

  218. theplanisworking says:

    I am going to go out on a limb here (it BETTER be a strong limb!!) and say that Mr. Disco Duck may be suffering from “Smartest Man in the Room” syndrome. There is another team across town that has someone who thinks that way.

    Really, where to Play Iginla seems so simple, but only one person doesnt see that.
    It is perfectly fine to believe in one’s system, but it isnt fine to be so inflexible that you rarely change from it. Thats fine for someone like Scotty Bowman, who won like 8 Cups, but last time I checked, Duck isnt Bowman.

    Hopefully Duck pulls out of this funk he is in, and learns from his mistakes.
    10 more games needed to win the Cup…………… if Duck keeps it up, we wont see 5 more. :(

  219. Iceman says:

    Alright you can focus on one play, but let’s look at what the stats say:

    Points: Letang – 9 Martin – 9
    +/- Letang – +3 Martin – +8 (highest on the team)
    TOI: Letang – 27:56 Martin – 27:10
    Shooting %: Letang – 7.7 Martin – 16.7
    PIM: Letang – 6 Martin – 0
    Hits: Letang – 19 Martin – 7 (yes, Letang is playing the more physical game)
    Blocked Shots: Letang – 17 Martin – 26 (again, highest on the team)
    Giveaways: Letang – 11 (highest on the team) Martin – 5

    (All stats taken from NHL.com)

    Again, I am in no way saying that Martin is a better player than Letange, however, in these playoffs, the stats would lean toward Martin playing better.

  220. Jandy says:

    Think positive, Hipposter :)

  221. theplanisworking says:

    Just dont feed the animals! ;)

    BTW, how are you, and the sick one today?
    Looking nice now, but t-storms later.

    Hippos are afraid of thunder, ya know…………..

  222. Bizrow says:

    Thanks Damon, BTW, I used to live there when I first started working at the nuke site back in 76, lived on top of the hill where that white building is close to the grange

  223. Nate83 says:

    This really seems simple to my simple hockey mind. Sid seems to play well with just about anyone. Put Iggy on that line and keep the best line in hockey over the last two years in tack. Don’t mess with the Malkin line.

  224. Bizrow says:

    Where in PGH? neighborhood will work, thanks

  225. Kevin says:

    nope very easy… with the pirates it would be more of the same. With the penguins, with the amount of talent they’ve acquired and the level at which they are CAPABLE, it would be totally and for all otherwise way way more devastating.

    I think in terms of expectations… penguins>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>pirates.

  226. theplanisworking says:

    oh, I am trying, but Disco makes it difficult sometimes.
    Shero went out and traded for important pieces, and one is always scratched, and one is being misused.

    You can have the finest food ingredients in the world, but if the chef has a horrible recipe, well, you know what I am gonna say………….. ;)

  227. Jandy says:

    he is on a Z pak, but it will take a day or two to kick in. He’s working, though, he is a trooper. Throat is still sore…but he’ll be fine…thanks for asking :)
    Storms? I LOVE storms :)

  228. theplanisworking says:

    Nate, you think this is a case of “Forest for the Trees” ??

  229. Jandy says:

    Let’s see how Wednesday goes…

  230. theplanisworking says:

    You can keep your storms.

    You think Drew’s poodle is incontinent? You have never been around a Hippo in a t-storm…… ;)

  231. theplanisworking says:

    Where is Wednesday going???? 8-)

  232. Jandy says:

    I’m assuming Orlando, FL…Biz do you have that listed?

  233. Iceman says:

    Neal has a history of falling apart at the end of the season and into the playoffs. You saw it in the year he was first acquired and you saw it again in last year’s playoffs. I’m not so sure that it is playing with the newly acquired players as much as it is that he can’t handle the pressure.

  234. Milo Hamilton says:

    Home teams are 10-1 in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

  235. Kevin says:

    I think hockeymonster just really dislikes PM (pylon man?). I feel similarly about Vokoun. Have we seen enough of Vokoun to know how he will react to a tough loss? Cuz we’ve seen what Fleury can do in a bounce back game. And we could use one of those in gm4. Just saying. :\

  236. Jandy says:

    Like

  237. Kevin says:

    oh and +2.

  238. Jandy says:

    pffft! OK Hubby is here to take me to an early lunch…later on friend :)

  239. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  240. theplanisworking says:

    See you on the Bucs thread, Miss Jandy!

  241. hockeymonster says:

    I have dejan and here’s what you wrote:

    “Martin isn’t just better defensively than Kris Letang, but he’s quietly better than any of the Penguins’ defensemen on the power play. He’s smooth, smart and — unlike Letang — capable of getting his shots and passes through traffic.”

    Considering they’re both dmen saying martin isn’t just better defensively is pretty cut n dry. Perhaps your sentiments were different. Letang getting shots thru has been a work in progress for several years now but hardly a reason to downgrade him.

    DK: Discussing only the power play in this context. Getting passes and shots through can’t be a “work in progress” with the man-advantage. It isn’t optional.

    You’re a fan of his. I appreciate that. I’m citing one specific facet here. That’s it.

  242. theplanisworking says:

    Wow, Milo, didnt realize that the % was that high.

    Much better than the 1st round.

  243. Damon says:

    I know where you are talking about – near the Fairgrounds? I’ve only lived out here for 11 years, but it is nice out in the country.

  244. hockeymonster says:

    One play? HAHAHA….look i’m thrilled PM is playing significantly better…and going to back to my criticism of him before the trade deadline he actually has addressed the mistakes he’s made. But lets not get carried away is all im saying.

    And if stats ruled Dupuis and his plus/minus along with point production would guarantee a MVP.

    Nuff said :)

  245. Kevin says:

    I like Neal… I think he’s been phenomenal on the right wing. He had his adjustment period too for the first ~6 months in Pittsburgh he did nothing on Malkin’s RW. Then the next season happened and he was terrific.

    In knowing what little I know about hockey, I think you put your pieces where you get the most out of em. Is that not common sense?
    - Neal’s a RW even if he played LW before.. he’s been a RW for 2+ seasons and done very well.
    - Iginla’s a RW… he’s been a phenom for.. well.. a very long time.. more than a decade.
    - Kunitz has been great with both Malkin AND Crosby.
    - Bylsma’s had his favorite line all year that he just can’t break up. It was Crosby-Dupuis-Kunitz then Sutter-Morrow-Cooke. I think that’s dumb. Chemistry is what it is but it seems a much better approach to put your goal scorers where they should be.

  246. Nate83 says:

    I think it’s a case of overthinking things. The Malkin line has been good for a very long time. It just seems to make sense to not mess with that.

    It also seems like Iggy although maybe not as fast as he used to be knows what to do when he gets the puck. He is not shy about shooting the puck and quickly. That would seem to work well with Crosby. He also seems to crash the net well when someone else shoots. That also would seem to work well with Crosby.

    Maybe this is Crosby’s call. He doesn’t seem to have a huge ego or demand stuff but he is a superstar and he wouldn’t be in the minority if he did not only request for a certain linemates but also have it granted.

  247. JohnS says:

    State College, PA

  248. theplanisworking says:

    +1

  249. Kevin says:

    Ottawa people were tripping and falling too. No reason to single out the Pens. Just ask Chris Neil. Which.. still waiting for an injury update on him too. Status update?

  250. Damon says:

    The one loss was Chicago to Detroit….never thought that it would be 2-1 Detroit at this point. Wouldn’t it be weird to have a Pens-Red Wings Cup Final for the tie breaker? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of myself though….

  251. Connor says:

    9-87-12 seems to make more sense for a lot of reasons. Sid is much better at creating sustained offense in the zone off the cycle, which fits Iggy better than the free-wheeling unpredictable Geno. And Neal and Malkins perimeter tendencies need someone with speed who will get in the dirty areas quickly and physically (14). Does Sids opinion matter too much? I know he likes Kunitz, and he has had success lobbying for things in the past. Is that part of the reason why Iggy is stuck in the revolving door of Neal and Malkins line?

  252. LGP says:

    Thanks for the response. And maybe this is asking you to get into your subjects’ heads, but how often do you get the feeling that people are subtly suggesting an idea in hopes of seeing a responsive column?

    DK: Again, it’s rare. Really is.

  253. Milo Hamilton says:

    I know the Pirates always draw better during the summer months but their attendance is down over 5,000 a game. Amazing what choking like dogs two years in a row does to the ticket buying public.

  254. Kevin says:

    for once I agree with Jandy. Dupuis is the perfect winger for Crosby… very quick and can get to scoring areas faster. Also agree with Jandy that Morrow is playing a bit slow but his role would be mostly checking and dirty area around the net while Crosby and Duper fly around him like flying hockey players.

  255. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, it was nice out there, except trying to get up that hill when it snowed. A nice little quiet area

  256. Bizrow says:

    thanks

  257. Bizrow says:

    I’ll check tonight

  258. Kevin says:

    What are you talking about? The Malkin line has been terrible all year. It’s pretty much just been Malkin + Neal + hey-whos-that-guy… Malkin + Neal create on their own but its way way below the level of the Malkin + Neal + Kunitz season where they owned everyone. In fact, I’m sure thats what you were referring to.

    Just point out that there is NO chemistry out there.. at all. Ok.. maybe if chemistry is just Malkin + Neal or Crosby + Duper (Duper had fantastic season by the way). There’s no LINE chemistry. Which to me.. is the perfect opportunity to put everyone where they SHOULD be based on talent and not feelings or preferences.

  259. Damon says:

    Funny thing I’ve noticed though is the other teams ballparks have been sparse too (checking out highlights). I know the Indians are hurting even though their team is doing well too. The Pirates will be hurting attendance-wise as long as there are Pens playoff games & Mario’s TV crowds….that may hurt if the Pens go into late June…

  260. Naje says:

    Weather and school… early in the year… some real dogs at home, but 33K on Saturday and 27K on Sunday against the Astros.

    Let’s see where it is in September (to borrow a certain columnists phrase about everything PBC related…at least for now).

  261. Mona says:

    I’m between Canyon Country, California and San Antonio, Texas depending on my work timeline. SATX right now is okay.

  262. Thundercrack says:

    Milo,
    I think they are down a little less than 2500 per game.

  263. Drew71 says:

    70 degrees? I’d need an overcoat.

  264. Iceman says:

    I give up…

  265. Kevin says:

    +1 and ah hah! I was wondering if someone would mention the blackhawks. Its not a relief but good to see the other #1 seed having their own struggles. If the penguins re-right their ship, we could very well see a 08-09 cup rematch! And to state the obvious, that would be just awesome.

  266. Milo Hamilton says:

    Last year they averaged 26,148, this year 21,015. But like I said, their big drawing months are ahead.

  267. Kevin says:

    Everyones said everything about the subject topic not just today but for the past couple months. With DK’s very well written article, I believe the horse has been well and fully beaten. So, I won’t go and repeat everything. Just had some random thoughts and questions.

    1. Chris Neil is the antagonist of the Senators. As in, he is the rabble rouser that tries to get under the penguins skin. I don’t know if anyone else noticed (no one else mentioned it anyway) but I think he hurt his arm sliding ‘with help’ into the boards. What’s his status for gm4? And what effect does that have on the senators play?

    2. Not enough discussion on the Voky v. Fleury debate today. Some still think its not a debate and Voky should keep on keeping on. Just want to remind people that there are reasons to get Fleury some work in gm4 as opposed to waiting for gm5 or gm6 or dare I say it gm7. Just saying that reason exists.

    3. Someone said it already but I’d like to see more out of Sutter. Unfortunately, he has those smoky eyes like Aaron Rodgers or Vince Vaughn where it always seems to look like he hasn’t slept since the playoffs started. But, he looks tired. It would be nice if he was more up to form and we had the “out-there” options that others have mentioned of trying Iginla on Sutter’s right wing and moving Morrow back up to the Malkin line.

    Oh and, no actual horses were harmed in the writing of this post.

  268. Too many people embracing the……..whoops. Never mind.

  269. Thundercrack says:

    I looked in the PG.

    They may have averaged 26k for the entire year last year. But after the same number of home games each year the difference is 2.5K

  270. Iceman says:

    Don’t look now but Detroit is looking pretty good. They are now up 2-1 on the Blackhawks and man are they looking good. That shot by Datsyuk last night was wicked. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=250164&cmpid=embed-share-video

  271. theplanisworking says:

    Haha!

    HIPPO HEY, Lucky!

  272. Milo Hamilton says:

    There is too much discussion about the goaltending situation. Don’t think there is any talk in Detroit about getting Jonas Gustavsson some work. Or Jonathan Bernier in Los Angeles. Why so much talk about the backup goalie ? That ship has sailed. Marc Andre Fleury has lost his job. Period. (Sorry Dom).

  273. SeanAY says:

    Watched that game with the folks from my Ultimate Frisbee league after our games last night (yes, that’s a thing, and yes, we’re pretty serious about it.)

    Whereas there was raucous cheering for the other Wings goals, the only thing that goal elicited was calls of “Holy s&@t!”

    That dude is nasty. Might be the most talented player in the league, pound for pound.

  274. Damon says:

    1. That could be huge if Neil was out. No one is going to give any info away until game time, but it looked like he separated that shoulder. If he played, I’m not sure he’d do too much hitting.
    2. With two days off, Vokoun should have enough rest to play game 4. Stick with the hot goaltender. He just about matched Anderson save for save in game 3.
    3. Maybe try Jokinen as the 3rd line center, move Sutter to the 4th line. That could give Sutter the wake up call he might need. That would leave Glass and Vitale out, but I am OK with that.

  275. Jandy says:

    Did you see this one, Biz?
    Mona says:

    May 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I’m between Canyon Country, California and San Antonio, Texas depending on my work timeline. SATX right now is okay.

    Reply

  276. Jandy says:

    Thermals

  277. Iceman says:

    1. Chris Neil wasn’t at practice on Monday and Paul MacLean said “Nothing to update.”

    2. How do you even begin to justify taking Vokoun out after the game he played in game 3. Sure the Pens lost, but that was not on him at all. There should be no debate about who starts in game 4. Vokoun has earned the right to continue playing.

    3. I think Sutter has been playing fairly well defensively. He has accepted the role as a shut-down 3rd line center. Sure I would like to see him on the scoresheet a bit more, but I think defensively he has been playing well. Also, in OT of the last game, he won 3 face-offs in a row on the “Neal Play” leading to Neal getting two good shots on net and a third blocked by a defenseman.

  278. Jandy says:

    hockeymonster says:

    May 21, 2013 at 11:13 am

    One play? HAHAHA But lets not get carried away is all im saying.

    PLEASE take your own advice.

  279. Jandy says:

    Iceman, can I say, “I told ya so?”
    ;)

  280. Jandy says:

    :yawn:

  281. Jandy says:

    ::trumpets blowing and cymbals crashing::

    LOL, thanks Kevin :)

  282. theplanisworking says:

    Who was “the Mule”? Datsyuk, or Franzen?

  283. Jandy says:

    I think what Nate meant is that when Kunitz played on Malkin’s line, it was successful.

  284. Jandy says:

    it’s always nice to dream…you never know which ones might come true ;)

  285. hockeymonster says:

    Just pointing out that stats aren’t everything…unless its fantasy hockey :)

  286. hockeymonster says:

    So you guys can defend PM all day long but I cant stand up for letang? Interesting…

  287. Same to you, brother.

    It’s a good day to do something!

  288. Jandy says:

    Not to be mean, but I hope this goes into June :)

  289. Jason says:

    What has Sutter done this postseason to guarantee a spot out there? Outside of a couple shifts, I haven’t seen anything that looks like the Sutter from the regular season. Why not have Jokinen center the 3rd line, Vitale the 4th?

  290. Luiz Mello says:

    I have, but here it goes again just in case: Vitoria, Brazil.

  291. Iceman says:

    Franzen is The Mule

  292. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks.

    Man, memory loss really stinks!

  293. Bizrow says:

    I’ll add em both, thanks for sharing and welcome to the lunatics

  294. theplanisworking says:

    I hope Mona isnt lost!!!! ;)

  295. Drew71 says:

    It’s the second thing that goes.

  296. Damon says:

    Pirates attendance vs. Penguins 4th Cup? I’ll take the latter…

  297. theplanisworking says:

    Thats what I am afraid of…………

  298. Jandy says:

    If need be, sit Sutter, and play Vitale.

  299. Jandy says:

    lol

  300. Jandy says:

    Could it be that the Hawks have steam-rolled thru the regular season and into the playoffs, that they are out of steam??

  301. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, have the list at home, will be sure to add it if its not on already

  302. Jandy says:

    I’m agreeing with you!

  303. Nate83 says:

    This is correct. I was talking about the Malkin, Neal, Kunitz line. Sorry for the confusion.

  304. Nancy52 says:

    Rossi recently tweeted that Neil is practicing today.

  305. Jandy says:

    :YAWN: YAWN:

  306. Damon says:

    My thing with Sutter is that he hasn’t seemed to hit that extra playoff gear the rest of the team is in. He’s made some nice plays, but he’s also coughed up the puck quite a bit, and he doesn’t seem to have that urgency and intensity. I’m not ready to sit him yet, but….

  307. Joni says:

    Perhaps the word for Malkin’s extra spring in his step/skate is “control”.
    I think for Malkin control = confidence = smarter plays.

  308. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  309. Iceman says:

    It is fair that you stick up for Letang, however, no one here has called Letang a pylon either. I agree with you that Letang is doing better at getting his shots on net right now than in the past, and I do think that long term, he is the solution at the point for the PP, but I have to agree with DK that Martin is the better option right now because he has better vision (right now) and a better shot (right now). Again, Letang is an incredible talent and his speed is unteachable and I don’t think anyone would ever deny that.

  310. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, and thanks for the effort Jandy, so far I see those two, Vitoria Brazil, Hookstown, Sewickley, State College and Orlando. I think we might already have Sewickley, SCollege and Hookstown, but I’ll check tonight and post the list on the game thread.

    Not counting the above, I think we hit 350 locations a few days ago.

  311. Bizrow says:

    Hippster, just wait, I got about 15 things that have gone

    Somewhere….

  312. Jandy says:

    Sounds ok to me :)

  313. Jandy says:

    Awesome :)
    My efforts were minimal compared to what you do to keep the list current…so it’s my pleasure …

  314. Jandy says:

    LOL..the older I get, the more I have gone… missing..or something…

  315. Jandy says:

    See? Mother Theresa is pretty good ;)

  316. Jandy says:

    He’s gassed far more quickly than the older guys, if you ask me. he doesn’t have the stamina. If he’s gonna stay with the team, he’s gotta work out with Dupuis come off season ;)

  317. Jandy says:

    Hi Nancy, long time no “see” :)

  318. Eric Bowser says:

    HA HA

    If I was turning 9 and had this knowledge… I could actually may you know…. become a MLB pitcher… and not ruin my elbow throwing curves. LOL

  319. JohninOshkosh says:

    The USGA and R & A announced that anchoring would be prohibited by the rules of golf. The PGA tour opposes this.

    I know it is a divisive issue but I come down clearly on the theory that the game of golf is based on a free swing. I applaud the move and say it is about time.

  320. Eric Bowser says:

    For a second there, I thought maybe I was the only one hitting the reply button….. LOL

  321. Damon says:

    Great idea!

  322. Mona says:

    Glad to see from all the comment while on break this morning that I am not the only one who thinks the Malkin line should stay the same and that Iginla should spend more time on Crosby line.

    What could it hurt to try something more in another direction. I think “Production” is the KEY to a “Change” situation.

  323. Damon says:

    Martin seems to have a calming influence on the PP unit like Gonchar did as well. The problem is you can only send out 5 guys at a time, and then it becomes a numbers game. Who would think Neal would be on the 2nd PP unit?

  324. Dave G says:

    Ummmm… didn’t he say L.A.?

  325. Arriba Wilver says:

    +2

  326. theplanisworking says:

    You were like the little old Italian Grandmas from my neighborhood…….. chasing after everyone, and instead of getting them to eat, you got them to list their hometowns.

    8-)

  327. Jim S. says:

    I think this WOULD be a 3rd straight collapse from the Pens – although it ain’t happening no way, no how. Since they are much better than the Bucs every year, their collapses have been in the playoffs. But, it would be the 3rd straight loss to an inferior team.

  328. BA says:

    In a few years after Disco is fired and he writes his book, you will all find out that this has all been Crosby’s doing.

    Sid has flat out said that he prefers Kunitz on his line. He said it in the Isles series. Followed, of course, by “but I’m not the coach”.

    I’m not blaming or bashing Sid. I love the guy. Great player, good teammate, etc. I’d take him over Malkin 100% of the time.

    But I have no doubt that Crosby has made it clear that he wants to play with Kunitz and Duper. For years they never were able to get the “scoring winger” for Crosby. Tried with Hossa and he walked away. I think Sid finally came to terms with Kunitz and Duper, and he’s helped them both elevate their game to All-Star level.

    I also have no doubt that Sid will relet if he sees his preference hurting the team.

  329. Jandy says:

    ;)

    I *AM* a grandma, just not Italian…so that will work, Hipposter lol

  330. Jim S. says:

    One of the things that is so different for columnists today, I think, is brought on by the advent of social media. DK totally embraces it, and uses it to not only increase the # of eyeballs on his work, IMO, but he also gives us a window into his thinking that we would not experience otherwise. We get treated to a lot of his thoughts that don’t make it into his columns simply because he can’t write about every subject that comes to mind on the Pens. That was not available to fans until recently in this technological age. The fact that some writers don’t use Soc. Media to their benefit and the benefit of their readers seems confusing and counterproductive to me. We have a lot of great writers in Pittsburgh, but I put DK at the top of the list and this is one of the major reasons why.

  331. Jim S. says:

    Naperville, IL.

  332. Jim S. says:

    I would say maybe all 3 teams in town have that syndrome residing with their head coach / manager.

  333. You’re only up to 15, Biz?

  334. Jim S. says:

    A few weeks ago, after all the moves were made, I threw out a question about whether so many moves would screw up the chemistry of this, or any, team. I wasn’t saying I knew it would occur because I am not that smart. I also said that if Shero was going to make so many moves, at least he did it earlier than most other teams. But, I wondered if they were already good enough, and why monkey with a good thing? Have you ever seen a basketball team where there are too many stars? They don’t usually win because there is only one ball. I am not a hockey expert, but I think it is still a fair question. That said, I still think we win this series in 5 or 6, and then whip the next team up.

  335. Arriba Wilver says:

    From DK’s tweets:

    “Homeless guy on street just freaked on me in French. Awesome.”

    Must be a Pirates fan. :-)

  336. Jim S. says:

    Well, we know it should be 9-2. Ugh!

  337. Kris says:

    I don’t usually follow much in the way of player-lives stuff, but is there a reason (history or something?) that Sid’s dad looked so unimpressed when they showed him after Sid’s Hat Trick the other night? Is that just how he is?

  338. Jim S. says:

    Detroit has turned back the clock a few years in the past 4 days. They suddenly look very, very dangerous. But, can they keep it up?

  339. Jandy says:

    this one too, Biz:
    Jim S. says:
    Naperville, IL.

  340. Jim S. says:

    Cleveland’s baseball attendance has been horrible the past several years, and the Bucs have outdrawn them consistently. Everyone in Cleveland points to those few years where they had sellouts with Manny, Thome, etc. The point they never seem to bring up is they had NO FOOTBALL TEAM during that period, and therefore the discretionary $$ went to baseball. Football is king in Cleveland, just like here. Hockey is approaching that status here also. The NBA is now nothing in Cleveland, like most places (sorry, ESPN!). But, their baseball team is not the beneficiary for some reason. I agree with Damon that the Bucs crowds are hurt when the Pens make a long playoff run.

  341. NMR says:

    I imagine even disheveled rambling homeless dudes sound super classy when speaking French.

  342. Jim S. says:

    90,000 over the last weekend vs. Houston with the Pens in full frenzy mode was not bad. I say once hockey is done (hopefully not for awhile), the Bucs’ attendance will take off – assuming the team continues to play well.

  343. NMR says:

    Interesting.

  344. Bizrow says:

    Got it, thanks

  345. Jim S. says:

    Just a random thought, but Paul MacLean would make a great ventriloquist (sp?). With that awful moustache covering the entire lower half of his face, you could never see his lips move.

  346. Bizrow says:

    Good point, I think I lost track ;-)

  347. Jandy says:

    iceman, the problem with some of these posters is not WHAT they say, but HOW they send their message. Nothing wrong at wall with sticking up for their favorite player or busting on their least favorite player. Calling someone a pylon is so mature…not. Then, when someone else says something factual about a player (for instance, Letang and Malkin taking boneheaded penalties) they get all defensive and say that player is being denigrated. That is far from the case, however. I adore Letang, and make no bones about it….but when he does something boneheaded, I bust on him myself. I admit he has areas he is still working on, and give credit to another player where credit is due. So when I :yawn: it’s just in self defense!

  348. Jim S. says:

    Thank you, Jandy! And I love the Mother T. avatar, BTW. I can only guess at the back story.

  349. Jandy says:

    A nice problem to have, Damon, isn’t it? :)

  350. JohninOshkosh says:

    Je ne peux pas croire les Pirates négociés Jason Bay

  351. Jandy says:

    See? My memory sucks….I admit it!

  352. Jim S. says:

    Like the homeless guy in the commercial (can’t remember the company) who fools the hot girl into thinking he’s a french male model.

  353. Jandy says:

    lol Eric.

  354. Jandy says:

    Honestly, I don’t wanna be 9 again, this world is rough on kids…

  355. Jim S. says:

    Jackpot!!

  356. Jandy says:

    Hi Jim. Actually, it’s a pretty silly story. One of my pet peeves is people telling “tall tales”, you know, the stories you just KNOW are blatant lies. That’s when I tell them:
    “Yeah, and I’m Mother Theresa!”
    :)

  357. Jandy says:

    Even if this IS true, shame on DB for allowing any player, star or not, to dictate to him where to play his players on the team. The bottom line is, it’s a TEAM sport and there is no *I* in team.

  358. Jandy says:

    Oh and BA, if you haven’t already, post your hometown, and Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatic’s Asylum :)

  359. theplanisworking says:

    I think it is the fact that they havent been tested yet. They have had is easy, so to speak.

    Interesting to see how the Stache plays it from here……….

  360. Jandy says:

    FLASHBACK

    Artie Johnson, in Laugh In:
    “Verrryyy interesting, but Stupid”
    LOL

  361. theplanisworking says:

    I thought you really WERE !!!!!!!!!!! ;)

    (This coming from someone who calls himself a Hippo……….)

  362. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, too funny!

  363. Kris says:

    87 wanting to outshine 71 in the sense of wanting to be the star doesn’t map with the persona of Sid we’ve been presented with through the media/etc. (Note that I say persona more because I’m well aware that what we see is not all of who these guys are and that there is training and media prep that goes on, not because I think Sid specifically is trying to play an invented character instead of being more or less himself.)

    I mean, he wants to win, but winning in hockey is defined as a team win, not getting good personal stats. And it’s not like he’s in a position with regards to the business side of things where he needs to be concerned at all about his personal value in the way someone up for free agency might be aware that some individual performance highlights might get a little extra money on the next contract, y’know? (I don’t know if guys actually play with that in mind, but they’re human, and humans do stuff like that, so.)

    If the lines are the result of talking to the guys, then I do wonder what’s going on with the power structure (for lack of a better term) in the room. 87 is certainly smart enough about hockey to see the same issues that people are commenting on, and if it’s for the benefit of the team overall – would he say “put Kuni on the other line”? Or is it one thing to say ‘yeah, I like playing with this guy’ and another thing to say ‘I think you should play this guy and that guy’ because the latter is too much like coaching and that’s DB’s job?

  364. Jandy says:

    SHHHH! ;X

  365. theplanisworking says:

    Those old Italian grandmas were mean, but if they liked you, you were family. I speak from experience.

  366. SeanAY says:

    THANK YOU.

    I’ve never seen fans of a team in the playoffs arguing that the goalie needs to be benched because “he could use the rest.” Simply ludicrous.

    IT’S THE FREAKING PLAYOFFS.

  367. Damon says:

    The Pens 2nd PP unit could probably be 1st on several teams that’s for sure!

  368. theplanisworking says:

    Oh Lord……….. one of the funny State farm commercials.

    BON JOUR!!! ;)

  369. Kris says:

    If nothing else, Martin deserves a serious round of applause from the fans for the way he’s improved his game.

  370. theplanisworking says:

    or is it Bon Jovi???

  371. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry, lol

  372. Kris says:

    Oh, there we go. Can we get Dupuis cloned, super-express? That’d probably do the trick with Sid’s line when Malkin needs to borrow Kuni. :)

  373. Jandy says:

    As much as I think Bon Jovi is eye candy, I do believe Bon Jour is correct ;)

  374. Damon says:

    Only comment I have about the basketball comparison is that basketball teams rely heavily on 6 or 7 players to win, while hockey rolls out 4 lines and 3 D pairs, so having more stars doesn’t necessarily hurt. I’m actually starting to see the team gelling some now that they’ve had a month+ playing together….although it would be even better if the lines would stay consistent…

  375. SeanAY says:

    I’m 50/50. On one hand, yeah, it’s a team sport.

    On the other hand, typically what’s best for the star is what’s best for the team.

  376. theplanisworking says:

    Out again……………… going to get some sun so I grow some more……… doing the civic duty thing and voting……….. see you on the Bucs thread.

    :)

  377. Jandy says:

    My ex was Italian, and his grandmother was “The Matriarch” in the family. She loved me :)

  378. Jandy says:

    Good point, Hipposter…

  379. Jim S. says:

    Could very well be. People are beginning to panic here now. It is worse than in Pgh, where everyone knows we let one get away but are still the better team. Here, the Hawks have been flat-out, whipped in Games 2 & 3.

  380. SeanAY says:

    Datsyuk.

  381. Jandy says:

    enjoy :)

  382. SeanAY says:

    Nevermind. Misunderstood the question.

    Reading is fundamental.

  383. Jim S. says:

    Need to get an auto-response installed for Jandy every time a new poster is recognized. That would save her a lot of trouble.

  384. Kris says:

    If you’re talking about the moment I think you are, they’re talking about what was said to Neal when he came on to the team, which was not the same roster as we have now. I didn’t take it as DB saying that NOW the only way to play with 87 or 71 was to play left, though obviously if you want the most possible chances of getting on the ice with a fantastic center, being adaptable in which side you can play is not going to be a bad thing, because it means you can be slotted in to fill whatever spot needs to be filled depending on things like injury, penalties, guys having bad days, whatever.

  385. hockeymonster says:

    Wait just a second everyone….

    I wasn’t just referring to PP personal….dejan’s column ALSO says PM is better than Letang defensively. I believe that to be incorrect…the PP stuff is definitely up for discussion simply cuz of PM’s much improved play.

    Jandy and Kevin:

    Pylon reference is just sarcastic hockey lingo. I guarantee you that PM would be first to refer to himself as such on those plays because hockey players by nature are more self deprecating. To say I “hate” or “dislike” PM or anyone else is mangling my point and rewriting what I actually wrote. And it suggests disrespect to the player which i certainly don’t want to do. They’re pros and deserve to be where they’re at. HOWEVER, just cuz I gave PM some Mike Keenan like treatment doesn’t mean he cant take it. And if you’ve read my previous posts going back several weeks now I’ve been 1st one to credit PM for turning his game around and also been the 1st one to call out Letangs bonehead plays thru the middle when he makes them or Malkin’s dumb penalties.

    And overall just by default, the fact that PM’s play has improved drastically only underscores the point I was making earlier this season and last. Which was his play wasn’t playoff worthy but over the course of this season PM has been much more consistent and willing to get shoulder to shoulder to lift sticks…I even saw him take hits to make plays. All of which he was not doing in the past on a consistent enough basis.

  386. Thundercrack says:

    Canada. Probably a Travis Snider fan.

  387. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, but I just don’t see Sid as “that” star. I think he might offer input to DB, as any key player would. But, I find it hard to believe it would be anything more than that. Maybe I’m naive about Sid, but I don’t see him forcefully telling the coach what he wants done. Everything I always read is that Sid is absolutely respected universally in the locker room. If he trying to make coaching decisions, he would lose respect from a bunch of the team pretty quickly.

  388. Kris says:

    Do the Pens have a regular sports psychologist they work with? (I suppose that’d be what a “Mental Training Consultant” is? Is there some reason they can’t say “sports psychologist”?)

    But I mean – just because someone is listed as part of hockey ops (and yes, there is a Mental Training Consultant on the list) that doesn’t necessarily say how available they are to the players or how much the players are encouraged to see that particular person.

  389. Jim S. says:

    & he gives the “knowing” look to the other guy, who is very confused he is pulling it off.

  390. Kris says:

    Oh my god, more octopi. I would cry. (I have no idea why the octopus thing makes me insane, but it really does. Ick. Ick ick ick.)

  391. Jandy says:

    You’re saying, even though Iginla is struggling with Malkin, you wouldn’t pair him with Crosby? Wow.

  392. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Is Sid the type of player that demands things? Doesn’t seem like it to me, but I’m not in the locker room either.

  393. Kris says:

    So if we assume that it is Sid lobbying for Kunitz that’s keeping the lines the way they are – should the C mean that at some point he says ‘okay, you know what? We want to win a Cup. Put Kuni on Malkin’s line for now so we can get this done.’? What’s the responsibility there for him to push things vs the coaching staff to say ‘we know how you like it, but for now we’re doing it this other way’?

    (Sorry for all the comments if it seems like I’m spamming, btw. I’m home sick and so bored.)

  394. Jandy says:

    I tend to see Sid as the complete professional as you do, Jim S. I can’t see him “demanding” Kunitz be on his wing, when it detrimentally affects Malkin’s line.

  395. Jandy says:

    LOL Jim S, I don’t always have the time for this, but I’m making the time today in between Pay Draws and reading contracts.

  396. Jim S. says:

    I really thought Malkin was going to end the first OT the other night almost as soon as it started. Made a wonderful series of moves to get a shot in front of the net. Just couldn’t get it past Anderson.

  397. Jandy says:

    +1

  398. Kris says:

    I think it depends some on the weather, too, like was mentioned. I’m not a huge baseball fan (I like hockey, hockey, and hockey) but I keep meaning to go to a game, and normally I’d prefer to go in the spring because I’m not a sit-in-the-sun-and-bake kind of person, but this year with the weather going cold-hot-cold-hot so much it’s like even what would be a relatively reasonable spring temperature in other years just feels like too much to put up with sitting outside, because there’s been no real chance to adjust to the warmer weather.

    (It’s like the reverse of when my family would go to MN for a couple of weeks in the winter and I’d come back here and be like ‘… this isn’t cold!’)

  399. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Who wrote the new policy?

  400. Jandy says:

    From the Pens’ website:

    PENS PRACTICE DEETS
    Joe Vitale, who did not practice Sunday and missed Game 3, was back on the ice with the team. The Pens are all accounted for at practice. Perfect attendance.

  401. Damon says:

    Thing is, since playing a 16-year RW veteran on his off wing makes no sense (especially since you don’t have a full season to get him used to it), it has to be that Bylsma is forcing it because of Sid. Not saying Sid asked him to do it – although he’s commented he feels most comfortable with Kunitz and Dupuis. I think 14-71-18 is as good of a line as 14-87-9, but 12-71-18 is not as good of a line as 9-87-12. Therefore…..

    I love Bylsma as a coach, but I think he is making the wrong choice.

  402. hockeymonster says:

    Hmmm…and the posts about bylsma? Nothing wrong with tone about him?

  403. Jim S. says:

    It is frustrating that technology has not advanced with ice surfaces in 2013 that they still cannot keep them cold enough to maintain the surface when outside temperatures rise. Couldn’t they have gotten an idea from NASA or something? Just kidding about the last part.

  404. Kevin says:

    Ok then Mr. Hamilton. Let’s instead compare goalies… Vokoun v. Lundqvist or.. Vokoun v. Quick… or Vokoun v. Howard… On a side note, I really do think they should give Lundqvist a day off. He’s started 24 or so games straight I believe. Can’t imagine he can keep that up for a long playoff run.

  405. Kris says:

    I suppose if you keep in mind that Vokoun is a bit older then the care and feeding might be a bit different vs a younger dude such that it might make sense to sit him even when he’s on a winning streak – but you’d make that decision based on how he’s actually feeling and performing in practice, rather than ‘oh, well, he’s played X games, time to sit him down.’

    If he’s going and can keep doing so and isn’t, like, wearing himself down so much that he won’t be an option even as backup in a few more games, then why change something that’s working? I don’t get that approach.

  406. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I wonder the same thing…..would one know if they are spitting at you or just normal talk?

  407. Drew71 says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to write this.

    THE FAKE FRENCH MODEL IN THE SF AD IS NOT HOMELESS

    HE’S JUST UGLY

  408. Jandy says:

    My concern would be that the back-up goalie would get too “rusty” sitting on the bench for extended periods of time.

  409. Kris says:

    Not that this has anything to do with anything, but how on earth can Duper work out so much and do so much on the ice and still have such skinny little legs? (Admittedly, I noticed this when he was standing next to Sid, which is an unfair comparison for most hockey players, but it was a slimmed down Sid from the jaw thing! And his legs are really really tiny!)

  410. Milo Hamilton says:

    When did we get Lundquist, Quick & Howard ? Goalies don’t get days off in the playoffs. They get benched.

  411. Kris says:

    That should be the rumor for who we’re starting for Game 4. Not Vokoun, not Fleury, SUPER DUPER!

  412. Drew71 says:

    Unfortunately one or two, who were on the ice for Game Three, were not accounted for during the last 40 seconds of regulation.

    Too soon?

  413. Jim S. says:

    Sometimes the effects of a concussion are longer lasting than it appears. Even if he passed the baseline test, it doesn’t mean the high stress environment of a hockey game might not sometimes cause him problems. And the leg injury. Just a thought.

  414. Jandy says:

    BUTT UGLY

  415. Jandy says:

    yes

  416. Bizrow says:

    No, perfect

  417. Jim S. says:

    Good points. You definitely use more players in hockey.

  418. Jandy says:

    It’s also downright disrespectful.

  419. SeanAY says:

    I said I’m 50/50 on the whole thing.

    Even if it is true, why would it be so surprising that a great player likes playing with the linemates he has the best chemistry with?

    And I’ve never met or spoken with Sidney Crosby, so I’m unable to make a determination one way or the other about how he speaks to the coach.

  420. Kris says:

    They can’t keep them cold enough when outside temperatures rise when they’re in arenas, but they can build an ice rink with a good enough surface for an NHL game outdoors in LA next year…

  421. Jandy says:

    Again, the tone is 100% polar opposite of yours. From Day One you started posting in here, you were baiting people and in general, being an a$$. Many times you have very good opinions and can argue a point with facts, but you kill it with your smart a$$ attitude. I wasn’t going to bring this all up, but I’m tired of you throwing schmuck in everyone’s faces.
    Iceman has tried to banter with you, and even he gave up.
    I’m not going to discuss this or any other of your twisted around comments any more, Monster. I’ll just use my :yawn:
    If you want to discuss, then fine. Otherwise, forget it.

  422. Jandy says:

    shhh! LOL…Well, maybe Biz is right ;)

  423. Kevin says:

    Second guessing myself. My point is not to compare goalies.. thats silly. I know very little about goal-tending. Actually I know barely enough to be dangerous. And it just seems to me that a good fresh goaltender is better in the long run than a flash-in-the-pan hot goalie. And I use as an example “The Moose” Hedberg. Came out with flashy moosie goodness then faded.. Actually I don’t even know what the story was there but he just got beat… Another example possibly more famous is Varlamov. Capitals stuck with him for too long too and the penguins broke him. Young goalie flash-in-the-pan type. To which the rebuttal is… Vokoun’s an experienced vet, calm cool and collected. Less likely to break? I don’t know.

  424. Kris says:

    With what we know (or rather, what we don’t know) about concussions and CTE, if he’s still having concussion-related issues with playoff game stress, then I’d prefer to see him just not play. The long term issues from concussions are so scary to mess with.

    (I know by a lot of hockey ‘fan’ standards that makes me a wimp or something, but I don’t care.)

  425. Kevin says:

    Maybe they should get days off? And why not?

  426. Jim S. says:

    How about when the girls who clean up the ice chips have to go out and pick them up? They don’t even give them a pair of gloves. Or, maybe they choose to skip the gloves? Either way. Not pleasant.

  427. SeanAY says:

    How often have you ever heard of a goalie, even an older goaltender, “wearing himself down so much that he won’t be an option even as backup in a few more games” during the playoffs?

  428. SeanAY says:

    Because they’re the goalie that gives you the best chance to win in a best-of-seven series.

    If you put the back-up in, you might as well say to the opponent, your team, and your fans, “We don’t really care if we win this one tonight.”

  429. Jim S. says:

    The real key to drawing big in baseball is to get the fan base to the point where they buy 25,000+ in pre-season, to guarantee well over 2 million. If people buy them during the season, the team has to really be good to get people to buy a lot of them, because they know there are 81 of them and they just don’t buy as many that way. The really successful attendance teams sell them in Feb. At that point, win or lose, you still have a big paid attendance. Easier said than done, I know. In a market the size of Pgh, the team has to very good one or two years and offer almost a guarantee that they will be good the next year in order to get the demand to where the tickets are sold before the regular season.

  430. Damon says:

    Some of those wire-y guys are surprisingly strong. Plus the skinnier legs help him pull less weight making him faster….I guess.

  431. Jim S. says:

    I like it. About the only person who could never use that line was …. Mother Theresa!

  432. Jim S. says:

    You are the glue here, for sure. Or, at least a big part of the glue.

  433. Damon says:

    This is uncharted territory for Vokoun because he’s never been past the first round in a playoff series (I think). Being a veteran should keep him at an even keel though, and getting past the first round may have gotten him on a roll…..like Fleury in 2008. At some point they have to go from inexperienced to experienced…

  434. Kevin says:

    on the other hand, this IS sid’s team.. he’s the captain. I’m pretty sure what he says is weighed pretty heavily. I just don’t understand why he wouldn’t want to play with Iginla. I can’t even skate and I would love to play with Iginla.

  435. Jim S. says:

    I don’t doubt you for a second, SeanAY, that big stars do often go right to the coach and pull the BMOC card to get their way. I was just saying that I see or hear no evidence that Sid would do that. But, I don’t have any first hand knowledge one way or the other. Info like that tends to get out, though, don’t you think?

  436. Joni says:

    Same. It was Frustrating to watch. I can only imagine how frustrating it was for Malkin to make those moves and then have Anderson shut the door.

    Guess the main question for Malkin is what to do with that frustration. Boneheaded penalties are probably not the answer. All he can do is keep shooting.

    And maybe throw some clean hits while he’s at it. I understand that Malkin’s role is to make plays/score, but why not expel some of the negative energy in a constructive manner? I am not talking about profound, glass shattering hits, but something that makes the other team take note. But that’s just my opinion. And yes, I know Malkin has worked through some shoulder problems this year.

    I think that Malkin is doing better defensively now, as opposed to the Isles series. Not perfect, but better. We’ll take it!

  437. Kevin says:

    +1.. cuz I like how you wrote it and also agree.

  438. hockeymonster says:

    Hmmm…an a$$ for voicing my opinion? I like back n forth banter with iceman and everyone else. But If I read something I agree or disagree with why cant I respond? Isn’t that what you and everyone else does? And your :yawns: are pretty high on the obnoxious list for a lot of people but I still enjoy your input and banter.

  439. Jim S. says:

    I actually re-read my comment and wondered why I wrote that he was homeless. So far as we know, he has a wonderful home with a white picket fence and big trees in the back – in fantasy commercial land.

    He does have a face for radio, though. Hard to argue that point.

  440. Jandy says:

    Again from the Pens’ site:
    PP AND RUSHES
    Jussi Jokinen worked with the Pens’ second power-play unit and centered the fourth line. Brenden Morrow left practice early and did not return. Here is how the lines shook out…

    Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
    Neal-Malkin-Iginla
    Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy
    Glass-Jokinen-Adams
    Bennett-Vitale-Jeffrey

    Orpik-Martin
    Letang-Niskanen
    Murray-Eaton
    Bortuzzo/Engelland-Despres

    PP unit 1: Letang, Malkin, Crosby, Neal and Kunitz
    PP unit 2: Martin, Iginla, Kennedy, Dupuis and Jokinen

  441. Jandy says:

    why, thank you!

  442. Bizrow says:

    Dejan tweeted that Morrow was working with the athletic trainer

  443. Jim S. says:

    Bingo! Where’s there’s cash, there’s a way! Great post, Kris!

  444. Bizrow says:

    + quite a few

  445. Jim S. says:

    You are exactly right, Kris. And, BTW, I am not saying that is Neal’s issue. Just speculating. Judging by how well the Pens handled Sid’s case, I think they know what they are doing.

    But, I can speak first hand about them as our family is dealing with a 2nd concussion from our daughter (soccer) since winter. The first one took 3 mo. to get back, and then a freak play caused a 2nd a month agao. We are determined to have her sit until everyone says she’s 100%, and then sit a little more before playing in a game. She’s doing very well, fortunately. But, it is always scary. Outsiders don’t understand.

  446. SeanAY says:

    It doesn’t have to necessarily be Crosby pouting, shouting, or anything of the sort.

    It could be as simple as, “Coach, I feel this line is what’s going to best help me produce, as well as will be what best helps them produce. In turn, I think it will help us best win games.”

    Or, it could even be subconscious; Bylsma thinking, “I know I need something to spark Iginla, but how do I justify breaking up that line?”

    As many have pointed out, this isn’t like moving around furniture.

  447. Jandy says:

    ahhh good :) Thanks Biz

  448. Kevin says:

    yeah I think Voky had a 3-8 playoff record before this year? definitely new territory. As another side note, both marquee goalies the penguins have played against were pulled in a game and then played the game after. I guess the difference is.. our “backup” goalie is >>>> our opponents backup goalie.

  449. Jandy says:

    Good points all around Sean AY

  450. Jandy says:

    I think I’m blushing ;)

  451. Kevin says:

    Yeah I guess that would be the height of arrogance. Basically calls out the other team and says “we can beat you with our backup.” And.. we can :)

  452. Jandy says:

    Gadzooks!

  453. Jandy says:

    Malkin has skinny legs as well. He even admits it! lol
    But I gotta say, Duper at 34 is an amazing specimen (physically fit wise).

  454. Kevin says:

    Sid’s legs are not tiny. They are like tree trunks. I’m trying to think of another guy with as much lower body strength as Sid. Nope, dont know anyone. :\

  455. Kevin says:

    There’s no better test than the Detroit Red Wings. Them guys know how to play playoff hockey. :|

  456. Jandy says:

    Wow, so sorry to hear that, Jim S. I do hope all ends up well with her…for ALL your sakes. Err on the cautionary side. God bless!

  457. Jim S. says:

    Could not have started hitting at a better time IMO, Drew. With Marte maybe starting to scuffle a bit, and Walker still trying to get back in a groove, etc. this is a very good time for Pedro to get white hot for about a month.

  458. Bizrow says:

    Cutch is back in the lineup tonight, Sanchez at 1st, Legend in Right, Tabata in Left

  459. Jim S. says:

    Great point about being a little more physical. I usually think of Malkin as more of a finesse player, but that really isn’t the case when he is going good. He can be like a tank, with guys bouncing off him left and right when he gets determined to get to the net.

  460. Damon says:

    Gotta say….brilliant move by Shero signing Vokoun. Could wind up being the best move he’s made this season.

  461. Jim S. says:

    I’ll admit to being one of the fans who was about to give up on him before this season. But, then I started reading that he was determined to show a different Paul Martin this year … and he did. Great season!

  462. Bizrow says:

    Not bad, 464 posts on this thread and really nuttin has been going on

  463. Jim S. says:

    Where, not where’s. Sheesh!

  464. Damon says:

    Could be that competitive spirit that Sid has where “Kunitz and Dupuis are MY WINGERS!” Once again, not that he would say that, but maybe infer it in a round-about way. I’m not so sure he doesn’t want to play with Iginla, but maybe Iginla would be his 3rd choice. Then again I don’t see Sid as a pouty-pants if he doesn’t get his way.

  465. Kevin says:

    so (if practice is any indication), they put in Jokinen for Vitale? and Kennedy for Morrow? I was kinda like the whole Vitale + Kennedy energy line.

  466. Kevin says:

    I been waiting for this Iginla piece for awhile now from DK. Clearly, people feel strongly about it amongst other things.

  467. Jandy says:

    I personally would rather see Vitale play than TK…but given that Jokinen is a good faceoff guy, Vitale sits. Boo!

  468. Jandy says:

    nuttin? nuttin at all?

  469. Jandy says:

    What’s up with Marte, did I miss something?

  470. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Jandy! And, yes, she is doing very well now. We took her to a concussion specialist, and I wish we had done it sooner. Just didn’t know enough about it to do that at first. Anyway, he hooked us up with a physical therapist, and said we would be surprised at how quickly that was going to make her headaches go away. He was so right. Our prayers were answered, and it was like a dark cloud being lifted almost from one day to the next. Blue skies and sunshine are back for her! Unfortunately, some people are not so fortunate.

    I would just urge everyone that if this happens to your son or daughter, be very careful. People will ask why they are not back to playing sooner. Those people are not trying to be ignorant, but if you haven’t gone through it you just won’t understand there is no timetable – unlike a broken bone, sprained ankle, etc. The timetable is just “they’ll be ready when they are ready, and not a day before.”

    Ok, I’m back to hockey talk.

  471. Kris says:

    Yeah, I agree that the Pens seem to be taking concussions appropriately seriously after the experience with Sid. I mostly get fed up with the attitude of some hockey fans (and other sports fans in general, really) that a concussion is something to be played through or that you should be able to come back from quickly. If you mess up a knee or a hip playing through an injury, it won’t be perfect, but we can replace the joint so it’s functional enough for some kind of reasonable quality of life. We cannot replace brains.

    (My background is horseback riding and with that there’s a whole debate between people who wear helmets all the time vs people who insist that if your horse is safe enough or you’re a good enough rider you don’t need one, and I am firmly in the every time, every ride camp because even if it’s a very small chance and I trust my horse and I’m not jumping or doing anything ‘dangerous’ – I LIKE MY BRAIN. Why would you not protect it with appropriate safety equipment if said equipment is available?)

    Best wishes for your daughter. I’m sure it’s no fun to be stuck sitting out, but it is the right thing to do based on what we know now. (And hopefully we’ll continue to get better with exactly how to diagnose and treat and monitor recovery.) My niece plays soccer and when she started getting more serious about it I may have spammed my brother’s email with concussion study links just to make sure that he knew to take them appropriately seriously. (Maybe. Just a few. Plus a few articles about the whole thing with Sid.)

  472. theplanisworking says:

    This isnt a Pirates thread.

    I am sure there will be plenty to talk about Mr. Nuttin come September…. ;) ;)

  473. Kris says:

    Do they freeze to the ice? I’ve never noticed. It’d be worse if you had to scrape it up first.

    Cracked me up when Wholey’s (local seafood place, for non-pgh folks) said that they wouldn’t sell octopus to anyone who didn’t have local ID during one of the Pens-Red Wings finals, though. Dunno if they actually enforced that, but as a marketing tactic it obviously worked – if I ever bought seafood I’d remember their name. :)

  474. Kris says:

    At this point I think locals would fall over in shock if the Pirates had a couple of very good years in a row.

  475. He wanted to rest him the other day, but Cutch was scratched. Now, he’s had 1 day and I guess Clint wants him to have another.

  476. Arriba Wilver says:

    What? You want more posts saying Iginla should be on Sid’s line?

    Count me in on that sentiment.

  477. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was to plan.

  478. Kris says:

    Never, and I don’t think it’s very likely. I don’t see how you’d get to the level of the NHL if you didn’t develop some sense of how to pace yourself and when you weren’t recovering enough between games. But in theory, in that particular sort of situation, I could see sitting a guy even if he was insisting he was good to play. (And then probably unload him ASAP because that doesn’t seem like the kind of attitude that makes for a good long term investment type player.)

  479. Bizrow says:

    Nuttin that is big news, folks were just having fun here

    Thats the way it should be ;-)

  480. Kris says:

    Shero signing Vokoun was an OUTSTANDING move given our goalie issues in recent years. Having a guy on the bench who isn’t just ‘some backup goalie’ (no offense, previous backup goalies) seems critical when you have a starter like Fleury who sometimes gets all knotted up in his own head too much.

    With a shortened season you don’t see it as much, but it also makes a huge difference in terms of keeping your starter in good shape if you don’t feel like starting the backup is basically like saying ‘well, you guys win this game.’

  481. Kevin says:

    where do you guys get your penguins stats? for example, if I wanted to look up so-n-so’s faceoff percentage, is that somewhere? Just curious if people have a special site they go to for stats. Let me know.

  482. Jim S. says:

    Hurdle said the plan was to rest him on Sunday. Said he saw something about Marte that prompted him to want to give him a day or two off. But, since Cutch’s knee was sore on Sunday, Marte had to play CF. Clint wouldn’t elaborate, but obviously it is not a health thing.

  483. Jandy says:

    Ok good thanks Jim :)

  484. Jandy says:

    Thanks Spunky,
    and
    Amen, Biz :)

  485. Kris says:

    Kevin – I meant Duper’s legs are tiny, but that anyone’s legs would probably look a bit small compared to Sid’s. Duper’s just look extra skinny. :)

    Sid clearly got the Good Genes when it comes to muscular legs, for sure. (Because I know a lot of other guys put a lot of work into fitness, and they still don’t look like that – at some point it’s not just how much effort you put in or how careful you are with your diet. Genetics or something comes into it.)

    Sometimes I like to watch Sid play not for the insane plays, but just for how much strength he has on the ice. (This may be related to how entertaining I find it these days when guys try to hit Murray and just bounce off and Murray’s like ‘wait, did someone hit me?’)

  486. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  487. Jim S. says:

    You are right to remind your niece and her parents, Kris. I’ve read about some horrific concussions, as well as other terrible injuries from falls off horses. That is a long way to fall, and possibly at a high rate of speed. Very serious stuff.

    One of the reasons we are taking things more seriously than we might have otherwise was that I was reading a lot about Sid and some other pro players (Justin Morneau of the Twins, for instance) who had serious concussions, and the thing I was finding out is that rushing back is absolutely dangerous. As you say, brain inuries are serious business. It is really bad to have a second one occur before the first one is completely healed. I bet a lot of people are taking them more seriously as a result of how Sid and others have handled recovery in recent years. That is a good thing.

  488. Jim S. says:

    That’s funny. I was watching the Hawks-Wings last night, and 2 times within a couple of minutes one of those ice girls that seem to make the TV timeouts more interesting for me when I’m at the game (for whatever reason?) had to come out and pick them up. She didn’t even bring her shovel. Just scooped it up in her bare hand and took it away as the crowd cheered. I don’t know if it got frozen to the ice, but it didn’t look like it. Are you thinking it would be like the kid in A Christmas Story who gets his tongue stuck to the flagpole on the winter day?

  489. Jim S. says:

    Very true.

  490. Kris says:

    Can we set a little old Italian Grandma on Sid?

  491. Jim S. says:

    The goalie would fight it with every fiber of his being. But, I have heard quite often that MAF played so much in the regular season last year that he had nothing left for the playoffs, and maybe that was a big part of his collapse. That was a big part of why they signed TV, right?

  492. Kris says:

    Wouldn’t the competitive spirit for the great big shiny thing you get for winning the playoffs > competitive spirit for keeping wingers for a few games?

  493. Kris says:

    Can I ask a vaguely journalism-ethics-ish question here or would it be preferred to keep it sports talk only?

  494. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, as fragile as MAF’s confidence likely is right now, can you imagine tossing a few weeks of game inactivity on top of that? Still, he’d jump at the chance to redeem himself. I’ve never played goalie, but I would assume after a couple of weeks layoff, a veteran goalie could get back in game shape pretty quickly. Maybe not. Might be completely new territory for MAF.

  495. Jonathan says:

    Thanks Jandy,

    I’m in there. Mackay, Australia :-)

  496. theplanisworking says:

    WhatdidIdew??? ;)

    I just think that the Iginla thing is a Forest for the Trees monent.

    And, AW, you can post anything, anytime, as much as you want…………………. as long as I have time to duck! ;) ;) ;)

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm………. duck! :D

  497. Jim S. says:

    The hit on Neil looked to be pretty serious to me as well. Coming back and being his usual self in 3 days?

  498. theplanisworking says:

    :thwap: ;)

  499. Kris says:

    Maybe some props to the organization, too, for being willing to work with guys who say they want to make changes – Cooke’s change was a different sort of thing, but I suspect it means a lot in either case to have the support of the organization to help you work smarter when you say you want to put in the effort and improve?

  500. Jim S. says:

    I have wondered the same thing, ever since TV saved our bacon in Rd. 1 and people wanted him pulled immediately.

    The conclusion I came to is there is just a whole lot of love for MAF for the Cup and near Cup he helped earn for the Pens. Nothing wrong with that from the fanbase. I didn’t see it as a “we’re down on Vokoun” thing as much as a “We love MAF, and his talent is so great when he is going well” thing.

  501. Kris says:

    Yeah, because I always think of octopi as being kind of wet and slimy. I suppose the ice surface isn’t cold enough for it to freeze on before someone can get out to grab it.

    (I saw a very good point – I think on twitter – which is how do they bring the octopus in to the game to have them to throw? And then I started feeling bad for the people who have to do bag checks at Red Wings games. And the people who have to sit next to someone with a warming octopus until there’s a good throwing moment. I can’t imagine that smells nice.)

  502. Kris says:

    Maybe octopi scooping is part of the audition process for the Red Wings Ice Crew? :D

  503. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely! The Pens are very forward-thinking, on and off the ice.

  504. Kris says:

    But how much of the amount that MAF was because we didn’t have a good back up, too? I mean, I know these guys want to get out there and do it all every time, but it’s got to be easier to remind yourself to be smart and not get worn out if you know that the alternative isn’t going to let the team down.

  505. Terry M says:

    When did Eric Bowser become the cohost? And why?

  506. Jim S. says:

    That exact thought went through my head last night. How do they get those things in there? The ticket takers & security have to allow them. Otherwise, it would be like at a Disney park, where the stuff you can’t take in gets stacked on a table. A bunch of rotting otopi would be nasty very quickly.

    And, yes, I suppose for the audition for the Ice Crew you might think you have the job locked up due to obvious qualifications (most notably, skating ability, of course). But, if you are not willing to stoop down and grab that slimy mess with a smile on your face … out you go. I can just see it now, sort of like an American Idol audition, with a folding table and 3 judges. At the last minute, one of them yanks out the octopus and tosses it on the ice in front of you. Moment of truth time. How badly do you want the gig? Haha!

  507. Jim S. says:

    Yes, TV is here not only because he allowed MAF rest in the regular season, but for the exact reason he is playing right now. A quality veteran goalie.

  508. Jim S. says:

    I say, ask away?

  509. Ghost says:

    In defense of Eric, I know how it can get weird around here late at night when you’re the only one in the room.

  510. Kris says:

    I was just wondering – obviously guys who travel with the team like DK see a lot of the players and various members of the coaching staff, etc. Which is usually how you end up developing friendships with people – so do journalists like DK end up being friends with any of the guys, or is that something that doesn’t really happen because of the journalism aspect? (Like if you’re friends it might be harder to write objectively about a player, or someone might want to talk off the record as a friend, and then if that information gets leaked anyway there’s the question of who leaked it, those sorts of things.)

    It’s only vaguely an ethics thing, I suppose, because in the grand scheme of things not mentioning so-and-so had a bad day at practice wouldn’t be the same as not reporting on, for example, a political issue because you were friendly with someone involved, but on the other hand the sports folks I’ve talked to take it very seriously and don’t go ‘well, it’s just sports, who cares if it’s quality?’ (Well, okay, the ones I CONTINUE talking to don’t, anyway.)

    Just a random thing I was wondering about since, you know, you spend enough time around people you get to know them.

    (If this isn’t as clear a question as it could be, I blame the cold meds.)

  511. BillyBaduka says:

    RIP Ray.

  512. Jandy says:

    He didn’t. He just happened to be stating his opinion that’s all.

 
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