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Morning Java: The Mane Man makes his case

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

OTTAWA — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column off Game 4 asserts that the Penguins maybe, just maybe asserted themselves at long last in these playoffs.

Here’s video of some of my conversation with Kris Letang afterward, including the column’s money quote that pretty much wrote the ending …

And here are Tomas Vokoun, Jarome Iginla, James Neal and Sidney Crosby all in one …

Here’s our full team coverage, by Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe.

And here’s the full highlights package from NHL.com.

>> There will be no chat today. I’d never pull off an hour of wi-fi during the drive home from Syracuse, which was our overnight stop last night on the trek home.

Anyway, the chat will be Friday at noon.

Your understanding is appreciated.

>> If you haven’t seen Paul MacLean’s press conference last night on the Senators’ side, be sure to set aside 22 seconds of your day for it. Tremendous.

>> LaMarr Woodley piped up for the first time since … well, it’s been a while.

I could spend this entire blog entry and the next dissecting all that he said and how it doesn’t sound as if his nothing’s-wrong attitude has changed, but I’ll instead applaud him for apparently reporting for the Steelers’ OTAs a little lighter and in quality shape.

Although that’s kind of what’s expected.

>> The Pirates got another superlative start from Francisco Liriano.

>> Mostly out of commission today because of the drive, which actually will begin shortly after this very filed is shut down for the night!

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. Drew71 says:

    Ah. Now THAT’S better.

  2. Drew71 says:

    Dejan. How’s the Gas Wagon?

    You driving, rolling or smoking?

  3. theplanisworking says:

    * Knock, knock, knock *

    Hey, we’re open!!

    Man, 22 seconds for a presser. Is that allowed? I know the NFL, and NBA have rules for theirs…… DK, is this normal for hockey ?

    Very glad to see Neal and Dupuis break out last night. Letang gets the #1 star with 4 assists, but was only +1. Oh well, we got the W, thats all that counts.

    Bucs won a 1-0 game. How many times in the past have we lost a 1-0 game? And, Melancon came out for the 9th, not Grilli. Strange to see that.

    Hope Customs didnt give you a hard time, DK. ;)

  4. Drew71 says:

    Come listen to a story about a man named Dej
    A poor journalist, barely kept his family fed,
    Then one day he was drivin’ in a van,
    And up from behind came a state trooper man.
    Trouble that is, Columbian gold, Texas tea.

    Well the first thing you know ol’ Dej he is in jail,
    His kinfolk said, ‘Dej we will not pay your bail!’
    They said, ‘Californy is the place you oughtta be.
    You can smoke all you want when they set you free’
    Hills, that is, Swimmin’ pools, movie stars.
    Years, that is. Smokin’ fools. Jailbird stars.

    Well now its time to say goodbye to Dej and all the boys.
    And they would like to thank you folks fer bringing them some joy.
    You’re all invited back next week to this facility,
    Cause visitors are allowed just once a stinkin’ week.

    Y’all come back now, y’hear?

  5. Drew71 says:

    Oops. Did remove “Hills” line. Pretend it’s not there.

  6. John Lease says:

    Paul MacLean stole my mustache, gray hairs and all.

  7. Drew71 says:

    Unfortunately the cameras cut off before MacLean finished his last line:

    “…unlike last time.”

  8. Thundercrack says:

    Like everyone around here I’m a fan of Melancon and really like how he’s performed this year and what he adds to the bullpen.

    But as I noted last week, he doesn’t seem to get enough 1-2-3 innings and that is going to come back and bite him. Not to mention how nervous it makes me.

    This month he has started 10 innings. He has faced the minimum number of batters (3) just three times.

    Jason Grilli has started 10 innings this month and he has faced the minimum number of batters 7 times.

    I’m not sure what this all means, but I am less nervous with Grilli

  9. Some of your best work, Drewmeister. Excellent. Jed and Granny would be proud. And Ellie Mae went to the same Bible college in Oklahoma that my wife and I did.

    JAL should use this as his wakeup song. Or not.

    Emoticon omitted in honor of this masterpiece and its creator.

  10. Grilli’s 35-pitch save the other night bought him a little break. That’s half a game for some of our starters.

    I would have been antsy no matter who Client used last night. At least he didn’t bring in Morris to close. Not ready yet with a one-run lead and the best bats coming up for the Cubs minus Rizzo.

  11. Thundercrack says:

    ‘That’s half a game for some of our starters.’

    +1

  12. Jandy says:

    or pulling fingers?

  13. Jandy says:

    I think Grilli had a lot of pitches the night before. Don’t wanna be too tough on our main closer ;)

  14. Jandy says:

    +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  15. Jandy says:

    You answered yourself, it means you are less nervous with Cheese :)

  16. JAL says:

    JAL’s Misty Mountain Hop Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuCBfO-_eRU

    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: Do the Pirates Need to Make Any Trades This Year?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/first-pitch-do-the-pirates-need-to-make-any-trades-this-year.html

    Francisco Liriano Digs Up A Gem In 1-0 Pirates Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/francisco-liriano-digs-up-a-gem-in-1-0-pirates-win.html

    Prospect Watch: Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson Combine For Eight Hits

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/05/prospect-watch-gregory-polanco-and-alen-hanson-combine-for-eight-hits.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Francisco Liriano outduels Jeff Samardzija in 1-0 win

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/5/22/4357276/francisco-liriano-outduels-jeff-samardzija-in-1-0-win

    7 WHYGAVS

    Story Links Not Working So Just Scroll Down

    http://whygavs.com/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Liriano Tosses A Gem; Outguns Samardzija 1-0

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/05/liriano-tosses-gem-outpitches.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker Tells Fans On Rumbunter Podcast Why They Should Believe

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/05/22/pittsburgh-pirates-neil-walker-tells-fans-on-rumbunter-podcast-why-they-should-believe/

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 1, Cubs 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/05/pirates-1-cubs-0/

  17. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Chicago Tribune

    Cubs waste another gem in 1-0 loss

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0523-cubs-pirates-chicago-20130523,0,4721884.story

    12 Rant Sports

    Francisco Liriano Very Good Again For Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/05/23/francisco-liriano-very-good-again-for-pittsburgh-pirates/

    13 Yahoo Sports

    Andrew McCutchen interviews Anthony Bourdain, talks ballpark grub and guilty food pleasures

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/andrew-mccutchen-interviews-anthony-bourdain-talks-ballpark-grub-221822334.html

    14 Charleston Daily mail

    Power hopes to continue run as team returns home

    http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201305220247

    USA Today

    Nightengale: Mattingly’s rant goes way over the line

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/dodgers/2013/05/22/don-mattingly-tirade-ned-colletti-dodgers-firing/2352973/

    16 CBS Sports

    Cub Vs Pirates Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130523_CHC@PIT

    17 Sweetspot

    If you want Andre Ethier you can have him

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/36248/if-you-want-andre-ethier-you-can-have-him

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs make every — and only — run count vs. Cubs

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_22_chnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Pirates’ pitching trio moving forward

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130522&content_id=48333686&notebook_id=48333818&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Are Starters Motivated by Wins?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20673

    20 Fangraphs

    Poking Some More at the Effects of Receiving

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/poking-some-more-at-the-effects-of-receiving/

  18. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    UPDATE: Steelers’ Terry Hawthorne on crutches after 2nd OTA

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/5/22/4356094/terry-hawthorne-injury-pittsburgh-steelers-crutches-otas

    Marcus Gilbert starts at left tackle, Mike Adams at right tackle

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/steelers-otas-2013/2013/5/22/4354234/steelers-depth-chart-offensive-tackle

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Sanders Says Contract Extension Talks Are Going On Right Now

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/05/steelers-wr-emmanuel-sanders-says-contract-extension-talks-are-going-on-right-now/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Premier League’s worst buys: in pictures

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/picturegalleries/10072834/Premier-Leagues-worst-buys-in-pictures.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 22nd May, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-22nd-may-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Game 4 Recap: Pens Unleash Offense, Win 7-3

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/5/23/4357834/penguins-senators-game-4-recap

    26 ESPN

    Penguins score 4 goals in third period, take 3-1 series lead

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400465760

    27 Ottawa Citizen

    Scanlan: Penguins rebound with a champion’s resolve

    http://www.senatorsextra.com/main/scanlan-penguins-rebound-with-a-champions-resolve

  19. JAL says:

    Misty Mountain Hop Led Zepplin 1971 Zepplin really did a wide variety of songs

  20. Jandy says:

    Walrus mustache ;)

  21. BillyBaduka says:

    Well done!

  22. JoeyBats says:

    7 wins down ….9 to go !!!!! !!
    .
    Let’s Go Pens :-)

  23. Paperboy says:

    Tremendous response last night from the boys. Scoring seems to come in bunches for this group, and if some of these guys get hot it’ll be a fun ride.

  24. BillyBaduka says:

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

    Congrats to all those that chose Neal as their ‘key’ in yesterday’s blog.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  25. BillyBaduka says:

    Great article DK. Way to use the players locker room quotes to bridge the emotions/reactions of the players to the emotions/reactions of the fan base.

    A game and article that are both worth a second look.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  26. Arriba Wilver says:

    Enough of that crap. How tall is Melancon?

  27. likeabugonarug says:

    Great lyrics.

  28. likeabugonarug says:

    Like!!!!

  29. likeabugonarug says:

    And a good call by Geno, saying The Real Deal was about to become one.

  30. likeabugonarug says:

    Am so hoping to go to July 3rd concert here featuring Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience, and Heart. Last 30 minutes of show is to feature both groups performing Zepp. No one, IMO, can pull off Robert Plant like Ann Wilson can.

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    It might be a little early, but Liriano is starting to make it look like we have 3 world class starters. And that doesn’t even count Locke and what he’s been doing. Been a long time since we had 3.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe not tall enough

  33. Not enough downward plane.

  34. Thundercrack says:

    Dripping with world classness?

    :-)

  35. Sarah says:

    Lets not forget Eric and me who criticized him (and Kuny) thereby CAUSING the explosion of goals!!

  36. Jandy says:

    Sounds like something I’d love as well. Get your tickets!

  37. Jandy says:

    +1

  38. Jandy says:

    lol ZING!

    But seriously, I had the game on before the Pens came on, and Liriano looked good. Man, he likes to keep pitching, not much time between his pitches in the first inning. Does he always pitch like that? Thrilled to see him doing so well.

  39. Jandy says:

    I gotta say, while I loved seeing Neal and Iginla get two goals each, my goal of the game goes to Duper’s shortie, set up by a great play and pass by Cookie. Totally a superb effort by those two. Cookie continues to quietly shine in these playoffs.

  40. Jandy says:

    what slope is required for the BEST downward plane?
    20%?

    40%?

  41. JHadar says:

    Maybe this was commented on last night: I was watching WGN last night and the announcers got talking about the franchise went back to the Pittsburgh Alleghenies of the old American Association and had won five world championships — they were showing the names and numbers around the ballpark of the players with retired numbers while they were chatting — and they said, (not a direct quote), that the Pirates with all their history finally being competitive is (direct quote) “good for baseball.

  42. Jandy says:

    is that like a backhanded compliment?
    LOL
    No, it truly is good for baseball.
    And I’m enjoying it :)

  43. CWalton_67 says:

    I have a tendency to disagree with the generally rosy picture being painted of this Pens team based on a 7-3 win over a team with clearly inferior talent.

    Good to see Neal with some goals, and more important, looking like James Neal. Hope this a breakout for him.

  44. CWalton_67 says:

    +1

  45. Patrick says:

    I haven’t seen a team defeated that bad in awhile. And I mean DEFEATED. By the end of the game they were skating the green mile.

    Gonchars effort on the Dupuis shorty was depressing. Watch that goal again and you will actually cringe when you see Gonchar make almost no effort and show no remorse for leaving his goalie completely out to dry. Sids backhander was awesome. but watch it again and see the total lack of effort by the sens as he walks through them as if they weren’t there. Because basically, they weren’t.

    I haven’t seen a team play so flat, so unemotional, so resigned to their fate since the Pens whipped Carolina in the final game of the season 8-3. Hockey players just aren’t supposed to play like that.

    For Gods sake Chris Neil was so depressed he stopped taking runs at Matt Cooke.

  46. Thundercrack says:

    In my world, the Cubs having to go through a ‘rebuilding process’ is good for baseball.

  47. Dom says:

    Personally I feel it is far too early to call the Pirates competitive. Around this time every year, there is a surprise team with a record like ours.

  48. Jandy says:

    Love the last line, Patrick.
    I guess Alfredsson said it all when asked about making a comeback and winning 3 straight. He basically said he couldn’t see that happening with the depth the Pens have.

  49. Patrick says:

    Matt Cooke playing like Matt effin Cooke is a definite +. And I haven’t seen any “bad” penalties either. More “2 minutes for being Matt Cooke” penalties than anything, and the other 20 guys will gladly kill those. He has been able to keep his level of sociopath within acceptable hockey standards.

  50. JHadar says:

    Is Locke eligible for ROY? Or did he have too big a cup of coffee with the Bucs last year?

  51. Jandy says:

    Of course they’re competitive. RIGHT NOW they are competitive.

  52. Jandy says:

    well said. And when the camera is on him, he looks so darn HAPPY. Like a kid in a candy store. I love this.

  53. Jandy says:

    JAL? You seem to have all those answers…

  54. radio wave says:

    Very early.

  55. JHadar says:

    No sense arguing over the definition of “competitive”. They are doing well now.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    Jeanmar Gomez, another positive Huntington acquisition, pitches this afternoon against the Cubs disappointing Edwin Jackson, who signed a four-year, $52 million deal in the offseason and who is 1-6 with a 5.76 ERA.
    ——————————————————————————————
    That was from another Pittsburgh blogger (initials BS)

    So far, Jeanmar might be playing a part in saving Neal Huntington’s job. And if NH had signed Jackson and he performed the same as his is now, it may have cost NH his job already.

  57. Thundercrack says:

    I think I heard on the broadcast the other day that Locke is 1 inning over (from last year) the maximum number of innings pitched to be considered a rookie.

  58. Jason81 says:

    Some captain, that Alfie.

  59. Tim says:

    even if some personnel still need shifting. tell us coach. They were atrocious. They were awful on the power play, allowing another short-handed goal right away. Awful on handing Kyle Turris an open net later on. Awful on …

    Actually, I thought they played vey well in the first sans those two plays.

  60. Hope Edwin stays disappointing and Rizzo stays starstruck with his new contract until they both get out of town. We’ll see enough of them later in the season.

    Jackson will probably be traded for prospects at the deadline.

  61. Dom says:

    I stated this before but I am starting to feel that we shouldn’t be spending big in free agency, not like we did that anyways.

    If we would have bid just one million more per year than the cubs on Jacksons, then we would be dedicating nearly 8% of our gross revenue to just one guy. We really can’t justify spending that much on one guy, unless they’re a certain #1 in a rotation or an All star fielder.

  62. SeanAY says:

    I saw that in Burnside’s column. Pretty blown away he went that far.

  63. Jandy says:

    zactly!

  64. Jandy says:

    How’s the prairie, JHadar?

  65. Jandy says:

    makes two of us. he must be pretty disgusted/frustrated.

  66. Jandy says:

    Whining, diving, choking dog ;)

  67. SeanAY says:

    I also enjoyed the MacLean “press conference,” if we even want to call it that.

    Honestly, that’s just one of those games where you throw your hands up and say, “forget it, don’t dwell on it, let’s get ready for game five.”

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    What’s it all about, Alfie ?

  69. Jandy says:

    Hi Tim, they were lackadaisical in the first. No fire, no passion, just blech. Someone said something in the locker room during the first intermission, guaranteed.
    The team then hit the turbo button.

  70. Jandy says:

    Oh. My. Lord. That stinks.

  71. Jandy says:

    radio, your boys are against the ropes, will they win tonight?

  72. Damon says:

    It seemed like the Iginla-Malkin-Neal line was starting to show some signs of gelling….or Malkin and Neal were clicking again and Iginla went along for the ride. Either way that could spell trouble for everyone else trying to match that line and Sid’s.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dejan:

    I like the rebranding of the “Wakeup Call” with “Morning Java.”

    Much more swag to “Morning Java.”

    It’s all about the brand!

  74. Jandy says:

    (Starbucks) ;)

  75. The Cubs don’t have Ray Searage for the Jacksons of the world. But he’d be overpaid on any team with those numbers and that salary.

  76. Patrick says:

    I’m not upset about what he said really. We get frustrated when athletes/coaches speak in platitudes and cliche, but then when they are honest as well?

    They certainly dont have much chance if they play like they did last night. If he had said anything to the contrary I would have thought he was delusional. Put it this way:

    He is the captain. Has been for a while, and a very good one at that. He will be a HoF. And he knows the pulse and mindset of that locker room. Sometimes a little brutal honesty can have a very positive effect even if it does make people uncomfortable.

    Anyone doubt that Therriens “soff” comments had a positive effect on the Pens D?

  77. Jandy says:

    almost half way there!

  78. Patrick says:

    Attention IKL: All of the people that predicted Liriano to start 3-0 with an ERA under 2 please report to shipping and receiving.

    Your diamond encrusted Porsche is waiting for pickup.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    RHP Kevin Gausman, drafted in 2012, called up by Baltimore Orioles.

  80. Jandy says:

    Don’t get me wrong, Patrick, I wasn’t upset at all, just a bit surprised he said that when he had to know it would get reported. I don’t like him, but I have to give him credit. He’s 40 years old and out there busting his tail, and looking better than some of the younger guys.

  81. He didn’t even pitch that good in his rehab starts.

    One poster said last night that Theo would have a book on Lirano from the AL and the Cubs would solve him.

    Not this time.

  82. Jandy says:

    If no one claims them, can I have one?

  83. Jandy says:

    Officer Mancuso says:

    May 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I imagine that the 39 year old Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, former GM of tBoston Red Sox, has a book on Liriano and has communicated it to Cubs manager Dale Sveum, so this should be interesting.

    I guess the “good” occifer doesn’t know everything, even if he thinks he does ;)

  84. Sarah says:

    I think what we are forgetting is that the Sens are simply not very good.
    They have an exceptional goalie, but no G can withstand the onslaught the Pens put on him.

    The Sens are just not a particularly good team, nor were the NYI, though their speed exposed us.

    Things will get a LOT different v BOS and this is where I worry for Vokoun. He was sloppy last night (again) and did not get enough help around the net (again). The latter can change, the former, I don’t know.

    Anyway – seems that Mgmt is done with MAF and we won’t see him again unless TV gets hurt. I do not think that’s a good thing.

  85. Sarah says:

    Well Iggy had one gimme goal (though due credit for charging the net, but Anderson absolutely biffed that initial shot), but at least the second goal was what he was built for, big 1 timer from the left of the play. However he was on the 2nd unit, and I agree w DK he should be on the 1st unit.

  86. Naterosboro says:

    I disagree slightly with your assessment of Vokoun’s performance last night. Throughout the playoffs, I think we’ve seen a tendency of TV to start a bit shaky, but then settle into the game and play pretty well.

    On goal 1, Michalek has a short-handed breakway. I can never fault a goalie for giving up a goal on a breakaway. If they stone the shooter, then it’s gravy, but if the shooter scores, then I think you tip your cap.

    Goal 2, I’d say where TV was sloppy. He gave up a fat rebound on a softly thrown puck to the net. It didn’t help the Kris Letang cleared TV from the goal mouth instead of the puck, leaving it gaping for Turris, but I digress.

    Goal 3, he was in position to make the save on the Karlsson shot, but had no chance on the deflection by Alfredsson.

    Granted, I didn’t see much of period 2 (and I know the Senators did hit 2 posts in the 2nd period), but sometimes you have to be lucky to be good.

    NOW…

    All that said, I think the Pens lose Game 5 (maybe 3-2) b/c, for whatever reason, these players stink in home closeout games, and win it Game 6 back in Ottawa.

    And I think you’ll see the trend continue of TV starting the games off a little shaky, and needing extra help from his Dmen early on, but then settling in by late 1st period, and playing relatively well for the rest.

  87. JAL says:

    I didn’t predict that but knew he a number 1 starter arm

  88. Naterosboro says:

    You’re right Dom, no way a team like the Pirates can dedicate that much to 1 guy (unless that guy is special of course).

    But, also, I’d counter that NH wouldn’t offer a guy like Edwin Jackson (a guy who’s been on 1 year contracts since he left Tampa) 4 years.

    Theo Epstein.

    Boy Genius.

    I guess it’s a bit tougher when your players suck for the most part.

  89. Dom says:

    Kind of an odd move. He played eight games in AA. They’re really hurting his development.

    He did have just 5 walks compared to his 49 strikeouts. I guess their time is now though and in that division they need every last win.

  90. Naterosboro says:

    The 2nd goal for the Sens and 3rd goal for the Pens are eerily similar, only Craig Anderson didn’t have Erik Karlsson bowl him over to give Iginla an open net.

  91. JohninOshkosh says:

    i just got tickets for tomorrow’s game at Drunker Park!

    Traditionally, not that psyched to drive down there to see yet another Bucco loss. But this team is different. Very excited and will be wearing my Bucco stuff proudly.

    When Dejan was the beat reader I once contemplated bringing a sign that said “Read Dejan Kovacevic in the (newspaper name omitted)” But I didn’t want to explain to everyone around me how to pronounce his name.

    Maybe I’ll bring a “Read Travis Sawchik and Rob Biertempfel in the Trib” sign.

    No one would ask about those names.

  92. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Java?

    Isn’t that a Star Wars creature?

  93. JohninOshkosh says:

    Definitely a different organizational view about calling players up, Dom.

  94. Jandy says:

    BRAD! Where the heck have you been???

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    This is from Elias so I’m sure it’s true. Francisco Liriano is only the 2nd Pirates pitcher in the last 95 years to allow as few as 1 run & win each of his first 3 starts. The other ? Are you sitting down ?

    Dave LaPoint – 1988. Syd Thrift was indeed a genius. “It ain’t easy resurrectin’ the dead.”

  96. Naterosboro says:

    Saw this retweeted by Kristy Robinson (who retweeted it from Gregory Polanco’s acct.)

    http://m.milb.com/news/article/2013052248354912/pirates_polanco_hanson_friends_on_off_field

    Btw, Polanco’s twitter name is @El_Coffee.

    I’m loving this guy already.

  97. Dom says:

    IMO, he shouldn’t get promoted till he is ready to be a starter. I presume they’re going to be using him in relief for the time being.

    This could bite them in the butt. Even though they might need bullpen help now, they might need help in the rotation in the future.

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    Blondie !

  99. Dom says:

    Did you all see #21 on JAL’s list.

    The kid we drafted in the 5th round is already on crutches.

    Last year we lost our first and third round draft choices for a substantial amount of time before they had a chance play in the regular season. What awful luck we have.

  100. JohninOshkosh says:

    Tim Lincecum was called up after a brief stint in the minors.

    So was Andrew Miller, too.

    That is why GM’s make good money. Tough calls have to be made. And your going to be wrong sometimes. Difficult part of the job, indeed.

  101. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Just have to say (and bear in mind I haven’t watched every minute of every game, but general patterns I’ve noticed)…

    1. I still don’t like Tyler Kennedy. But he’s playing better so I’ll leave him alone until he coughs up the puck in our end again. I’ll have something to say after the next game.

    2. Thus far, my best-rated playoff performance goes to The Dupweeeeeeeee. Guy’s an animal. Close second is Crosby. Third is Crankshaft (although he didn’t have his hottest game last night).

    3. Absolute worst playoff performance thus far that warrants benching and never-again-mentioning is Matthias Niskanen. He’s been lousy since Okposo beat the snot out of him. Picture where he was on 2nd goal last night- WAY out of position and made no effort to get back to the net. None. I don’t base this on one incident. He’s just sucked the whole time.

    4. Random thought wrap-up… 1. If the Isles had a really good goalie, we wouldn’t be here right now. Thank goodness it was Evgeni Nabakov 2. We WILL see Fleury again this playoffs for one reason or another. 3. If we win the Cup, Conn Smythe goes to The Dupweeeeeeee.

  102. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Hey Jandy and everyone!

    Kids finishing up school, yard work, building lawn furniture, getting ready for onslaught of in-laws, etc. That old chestnut.

  103. Sisyphus says:

    His WHIP is 0.800. He gets more 1-2-3 inning than anyone on th team not named Grilli, and more than the vast majority of major league pitchers.

  104. JohninOshkosh says:

    Two great stories in sports.

    1. Kevin Durant donated One Million Dollars to the Tornado relief in Oklahoma! Unbelievably caring gesture.

    2. Evan Gattis hit a grand slam yesterday. Dude worked as a parking valet out of college, was a stoner who lived in a car. Turned his life around. Great story.

  105. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Plus it’s summer so I have a few clients for my family history biz as well.

  106. theplanisworking says:

    Saw the Kennedy Center honors this year……… Foo Fighters did a great job doing Zepp also.

  107. Naterosboro says:

    I also like the fact that Alen & Gregory are coming up together. Being in a foreign country, miles away from family can be extremely tough (even if you are working towards a better life).

    If you have someone sharing that experience with you, it lets you know you’re not alone.

    Here’s hoping to seeing both of these guys in Pirates unis (& in the same lineup) sometime in the near future.

  108. theplanisworking says:

    remember…………………. no heimlich! ;)

  109. Scott says:

    I totally agree. Vokoun tends to settle in as each game goes on. He will never look pretty because of the style he plays, but as long as he keeps the puck out of the net, that’s all that matters.

    Sarah, there’s no need to lose sleep over Fleury. As DK has said many times, when it’s time for him to go back in, we’ll all know it. It will be obvious after Vokoun has a bad game or two – which hasn’t happened yet. Management is hardly “done” with Fleury. They’re just riding the hottest goaltender in the league, as they should.

    We’re still not even halfway through the postseason. Very few people believe Vokoun will be the starter throughout the rest of the playoffs, so relax – this will play itself out the way it’s supposed to. And I expect Fleury to come back with a chip on his shoulder and be better than ever.

  110. treakle1 says:

    +2

  111. MadTurk says:

    WOW Sarah you seem to have a dislike for TV, like Eric has for Blysma. I thought he look pretty good and not at all like MAF has lately. Not sure what you want? He is doing nothing right now but winning games and keeping us in games when the defense is absent. He only gave up 2 goals on how many shots? They were not soft either. I did not know what to expect from TV when we signed him or needed him to start in goal because of the breakdown of MAF but I like what I see, and I like the winning. I was hoping they would take the first 3 games then give MAF a shot in teh fourth. A no high pressure win to get his mojo back. At this time I am all for riding the horse that got us here.

  112. Dom says:

    “We WILL see Fleury again this playoffs for one reason or another.”

    I’m a huge Fleury fan but I doubt we’ll be seeing him again.

    I was hoping that we’d through him the keys to one game if we were up 3-0 or 3-1 in this series but since Ottawa kept it close in one and won another, I think DB will not take any game for granted. Also, MAF hasn’t played for what two weeks now? It’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be a tad rusty.

    The only way Fleury is back is due to injury or if he’s brought in for mop up duty after a rough game.

  113. Iceman says:

    The intuitiveness of Cooke to takeoff as soon as he saw the giveaway at center ice was superb, not to mention that he had the patience to carry the puck around the net instead of forcing a shot when the pass was just a bit out of reach. Then, Dupuis crashes the net with his stick down and ready for the puck and Cooke dishes out a beautiful backhand pass right on Dupuis’s stick. Gonchar looked completely lost on that play and had absolutely no idea what was going on. It was a beautiful sight to see. The Pens need to win this Cup for the efforts that Cooke and Dupuis have put forth in these playoffs. Those two epitomize hard work and effort.

  114. theplanisworking says:

    Isnt Java that pesky computer thing? ;)

  115. Damon says:

    I agree with you and DK. Everyone was gushing on how Iginla has a bomb from the left point (which he does), and that it gave the Pens a force on that side they haven’t has since Mario. I guess that is Bylsma’s dilemma though – if you put Iginla on, you have to take off Neal or Kunitz since they already only use one Dman (Letang). Bylsma has to at least throw Iginla on the 1st unit here and there or it is a waste I think….

  116. Patrick says:

    Well….we do have a diamond encrusted 1980 LeCar…I guess you can have that instead of the Porsche.

    I can’t really go into details why we it…but lets just say it rhymes with Pave Darker and Schmocaine….

  117. Patrick says:

    I think we will. Vokoun had a couple pretty ugly rebounds last night. TV’s biggest issue always has been rebound control, and thats what the Bruins make a living off of. My gut tells me he wouldn’t survive through a PGH/BOS series

  118. Iceman says:

    I thought you disappeared because you didn’t want to have to utter the words, “Man, TK is playing pretty well right now!” ;)

  119. Thundercrack says:

    El Coffee. I wonder if he’ll be a favorite of DK’s

  120. Thundercrack says:

    I thought the Orioles are being forced to promote this kid because their rotation in the majors is in shambles.

    Well maybe not shambles, but under performing in a big way.

  121. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I could be totally wrong on Fleury depending how everything plays out obviously. Just my gut feeling that he’ll be back at some point for one reason or another.

  122. Patrick says:

    Iggy’s first goal was a HOOORRIBLE rebound by Andersen. He looked lost almost all night. You just cant kick the puck right into the paint from a weak bad angle shot like that. Thats goalie 101. Just terrible.

  123. JHadar says:

    Vast…

    A little chilly this morning, 54 with a strong breeze out of the North. It’s been rainy a lot — drought is on the run. Farmers are finally getting the corn in, a lot are done with corn and planting beans. Ag economy is booming, unemployment around 5% statewide, maybe 3% locally.

    Had twenty goldfinches at the feeders the other morning. Rose breasted grosbeaks, indigo buntings, sparrows (house, chippers, white crown, white throat, Harris and song), nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers (flickers, downy, hairy, redheads, and red bellies) among others.

    Seems more like March than May, but life is good.

  124. Jandy says:

    well said

  125. Damon says:

    I love the movement on almost all his pitches. That’s got to be tough to hit. Good to have good lefty pitchers in a lefty hitters friendly park…..did I say that right?

  126. Jandy says:

    OK well, it’s always good to see you, friend :)

  127. Joni says:

    I thought DB might have inserted MAF into the game once it looked like the win was guaranteed.

    it would have been awkward on so many levels. Perhaps even rude to all involved. Oh well! It wouldn’t be DB’s stupidest idea come to fruition.

  128. Patrick says:

    TV’s biggest problem always has been rebound control. He is a great first save goalie. Last night he gave up a few really meaty ones that got swept away and caused no harm. Against Boston those will be in the back of the net. Boston LIVES for rebounds.

    Lucic and Marchand have their home addresses listed as “The Crease”. Lucic wont be leaving the crease unless he wants to. Even Murray would have a tough time moving that dude.

    If TV stays in, I’m really fine with it though. Because it means the Penguins are still winning. I doubt he comes out unless the he has an absolute horrible game or the Pens fall behind in a series.

  129. Jandy says:

    Good stuff, OshKosh

  130. theplanisworking says:

    OshKosh,

    glad to see you and Milo around these parts, if you know what I mean.

  131. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hippo Hey !

  132. theplanisworking says:

    Hahahaha!

    Thanks Milo.

  133. Kevin says:

    He didn’t challenge the shooter on goal 1. I think Fleury does that better. Not saying he stops it. But, you gotta challenge otherwise you give the shooter top shelf.

  134. JHadar says:

    Yeah, most websites now use PHP instead of Java.

  135. Damon says:

    How about them Baby Pens – down 3-0 in the series, wins game 7 5-0. Wouldn’t it be awesome if……no, I’m not going to say it.

  136. JHadar says:

    They came awfully close (bases loaded nobody out)

  137. Kevin says:

    yes well said and I agree. I’m trying to think of the situation where the penguins are on their game and TV is terrible and we have to pull him. I don’t think it exists. This penguins team averages 4 goals per game. You don’t need to be a fantastic goalie to win games with this much offensive fire power in front of you. Just saying.

  138. Damon says:

    Gotta say – good call on the 6-2 prediction yesterday. Glad you were right (close)….

  139. Dom says:

    Anyone else hear the Crosby haters keep saying with pleasure that it’s been two years since he’s had a 3rd period playoff goal?

    Every time I hear that I think, “How many hours did you spend reading through the stats before you discovered that?”

    I guess it’s back to the drawing board for those people after last night’s game.

  140. Damon says:

    Awesome….

  141. Naterosboro says:

    I gotcha Kevin.

    And good for pointing that out.

    Perhaps he sat back thinking 1 of Malkin or Letang might be able to get back and disrupt Michalek.

    Personally, I tip my cap to Michalek on that play. He got on his horse, stayed strong on the puck, and roofed it.

    Good play by him, and poor by our PP Pointmen…………

  142. Iceman says:

    Saw this about Durant yesterday and was blown away. Very cool. The OKC Thunder also donated $1 Mil. as well. Glad to see a sports team and players caring about the city they live in.

  143. Naterosboro says:

    Every time TK makes a decent play, all I can think of are Brad’s posts.

    Anyone else have this happen to them?

  144. theplanisworking says:

    I believe that happened in 2008………….. and both out teams lost in the Finals of their respective leagues.

    Lets not bring that up again. ;)

  145. Dream like a hippo!

  146. Patrick says:

    LOL…for once ;) Glad I missed the bet yesterday otherwise I would be buying him lunch for a week lol

  147. theplanisworking says:

    Hahahaha!

    You dont want to dream like a Hippo !!! ;)

  148. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I’ve got to duck into a meeting in about 5 minutes, need someone to re-post this for me in today’s game thread. Thanks!

    TWO-LINE THURSDAY

    Max “wager” is 100 units on any single line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    Play as few or as many lines as you’d like.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Line #1
    Total PITCHERS USED by the Pirates in today’s game
    Line is 4.5

    Line #2
    Total HOME RUNS HIT by the Pirates in today’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Good Luck!!

  149. JHadar says:

    I thought this was interesting too.

    Central Division Head to Head: St. L. 15-8, Pitt 13-7, Cinn 10-8, Milw 9-16, Chi 5-13

    Vs. Other Divisions: Cinn 19-10, St. L. 15-8, Pitt 15-11, Chi. 13-14, Milw 9-11

    Outside the division Chicago and Milwaukee are close to breaking even.

  150. Patrick says:

    People will always hate Crosby. No other sport has quite the dynamic of hokcey where the best player is universally loathed for being the best player.

    Its a Tom Brady/Derek Jeter kinda thing. But even fans of those sports would admit they dislike them for winning all the time and beating their team, not because they actually thought Brady or Jeter sucked.

    In hockey people *actually try to make arguements that Sid isn’t the best player. And they will go so far as to quote some esoteric nonsense like third period playoff goals to prove it. Beyond stupid.

    I mean I get it…people are tired of the best player wearing a Pens jersey. Its been what..like…25 of the last 30 years or something? Ill be annoyed if after Andrew Luck retires they draft Aaron Rodgers JR too.

  151. Patrick says:

    I will say when the Pens season is finally over it will be nice if they stick around and support the Pirates the way the Pirates are for the Pens. Anyone else see the Pic of Inge in the clubhouse in full hockey gear? Niiiiiice.

    I think Inge knows how to get himself an extension lol.

  152. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Never mind, I got it.

    GOOD LUCK!!

  153. cmat0829 says:

    Really? Really? The blog has outdone itself, finding a way to be negative about Melancon. Really???????

    You are spot=on Sisyphus. Melancon is performing like an all-star, and yes, he will eventually blow more leads and give up walks, hits and runs… and he still will be a damn good setup guy who can also close when needed.

  154. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1. Tremendous show.

  155. Mike A. says:

    The best part of Matt Cooke’s performance is that he is “sticking it” to Eugene Melnyk.

  156. Kevin says:

    Yes, like I said, I been waiting for a breakout game like this since game 1. And I still stand by my belief that the Islanders can sweep this Senators team. Not that it would have happened even theoretically. Last series, it felt like the penguins were stealing games whereas this series, the penguins have to giveaway games (gm3) just to keep the senators in the series.

  157. cmat0829 says:

    Is he up for good or up to make a spot start. Seems to me every team, yes including the Pirates, calls up young guys to make a sport start. I’m sure others can come up with a list of who has been called upon by the Bucs in years past to start.

  158. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    No no no. I’m… (cringing )… ok that he is playing better than he did in the regular season. He still missed the net by a school bus yesterday though.

  159. Damon says:

    Awesome the sequel….

  160. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    You and everyone else too.

  161. Jim S. says:

    Grilli and Melancon both have very low WHIPs this year, although stacking up the innings will wear them down. IMO, we had a tired Melancon in the 9th last night. Although he gutted out a 4-out inning, I thought a rested Mazzaro or Morris could have gotten the job done, and we’d have Melancon rested for today. But, that is just nitpicking since Melancon shut them down. Personally, I would rest them both today, as the last appearance for each did not look like they were at their best. Have some faith in more guys, Clint. If you have faith to bring in the other guys in top spots in the 6th, why would they not be able to handle the 9th once in a while?

  162. Jim S. says:

    I think we were all waiting for THAT Penguins offense to show up. It was like an All-Star weekend skills competition for awhile – definitely Showtime. Ottawa had no idea what was going on during that 3rd period assault. The Penguins offense is almost always good by mortal team standards, but when they shift it into that other gear, look out! I loved it.

  163. Kevin says:

    yes, all the time. TK scores that top shelf goal in gm3 and I think “I wonder what brad will say about that”.

    As for giving the conn smythe to the pwee already.. we’re only 7 games deep. We still have one more against ottawa and mostly 6-7 against BOS and 6-7 against DET. Yes, I am predicting a boston sweep, a det upset of chi and a rematch of 08-09 cup final.

  164. Iceman says:

    The bounce back WBS has made is nothing short of amazing. Theissen stoned Providence in those last four games even after being tackled and cheap shotted numerous times. Quite the story and I hope they are able to keep rolling.

  165. Jim S. says:

    3 solid starts in a row from FL. This one was truly dominant. I know it was against an iffy Cubs lineup, but he pitched well enough last night to shut down any NL team. Maybe the broken wing in the winter is the best thing that could have happened. This way, we don’t need him for a 162 game grind, just like we don’t need Charlie or Karstens for that either.

  166. Kevin says:

    its not foreboding at all that we did it against the Boston Bruins affiliate, is it?

  167. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Almost forgot to mention on the Dupweeeeee goal that I bet if Cooke wasn’t carrying the puck on that play, Anderson doesn’t do the Mortal Kombat sweeping poke-check attempt. Looked to me that he was just as intent in knocking Cooke off his skates as as he was deflecting the puck. Worked out well for him.

  168. Jim S. says:

    Close to being counted out. 7 … 8 … 9 …

    I hope they extend the hated Bruins.

  169. Jim S. says:

    ++++++

  170. Sarah says:

    Yep not really talking about the goals.
    Talking about lots of stuff in between, losing pucks, thinking he had them covered, which went on through the 3rd period, including missing an easy glove save in the 3rd, dropping it in front of him, and (luckily) having time to cover.

    Should have been more clear – NOT talking about the goals specifically talking about his positioning, puck control as a whole. Thought he was sloppy.

    You put BOS’s grinders out there v some of those loose pucks, dropped pucks, it could be different.

  171. Drew71 says:

    By my untrained eye, Television is a solid, not spectacular, no-stupid-mistakes goalie.

    I ythink he’s good. I don’t think he’s great. Good doesn’t usually win cups, but it can get you pretty far. Especially with a good team.

    I don’t like to put words in people’s mouth, but I suspect that this is what Sarah thinks. I don’t read her as saying that Television is bad.

    Now that the Pens are up 3-1 and coming home, I hope they put MAF in for the next game. Even if just for a game. To rest one and see the other.

  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    Don’t know. Good question. Starts his service time, though.

  173. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Not giving it to The Dupweeee just yet. Just my Miss Cleo if we get that far and he continues as he is. He’s had a freakish incredible year.

    Whenever Tyler Kennedy scores all I can hear in my head is Mike Lange yelling “She wants to sell my peanuts!”

  174. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know if you were going here with that comment, JHadar, but I keep hearing that as well. I am not downplaying the horrible and embarrassing performance of this franchise for most of the last 20 years. There is no defending it. But, people now talk about them as though they are and have always been the Cubs or something. A lot of us here do remember so many great years, which is why this is so hard to take. I would like to remind the talking head national media that, even after 20 years of sub-.500 records, this franchise is still more than 100 games over .500 all-time. My point in stating that is only to say that this is not just a team that has been around a long time. It is a team that was historically very strong for most of that time.

    That said, this is the year to get that d*mn monkey off our backs, and stop having SportsCenter preface every set of Pirates highlights with a reference to the last 20 years.

  175. MadTurk says:

    MAF gives u more rebounds the TV

  176. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Forgot to mention I only heard it 6 times during the regular season so it’s hardly a cultural thing like “Elvis has just left the building!” yet.

  177. JHadar says:

    Not going anywhere in particular with it Jim. I just thought it was interesting.

    We need to go 54-62 from here on out to get to 82-80, or 53-62 with a rainout for 81-80,

    On the other hand, I have a hard time remembering our last 5-game winning streak. Did we get one last year?

  178. Sarah says:

    Oh goodness MT, did not mean to come off that way really. Have great respect for the guy, and he gave us EXACTLY what we needed (STEADINESS) exactly WHEN we needed it (Game 5 NYI)…..

    No question he settled the whole team. Invaluable. Say it again – INVALUABLE – and they probably are not where they are without TV. Or even still in the playoffs.

    As for goals last night, he gave up 3. Hard to blame him for the 1st SH break, though if he were MAF we’d be screaming he was way too deep. Which he was., The 2nd was an awful rebound. So disagree none were Soft. (didn’t see the 3rd!)

    There were multiple other occasions where he lost the puck, and in general I thought he was sloppy, though to be fair that happens when you get crappy net-front protection. Which the Pens were CRAPPY.

    All I’m saying is I do not see riding TV to the Cup as possible. Do not think he can beat BOS, and the diff between him and say Quick is so large I think it cannot be made up by the Pens. I think the difference between Sens and Bs will be huge. And more huge w LAK.

    The Pens will have to step up their D and zone coverage, net-front clearance A LOT to give TV a chance to beat Rask.

    I do not disagree you may “ride the hot hand” but that assumes the Hot Hand can take you all the way.

    If you think it can, go for it.

    If not, you must plan for MAF to be ready.

    It does not appear DB/Mgmt thinks they need MAF this playoffs.

    I think they do.

  179. MadTurk says:

    Drew man, We have two goalies to work with. Not saying I would want over the other long term. Just saying with what we have and how they are playing to let it go. MAF will get a shot sooner or later. Then during the off season we will see what the people in charge think going forward. For the past few says it’s always TV is not good and very shakey type of thing. well ottom line he is wining and that is what I care about.

  180. Sarah says:

    My opinion (as an aging G myself lol!) is yes he is a solid 1st save guy, but often gives up position to do so, such that he is not in place to handle rebounds.

    Poor rebounds/lost pucks/crappy net covg by D makes all that way more dangerous.

    Positives are (as an aging G!) he rarely gets rattled, even when he gives up bad goals, or is hung out to dry by appalling D (LeTang I’m looking at you!) ….This is magnified by how MAF obviously gets freaked out when things go South.

    Invaluable.

  181. Jim S. says:

    It has definitely been a case of Good Pens / Bad Pens throughout the playoffs. I think Good Pens may be here to stay now.

  182. MadTurk says:

    Agreed on the defense, agree it would be nice to have MAF ready. We have 2 goalies to work with and at this time only one has been preforming for us. Some may say shakey others may say steady and calming. I care about wins and not what DB, MAF TV or anyone else thinks. I was hoping to take the first 3 games in this series to give MAF a start, maybe even one on Friday just to see where his head is and hopefully shake the rust off. we may need both to finih it off this year. Then decide who if any to keep going forward.

  183. Sarah says:

    Thanks Drew you’re spot on.

    I am just getting to the point where I think HCDB/Mgmt has decided MAF is Done and we do NOT see him again unless TV gets injured.

    Which means they think TV can beat say BOS and LAK, riding Vokoun.

    I think that could be a critical mistake.

    When you look at the Goalies remaining in these playoffs, where does anyone place Vokoun?

    I’d have him a solid 8th…or at best tied for 7th w Niemi.

  184. Sarah says:

    Out of curiosity what is your threshhold for putting MAF back in?

    Say TV plays OK, and D plays AS THEY HAVE BEEN, and we are down 0-2 going to Boston?

    Or say TV plays poorly and we are down 0-2 going to Boston?

    AT this point, I think we only see MAF if TV is injured.

    Think that is a huge mistake.

  185. Jandy says:

    Amen Mike!

  186. Jandy says:

    +many

  187. Sarah says:

    Sorry, no he doesn’t.
    He tracks pucks much better assuming he’s not completely brain-cramping. He controls rebounds far better. He gives up expected rebounds due to his butterfly style.

    MAF on a Normal day, TV on a Normal day, no comparison. MAF way better.

    Problem is, we’ve no idea is we can even get Normal out of MAF anymore.

  188. Sarah says:

    I hope you’re right.
    I think DB is done with him, unfortunately.

    Add it to the many HCDB decisions I do not agree with…

  189. Scott says:

    I don’t see Vokoun winning the Cup either, but can we sit back and enjoy what’s happening right now? The guy hasn’t played a single bad game! He’s been our best player over the past two weeks.

    You’re making a lot of silly assumptions here. Of course the team is planning for MAF to be ready. Of course they’re planning to get him back in there at some point. Everyone knows this. When there’s an obvious opportunity to get him back in there (like after Vokoun struggles against Boston, for instance), Fleury will be back in there.

    Why not chill out and enjoy the ride?

  190. Jandy says:

    Dayum, your bird feeder resembles mine. Imagine that!

    We have a HUGE woodpecker that comes a lot…he’s a big redhead male, and my pitt bull always wants to chase him. Can’t figure out why she can’t catch him lol.

    Hopefully it warms up for you soon, but then, we’re to have highs in the mid 50′s tomorrow before it warms back up to the low 70′s on Saturday.

  191. Jandy says:

    darn right!

  192. Jim S. says:

    I think we must have had a 5-gamer last year, but I don’t know for sure. I said this before, an it is just a feeling I have. Nothing concrete, for sure. But, it seemed to me the last 2 years while we were learning (and failing, eventually) to contend, the confidence of the Bucs as a team was so fragile that I felt like they needed to win the first game of a series to ensure disaster would not set in and lead to a sweep. This year, the pattern seems to be against tough teams, even on the road, quite often we lose Game 1 in tough fashion and then steamroll them 3 straight (Braves, Phils, Brewers, & Mets but they don’t count as a tough team). Maybe it’s nothing, but that strikes me as a change in attitude and confidence. I hope it continues. But, as you say, still 116 to go.

  193. Naterosboro says:

    When I saw what KD did, I then donated $10 to the OK Red Cross.

    If that man can give $1million, then I can give $10.

  194. Naterosboro says:

    My suspicions confirmed:

    “@pgshelly 12m

    #Penguins have lost these shots to clinch series at home: 09 vs. Phil Gm 5, Wash Gm 6; 10 vs. Ott Gm 5, Mont Gm 7; 11 vs. TBay Gm 5 and Gm 7″

  195. Jim S. says:

    I always enjoy McLean looking like a poor sport or idiot – you name it. I believe coaches are required to stand there and answer questions. It’s part of the gig, right? To me, it is pretty weak to refuse to take questions and just walk off. Kind of like the petulant 6 year old on the playground who takes his ball and runs home. It is hard in that situation, McLean. We get it. Too bad for you. You still need to do it professionally. Poor sport.

  196. Sarah says:

    What silly assumptions have been made?

    Not sure what your definition of a Bad Game is, but I don’t think TV has been great every game, far from it.

    He hasn’t melted down, that’s for sure, but do NOT mistake what we’ve seen from TV as great goaltending.

    Good enough to win, yes. Vs NYI and OTT.

  197. Jim S. says:

    I would just add that he has not lost a game in regulation yet in the playoffs. He doesn’t have to be perfect because he has the most prolific scoring team in the league in front of him. In fact, it could be argued that the Pens explosive scoring ability often puts our goalie in bad situations (odd man rushes, wide open shots from point blank range, etc) as compared to say, the goalies in Boston or Chicago. There are better goalies in these playoffs than TV, but the guy keeps posting W’s.

  198. Patrick says:

    And All of the “fire DB!” crowd needs to pay attention to whats goin on over in NY. Im thinking Brad Ricahrds and the Rangers would be glad to have DB right about now.

  199. Patrick says:

    GOnachrs “defense” on that play was inexcusable. Non-existant. Sarge might as well have put that puck in himself. I dont care what your jersey says, if I’m Paul McClean and i see some half-ass effort that like that that leads to a shortie…you are going to the end of the bench and staying there.

  200. Jandy says:

    Dittos

  201. Jim S. says:

    In defense of Sarah (not that she asked for or needed it), but:

    a) Since she has played goalie, she automatically knows way more than me; and

    b) Doesn’t sound to me like she doesn’t like TV. She just provided specifics for her comments, and gave credit where it’s due.

    I am all for leaving the hot guy in the net right now, but by no means do I think TV is perfect.

  202. Jandy says:

    I think it is rather cool stuff myself.

  203. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Mother Teresa!

  204. Jandy says:

    like

  205. Jandy says:

    Torts is a total a$$munch.

  206. Jandy says:

    Hey Hipposter :)

  207. BillyBaduka says:

    Did anyone notice that the penalty box attendant in Ottawa has the same mustache?

    Gotta be MacKean’s brother or those walrus mustaches are real popular in Ottawa.

  208. Iceman says:

    Not sure if anyone else noticed it or not, but it looks as though DB and Todd Reirdan made a very interesting change that was called for by none other than DK. After the SH goal, the coaching staff switched up the PP by putting Paul Martin on the point. Sure he wasn’t replacing Letang which is what DK actually called for, but Martin certainly seemed to be a calming factor on the PP. He was distributing the puck well and plays with a poise that made the whole PP look less crazy.

  209. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know if I am stayin’ or not.

    Just saw you, and wanted to say hi.

    These playoff games take a lot out of ya……….. for better or worse.

    Hope you and the hubs are well……. I may catch you later.

    Oh, and say hi to your wild child, Brandie. ;)

  210. BillyBaduka says:

    +1

    Great for Cooke and Dupuis

  211. Jim S. says:

    Down 0-2 going to Boston and 8 goals against would probably prompt a switch back to MAF – particularly if there are some bad goals mixed in. At that point, the coach is grasping for anything to get the team going again.

    I don’t see that happening, though. I also don’t completely get the “Vokoun is not a Stanley Cup goalie” comments I first heard by the jerk, Milbury, but continue to be said by people whose opinions I actually respect. TV (or MAF) has the luxury of the Pens team in front of him. That can make up for some slight shortcoming vs. the top echelon goalies. I am not saying we can win the Cup with a stiff in our net, but TV has a pretty good track record in the NHL of not being a stiff. I know this is his first extended playoff experience, but that has not bothered him at all thus far. I’d be more concerned, as a fan of other teams, that all of the Pens’ stars might make my team’s goalie look bad than the other way around.

  212. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    No doubt. Bad play on both G and D. Anderson’s move there was very uncharacteristic for him. Either because he figured he might as well take a shot at Cooke or he was in complete desperation mode. Gonchar on that goal looked like Niskanen on OTT’s 2nd goal.

  213. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    What is going on? Only know BOS up 3-0.

  214. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I still think Malkin on the point is stupid. Haven’t seen one play this year in that situation to suggest otherwise. Might be selective memory, but that’s my take on it. At least they didn’t put Tyler Kennedy back there.

  215. Patrick says:

    Somewhere, Therrien was watching Gonchars “defense” on this goal and spit out his Stolnya as he screamed “SOOOFFFF!!!!” http://imgflip.com/i/1ml4y

  216. Damon says:

    I saw that as well, and in doing that it also moved Malkin off the point. Malkin was great at the point in the past when he would one time shots, but this year he almost never takes that shot anymore (shoulder?). He has shown to be a liability against the shorthanded rushes. Doing that moves Neal or Kunitz off the top PP, but it was very effective. I’m not sure if it would be a good idea to rotate players in and out of the top PP during a game to give the other team different looks as well as getting everyone involved – Sid and Geno being permanent members. I’m not sure if that hurts chemistry though…

  217. Patrick says:

    Brad Richards is a healthy scratch for game 4. Richards makes 10 mil and was THE GUY Torts wanted when he went to NY. He has been awful. no goals 1 point in 10 games.

  218. MadTurk says:

    No question if TV plays badly you replace him without thought. no matter what game no matter what the series is. You comment was beating a dead horse on TV is all, I saw at least 3 post about it last nght as well. I am not saying ride TV alone through the playoffs and standley cup. Just ride the hot hand right now and be happy with winning. He has been good and possibly better then MAF right now. If it’s not broke don’t change it. we have enugh of that going on with the team.

  219. MadTurk says:

    It’s a dead horse. I just get tired of the bashing of a player who is not giving up 3 and 4 or more goals a game right now and worrying about the backup. I don’t care what he looks like doing what he does. He is winning. Where was the outcry when MAF was in? Was everyone worried about TV getting rusty?

  220. Sarah says:

    No you don’t.
    You put Iggy on L Pt with Martin and keep Neal Kunitz.

  221. Sarah says:

    You think Anderson looked lost ALL nigjt?
    Wow.

  222. hockeymonster says:

    Not to sound like a Letang apologist but if you look at the replay Crosby was just as responsible for the 2nd goal against as Vokoun. He went for a circular skate to the blue line instead of stopping and staying with Turris. 1st goal against was on letang for thinking it was a good idea to chat with ref with michalek busting up the ice.

  223. Luiz Mello says:

    When I watched that 5th play unfold (and every time I’ve re-watched it since), I couldn’t help thinking “not bad Central League pick-up hockey player”.

  224. Luiz Mello says:

    Plus, acknowledging the truth doesn’t mean that you won’t come next game and play your hearts out.

  225. Jandy says:

    lol

  226. Jim S. says:

    Puck handling behind the net, as well as decision-making regarding whether to play pucks behind the net – MAF may be the worst I’ve ever seen! What do you think, Sarah?

  227. Jim S. says:

    I actually agree with you, Mad Turk. I think a lot of the sentiment (but not all) to get MAF back in there is actually just fan affection for him. Nothing wrong with that, but logic dictates you keep TV in there, IMO.

  228. Karen22 says:

    OOPS-glad I missed it. I would have lost.

  229. Karen22 says:

    Let’s finish this tomorrow night. Yeah!

  230. MadTurk says:

    MAF is terrible behind the net nd puck handling

  231. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Regarding the speech by LaMarr Woodley…..I was kind of turned off by it.
    However… Like DK said, he did show up on time for OTA’s.
    One can only hope that he is putting on a front, and planning to back it up with some real defensive football this coming season.

  232. Sarah says:

    MAF an accident waiting to happen behind the net.
    One area I’d give to Vokoun handily.

 
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