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Morning Java: Bylsma vs. Bruins, me vs. ESPN

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

BOSTON — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column examines — or re-examines Dan Bylsma’s future with the Penguins. Some might recall I broached this subject a couple days before these playoffs, and that column can be found right here.

Here’s some of what Bylsma had to say yesterday at the Penguins’ hotel …

Our full Penguins coverage for the day …

>> The call on Bylsma will be made by Ray Shero, by beat man Rob Rossi

>> Kris Letang and his eleventy billion D partners, by Josh Yohe

>> Brandon Sutter reiterates the no-quit line, by Yohe

>> The national TV ratings are terrific, by Bob Cohn

>> Complete playoff photo gallery, by our Chaz Palla

>> More on the Bruins from our news partners at the Boston Herald

>> It’s Bruce Gradkowski’s offense … well, through mid-July. Alan Robinson reports from the last day of OTAs on the South Side.

We’ve got a bunch of pics from OTAs, by the way.

>> The Pirates were off Thursday, but the front office reignited the lighter fluid to burn more of Bob Nutting’s money on the Major League Baseball draft last night. Maybe this one will be different.

>> It isn’t quite MLS, but it’s as close as Pittsburgh will get for a while: The Riverhounds play a friendly tonight against visiting Toronto FC of MLS, albeit a roster of two rehabbing starters and reserves.

>> The chat transcript covered a ton of ground, including some Steelers and Pirates.

>> The ESPN guys on ‘Pardon the Interruption,’ Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon, had a little fun at my expense over yesterday’s column critical of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, which is actually pretty amusing in that they read what I wrote completely incorrectly, including the most bizarre turn near the end when they suggest I referred to Crosby as ‘a failed bum.’

Fast-forward to about the six-minute mark to hear for yourself.

Yee-hah, huh?

I’ll take the last laugh, though: The PTI Twitter account, perhaps in a fit of remorse after some complaints from Trib readers, retweeted that column to their 745,000 followers.

Jackpot!

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 12:30 p.m. to update from the Penguins-Bruins Game 4 skates. And then, of course, the main — perhaps final — event itself.

>> Sports aside, I wish I was home today.

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. Ghost says:

    I like the Pirates’ possible shift in direction to using high draft picks on high school players, particularly HS position players. Maybe there is no “shift” in thinking and this was a one-time occurrence. But if it is, I like it. Though Taillon and Cole are looking just fine, it’s been proven that high-pick pitchers are more hit-and-miss propositions than position players. And college players, supposedly more predictable, take until they are about 25 years old before they are MLB-ready. We can load up with pitchers using lower draft choices. Use the expensive, high picks just as the Pirates did today in taking Meadows and McGuire.

  2. Deb says:

    Thinking of changing my avatar to “confused.” You assert yesterday’s column’s intent or “point on Crosby was that he still lacks that defining playoff rise-above moment in huge game.”

    Yet Jagr is greater although he had this defining moment at age 41? and Sid is 25? (Doesn’t Sid get a few more years to reach this pinnacle?)
    or Jagr has had more “defining playoff moments of greatness” than Mario…the Great #66 because Jagr has scored more overtime goals? [huh?]

  3. siggy says:

    Jagr has shined on the playoff stage for years.

    The 1992 SC run when Mario was hurt.

    The OT goal to beat Washington.

    His 3 point game in game 7 at Buffalo in 2001.

    OT goal to beat the Devils as a rookie in 1991.

    I could keep going. But you get the point.

  4. theplanisworking says:

    I like the fact that while NH normally emphasizes pitching, this year the top picks were position players. These guys were ranked high, so thats a good thing.

    Austin Meadows? Better than Audrey Meadows, I guess. ;)

    Reese McGuire? Does this mean the Tony Sanhcez experiment is over?? Or no?

    At least we didnt draft a ” #4 starter”, or pass on a pick due to $$$.

    But, lets keep in mind, the draft is like playing the lottery………………… odds are against you getting a stud player.

  5. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, and for those who didnt see last night ……………….

    the Blog’s resident muppet, Brandie, received great news on her job search.
    Some high-fallutin job to boot.

    She thanked us for our support ( I was sad I didnt get to accompany her as part of a “take a pet to school type of thing” ……….. ) so if you come on here today, give Brandie a shout-out.

    Congrats, Brandie! :D

  6. Colonel Hogan says:

    Goodbye, Good luck, Good riddance … Mr. Fleury, Mr. Letang, Mr. Iginla, Mr. Morrow, Mr. Murray, Mr. Eaton, and for good measure Mr. Malkin (probably the best player on the ice for the Penguins), Mr Bylsma, Mr. Granato, Mr. Rierden, Mr. Meloche, I am sure there will be others added to this list… Mr. Crosby the supposed Best Player in the World. I have had doubts for several years about that claim to fame. Just because he was good looking and HAD all of his teeth at one time became the “face of the NHL”…what a joke. His career is on the fast track to ending due to being injury prone. It’s is one and done.

    I have no doubt that some of the actors (I can not in good conscience call them hockey players) were out in downtown Boston’s finest golf emporiums looking at the latest and greatest in golf wear and accessories yesterday. Smart phones were seeking late tee times for Saturday. As Chuck Noll was quoted as saying..”Maybe it is time to get on with your life’s work …” In the respectable positions as a bus boy, dishwasher, cab driver, refuse engineer, crossing guard … Thanks for the memories.

  7. walt says:

    DK have you seen wher the bucs farm system ranks Neal is the best thing to happen in years .

  8. Ghost says:

    Brandie!
    That’s just dandy!!!
    A big congrats and I hope you positively love it at your new job!

  9. Brendan says:

    I don’t know if it’s a shift, so much as it is taking the best player available, at least per their board, obviously we can debate whether or not that was the case. I’m enthusiastic about Meadows, relatively less so about McGuire (I liked JP Crawford the HS SS from LA at #14 although I know there were some questions about his bat).

  10. Ghost says:

    Like you haven’t ever had your name rhymed with “dandy” before…
    Still, very happy for you. And Hippo is so overjoyed he must be doing his near-naked, purple dance for you as I type. ;)

  11. Brendan says:

    I’d hope drafting McGuire has nothing to do with their feelings about Sanchez, as drafting for need in the MLB Draft is generally ill advised–especially if you’re picking a HS player who’s at least four years away.

    Sanchez looks good so far this year–a .948 OPS. I’m certainly rooting for him and hoping his recent struggles were at least in part a residual effect of his jaw injuries.

  12. Brendan says:

    Dejan, I’m sure you’ll have a field day with this one. I feel positively about the farm system, but the bar was pretty low. I do wish a discussion of NH could exist somewhere between inducting him into the Hall of Fame tomorrow and running him out of town with pitchforks.

  13. Ghost says:

    “Neal is the best thing to happen in years.”
    Umm, I personally want to wait just a teensie bit longer before I cannonize Ol’ Neal. He’s put us through hell and back. A nice two months doesn’t get him off the hook just yet. He is rehabilitating himself quite nicely, that’s becoming undeniable. I’ll just leave it with the catch phrase around here of late: Let’s enjoy the ride!

  14. Ghost says:

    +1
    Who knows how Sanchez will turn out. Neil Walker was drafted as a catcher, but that was two positions away from where he was finally destined to make it as a major leaguer.

  15. theplanisworking says:

  16. Brendan says:

    Yes. Neil Walker is a good reminder that just because a prospect might not develop at the rate you anticipated and even if he struggles for an extended period of a time (a season or more) you should be cautious about writing him off entirely.

    Three or four months ago I was hoping Tony Sanchez might someday end up being a backup catcher, who know’s what will happen, but I’m certainly more optimistic about his ceiling at the moment.

  17. Ghost says:

    WooHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    This just NEVER gets old!

  18. Ghost says:

    Just made my 14-year old laugh, too. :)

  19. Ghost says:

    “…taking the best player available.” You’re probably right. And it will be a good four years, in the least, before we can expect a payoff. I’ll probably not even remember what I thought about them being drafted at the time. Someone will be shouting something in my ear which I no longer comprehend as they change my Depends.

  20. Brendan says:

    It sounds like Meadows is a bit more of an advanced hitter than your average HS pick, I believe? So maybe he shows up in Pittsburgh in four years–he’d be 22 at that point.

    McGuire will take a little longer I’d think, particularly if he stays at C.

  21. Ghost says:

    Trades definitely working out better of late.

    DK: There are new farm system rankings?

    At midseason?

    That’s unusual, and I’d welcome any link anyone can offer.

  22. Brendan says:

    In the most general terms. I like much of what he’s done of late. I like some of the earlier moves less. I like the commitment to building via the draft, international signings, etc but don’t love the allocation of money in some of the earlier drafts (at least at this point, as noted above these things are often fluid). I feel better about the way money has been spent in the last three drafts at this point. There are also plenty of reasonable criticisms of his tenure.

    Mostly though I just don’t think it does anyone any good to discuss NH or the rest of organization in such hyperbolic terms. The result is everyone shouting at each other over some sort of partisan divide and and not actually listening or engaging.

  23. Brandie says:

    Wow, Ghostie, just wow! Amazed at how you all rally around someone you don’t even know to see…the blog is like family and this family has done a wonderful job supporting me. Thank you.

  24. Ghost says:

    Time will tell. Will be nice if all goes as plans.
    Before I check out for the night, I spied this interesting tale on how the Giants landed two of their more interesting integral pieces: Posey and Crawford. Even has a Jason Kendall reference. (Now there was a HS draftee who jumped to the majors pretty quickly. Debuted at age 21 and started out as both an all-star and Rookie of the Year.)
    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130606&content_id=49674068&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    Nighty-night all.

  25. Ghost says:

    You’re more than welcome. But it was Plan who delivered the “Hear Ye! Hear Ye!” to us all. We’re all proud and excited for you. Some of us have to furiously weave and bob just to slip the blows this economy keeps raining down on us. So it’s great when one of our own here in the Lunatic Asylum rises above and strikes success out in the real world. Get out those party streamers, slip into your most comfortable thong and sandles, make like Hippo and boogie like your hair is on fire! You earned it girl!

  26. Brandie says:

    The Blogs Resident Muppet! I resemble that remark!

  27. Brendan says:

    That’s neat, didn’t realize his brother was a scout. The Giants had a lot of success with first round pick from 2002-2009.

    2002 – Matt Cain #25
    2006- Tim Lincecum #10
    2007 – Madison Bumgarner #10
    2008 – Buster Posey #5
    2009 – Zach Wheeler #6

    They didn’t have first round picks ’03 and ’04
    David Aardsma in 2003 was less successful at #22 but 5 out of 6 isn’t bad. Cain, Lincecum, Posey, and Bumgarner are some of the key pieces of the WS teams.

  28. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone,
    .
    .
    # 9…Austin Meadows….OF
    # 14…..Reese McGuire…..C
    # 51……(2nd round) ….Blake Taylor….LHP……6’3″ ….210…high school
    .
    .
    OK, GM Neal, make sure we go out and sign these top guys !
    .
    .
    As some others have noted, for rounds 3-5, there remain a ton of other interesting names/talent on the board for the early rounds:
    * Cavan Biggio…..son of Craig….a 2B…like his dad
    * Rowdy Tellez ….great name ! … :-) ….a power hitting 1B from Calif.
    * Dace Kime…..a former Pirate pick from 2010 draft who has pitched at Lousville the past several years
    .
    .
    Beat Em Bucs!

  29. Drew71 says:

    Congratulations, Brandie. Very happy for you.

    (And it beats talking about whether Neal is a good GM two months into the season.)

  30. Drew71 says:

    I see the order of postings is broken again.

    Freaking Dejan.

    Or Neal.

  31. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Big Draft Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6ZwCT_rx5s

    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

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013draft

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Reactions to the Day One Picks

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/first-pitch-reactions-to-the-day-one-picks.html

    Draft Day One Recap: Pirates Go With High Upside Prep Players

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/draft-day-one-recap-pirates-go-with-high-upside-prep-players.html

    Prospect Watch: McDonald Roughed Up, Rain Washes Away Four Games

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/06/prospect-watch-mcdonald-roughed-up-rain-washes-away-four-games.html

    7 Bucs Dugout

    MLB Draft Day One recap: Pirates get Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, Blake Taylor

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/6/7/4405170/mlb-draft-day-one-recap-pirates-get-austin-meadows-reese-mcguire

    8 WHYGAVS

    Pirates take Blake Taylor in the second round, plus some more on Meadows and McGuire

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/june-2013/pirates-take-blake-taylor-in-the-second-round-plus-some-more-on-meadows-and-mcguire.html

    9 The Green Weenie

    The Envelope, Please…Meadows & McGuire In the First Round

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-envelope-pleasemeadows-mcguire-in.html

    10 Rumbunter

    MLB Draft Results: Pirates select Austin Meadows (OF) and Reese McGuire (C) in first round

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/06/mlb-draft-results-pirates-select-austin-meadows-of-and-reese-mcguire-c-in-first-round/

    Pirates Offense: It’s Lack of Hits, Not Strikeouts That’s Concerning

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/06/06/pirates-offense-its-lack-of-hits-not-strikeouts-thats-concerning/

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Bucs double up on high school talent in draft

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/06/bucs-double-up-on-high-school-talent-in-draft/

  32. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 The News Tribune

    Kentwood High star McGuire drafted 14th overall by Pirates

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/06/06/2628545/kentwood-high-star-mcguire-drafted.html

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Steal Austin Meadows with No.9 Pick of 2013 MLB Draft

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/06/06/pittsburgh-pirates-steal-austin-meadows-with-no-9-pick-of-2013-mlb-draft/

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Preview: Pirates at Cubs

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0607-series-cubs-pirates-chicago–20130607,0,4206536.story

    15 Fox 59

    The balanced Indians are the International League’s top team

    http://fox59.com/2013/06/06/the-balanced-indians-are-the-international-leagues-top-team/#axzz2VWegeJ5G

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cubs Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130607_PIT@CHC/piratescubs-preview

    17 Charlotte Observer

    Crawdads’ McCutchen, Redmond took different paths since 2006

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/06/07/4085219/crawdads-mccutchen-redmond-took.html

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates get into position to snare prep stars

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130606&content_id=49834258&notebook_id=49841248&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    Hot-hurling Liriano leads Bucs into Wrigley

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_06_07_pitmlb_chnmlb_1&mode=preview&vkey=preview_web_away&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    9 Hot/Cold Starts We Don’t Think Will Last

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20831

    20 Fangraphs

    Framing the Hitters

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/framing-the-hitters/

  33. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    A day in the life of Steelers rookie Le’Veon Bell

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/videos/2013/6/6/4401560/steelers-running-back-leveon-bell-2013-nfl-draft-results

    Steelers end final OTA session with ‘good simulation day’

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/6/6/4403168/steelers-end-final-ota-session-with-good-simulation-day

    22 Steelers Depot

    - The Terrible Podcast – Talking Ben Roethlisberger Surgery, Backup Tackles, Roster Moves & More Episode

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/06/the-terrible-podcast-talking-ben-roethlisberger-surgery-backup-tackles-roster-moves-more-episode/

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Arsenal preparing to join European superpowers with £70m boost, says chief executive Ivan Gazidis

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10104877/Arsenal-preparing-to-join-European-superpowers-with-70m-boost-says-chief-executive-Ivan-Gazidis.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 6th May, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-6th-june-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Looking back at when Boston blew a 3-0 series lead

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/7/4404634/pittsburgh-penguins-comeback-chances-boston-bruins-sidney-crosby

    26 Boston Globe

    Claude Julien’s defense has Bruins on offensive

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/06/06/boston-bruins-have-shutdown-sidney-crosby-and-pittsburgh-penguins-eastern-conference-finals/cMC46ogWXiRFoq4S6euL5J/story.html

  34. BillyBaduka says:

    Congrats Brandie! Best of luck with the new job.

  35. JAL says:

    The Big Draft The Four Preps 1962 Parody of some of the popular groups of the time. Not quite the same draft as last night.

  36. JAL says:

    Broken it is–my 6:55 links show up before your 6:27 post

  37. Drew71 says:

    Unlike some of the past times when the blog’s matter and anti-matter touched, the reply function seems to be working. So our imbedded discussion strings are true to themselves.

  38. Drew71 says:

    And there. As soon ASO wrote that, REPLY broke. That last was a reply to JAL.

    By the way. For those (few) of you on here who aren’t Star Trek nerds…

    “when the blog’s matter and anti-matter touched” = Neal and Dejan musta shook hands.

  39. Jandy says:

    :yawn:

  40. Jandy says:

    +many

  41. Jandy says:

    must be Bylsma’s fault ;)

  42. Jandy says:

    Nah I replied to your 6:27 am post, and it made a new thread

  43. Jandy says:

    ZING! (Dejan and Neal shook hands)

  44. Drew71 says:

    Ah. So YOU broke it.

    Sorry Dejan Huntington. Jandy Broke it.

  45. BillyBaduka says:

    Excellent column today DK. Thanks.

    It is interesting that there is no immediate public statement of support from Shero this time.

    Of course, it’s not over till its over. Hoping the Pens can pull off a miracle comeback.

    There is no margin for error. They can’t win 4 games in one night. Today’s task is win one in Boston. They can do that.

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  46. Drew71 says:

    You know I made that hand shake thingee up, right?

    After all, there’s that 500 feet restraining order.

    No wait. That’s me.

  47. Jandy says:

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself. lol

  48. JohnH says:

    they update them after the draft signing period is over

  49. Drew71 says:

    Maybe the draft broke the blog.

    All those unrealistic expectations.

  50. Drew71 says:

    Boy, this random posting placement is more troubling than my honeymoon.

  51. Thundercrack says:

    The Miami Marlins took high school left-hander Matt Krook with the second pick in the competitive balance round, No. 35 overall. The Pirates traded that pick to the Marlins for Gaby Sanchez at the 2012 trade deadline.
    ——————————————————

    Let the Cy Young watch begin!

  52. Dom says:

    I like the two guys dem Buccos grabbed in the first round.

    One mock draft had Meadows going #7 and McGuire going #9. According to that mock we got two steals.

  53. Drew71 says:

    Thundercrack quoted and wrote:
    “The Miami Marlins took high school left-hander Matt Krook with the second pick in the competitive balance round, No. 35 overall. The Pirates traded that pick to the Marlins for Gaby Sanchez at the 2012 trade deadline.
    ——————————————————
    Let the Cy Young watch begin!”

    Nope. Other way around. Seven years from know, when Neal is out of baseball selling insurance, and after Gaby has been for two years playing in Japan, Gaby will be signed by Minnesota as a non-roster FA on a minor league contract. He’ll (finally) have that breakout Legend year. For Minnesota. In seven years.

    And someone in HERE will write: “See? Neal was RIGHT!”

  54. Thundercrack says:

    Even Neal is too smart to sell insurance.

    Of course the way he likes numbers he may have a future in underwriting.

  55. gregenstein says:

    I agree with those who say McGuire’s drafting has nothing to do with Sanchez. Assuming both players work out, it typically takes 5 years for a high schooler to get his first cup of MLB tea. I’ll point to Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen as examples.

    We could only hope Sanchez is just about ready to price himself out of Pittsburgh at that point.

  56. gregenstein says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/prospect-heat-check-baseballs-best-farm-system-040349825.html
    ——————————-
    It’s not a complete “ranking” per say, but it does mention who is #1. :-)

  57. Drew71 says:

    My wife says things like that to me.

    “Even you’re not that dumb”

  58. gregenstein says:

    In reply to DK’s:
    —————
    DK: There are new farm system rankings?

    At midseason?

    That’s unusual, and I’d welcome any link anyone can offer.

  59. Jandy says:

    how long have you been married, Drew????
    (“Too Long” does NOT constitute and answer)

  60. meglasdad says:

    Walt, I will simply ask this: Neal has spent $51 million on the draft the last 5 years. He has so far produced one or two players with a couple expected to arrive soon. If that was your money, would you be satisfied with how he spent it? No right or wrong answer, just wondered what you thought.

  61. RobS says:

    Good article DK, you point out everything or all the obvious short comings of the Pens through 3 games.

    However, the one thing missing is the game strategy. What is the Penguins approach or strategy to exploit the Bruins? This I guess sounds like a dumb question since it wasn’t covered in your article, but then the other question is what is the Bruin’s strategy and why has it been so successful?

    Hockey isn’t just about one on one match-ups. Even though yes it does ultimately come down on how individual players preform against their opposing number. If we only consider the talent on paper the Penguins should be winning those individual one on one battles, but hockey like most sports is a team game. The Bruins as team and their strategy to defeat the Penguins as a team, has defeated the Penguins for 3 straight games.

    That means either your players are under preforming which statistically there is no question is the case, and/or the players are not being utilized to exploit or enhance their strengths. Boston is employing a team approach which is defeating the Penguins, and/or the Penguins are unable to counter what the Bruins are doing.

    Shots or attempted shots are indicative of only one dimension of the play on the ice. Scoring chances are a further measure of a scoring opportunity as opposed to a lesser shot that isn’t deemed as a difficult save. Thus a shot from the perimeter that has little chance to go in, or should be stopped by a competent NHL goalie. As you pointed out in the amount of rebound opportunities which has a gran total of 3 in the entire series.

    The PP has been pathetic and is the one area which should be producing the greatest number of rebound opportunities and prime scoring chances as opposed to shots. One PP scored on Wednesday night and this series is 2 games to 1 not 3-0, and as captain obvious will point out does not leave game 4 as do or die.

    The game strategy or lack of counter strategy I leave in the hands of the coaching staff not the players. In my humble opinion the Penguins have been thoroughly out coached in this series if only because the Bruins have been able to shut down and shut out our perceived and believed strength which is our superior offensive talent, and exploit our weakness which is the weak or under emphasized defensive approach.

    It has been 3 and possibly now the 4th playoffs in a row where this coaching staff and GM has employed a strategy which believes a relentless offense beats a defense 1st team strategy. The regular season approach which produces 4 years of qualifying for the playoffs only to see early disappointing defeats, and the fans shaking their collective heads wondering what happened to their offensive power house team and super talented stars.

    The playoffs require a defense first strategy because as has been the case except in the the brief Gretzky-Lemieux era there have been no single players or teams which have proven to been able to defeat a sound defensive approach. Even the Penguins of the 90′s found they had to change their style of play to succeed in the playoffs. Pens versus Caps in 91, down 3 games to 1, and facing elimination adopt the Left Wing Lock and go on to defeat the Caps. Craig Patrick’s deadline deal to bring in Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Kjell Samuelsson which brought in a more well rounded 2 way center and stay at home defensemen to balance out the offense minded Penguin team.

    So for all the emphasis on under preforming stars, I don’t think that is the issue. The Bruins have employed a strategy to minimize the Penguins strengths and the Penguins continue to believe that more offensive zone time = less defensive zone time. Three years in row the Penguins have proven that strategy doesn’t work, and we are now working on year number 4. Maybe they pull it off and win 4 games in a row, but if I was a betting man unless the strategy changes, or the coaching staff finds a better way to utilize their talent, we’re all going to be watching or reading about how the Bruins do against either the LAK’s or CBH.

    The irony of the strategy we are stubbornly employing in the playoffs is we would or could be the better team employing a defense 1st strategy simply because the fewer offensive opportunities would be in the hands of the more talented Penguins offensive players versus the Bruins. It seemed that we saw more responsible play in game 3, and I think if we would have seen that in games 1 and 2 we may have won one or 2 of those games.

    LETS GO PENS!

  62. Drew71 says:

    67 years.

    And they’re 3 of the best years of my life.

  63. Jandy says:

    I should have known better! lol :P :P :P

  64. RobS says:

    Good article DK, you point out everything or all the obvious short comings of the Pens through 3 games.

    However, the one thing missing is the game strategy. What is the Penguins approach or strategy to exploit the Bruins? This I guess sounds like a dumb question since it wasn’t covered in your article, but then the other question is what is the Bruin’s strategy and why has it been so successful?

    Hockey isn’t just about one on one match-ups. Even though yes it does ultimately come down on how individual players preform against their opposing number. If we only consider the talent on paper the Penguins should be winning those individual one on one battles, but hockey like most sports is a team game. The Bruins as team and their strategy to defeat the Penguins as a team, has defeated the Penguins for 3 straight games.

    That means either your players are under preforming which statistically there is no question is the case, and/or the players are not being utilized to exploit or enhance their strengths. Boston is employing a team approach which is defeating the Penguins, and/or the Penguins are unable to counter what the Bruins are doing.

    Shots or attempted shots are indicative of only one dimension of the play on the ice. Scoring chances are a further measure of a scoring opportunity as opposed to a lesser shot that isn’t deemed as a difficult save. Thus a shot from the perimeter that has little chance to go in, or should be stopped by a competent NHL goalie. As you pointed out in the amount of rebound opportunities which has a gran total of 3 in the entire series.

    The PP has been pathetic and is the one area which should be producing the greatest number of rebound opportunities and prime scoring chances as opposed to shots. One PP scored on Wednesday night and this series is 2 games to 1 not 3-0, and as captain obvious will point out does not leave game 4 as do or die.

    The game strategy or lack of counter strategy I leave in the hands of the coaching staff not the players. In my humble opinion the Penguins have been thoroughly out coached in this series if only because the Bruins have been able to shut down and shut out our perceived and believed strength which is our superior offensive talent, and exploit our weakness which is the weak or under emphasized defensive approach.

    It has been 3 and possibly now the 4th playoffs in a row where this coaching staff and GM has employed a strategy which believes a relentless offense beats a defense 1st team strategy. The regular season approach which produces 4 years of qualifying for the playoffs only to see early disappointing defeats, and the fans shaking their collective heads wondering what happened to their offensive power house team and super talented stars.

    The playoffs require a defense first strategy because as has been the case except in the the brief Gretzky-Lemieux era there have been no single players or teams which have proven to been able to defeat a sound defensive approach. Even the Penguins of the 90′s found they had to change their style of play to succeed in the playoffs. Pens versus Caps in 91, down 3 games to 1, and facing elimination adopt the Left Wing Lock and go on to defeat the Caps. Craig Patrick’s deadline deal to bring in Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Kjell Samuelsson which brought in a more well rounded 2 way center and stay at home defensemen to balance out the offense minded Penguin team.

    So for all the emphasis on under preforming stars, I don’t think that is the issue. The Bruins have employed a strategy to minimize the Penguins strengths and the Penguins continue to believe that more offensive zone time = less defensive zone time. Three years in row the Penguins have proven that strategy doesn’t work, and we are now working on year number 4. Maybe they pull it off and win 4 games in a row, but if I was a betting man unless the strategy changes, or the coaching staff finds a better way to utilize their talent, we’re all going to be watching or reading about how the Bruins do against either the LAK’s or CBH.

    The irony of the strategy we are stubbornly employing in the playoffs is we would or could be the better team employing a defense 1st strategy simply because the fewer offensive opportunities would be in the hands of the more talented Penguins offensive players versus the Bruins. It seemed that we saw more responsible play in game 3, and I think if we would have seen that in games 1 and 2 we may have won one or 2 of those games.

    LETS GO PENS!

  65. RobS says:

    Oops sorry about that, wanted to add the follow to the post and it duplicated my original, sorry not paying attention!

  66. Damon says:

    I second that emotion.

  67. Drew71 says:

    The REAL answer is 13,376,200 minutes.

    But who’s counting?

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  68. Jandy says:

    not to worry, RobS, your thoughts pretty much sum things up I am a fanatical Pens fan, but no way do these guys win 4 straight.
    That said, I *WILL* be watching tonight. I support them when it’s fun and they’re winning. I’ll support them when they’re losing.
    BUT!
    I reserve the right to complain and call for people’s heads!

  69. Drew71 says:

    The Blackhawks allowed 21 shots on goal.

    The Kings? 28.

    Playoff Hockey.

  70. Tim says:

    I thought the whole Jagr column was rather hyperbolic. Great play? If by a great play you mean dig he hook Malkin and steal the puck illegally? Yes. But a great play? He got away with one is all. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Jagr fan and have always wanted to see him return, but I thougth the column was rather lame.

  71. RobS says:

    Thanks Jandy, me too :-)

  72. theplanisworking says:

    As long as mine isnt one of them………… ;)

  73. theplanisworking says:

    FIRE……………………… ;)

  74. theplanisworking says:

    FIRE……………………… ;)

  75. scapper says:

    While I’m as frustrated and disappointed as any Pens fan, I’m not going to be bitter about what has transpired this series. I’m going to watch tonight (and hopefully Sunday and…) and savor what will probably be the last time we’ll see this core group together.

    When I look at the bigger picture, I think about how this Pens team has provided some of the richest sports memories of my life over the past seven years. It was a thrilling, stirring ride to watch them come of age and then steamroll the East on the road to one Finals then win it all the next year with those two remarkable comebacks against the Caps and Wings.

    Sure, my memories of this team will include these last four spring disappointments, but what I’ll remember most is how wonderful they made the past seven falls and winters. I’ll remember this era as one of the greatest sports memories of my life.

    I feel bad for anyone who can only feel the type of anger and bitterness found in that stunningly vitriolic post above.

  76. theplanisworking says:

    Not only is the reply feature broken, not it double-posts.

    Maybe I need to sit on the blog??

  77. Jandy says:

    Hipposter’s heads don’t coach hockey games, so I think you’re safe, my friend :P

  78. Jandy says:

    +1

  79. Jandy says:

    I take it you’re referring to Hateful Hogan’s vitriolic post above…you can see my reaction up there ;)

  80. theplanisworking says:

    Hey Jandy, your reply worked.

    This blog today is NOT sustainable! ;)

  81. Jandy says:

    Sale?

  82. Jandy says:

    Nuff said.

  83. Jandy says:

    it seems to work ok in the top half, but not the bottom half, Hipposter. Whack indeed.

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Its my fault.

    I should have never posted congrats for Brandie……….. this blog must have a low tolerance for mushiness……………..

    ;)

  85. Jandy says:

    ha! I highly doubt that my friend. I will tell her congrats later on when I see her. I’m so happy for her :)

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    +1

    Never ceases to amaze me, Scrapper, how some people get so angry about sports. Unbelievable. I feel Sorry for their kids.

    You know what makes me angry ? Cancer.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Can you imagine the blog tonight, when there will be 500 posts for the Pens???

    Yikes!!!

  88. Scott says:

    Jagr and Mario had numerous signature playoff moments over the years. I think DK’s point is that Crosby hasn’t had one yet. Think about it – when you think of Sidney Crosby in the playoffs over the years, what’s the big, huge superstar moment that comes to mind? I can’t think of one.

    Malkin has had a couple of these moments – the slapshot breakaway goal against Philly and the ridiculous spinorama backhand goal against Carolina, for instance. Even Fleury had a couple defining moments – the breakaway save against Ovechkin in game 7, the stop on Lidstrom to win the Cup. Crosby doesn’t have a playoff moment like that. The only moment of real greatness I can think of for Crosby in the postseason was his hat trick against the Caps, and that came in a loss.

    Crosby is still the greatest player in the world, but I agree with DK’s assessment that in order to be considered in the class of all-time greats with Gretzky and Mario, Crosby will need some signature defining playoff moments. Scoring in OT at Boston with the season on the line while down 0-2 in the series and after getting his helmet knocked off – that would have qualified as exactly such a moment. But it didn’t happen.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Is he related to Hulk Hogan? ;)

  90. Damon says:

    Great job summing up the big picture!

    That post was definitely one of the worst I’ve seen.

  91. RobS says:

    Yikes, Penguin fan? :-( must be a Crier troll, disappointed in our teams play, or how their talent is being utilized, but…..that….are you kidding me? Like to here what Mr. Colonel does for his “life’s work”, certainly doesn’t leave any time to watch any highlight reels of even one of the guys listed, let alone Mr Crosby. Say what you will about Crosby’s playoff performances, but I guess every hockey expert in the world has been fooled by an unemployed “bus boy, dishwasher, cab driver, refuse engineer, crossing guard” and no offense to any bus boy’s, dishwasher’s, cab driver’s refuse engineer’s, or crossing guard’s. holy Crap!

  92. theplanisworking says:

    +2.

    I get angry about some things too, but this blog isnt the place to air them.

    You are right………. feel sorry for their kids.

  93. Jandy says:

    it will be insane lol

  94. Jandy says:

    Nah….Hulkie isn’t hateful ;)

  95. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “…rather than simply gunning and going to the net— picture an armada of Tyler Kennedy clones —… ”

    Now THAT was a paragraph I’ve been waiting for all season! I’m picturing it. It’s a small picture. And it looks confused. And it stands around and watches the other team skate by. And it loses the puck in its own end. AND it has 2 good games per 37 games played. AND it is overpriced. So here are my ensuing questions/notes…

    1. Dejan, are you referring to the 08 or 09 version of TK?

    2. I didn’t know roundhouse shots from bad angles counted as crashing the net.

    3. The only player currently more adept at that style of play is Matt Niskanen. He and TK should be linemates. We’ll call it the futility line. (of course several other guys’ recent play could put them on there as well)

  96. theplanisworking says:

    Well, this dyslexic Hippo must go. ;)

    Later, friend.

  97. Dom says:

    DK addressed that particular scout in his chat yesterday. He said there was one AL scout that said the Buccos got nothing in AA and AAA beyond Taillon and Cole and their next real bat is Polanco.

    Although the Buccos farm system probably is in the top ten, it really should be better IMO with all the money we invested in it.

  98. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    If Morrow isn’t parked in front of the net tonight for say, oh, about 58 minutes of the game, there’s something wrong.

  99. theplanisworking says:

    Hope this blog gets fixed before the Pens game tonight.

  100. sidelinespensfan says:

    Finally read the Fleury column. It will be an interesting off-season. I am not convinced that Fleury is done in Pittsburgh, but I am convinced that the goalie and the coach will not co-exist for another season. As a strong GM, there is no doubt the Shero leaves the game day decisions to Bylsma, even if he has his influence. But, sometimes to be a strong leader, you have to give someone enough rope to see if they are going to hang themselves.

    Is Fleury “Sheros’s guy?” If so, going back to Vokoun in game 3 could have been the end Bylsma, not Fleury. Either way, Shero trusts in one of the two, and the other will be gone. With the track record being what it is, I’ll trust in Shero.

  101. Jim S. says:

    I am in the “We still need to wait and see awhile longer camp” to make a definitive assessment of NH. But, to be fair, he inherited a total mess. To also be fair, the mess has not been cleaned up all that quickly, and is certainly not entirely cleaned up yet. I am cautiously optimistic that the things I see on the field at PNC and even moreso in the Bucs minor league system indicate that this franchise is turning a corner. I’m still not totally convinced of it, but I am recognizing what I think is a great deal of progress.

    As for the money, a lot of it was spent on guys picked at the top of the draft. So, they paid the going rate, for the most part, for their picks. If one of Cole and Taillon becomes a #1 starter (of which there are less than 10 in all of MLB), and the other becomes a solid #3, that equates to good drafting. A #1 and #2 from them would be an astounding success. These things are so inexact, even if you gather as much information as possible and make the best possible selection with the info. you have. Sometimes, a #1 pick unexplainably blows up in your face and sometimes a #10 pick just blooms out of nowhere. I’m not excusing NH or any other GM. This is the business they chose, and the responsibility is theirs to get it right. I’m just saying, these are 18-21 year old kids, and it is a real crap shoot projecting the best ones down the road in a game where the difference in skill between studs and busts is often very small. But, we’ve all waited long enough. I believe it is time we see the fruition of NH’s plans at PNC Park a little bit at a time now with each succeeding year.

  102. Jandy says:

    +many Oshkosh

    I may get upset at it is happening, but life goes on. Reality :)

  103. Jim S. says:

    Yep, and some had Meadows as high as #5 overall talent.

  104. Jandy says:

    Most of the team would be on that last line…lol

  105. Jandy says:

    enjoy the day, Hipposter :)

  106. SJB says:

    I think one reason the Pens seem to have trouble in the playoffs anymore is the fact that they’ve been the better team heading into each matchup for the past 4+ years and were expected to win. Since 2009, they have never been ranked or seeded below their playoff opposition. They simply can’t find that need to prove anything or that underdog fight to get them through tough matchups and situations until it’s too late.

    Midway through 2009, they were in 10th place in the East before a coaching change and a run of wins got them rolling into the playoffs with a head of steam and playing determined and inspired hockey that propelled them to the Cup. Since then, they’ve perennially been good enough to be one of the cup favorites every regular season but that has also been their undoing, as they lost the perspective and gutcheck needed to push them past the tougher teams that might not have the superstars, but do have the fortitude and attitude to more than make up for it. Heck, if the Isles had just a little more experience to throw at them, they could have won.

    The Bruins were not that much different than the Pens at the end of the regular season as far being good enough for long enough, but the improbable and inspiring comeback win against the Leafs stoked them with needed ammo to battle the Pens who still haven’t had their collective butts drug through the mud long enough or a big enough flirt with death to make them see things differently. They do now, but it’s too little too late. I thought the Flyers series last year would have been enough but the curse of time, another great regular season, high expectations and too many stars to delegate to, have effectively put that fire out.

    If the Pens won game 3 in OT, I feel they would have gone on to win the series. That would have been their gutcheck, inspiring moment that could have propelled them to the championship, but it didn’t happen and if they win tonight I think they could win one more to take it to a game 6, but that will be it.

    I hate to say it, but this team has too many winners on it. What it needs is the opposite of Iginla and Morrow who thought they were going to ride the gravy train to a cup. It needs some younger blood, a couple years of uncomfortable losing and a low seeded playoff appearance to get them back to where their heads need to be to play playoff caliber hockey and to bring the best out of their stars and role players. Oh, that and a new coach, That’s another comfort level that needs blown up. This should be the season they find out the real cost of losing by watching star players and coaches shown the door. That lesson should serve them well going forward.

  107. chethejet says:

    Crosby is not the top player due to a terrible injury. And yet he takes crap for returning from such a injury. Hey Dejan, Bylsma is the issue and his accumulation of not winning in the playoffs and costing the franchise significant money are the reasons Mario and Ron will ask Shero, can we do better. Rossi’s blog was a joke to suggest it would be to much to have a coaching search and go through the process of change. Really Rossi, that was dumb. Dejan, the players are not going to flat out tell you their stance on the coach. I do think that the message of this crap system that just is a layup for the opposing coaches to defend is a message that Mario will take into consideration. The Pens are a high IQ team led by a coach who is so ordinary it is an inevitable clash. Bylsma was a change but never a fit.

  108. Jim S. says:

    I believe going back to Vokoun in Game 3 in Boston was the right decision, and the GM has to know it. Even if Fleury is Shero’s guy, as you suggest, he would look pretty foolish firing a coach over the decision to play the guy who righted the ship after the mess Fleury left him in the first series, continued to play stellar in the Ottawa series, and was terrific in Game 3 in this series after being pulled in Game 2. Fleury got some time in Game 2, and was not good again. Fleury has not played well since Game 1 of the NYI series, and I see no way Shero would be using the goalie decision as a reason to fire Bylsma. In fact, I would argue that the goalie management in the playoffs by Bylsma is one of the only strong decisions he has made. If I were Shero, I would be saying to Bylsma something like, “You trusted your gut on Vokoun, and it paid off. But, you have made a mess of every other critical decision on managing the team in the Boston series.”

  109. Deb says:

    How quickly we forget!!!!

    Malkin’s spinorama against Carolina was cute, but no less great than Crosby’s split the D against the Islanders. Remember the buzz…and comparisons to Mario’s moment? Two highlight reel goals in the Sens series? or two years ago when the Pens blew the Senators out, and Sid was laying on the goal line preventing a goal, and later Sid with “THE CHASE” dragging Spezza back and forth getting open and setting up Letang for the onetimer point shot to win the game.

    There are tons of examples if one care to recollect.

  110. Dom says:

    This was in reply to Gregenstein’s post at 8:03:

    DK addressed that particular scout in his chat yesterday. He said there was one AL scout that said the Buccos got nothing in AA and AAA beyond Taillon and Cole and their next real bat is Polanco.

    Although the Buccos farm system probably is in the top ten, it really should be better IMO with all the money we invested in it.

  111. hockeymonster says:

    @Dejan

    Bylsma doesn’t have questions to answer about the offense not producing, he has to explain why his defense consistently makes the same remedial mistakes over and over and over and over and over again…I.E. malkin/Crosby leaving opposing centers in dzone to chase puck or cheat up ice…I can give you examples of goals against if you’d like. Or why Martin has constant lapses around the net or why letang cant be coached up to maximize his talent and minimize mistakes. Or why we can’t mark opposing forwards on the backcheck when coming back into our zone.

    And why cant he make in-game adjustments to our breakouts? He finally ditched the stretch pass in game 3 and switched to a more controlled breakout with the forwards skating up ice in support of the dmen and it led to more speed thru the neutral zone and decent chances on rask. Now we gotta get the shooter tutor out so they can practice hitting the top corners where mama hides the cookies.

    If he made those adjustments in game he could claim to be playing the chess game against Julien but by waiting till the next game he gives the opposing coaches an opportunity to anticipate his adjustments in the next game. Bylsma is an EXCELLENT coach but his downfall is lack of flexibility to “his game” where he makes up his mind and doesn’t wanna make tweaks based on the opposing coaches strategy.

  112. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just about to do what I do every day at 10:00, bunker down & listen to Tony Kornheiser. You got to get the schtick to actually, you know, get the schtick.

  113. NMR says:

    So a longtime scout, unnamed front office executive, and member of division rival walk into a bar…

  114. SeanAY says:

    Of the goals you mentioned, all three occurred in the first or second round. Hardly the stuff of legend.

  115. NMR says:

    Calling anybody a “winner” of the draft makes about as much sense as criticizing a team for wasting money in the draft before the prospects who got paid actually get a chance to play in the big leagues.

  116. JohninOshkosh says:

    Kinda fun to talk about, but pretty ridiculous journalism just the same.

  117. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Brendan. I believe things are slowly turning for the good in our minor league system. Nothing definite, just a gut feeling on my part. Our Top 10 and Top 20 prospect lists appear to have more projectable talent than at any point in the last 20 years. Could still end up with very little to show for it, but, generally speaking more overall talent there should mean more players that become quality major league players.

    But, I don’t have an issue with people that say “Enough about all the talk of players that are coming in 2 or 3 year because I have been hearing that forever. We should already be better at the major league level, and that’s what really matters.” I say to each his own. I am optimistic about what NH seems to now be accomplishing. Saying he is definitely a bum who should be fired immediately seems wildly pessimistic, and saying he is the best GM in MLB seems wildly optimistic.

  118. NMR says:

    That is the cost of doing business, dad.

    When you suck, you draft high. When you draft high, you’re in a position to take expensive players. When you take the players you’re supposed to take, you spen a lot of money.

    As far as the “overslot” guys, no team has a high percentage of hits on those. Thats kind of the point. High risk, high reward. While the ’09 class has been a complete failure, they’ve already got Wandy for Grossman and will most likely have three top 10 prospects in Bell, Allie, and Glasnow.

    If Nutting isn’t happy with that kind of success rate then he should’ve never hired a guy who uses this strategy in the first place.

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s kinda replaced “a Catholic Priest, a Rabbi & Madalyn Murray O’Hair walk into a bar” around here, huh ?

  120. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  121. NMR says:

    Cracks me up.

    A writer’s version of the “expert witness” taking the stand for the defense.

    You can find a guy out there to tell you whatever you want to hear.

    DK: I agree. That’s why I didn’t print it at all until someone brought up this Yahoo! piece quoting ONE SCOUT as saying the Pirates have the best system in baseball. And everyone jumps all over it like it’s gospel. It’s ridiculous.

  122. Deb says:

    How quickly we forget!!!!

    Recall Crosby’s split the D against the Islanders. Remember the buzz…and comparisons to Mario’s moment? Or recall the two highlight reel goals in the Sens series? or two years ago when the Pens blew the Senators out, and Sid was laying on the goal line preventing a goal, and later Sid with “THE CHASE” dragging Spezza back and forth getting open and setting up Letang for the onetimer point shot to win the game.

    There are tons of examples if one cares to recollect.

    And maybe the greatest moment, which few reference, because it wasn’t a “moment” so much as an “event” which is Sid re-inventing himself to meet the teams needs each series of the 2009 Stanley Cup run. He willed himeslef into a goal scorer. He scored more goals in the Pens/Caps series then Ovechkin, and led the playoffs in goals after being noted more for his playmaking/assist his previous seasons. He WILLED himself into a goal scorer because that was what HIS TEAM needed. Think about that and greatness. He decided his team needed goals, so he becamse a Rocket Richard winner.

    Later in the 2009 series he then transformed into a shut down line, skating Zetterberg into the ground. Think about that. I know all the media could buzz about was “Sid wasn’t scoring much” but Sid’s assignment was to tie up Zetterburg, Lidstrom, Rafaski, and later Datsuk and he did so, putting in such a strong performance that Detroit had to commit extraordinary resouces to containing him every game. That’s why Kennedy and Talbot was able to win the games.

    Give the man some credit. He has had many defining momemts.

  123. Jandy says:

    sad outlook indeed. His loss :)

  124. Dom says:

    BA had him at #6

  125. 21sthebest says:

    “You can find a guy out there to tell you whatever you want to hear.”

    In the business world we refer to those as consultants.

  126. Karen22 says:

    Got up on the wrong side of the WORLD, I see. Geesh!

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    Funny you mention consultants. I have a recently retired friend who has become a consultant in the specialty steel industry. I asked him exactly what he does, he said he goes in a couple times a week, tells them what they want to hear & picks up a check. Nice work if you can get it.

  128. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, talent evaluation is far from an exact science.

    Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school team when he was an underclassman.

  129. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    PTI: purporting terse insinuations.

  130. Karen22 says:

    DVR-ing the game just in case it’s worth watching later. Heading out of town for a wake…hope I don’t return later tonight for the Pens’ dirge.

  131. JohninOshkosh says:

    Consulting is what our dear departed friend Foo does, I think. Figures.

  132. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Dejan needs a consultant to fix the blog.

  133. Karen22 says:

    Well said, Oshkosh! Perspective is a good thing.

  134. Karen22 says:

    And Kunitz.

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wow, this place is busted! Don’t know where I’ll end up!

  136. Jandy says:

    I hear ya, Karen. Be safe. Condolences.

  137. Deb says:

    Oh…didn’t know Malkin’s goal against Philly occured in the Eastern Conf. Final. I must have missed that year? or the Blowout against Carolina when he scored the Spinarama..7-4. Yeah that game was close (not).

    or Fleury’s breakaway save on Ovi…second round? right?

    I thought wins in each round were necessary for a Stanley Cup.

  138. Karen22 says:

    And while they’re fixing it – we need an “Edit” button!!

  139. Dom says:

    Or a delete button!

  140. Jandy says:

    a like button and an “ignore” button would be nice too :)

  141. Jandy says:

    a like and an “ignore” button would be nice too!

  142. Iceman says:

    Try Fleury’s save at the end of the game to clinch the Stanley Cup against Detroit. Video was posted on this blog just yesterday.

  143. Karen22 says:

    Yes!

  144. RobS says:

    I 2nd that whole hardheadedly :-)

  145. SeanAY says:

    Fleury’s stop on Ovechkin was in Game 7 of a series and set the tone for that game. There’s a reason lots of people remember that stop; it was the defining moment of that game, and maybe that series. Until he made a similar stop in Game 6 of the Detroit series, followed by the Secret Service save in Game 7, that was the biggest moment in the playoffs.

    Now, having said that, do we really think Crosby scoring on a sick backhander in a blowout win against the Senators REALLY qualifies as a defining, huge playoff moment for him?

  146. Damon says:

    and Cooke if he’s on Malkin’s line again…

  147. RobS says:

    oops heartedly, see damn spell checker!

  148. Karen22 says:

    Thanks…hubby’s elderly uncle…

  149. Dom says:

    Who would you ingore jandy?

  150. DJ says:

    As much as I disagreed with your column yesterday (premise of Jagr’s “greatness” being on display by a play beginning with a hook), I think today’s column is right on the mark.

    On Bylsma, while I like him as a person and have no doubt that he always has the bests interests of the team as his only objective, I also believe he labors over the simplest of things, overthinking the obvious, to the point he ties himself up in a knot. This may be his greatest fault. Why can’t Bylsma see what we all see? Iginla on the left wing? Not a good idea. Letang getting the majority of ice time on the PP when Martin has been outperforming? No, we think not. Waiting until Game 3 to go with a line-up of speed and puck-handling / finishing abilities despite the Bruins’ vulnerabilities to these qualities as shown by the regular season and playoffs? Bad move (or non-move). Not demanding that certain players – whoever he decides is best suited – go to the front of the net . . . and stay there. Unconscionable. What does Bryan Bickell (Chicago) have now – 8 goals?! (Note to Ray: 27 yrs old and UFA in July).

    Whether the result of Bylsma’s inability to manage / meld an embarrassment of riches / player talents (is it possible he was given too many options by Shero?), or his undue concern for player egos, or a lack of objective input from his assistant coaches, or his own stubbornness, it is difficult for the average fan to know. All we see are the results, which have been very disappointing.

    All that being said, still holding out hope for tonight and the long shot of righting this ship.

    DK: Mercifully, the number of people who took Jagr’s hook as a definition of his greatness — you know, as opposed to 21 brilliant seasons and leading the NHL in nearly every overtime scoring category — was very few.

  151. Warren says:

    “The Pirates were off Thursday, but the front office reignited the lighter fluid to burn more of Bob Nutting’s money on the Major League Baseball draft last night. Maybe this one will be different.”

    Maybe they should have just forfeited their picks and drafted no one! Then they wouldn’t be lighting Nutting’s money on fire!

    Seriously, when did people get concerned about spending Nutting’s money?

    What a joke.

  152. DJ says:

    *Sorry for the double posting. Did not see initial post had registered given the times on these posts don’t all appear to be time sequential.

  153. Drew71 says:

    I liked it the first time

  154. Naterosboro says:

    Crosby’s hattrick in Game 2 vs. the Capitals in 08/09 playoffs gets no love? Yes, Pens lost the Game 4-3, but that was a pretty big moment.

    He also had about 8 goals in that series.

  155. Bizrow says:

    Looks like just another day in lunatic nation.

  156. Jim S. says:

    MM O’Hair reference. Nice, Milo.

  157. Drew71 says:

    I don’t know why I need to share this. But I do.

    I just do.

    I’m ironing my 20 year old’s pants.

    No. He’s not in them.

    I think he has a future as a consultant.

  158. Jim S. says:

    & once the guys at the top sign a contract with you, they are invested in making your recommendations look like brilliant ones. Then, you get to take their compliments to the next big company to separate them from their money! Great gig.

  159. Deb says:

    April 2010 2-1 win over Senators. Sid puts on a show. Remember?

  160. Drew71 says:

    Or an unnamed scout

  161. Jim S. says:

    Hilarious! You’ve succeeded as a parent nowadays, Drew, if he simply knows enough to take his pants off and hand them to you before they are ironed.

  162. Drew71 says:

    I asked him why I had to iron the pants.

    He said he’s not going to explain the pants. He’s gonna let them speak for themselves.

    Then he explained. Said it’s the same, loud 20-25 pants. All the time.

  163. Jandy says:

    Trolls :)

  164. Drew71 says:

    Safety tip when using a hot iron.

    Don’t text (or blog) while ironing.

  165. Jandy says:

    Drew71 says:

    June 7, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I don’t know why I need to share this. But I do.

    I just do.

    I’m ironing my 20 year old’s pants.

    No. He’s not in them.

    I think he has a future as a consultant.

    _________________________________

    That’s just wrong on so many levels, Drew

  166. Jandy says:

    oh Yeah and we KNOW who wears the pants in Drew’s house…and it isn’t his wife OR the poodles!

  167. Jim S. says:

    Did anyone else think our choice of the HS lefty in Rd. 2 was a bit of a stretch? I know he has talent, but he struggles with control. Seemed like there were better options there, even if they were insistent on a lefty pitcher.

    I found it interesting that Jim Callis said the Bucs would probably be wincing when they see 4 of their HS pitcher selections from 3 years that went unsigned now being chosen in the Top 2 rounds out of college. I don’t know if the number ended up at 4, but I recall 2 going. Does that constitute a Bucs mistake? I’m interested in what other people think. You have to assume some kids knew they were better than where the Bucs picked them then, and they decided the better option was college for a few years. Sometimes you convince them to sign out of HS, sometimes it doesn’t work.

  168. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Of course it’s wrong. You left out the bold print.

  169. DJ says:

    Well said and my thoughts exactly. We are spoiled. Sid’s not going anywhere and we need to keep Malkin. Letang, although I respect his talents, needs to go I am afraid. We need to build out our defense . . . yet again.

  170. Jandy says:

    Screw the BOLD PRINT

    :P

  171. Milo Hamilton says:

    I blogged while ironing yesterday. I accidentally scorched Bylsma. Maybe that wasn’t an accident.

  172. SeanAY says:

    Yeah, I forgot about that Crosby goal because the Pens ended up losing in the second round to Montreal. You know, that series where Crosby scored one goal in seven games, the Pens blew a 3-2 lead, and lost in embarrassing fashion on home ice in Game 7?

    But I’m sure I’ll bounce my grandkids on my lap one day, telling them about the time Crosby scored a nice goal against the Senators in the first round.

  173. Al says:

    If they can beat us 3 in a row there’s no reason we can’t beat them 3 in a row.
    I’m not ready for the handshake line yet.
    Go Pens!

  174. SeanAY says:

    The irony here is that I’m usually the one defending Crosby to my Detroit fan friends out here. I just think saying that he doesn’t have a career-defining playoff moment is a good point.

  175. Drew71 says:

    After 67 years of marriage, that’s about as close as I’ve come to sc…

    nevermind.

  176. cmat0829 says:

    The PIrates yesterday drafter players in their selection slots.. no news there. They drafted players that were CONSENSUS picks for the spots they chose them in…no new there. Those players will cost a chunk of money to sign them, per MLB slot guidelines..no news there. The Pirates in the past have spent money on draft prospects who have not panned out…no news there. Not sure the lead on this objectively would be that yesterday, the front office, in selecting players that are widely believed to be deserving of being drafted in those spots, as “wasting the owners money”.

    I really think that there is NOTHING this front office can do to change the narrative… even the Oakland Raiders, who have a track record that puts the Pirates to shame when it comes to front office incompetence, have gotten rightful praise the past few years when they have behaved like a ‘normal NFL franchise”.

    There can be no doubt that the many shortfalls of the pirates management are well-documented… my take has always been, so what? If you aren’t going to fire them, and they are still employed, does each and every move not have merit on its own…and must it lead to snarky comments about past (well documented and vented about) transgressions?

  177. Drew71 says:

    Dejan just called. He said I’m NOT one of the 20-25 loudmouths.

    Jackpot!

    He said I’m a failed bum just like Cros…

    nevermind.

  178. Kevin says:

    Ha! very good reply. I was picturing you picturing an armada of TK clones with steam starting to whistle out of your ears.

  179. NMR says:

    Funny Jim, the scouting reports I read about the lefty noted that fastball command was one of his strengths and that secondary stuff was lacking or non-existant. Goes to show what scouting is like in baseball.

    Your second paragraph is indeed interesting. These are the type of guys you hope to sign away from school with “overslot” offers. Sometimes they bite, sometimes they don’t. If nothing else, it’s good to see that Pirate scouts can recognize the talent.

  180. Kevin says:

    DK, thanks for the column.. well timed and good content. The one thing I am wondering is.. if Bylsma had the players symbolically burn their FOUR t-shirts and if they had time to make new t-shirts with ONE on it. Although, four would definitely be more appropriate for golf season.

    In all seriousness, that’s the one problem I had with Bylsma’ approach this year. Taking the regular season and breaking it into 4 game series. Maybe I just don’t understand but for me personally, it should have always been ONE game at a time. Let’s do what we need to do to win one game. In a vacuum, that’s all it is. It’s not the playoffs, it’s not game 4, its just one game.

  181. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah, that was just a short term thing that came up right after he retired. I think he has expertise on some complicated enterprise software program that a lot of large organizations use (he worked for the Navy). Biz knows what it is, they use it at the nuclear plant methinks.

  182. Kevin says:

    “Get a good look at Jarome Iginla in a Pittsburgh sweater. Brenden Morrow, too. Douglas Murray. On the more painful end, Pascal Dupuis. And on the more once-unthinkable end, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang and … eh, I won’t even type the other name.”

    Definitely think Douglas Murray should be on the more painful end.

    In all seriousness, has he not done everything we asked him to do? For me, if not for Vokoun vastly overachieving, Murray would be the penguins acquisition of the year. Really, the only acquisition that made the most sense. We were severely lacking in gritty D and he filled that role to a T. He’s even gone above that and contributed offensively with the 2 goals… highly unexpected.

    Going to miss CRANKSHAFT most of all.

  183. Deb says:

    With SeanAY logic, if Bruins fail to win the Stanley cup, then Jagr’s goal on Wed is moot, and forgotten…so Dejan spoke too soon anointing Jagr… To sum up logic according to SeanAY, it isnt the play that makes it great, it’s if the team wins one or two series later..got it!…lol.

    Hope you enjoy the game tonight.

  184. Kevin says:

    why is the blog putting my posts before a 2.20am post? O.O

  185. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with that last sentence, NMR. That’s one of the most important things, I would think. As to Jim’s point, I think they knew when they picked them they wouldn’t get all of them. Some want to get some schooling in knowing the risks and we have also picked up some that others picked and couldn’t sign. Part of the Biz.

    (I hope this post doesn’t get me awarded a scarlet A).

  186. Kevin says:

    ah hah! if you hit “reply” to the last poster, it puts your post after that position. I see.

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    On the other hand, there seems to be some overreaction, painting with a broad brush and defensiveness to what to me are very few posts of the kind you are describing.

  188. Jim S. says:

    That is exactly how I took it last night when Callis mentioned it, NMR and Arriba. I was thinking that they picked a multitude of talented kids, knowing they would not be able to lure all of them and also knowing they couldn’t afford all of them. So, most of them were going to college regardless. My take was just like you said NMR – I was glad they had sniffed out some young pitchers from 3 years ago that panned out, even if for other teams. Hopefully, that means we are doing something right in scouting.

  189. Jim S. says:

    I’m skipping the handshake line altogether this year. I didn’t like what LaViolette said to me last year!

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  191. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, that +1 was to Drew’s 11:47 post.

  192. Jim S. says:

    Both of your points are valid IMO, guys. I try to keep an open mind. I think you hold people accountable, but you have to be recognize when progress is being made as well. Otherwise, you might stubbornly shut yourself off from a really cool thing with the Bucs if they really get this thing right.

    Now, one person’s progress is sometimes another person’s failure.

  193. Jim S. says:

    Easy to say now, but I was asking the question before the playoffs? Wasn’t it a bit risky to be monkeying with such a large portion of the roster heading into the playoffs? I realize Shero made the moves early, comparatively, but sometimes it is tough to blend all of the new toys in with the existing ones. Chicago didn’t really change anything.

  194. Dom says:

    Go Pens!

  195. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    More of a flotilla, really.

  196. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    He couldn’t be scorched any worse than Matt Niskanen.

  197. DJ says:

    It’s still messed up because not all of us are wanting to “Reply” (except for this one to yours). I’m going to re-post one of mine once the “On Location” goes up this afternoon.

    Btw, I liked your two earlier posts, now mixed in with the other “out of sequence” posts.

  198. Damon says:

    The blog today is like playing Whac-a-mole

  199. DJ says:

    Ha! Really messed up because I was replying to Kevin above. “Reply” is not truly a reply now but a new posting. So the “Reply” button is actually non-functional. Need a Trib techie to clean this all up.

    DK: Get someone in hear fast or all of our lamentations or cheers during and after tonight’s game will be out of whack.

  200. DJ says:

    *that would be “in here fast…” above. Can’t even type now.

  201. DJ says:

    *that would be “in here fast…” above. Can’t even type now.

  202. SeanAY says:

    Oh, I’ll enjoy the game tonight just fine. Even more so if they win.

    And I think you’re missing my point. I didn’t say the plays weren’t great. I said they weren’t necessarily important, not “defining.”

    Let’s put it to you this way. What do you think Sidney Crosby remembers more about the 2010 playoffs: that goal against the Senators, or losing on home ice in Game 7 to the Canadiens?

    If the Pens lose tonight, do you think anyone’s going to care about that backhander against the Senators in the last series?

  203. DJ says:

    I think the “Funny Hippo Dancing” video thing posted above (from “theplanisworking”) has introduced a virus.

    We might need some “Posting Rules” from DK, or else Jandy as the de facto gatekeeper.

  204. DJ says:

    Or maybe the Funny Hippo Dancing video clashed with the Sens-Pens video above from Deb and blew this thing up.

    Or maybe it’s none of the above.

  205. Dom says:

    Buccos drafted CF JaCoby Jones in the 3rd round of the MLB draft. #75 overall by baseball america.

  206. Kevin says:

    DK, I was one of those that mistook your column’s meaning yesterday as “those who cheat but do not get caught” = greatness. Not that you have to hook Geno to get him to turn the puck over. Actually if you just follow him around the ice for a lap, he’ll probly turn the puck over to you 5 times.

  207. Kevin says:

    Crosby should put the mouth-guard back on… or play hatless the entire game. He hasn’t been the same since putting away the mouth-guard.

  208. theplanisworking says:

    DJ:

    I posted the video at one o’clock.
    The blog started going goofy at around eight o’clock.

    This happens from time to time, for unknown reasons………………..

  209. NMR says:

    Don’t know where this will show up, Dejan, but I definintely noted – and appreciated – the manner in which you dropped the “AL scout” line. Perfect use, IMO.

    DK: OK, so long as you understand the context. Found it ridiculous — but predictable — that all the bloggers who usually will pounce on you for having even three, four anonymous scouts supply a story so PASSIONATELY embraced the Yahoo! thing just because it fed their narrative.

    If I ever write a piece quoting one scout, guess what?

    It gets rejected.

  210. Kevin says:

    It’s always risky to add major cogs especially when the penguins had no issues. They were already the top scoring team.

    If there was a knock on the 2012 penguins, it was that they lacked a Billy Guerin type (veteran calming presence) and a physical D. I thought they got that when they added Morrow and Murray.

    Then they added Iginla… frankly, because a) they got him on the cheap… b) he’s a hallafamer… c) to keep him away from Boston… strategically it made sense but it wasn’t a need. (And in my opinion, especially if he was never going to wing Crosby. Hard to say, since Crosby got hurt in shift #1 of the first Iggy game). Instead, its been fully awkward since he arrived.

 
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