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On location: Bruins 1, Penguins 0, Game 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

BOSTON – Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game 4: Penguins vs. Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup playoffs, Eastern Conference final

Series: Bruins, 3-0

Time: 8:15 p.m.

Site: TD Garden, Boston

TV, radio: NBC Sports Network, CBC (Canada), RDS (Quebec), WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are covering. Not much at all to report from the skate. Paul Martin, who I think was the Penguins’ best non-goaltender in Game 3, was held out. Probably banged up, but he’ll play. The lines were unchanged except for Tyler Kennedy taking Joe Vitale’s place on the fourth. The pairings were harder to gauge because of Martin’s absence.

The mood in that room was … bleccccch. Really. Very down.

Here’s a quick question I had for Sidney Crosby

If you want some gauge for how others around hockey view Dan Bylsma, check out this report in the New York Post this morning on the Rangers’ coaching search.

And finally, here’s a podcast of my TribLIVE Radio appearance right after the skates.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

460 Comments

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

    On Bylsma, while I like him as a person and have no doubt that he has the best interest of the team as his goal, 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 shortcoming. 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 him? 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’s best suited, go to the front of the net . . . and stay there. Unconscionable. What does Bryan Bickell (Chicago) have now – 8 goals? (Note to Shero: 27 yrs old and UFA in July).

    Whether the result of Bylsma’s inability to meld an embarrassment of riches / player talents (is it possible he was given too many options by Shero?), or his over-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 the reasons. All we see are the results, which have been very disappointing.

    All that being said, still holding out slightest degree of hope for tonight and the very long shot of righting this ship. Go Pens!

  2. How is “very down” manifesting itself?…

    • Guess we’ll find out in a hurry. I am assuming Vokoun is starting tonight. Hopefully, they can psyche themselves up for the game. This is it. Absolutely must win… need to come out with desperation hockey and will a win.

      • Terrified that TV played above himself WEd and will not be able to get to that level again.
        Hope I’m wrong, but only another lights out performance will get it done tonight. This is not what we hired him for.

        • hoping Rask luck streak ends or Bruins have a mega-letdown. I could use a 7-1 laugher win to send it back to Pittsburgh. You know.. embarrass the bruins as much as they did in gm2.

          • I hope. But DKs right, it’s about net front crashing and screens def elections rebounds.

            If I had to play a game where I only had to stop one rebound shot, I’d be delighted. Lack of rebounds is incredible. The HAVE to take the punishment, but they are so reluctant. Every year, not just this year.
            Halak enjoyed the same freedom Rask is now.

            • OK, so why isn’t anybody saying “we need to make life more miserable for Rask”. We could definitely use a couple dirty Philly type goals.

              • Well….I am saying that….and I think DK is alluding to it also w his criticism of Kunitz on the PP.

                But Bylsma is the one that has to be saying it , and it has to be heard, AND acted upon.

                I’m not even sure the first is true.

  3. Coaching changes happen all the time in hockey. In many ways, it is an often needed step in the development of a coach. A blank slate can be the best cure for problems (Fleury also) Sometimes it takes being fired for coaches to realize their shortcomings and fix them. Even Therrien stated he learned from being fired from the Penguins. He said he wouldn’t be as tough on players and would open things up a bit offensively. The thing is that it worked, too. A non-playoff team was the 2-seed in the East this year. Bylsma has always been seemingly a very stubborn coach. Maybe getting fired will help him realize his issues in personnel, discipline and assistants. If he isn’t as stubborn as we think and is trying to make changes, he just isn’t getting through to the players. That can also warrant a firing.

    I like Dan a lot as a person and am sure he will figure things out and become a great NHL coach. I just don’t think it is here in Pittsburgh anymore. The Pens need a new vision and new direction. The city and fans will always be indebted to him for what he did in ’09. I really hope he gets a chance at the Rangers job. He would be a great fit there. I still fully support Dan to be Team USA coach in the Olympics next winter. Sometimes relationships just run their course. That time might be nine hours from now.

  4. Kevin, yes, we are about to find out.

    As for whether to fire Dan or not, maybe it’s the sentimental woman in me, but I’m not ready to write him off, for the Pens, yet (of course I was 100% behind MT too and firing him was the right decision). Paul, you are correct that sometimes it’s beneficial for a person to have to face the worst (ie get fired) to grow – I’m hoping that isn’t the case with Dan. He is stubborn, but he’s also smart, and has been, in the past at least, a good student, willing to learn. I guess I just really want the current team (as much as its possible to retain) to get one more crack at it. Ray has been a master at bringing talent to the table at the deadline, but maybe what’s needed most is a season (or at least most of one) in which the SAME guys play together and really have chemistry in place by the post season.

    Bottom line, I have unfailing trust in RS, Mario and Burkle – they are really smart guys who aren’t knee jerk reactors. So, whatever changes they deem necessary in the off season will be well considered and astute ones – and that will be enough for me.

    • Knee-jerk isn’t what they need. Mario and Shero need to get in Bylsma’s ear and sternly advise him that the season is on the brink, and to make some significant personnel / game strategy changes (like the ones that have been recited ad nauseam on here and in Trib columns).

    • “SAME guys play together and really have chemistry in place by the post season.” Agree fully. It would be nice we could get a seasonfull of a healthy Crosby and Malkin.

  5. Top 10 things that won’t happen tonight or at the start of the 2013-2014 season

    • Iginla playing RW or on the 1st PP unit.
    • Iginla playing RW, period.
    • Depres taking Engelland’s place on D.
    • Eaton taking Niskanen’s place on D.
    • Martin manning one point on the 1st PP unit.
    • Bennett getting more than :30 of PP time.
    • Malkin getting more points than penalty minutes.
    • Fleury’s name plate on a Consol Energy Center locker.
    • Letang’s ” ” ” ” .
    • Bylsma.

    • Looks like Nisky back with Crankshaft.
      Eaton Letang.
      Martin Orpik.
      Really most maddening for me is Cooke on 2nd line not Bennett.
      Maddening.

    • I see several things on your list that are happening tonight (whether you like them or not):

      - Iginla on RW (third line with Sutter & Morrow)
      - Fleury & Letang obviously still on the team. I imagine his name plates still there for another couple months.
      - And of course Bylsma.

      hoping you are wrong on the following:
      - Iginla .. not only on 1st pp but scoring a powerplay goal from his go-to position.
      - Malkin getting more points than penalty minutes.

  6. There is certainly something to be said about developing chemistry as well, giving players / lines the needed time to gel. Very rarely do you get a desired “plug and play” result.

    Our situation with our forwards — given the three additions at the deadlines and earlier injuries — has been one thing, and certainly a challenge for Dan, but only made more so because Dan did not immediately drop Iginla in at right wing and at the left dot on the PP, and then leave him there.

    But on our defensive pairings, considering only Murray was added, I wish Dan had those more firmly established headed into the playoffs. There has been too much mixing and matching there all year, in my view. I personally would have played Depres all year, and had him in the entire playoffs, and this series especially given his speed and skating / stick-handling abilities, qualities needed against the Bruins.

    I cannot see, for example, that Depres has not been a better option all year than say Engelland or Niskanen, just based upon what I have observed on the ice. So what’s the issue there? We hear about the “trust factor” with Depres. Is that code for “Well, you’re new and I’m more loyal to these two other guys just based upon their tenure?” And maybe if Dan had been playing Depres all along the trust factor (real or conjured up) would not have been an issue.

    My own fear is that next year, once we have seen Depres on a full-time basis, we’ll be looking back and wondering why he wasn’t playing all along. It would be a shame to learn only then that we had a potential difference-maker on this roster but never found that out in these playoffs.

  7. I wouldn’t have as big an issue with Bylsma if this was the 1st time everyone who considers themselves a Penguin fan wasn’t wondering why this talent doesn’t preform in the post season, or why our regular season success and style doesn’t translate to the playoff’s.

    I won’t beat a dead horse here, you can read my sentiments posted the morning, and yesterday (poor horse).

    I will also add that a word of caution needs to be voiced to those that think the roster needs to be blown-up. If Bylsma is fired, I would want to know what the new coach thinks about the past post season failures and whether he and RS thinks the core players could and should have fared better. If a pair of fresh eyes believes the talent assembled should at the very least not have been eliminated in the 1st round twice, and the second round once, and if these eyes believe this talent has been utilized to it’s fullest potential.

    I for one baring a miracle comeback in this series, believes it has and is being squandered. Talent like this takes years to assemble and mature and the window of prime years is fleeting not to mention the financial acrobatics it requires to deal with salary cap.

    All the praise there is for 2009′s Cup, but don’t forget the lingering defensive fundamentals still fresh in the minds of those 09 Penguins from Michele Therrien.

    LETS GO PENS!

    • Sorry for the typos, where’s the edit button, ugh

    • NY would be great for DD and the Rangers. Good fit.

    • I would start by rebuilding our defense. I know it’s not the area where, ideally, you would be looking for the most turnover, but that’s where I would start. And if there were growing pains early in the season — so be it. We’ve been slapped silly with the reminder these last few years that it’s not the regular season that matters anyway.

      I’d have Martin, Depres, Orpik and Murray (if he would sign for a reasonable number) all in the fold. I would have Domoulin, if ready, learning at the knee of Orpik. I would trade Niskanen. Finally, although very gifted and one of my favorites for some time, I would trade Letang, having only come to that conclusion in these playoffs. For all his skating and stick-handling virtues — and they can be mesmerizing — Letang is just too painfully inconsistent (keeping shots on net, inability to cleanly enter the zone, mental defensive lapses).

      Trading Letang would serve two purposes, ensuring we could sign Malkin and also bringing a nice return to boot. If possible, I would send Letang to a Western Conference squad like the Oilers who have stock-piled offensive talent.

      And who knows? Maybe if we had a stronger defensive corps then maybe MAF’s psyche improves and he recaptures what left him . . . okay, wishful thinking on that last score (oops, bad word choice).

      • Rebuild the D? I’d call it Build the D lol!
        But whatever….re keeping Malkin, maybe RS needs to decide whether the Superstar Model works, or if it make more sense to build a role-oriented Team with few stars, and a superlative D.

        To me that is the interesting question.

        Do we keep trying to win Cups in a way that hasn’t been done for decades? Or do we accept reality?

        Just the fact that the refs swallow whistles in playoffs (never mind playoff OTs) is an argument to place less emphasis on skill.

        Hockey is the only sport that ignores its own rule book so obviously in playoffs, such that a 41 yr old can match up with and “beat” a 26 yr old on a game ending play.
        Illegally.

        • As to Malkin, he’s an untouchable for me. If we think Sid has been blanketed by the Bruins in this series, without Malkin, Sid would have even less opportunities (PP and otherwise). Every team in the league would be willing to take Malkin off our hands, to say nothing of less exciting hockey played all year, including the playoffs, if we were without him.

          As to refs swallowing whistles, I think much of it is situational. It seems to me you might get an extra call or two at home (a reason for having a home ice advantage) and then the calls stop for both teams after 2 3/4 periods, particularly if the game is tied. And while I don’t want this sound like excuse-making, in case anyone has not been noticing, the Bruins have become this year’s “feel good” story with the marathon tragedy followed by their resurrection against Leafs (again, situational).

          • Be happy to keep Malkin, don’t get me wrong.
            Be happy to lose Letang.
            They’ve mostly put Chara on Geno and despite it, I think Geno has been our best top 6 F.

            Whatever is going on with Crosby (and I hope he isn’t injured, heaven forbid another concussion…) but Bergeron has neutralized him totally.

            Who knows if there’s an extra call or two at home….to me, it’s just the HUGE increase In hooks and holds and grabs and interference that do not get called.
            It REALLY changes the game, as we saw on that last play.

            Why the NHL is still a garage league. Sadly.

      • Rebuilding defense?!?! NOW we’re talkin!!!

        But as most of you know I’d start by trading PM and his 5M cap hit. You say you’d build around martin, depress, orpik and murray while trading Letang and Nisky. You see the problem there? All lefties and you just traded both right handed d-men we got in letang and nisky! Sorry DJ but that’s a non starter for any GM. And other than Despres they’re all over 30. And if you’re counting on right handed dmen coming back for letang it would be hard to see them having a higher ceiling than letang.

        I know a lot of you think PM is irreplaceable and playing really well…and he is playing better but at 5M he most definitely is replaceable. If he was making Nisky money that would be a totally different story but he’s making double.

        You bring in a coach like Alain Vigneault formerly of the canucks to teach fundamental defense and to coach up our forwards and letang, orpik, despres, Murray and whoever else we get in return for martin. And I do believe PM’s improved play would get us a decent return.

        Also keep your eye on Scott Harrington who will be with the baby pens. He’s got Scuderi like qualities and will be contending to be in letang pairing after next season. Maatta is a very solid prospect too but he’ll back in juniors next season. Pouliout from what I saw needs a lot of seasoning in the minors before we can count on him.

        • Dunno AV gives me the willies.
          Huge talent, huge underperformance repeatedly in playoffs.
          Choking dog for a goalie.

          I dunno.

          Not sold on Ruff either, too much of a players guy.

          Ron Wilson? Dunno, I really haven’t looked much into which coaches might be available.

          This team needs Nurse Ratchett.

          • AV took boston to 7 games…do I need to elaborate further? :)

          • And i’m willing to give AV a break regarding underperformance. The west has been brutal for several years. Kings won the cup as the 8th seed. Overall even with crazy travel the canucks have been a top team in the west including a cup appearance…i’m willing to bet AV has learned quite a bit. And lets not forget how the Vancouver GM saddled AV with a messy goalie situation but the team still stayed together. Them losing in the 1st round this year was probably cuz of their roster being unbalanced with the goalie position eatin up so much cap space.

            • fair enough HM!
              I have not watched enough WEst to have a strong opinion.

              They need a coach who’s not so much of a players guy. IMO.

              • As much as anything this roster needs coached up all over the ice and tweaked. I’d look for the best tactician more than a type of personality. These guys are pros they don’t need to be buddy buddy with the coach but if they are its a bonus. Shero and Mario should be hell bent on winning by now…I think they’ll be fine bringing in a therrien type.

            • Love to see someone make a phone call to Scotty Bowman but I think he is consulting with Chicago. The guy is a master hockey tactician and was constantly matching his lines to negate the opposition. No body “liked” him accept when they hoisted the cup for the 2nd time. There must be modern versions of his genius.

        • HM: True on the left-handed / right-handed. I was focused solely on a core and then hopefully filling out from there, either through trades (Letang/Nisky) or our system.

          On the “over 30″ factor, although I wish it weren’t the case, that’s just our reality right now. We seem to bring players along too slowly (e.g., Depres). Trading Martin, considering his cap hit, is certainly something to consider, but do you think you get an equally seasoned d-man in return for less salary? If we can do that, I’m with you because his value will never be any higher.

          Heard good things about Domoulin late in the season and view him as Orpik’s eventual replacement. On Pouliot’s development, saw him play in the Memorial Cup and thought he was the best d-man on the ice that day, even over Seth Jones. Very calm and quietly confident skater who enters the o-zone effortlessly, PP and otherwise. Very impressed and excited about his prospects. Haven’t seen or heard enough about Harrington, except that he was a little undersized, so I will take your word on him

          But enough about the future. Still hoping we can pull the rabbit out of a hat his year, beginning with tonight’s game. Let’s go Pens!

          • Between the return we’d get for PM and the shake up we need I think we can fill out a very solid roster including 6-7 very solid dmen. That would include despres, bortuzzo and maybe even nisky as a 6 or 7. But the team as a whole would still need coached up on d.

            No doubt Pouliot is solid with the puck but I saw that druoin kid make him look a lil silly on defense. But he did do ok against mackinnon. Either way I think Maata and Harrington are further along as all around players.

            As for tonight I just hope we see some pride and desperation! We cant go back in time but we can win the next shift…and then the one after that!…….

            • Not enamored with Bortuzzo.

              Also saw the one Drouin play (just one) on Pouliot and I’m cutting him slack in favor of his game performance.

              On Maata, I know it’s a stereotype but I find Finnish players to be hard-working and dependable. Haven’t seen him action though.

              • Don’t rate Bortuzzo high.
                Re PM know he’s taken a beating here, but in a more defensive scheme he has been consistently excellent, ie in NJ.

                If we keep Bylsma, not sure we keep PM given his salary.

                If we get a different coach who accepts that defense wins Cups, then PM could work out fine.

                And really IMO he’s had a solid season and had a great G3…

      • The only caveat to moving someone like Letang, who is a rare talent, is to find out if he and all the offensive talent (1/3 of the roster) would be willing to adhere to a defensive style. I’ll submit that I believe a talented player, playing defense 1st within a sound defensive system should or could be better or more effective when that said defense creates offensive opportunities.

        However you could also argue that is why Michele Therrien was fired. They looked to be seriously in danger of missing the playoffs, and he lost the team. Supposedly they (team) was tired of his tactics, and defensive priorities. Haha, remember Books Orpik playing wing?

        Yet 3 and hopefully not 4 years in a row of falling short of expectations in the playoffs says its either the talent, how the talent is being utilized, or the overall game strategies employed during the playoffs. It seems except on this blog and maybe a few others that our approach to playoff hockey is just fine, and the talent/stars are just not shining. that may be true. But that means we have a team full of chokers, and I’m not going there.

        These guys are amazing players (stars), a better “system” I think gives them a better structure to demonstrate their talent. A better defensive scheme and appreciation of that as a goal (mindset) takes a little bit of the pressure of putting the team on their shoulders and doing it all.

        Imagine if you will the Penguins playing under Claude Julian’s system? Just an idea to ponder.

        • Under CJ you would be told that you are just another part of the team with a role to play.
          Period.

          Bruins are VERY happy being a bunch of guys that all contribute in different but equally valued ways.

          Gives a sense if one-ness or all in it together, which IMO makes a team MUCH more able to overcome adversity.

          If there’s one things thats obvious about the Pens, it is that they respond poorly to adversity.

          They spent 4 periods effing around after losing their composure in Game 1.
          In Game ONE.
          40 mins was all it took to upset the emotional apple cart with this team.
          That was the main disappointment I had after G1.

        • I’m just trying to imagine trading letang and keeping martin…….:getting woozy: :room spinning:

          • Hang in there, HM, you’ll get over it. In the meantime, would be interested in your thoughts to my Reply to yours above.

    • I agree RobS on caution in blowing up the core.

      I would rather see the ‘core’ get a shot with a new coach than Bylsma get another shot with new players.

      Some roster changes are going to occur because of the cap going down and the depth of this roster.

  8. ummmm….

    Let’s Go Pens?

  9. The Pens are not dead yet. I refuse to bury them until I see how that first period shakes out. I know the pulse is faint, the spirit is willing, and I am sending all of the good vibes I can muster. This series will go down with a deeper, more bitter taste if yhe Pens don’t play quality hockey now. Been a tough week for me, but I got good news, as many of you know. Looks like if all goes well, I will be starting in July if not sooner.

    Go Pens. Time for some redemption!

  10. Things are bleak, not lookin good

    But its not over

    Folks, we could look back at this game and remember it as a start of one of the finest moments of our franchise

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    Kevin Mcclachety
    Mike Emerick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh
    Rocky Blier*
    First Responders***
    20 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 5 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Two planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    6/7/2013 5:40 PM

  11. Hey, if Boston can take three in a row from the Penguins, then the Pens are certainly capable of doing the same to the B’s and forcing a decisive game 7.

    But first things first….

    • You are very wise Abe Vigoda.

    • Been depressed , dejected and disappointed for the last couple days – so…..

      Today we are going to throw all that aside and become delightfully delusional !!! :)

      Pens are gonna win 4 straight !!! Hey they won 15 in a row this year , a measly 4 should be no problem !! Pens stars are gonna suck it up and shine soo bright its gonna look like noon at midnight ! Hockey Gods were on a little siesta, woke up and said “O my, wrong team gettin all the Mojo, lets correct that”

      Its been done before, not often to be sure, but it has been done!

      But first things first….

      GO PENS !!

    • Agreed. Fish was a very wise man. (I know it’s a Tessio reference and I’m a big fan of The Godfather but I always think of Fish first.)

      They can.

      One game at a time. Play the game with effort and discipline one shift at a time. Play smart, patient and make the simple play. Get in front of Raask and stay there.

      LET’S GO PENS!!!!

  12. My daughter is wearing her jersey (my handed down Armstrong jersey) in solidarity, so we got that going for us.

    We just need one, it begins tonight. Let’s Go Pens!

  13. I think Im going to wear one of my Pens whiteout shirts tonight. Can’t hurt.

  14. “Folks, we could look back at this game and remember it as a start of one of the finest moments of our franchise” Biz above

    Biz I liked that one so much I hadda repost it !!!

    Just never know !!!

    I know i am insane but I am gonna stay so crazy positive till the last horn sounds !!!

    GO PENS !!!

  15. Well, DK said they were “very down” after the morning skate. That may be a good thing. Everyone may come out relaxed and playing their best.

    Then again …

    DK: Moods vs. what happens in a game are very, very hard to read.

    • I once heard Chuck Noll say he had absolutely no idea what to expect from his teams until they went out on the field.

    • No question. From an athletic standpoint, being pumped is not always the best thing. Wears off very quickly. Have seen some outstanding performances from teams that have appeared “down.”

  16. They’ll play hard but won’t score.

    And Vokoun won’t be as good as he was in Game 3,

    Bruins 4-0.

    Season over.

  17. I have an epic written… I’m hoping that I don’t have to post it tonight.

    If I do…. it will be long, it will drive Drew crazy, and it will make me very disappointed.

    Let’s Go Pens!!!

  18. Final score tonight: Pens 6, Refuse to say their name 3.

    • better than me, I can’t even muster a laughable prediction after thinking Iginla, Morrow, and Murray were going to be the final pieces this team needed to win another cup with this core.

      I still believe they could have been great pieces but… well… you know, I’m not the coach.

  19. Tonight, I’ve taken the bedroom over and not allowing a certain someone back in until this game is decided. For my sake, this better be a three period game.

  20. Dupuis tries to make tough play, doesn’t get it deep and Bruins turn it right back up the ice. That’s been the problem for Pens.

  21. Even if the Pens — by some miracle — come back to win this series and the SC, I do not want to see Dan Bylsma coaching this team next season. Like so many have said, this guy is just not a very good strategic/counter strategy coach.

  22. I’m doing what I do every season when it appears the season is lost. Sit quietly and appreciate Mike Lange.

  23. Interesting call

  24. great rebound chance, Kunitz can’t make a play…. story of this series.

  25. To all those who wished me good thoughts, and well wishes, I truly appreciate that, more than you will know.
    To any and all I have offended in any way the past month, I apologize. I have had so much on my mind, and since Hippos dont have much of a mind to begin with, well you see where I am going………………

    Let us get one win tonight, just one at a time.
    “A long journey begins with but a single step”.

    Lets Go Pens!

  26. You know how athletes don’t look that big on TV ?

    Not the case with Chara.

  27. Crosby nowhere near puck is hit blindside… great officiating, no call…. unreal

  28. Sid blindsided….doesn’t like right….

  29. LOOK right. On the bench too yikes.

  30. Olcyk called the Crosby blindside “two ships passing in the night.” Poor Eddie still bitter that he got shown the door by the Pens.

  31. Anyone who says that the refs are not favoring the Bruins in Boston is just dead wrong. That could not have been more blatant.

  32. I am going to get all my information about the game from this thread. I cannot watch.

  33. It’s The Knitting Lady !!!

  34. Series MVP for Penguins regardless of the outcome: Thomas Vokoun. Hands down.

  35. Dave G. when he was Dave G Mason, Ohio used to regularly do Pens p by p on the game thread. Many a night at work I followed the game on the blog.

  36. Two awful giveaways by Malkin so far. Wish they kept a giveaway stat on the Pens that they flash up a couple times per period.

  37. I can’t discern any difference in the way the Pens are playing this game from the previous ones. Disagree?

  38. is it just me or did crankshaft just look like he was going to take on 2 bruins at once? I know its just me that 2 of them looked about the same size as 1 of crankshaft.

  39. I can’t remember a series as one sided as this one. 12 periods and the Penguins have never had the lead.

    • Agreed.

      Normally, when Plan A is destroyed, Plan B, while not as good, normally produces something.
      Not here.

      Julien has obviously studied the tapes of Montreal 2010, and Philthy 2012.
      Props to him.

      We just need to figure something out, but seem unable to do so.
      Here’s to figuring it out.

  40. Good – Bruins didn’t score
    Bad – Penguins didn’t score

  41. On the bright side, we’re eyeballing them so far

    Our eyeballs will persevere

  42. This bum of a coach should be fired just for the way he has mishandled Despres all year. He plays Letang for 25 minutes a game in meaningless games in mid February against the Florida Panthers when he should have consistantly been playing Despres on a regular shift. He has raw talent and needed experience but Mr Regular Season plays guys like Letang every other shift and I have to believe that he is a little or a lot worn down at this time of year.

    • If anything it was the Eaton signing that kept Despres from seeing the ice. Eaton was what.. loading groceries when he came in and played solid D for us in Feb? I know Letang gets lots of heat but him and paulie martin are our two “best” D. If you are going to dump on anyone, it should be orpik… had kinda down regular season.. but whatever.

      • Agree with you Kevin. My point is that Mr Regular Season is playing Letang 25 plus minutes a game when he should have been playing Despres some significant minutes to get him experience. No doubt Letang was the best dman but now I believe he is worn out.

  43. I’m still trying to catch up… Anyone notice anything different in penguins play?

    - more net-front?
    - paulie martin looking hurt?
    - I read up and we already have couple Genovers.

  44. Holy sh-t Milbury said that blindside on Sid should have been a penalty and 5 on 3 PP for the Pens.

    In related news, he’ll froze over.

    Film at 11!

  45. How many shifts for BB? One? Two? Great stuff B.

  46. I know Boychuk was coming hard and Crosby didnt have time to get off a quality shot… I think I confident Crosby makes one move to his right and gets a better shot. Arm-chair qb-ing of course.

  47. Time to stop this madness.

    Put Crosby, Malkin and Neal together and just attack the Bruins.

    They have nothing to lose.

  48. I thought I saw that on one brief shift.

  49. Hipposter, my dear friend, just saw your sad post above. You have my deepest condolences, and are in my prayers. HUGZ!

  50. If we lose tonight and get swept it may be the first time in history where no one complains about the losing team’s goaltending . . . at least they shouldn’t.

    Now that I got that off my chest, let’s win this one instead.

  51. I like Niskie standing up to Marchand

  52. No Brandie in the house?

  53. This is getting a bit dirty, no? if this was the regular season, we’d see a fight soon.

  54. dumb penalty to take

  55. what a pathetic power play.

  56. can’t believe Krug’s back up and skating… he got hit by train and still somehow has his faculties.

  57. Last power play exemplified how clueless Coach (and I use that word lightly) Dan Bylsma is. I was completely beside myself last night, but I don’t have the energy tonight. Shero shares blame in this as well. Maybe it’s me, but if Mario was playing, he would have told the coach things like the power play configuration needs to change. Mario, it’s time to say goodbye to Bylsma.

  58. And everything the Pens throw at Rusk is from the periphery. Barely anything straight on. Like a basketball team allergic to the lane / taking it to the rack.

  59. Bylsma was just asked if he made an adjustment on the power play tonight. 3 seconds of silence, then an answer followed about some nonsense to the effect of “we thought we had a good chance. We’ll make an adjustment on the next one.” ‘Nough said.

  60. Let’s just call Letang what he is. A forward. Certainly no defense in that uniform.

  61. Letang, Letang, Letang–enough said.

  62. amazing i dont recall one sustained cycle in this series by the Pens

  63. am I the only one getting annoyed by the negative and most times nonsensical posting? you miss some good stuff if you just focus on the negative.

      • really wish there was an anti-trolling feature…

        • Whose trolling?

        • In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

          If your going to throw that out with a fish net, be specific, otherwise your casting an unfair and inaccurate inference, IMHO

    • What good stuff do you speak of? I’d like to find a silver lining and be positive, but at this stage of the game, there is nothing. Vokoun has been great in the playoffs. Okay, there’s one.

    • I’m upset too kevin, just as you are. We cheer on our team, are happy when they do well, and try to hang in there when they suck. But they’re still our team. We’re not fair weather fans

  64. Almost 13 periods now without so much as a point by any of our “star” players. Without that damn stretch pass which the Bruins took away the first game Mr Regular Season doesn’t even have a sniff of a Plan B.

  65. Pas-QUAL Dupuis. That is how Olcyk pronounces his name, and has done so since he has been an analyst. Every one else he’s called games with pronounce it correctly:
    Pas-cal Dupuis. What is that all about? One thing I can say is I’m proud of being blocked by him on twitter for telling him about it. Learn how to pronounce the athletes names Olyck. It’s your job. Either that, or take a cue from your colleagues who pronounce it correctly. I apologize for my rant, but this really grates on my nerves. Go Bucs.

  66. This game seems to be going in slow-mo.
    No flow, no rhythm.
    Just a really odd game.

    Nice answer by Bylsma earlier.
    In 12 and 1/2 periods, we have 2 goals.

  67. I wonder what Vegas would have put the over/under on total Pens goals in the series.

    I bet it would not have been 2.

  68. Fun game to watch anyway.

    Now if only we could put one in the net.

  69. What would the late, great Herb Brooks do in this situation?

  70. Uh Oh.
    Was that re-directed?

  71. At least Iginla put one in the goal.

  72. We have no answers to solve anything the Broons do. Amazing.

    • Well, the further you go in the playoffs, the more you need defense.
      Boston has it, we dont.

      If it wasnt for Vokoun, we would be getting beat 5-0 every night.

      I would have never guessed this team couldnt score.

  73. Hey,
    We can yell at our guys and place blame wherever. But, we must admit that the Bruins are CLEARLY the superior team in this four game series. They don’t dink and dunk on offense; with clear structure and plays established. Plus, on defense–often times five guys are dropping back for the Bruins. Our defense, hard to see any of them attempting to play defense.
    Bruins coaching staff was totally prepared for the Pens. Changes need made and Shero should not be above the line. He is the one that brought in old and slow.

  74. Fat Lady is in the taxi, she’s heading to TD Garden in Boston.

  75. Oh Letang….

  76. there still in this game, only one goal, Boston isn’t going to get cute on this PP..just kill it and get the game tier

  77. Bunch of losers wearing those Pens uniforms.

  78. gotta hand it to the bruins back check

  79. Is inept too harsh ?

  80. no shots on the short power play?

  81. 13 plus periods of hockey and only 2 goals, who’d a thunk it.

  82. there gettin close to kitchen sink time

  83. not just the bruins, its hard to turn on defense, you can see their thinking instead of reacting

  84. Bruins are playing well but with the players the pens have you have to be able to adjust and make some plays and make some shots

    This is an epic flop

  85. That there is a microcosm of this series……………..

    Bruins send one player into our zone, when we get the puck, its a stretch pass to Crosby 1 on 4……… no hope.

    Unreal.

  86. long distance shots, no traffic in front net. Don’t think I’ve seen any re-directs from Pens the whole series.

  87. you need to start this at least 2 weeks prior to the playoffs

    We just need one

  88. Wow, just wow. Has any coach ever been fired in the post game press conference. Mr Regular Season has got to go.

  89. These Pens are like my high school report card.

    “Underachieving. Doesn’t work well with others.”

  90. Where’s the desperation?

  91. Unquestionably, the greatest choke job in major league sports history. This group needs to be completely disbanded. This is like something out of the twilight zone. They can’t score a goal on some historical footnote named Tuuka Rask? Unreal.

  92. Cool suit Dan

    Learn how to coach you puke

  93. I think we had the man advantage………. but didnt look like it.

  94. Goodbye, Good Luck and Good Riddance continued…:)
    Let’s see The Fat Lady has sung, Dandy Don Meredith is singing “Turn out the lights the party’s over”, and oh by the way as Mike Lange would say “Elvis has left the building!”

    If these actors hit golf balls tomorrow as poorly as they attempted to shoot hockey pucks, it is going to be a very very long day on the links.

    The entire team including coaches should be denied boarding rights to the charter flight back home and should be told to find their own way back. Unfortunately Mr. Lemieux, Mr Burkle, are just to classy. Arguably the best ownership in sports and this is how they are repaid…What a shame.

  95. At least Mr Regular Season ended the game with a timeout in hand. Of course he would have just stood there with his arms crossed anyway.

  96. Debacle

  97. Two goals in a four game series. Wow. Just wow.

  98. WOW ! Never in my wildest dreams did I think the Pens would get swept in 4 games.

  99. All she wrote . . .

    Eric, let ‘er rip.

  100. TV deserved a lot better

  101. As a Ranger fan who saw the Bruins pretty much steamroll my team, I thought they’d fight the Pens, but I never thought this would happen. This being said, I think a lot of people kind of thought the Pens played bad (and they did) but you miiiggght want to think that the Bruins had a lot to do with that. Rask is a helluva goalie, even though DK didn’t seem to think he was that good. Maybe he is.

  102. Hard fought series

    A lot to be proud haha

    0 wins
    Can’t score
    Totally disgraced the city
    Poor representation of Pittsburgh sports
    Star players exposed as overrated phonies

  103. For all the accolades the Pens front office received from this columnist… for all the incredible, great, unbelievable, “steals”, and moves Shero made…there was one thing this columnist and his love for all that is this “mecca”, missed: the fact that a bunch of guys who never played together before could possibly jell in about two months’ or less time and defeat a team that knew each other well and were committed to defeating an opponent rather than going through the motions acting like they were entitled to win.

    Paper champions.

    Were Crosby and Malkin on the same team? Sure looked like they worked against, rather than for, each other and the good of the team.

  104. Wow! I guess the Pens are “All out” now!

  105. Thanks to all in here tonight.
    I have loads to do.

    This isnt the end of the world, just the end of the Pens line (for this year).

    Might see you guys for tomorrows Pirate thread, might not.

    Good night.

  106. Guys consoled Vokoun. That man has nothing to be ashamed of. Neither does Paul Martin. Time for Bylsma, Letang and Fleury to get the gate. And probably a few others.

  107. A flameout of epic proportions:

    -First time swept in 34 years

    -Rask performing at a level not seen since Hoover was president — although I gotta wonder how much of was him and how much was the Bruins D and the enormous ineptitude of the Pens offense.

  108. See ya next year fans

    For all the dancing music and kissing cams

    That’s what the town has turned into

    Bunch of candies

  109. Wouldn’t expect to hear much from upper MGMT for few days. But they need to make a change. Ether the GM falls on his sword and says the team I assembled wasn’t good enough (he says sarcastically) or Bylsma is gone.

    If this was game 7 maybe not, but sweeped? if DD stays something is seriously wrong.

    Sad day in Penguin history, too bad it took 3 seasons to determine DD doesnt know how to win in the playoffs………..

  110. Well, my agony is over. I’ll be rooting for the Western team. No way I root for a team with Marchand on it lol.
    Please, please, overwrought posters, keep your dignity. You’re ….nevermind.

  111. I’m not even remotely angry about this game. It’s exactly what I expected. They lost the series 28 seconds into game 2.

    Bylsma is gone. Not even a question. Same with Fleury. I believe Letang will be traded – Edmonton would be a likely suitor. Maybe we can get the #7 pick and Hemsky for him. Bigger question is Malkin. We’ll learn a lot this summer. I’m not so sure he’ll want to stay on this team, even if the Pens are able to offer him a lot of money. If the Pens don’t have him signed to an extension by the end of this summer, that’s your answer.

  112. I gotta see this press conference

  113. Title: Rotten to the Core

    When Sidney Crosby lifted the Stanley Cup in 2009, it was thought to be the first of a few for Crosby and the core for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Unfortunately, 2010 played out with disappointing results losing to Montreal in the second round as Jaroslav Halak stood on his head, Marc-Andre Fleury would give up a crushing game seven goal to Travis Moen in the second period, the results of which, I don’t believe Fleury has ever bounced back from. That series illustrated the ease in which teams could attack the Penguins and easily frustrate Crosby and Malkin. Fleury gave up four goals on 13 shots in the Penguins final loss and for the playoffs gave up 37 goals and a disappointing .891 save percentage in 13 games.

    In 2011, it was left to Jordan Staal and Fleury to help overcome the personnel losses of Crosby (concussion), Evgeni Malkin (knee), and Matt Cooke (suspension) and though the team managed to get to a 3-1 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. They inexplicably blew the final three games as the offense suffered to mount much of an offensive attack against the Lightning’s 1-3-1 trap and goaltender Dwayne Roloson made the easy saves.

    The criticisms of Dan Bylsma’s refusal to adjust the power play or other strategies began for the first time but many in the media and fans gave him a pass because of the injuries to Crosby and Malkin. Fleury struggled again giving up 17 goals with a lousy .899 save percentage in seven games.

    Last year, it was more of the same as the lack of composure, lack of patience, and misplaced exuberance sank the Penguins in six games against the Flyers. Crosby and Malkin were easily taken off their game by the younger Flyers and played as if defensive hockey meant little in the way of winning hockey. It was the third playoff series in a row in which Bylsma could not stop the negative momentum or find ways to adjust to the Flyers offensive attack. The total collapse by the Penguins was only made more surreal by the unbelievable 26 goals in 6 games given up by Fleury with an embarrassing .834 save percentage.

    Shero decided quickly to address the goaltending issues by acquiring Tomas Vokoun on June 4th from the Washington Capitals for a seventh round pick in the 2012 draft and signing the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent to a 2-year deal. Vokoun wasn’t brought in to take Fleury’s job, he was acquired to be a mentor and help protect Fleury from any fatigue, something Brent Johnson couldn’t do last season.

    Prior to the draft, Ray Shero offered a 10-year $60 million deal to Jordan Staal but he was unable to convince him to stay in Pittsburgh. Staal wanted to play with his brother Eric in Carolina, so at the draft in Pittsburgh, Shero made the deal sending Staal to Carolina for the 8th overall pick, defense prospect Brian Dumoulin, and center Brandon Sutter. The Penguins would decide to pick Portland Winterhawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot with the 8th pick and with their own number one pick, 22nd overall, selected another defenseman, Olli Maatta from the London Knights.

    Over the last few years, Shero has been criticized for failing to draft and develop another scoring forward since his very first pick in the 2006 draft (Jordan Staal). The Penguins highest scoring forward after Staal has been Dustin Jeffrey with 15 goals in 90 career games. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Shero’s draft philosophy, scouting department, or player development.

    The acquisition of Sutter made sense as he could easily slide into the third line role vacated by Staal and in some cases, be an upgrade. Defensively, Staal’s performance against the Flyers on the penalty-kill was disappointing and he was never one to have a great winning percentage on faceoffs. Sutter was expected to be better in both facets of the game.

    In free agency, Shero would sign 4th line left-winger Tanner Glass to replace the role vacated by Arron Asham’s free agency departure to the Rangers.

    During the regular season, the goalie tandem of Fleury and Vokoun was more than good enough as they finished with .916 and .919 save percentage, respectively. Fleury was once again back on track during the regular season and the team in front of him was playing some great hockey, no more so than the unbeatable March run going 15-0 and all but wrapping up their stranglehold on the number one seed in the Easter Conference ahead of the Montreal Canadiens.

    Just prior to the March run, Shero decided to sign Mark Eaton to help augment their depth on the blue line and while the team was winning games, they would make one monumental trade after another by acquiring future Hall of Fame right-winger Jarome Iginla, left-winger Brenden Morrow, defenseman Douglas Murray, and center Jussi Jokinen. The league just saw a team with a formidable core of Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Kris Letang, James Neal, Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin get an added boost of veteran leadership and important depth. It was as if the Penguins were telling the hockey world,
    this year’s cup is ours.

    Or so it seemed.

    For reasons only Bylsma could know for sure, Iginla would be forced to play left-wing on the second line with Malkin and Neal, not right-wing with Crosby and Dupuis. The move didn’t work as Iginla struggled to accept passes coming out of the zone or being able to chip the puck out of the zone along the left-wing wall and glaringly obvious, coming back into the defensive zone to pick up his man. Iginla said all the right things about his move to the left side and didn’t say anything about his lack of action on the top power play unit or his positional placement when he did get some ice time on the power play.

    One would wonder, how many coaches would want to mess with a future Hall of Famer?

    In Pittsburgh, you know the only one.

    Just as unsuccessful as the decision to move Iginla to left-wing was Bylsma’s decision to flip flop Morrow and Cooke on the third line with Sutter as neither has ever looked comfortable at right-wing and the acquisition effectively put the offensively inept Glass in the press box.

    The Jokinen acquisition was purely to provide depth due to Crosby’s jaw injury, he played sparingly in the playoffs.

    As for Murray, it was evident after the Islanders series the coaching staff didn’t have the confidence to use him, most notable during the team’s double-overtime loss to Boston in game three as he received just 17:08 of playing time. Murray’s lack of speed often resulted him losing the battles behind the net and in the corner, which it didn’t help he was often paired with Deryk Engelland or Matt Niskanen, neither player having played that well themselves.

    In the playoffs, Bylsma had an embarrassment of riches or did he have fool’s gold?

    That will be the difficult evaluation process for Shero as he was the person responsible to acquire the misused or quickly aging and slower players like Iginla, Morrow and Murray. It was Shero that decided to largely ignore a blue line that fell apart against Philadelphia the season prior and did little in the public’s eye to have younger defensemen like Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo get important development time in the NHL over veterans like Eaton and Engelland.

    But at the end of the day for Bylsma, he had more pieces and talent than any coach could have ever dreamed of having at his service and his decisions to have the Penguins play an aggressive style against a patient defensive team lik the Bruins in the first two games at home, did not help the team. It did not help that the team scored 1 goal in two games at home while playing a wreck-less stretch pass attack.

    It did not help Iginla was being misused while a power play couldn’t sniff the net.

    It was too late even after Vokoun stood on his head in game three as the team couldn’t get a second goal behind Tuukka Rask and lost in double-overtime because a 41-year old Jaromir Jagr was able to sneak a hook into Malkin and steal the puck.

    While much blame has been cast upon Bylsma for his stubborn refusal to change how the team moves the puck up the ice or maddening use of Iginla, he can’t help if his 28-year old star goaltender had a fourth consecutive playoff performance that has all but made one wonder, were the 2008 and 2009 playoff runs a fluke?

    And let’s not ignore the fact that as much as Fleury had a rally killing softie in game two, this team hasn’t exactly done much playing in front of Vokoun.

    During the regular season, Kris Letang played well enough defensively to get his name listed on the top 3 for the Norris Trophy but all he’s done in these playoffs is make that nomination a mockery for his soft play and wildly inconsistent positioning defensively. Letang and his free flowing hair woo the ladies but after another frustrating playoffs, you have to question whether he has the physical ability to take on the burden of being a number one defenseman.

    While the team hasn’t played good enough defensively, they are still considered an offensive juggernaut and against the Bruins, they were nothing of the kind. That blame lies on the shoulder of Crosby and Malkin.

    It is unfathomable to think both could go the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals without a single point between them. Malkin played in stretches dominating the ice but for some reason, likely a bad shoulder, he couldn’t score a goal to save his life in game three with close to 10 shots on goal, a few blocked, and a few missed the net. Malkin also completely shutdown in the third period of game two.

    No composure, total frustration. Again.

    One would wonder how anyone could shutdown Crosby but he’s been largely ineffective, a virtual no-show on the ice. For being the best player in hockey, in moments of greatness, he’s been non-existent. Crosby wasn’t the star in game seven against Detroit to win the Cup, it was Max Talbot’s 2-goal game that won it. Since then, he had 1 goal against the Canadiens, missed the Lightning loss, scored 3 goals against the Flyers, and this year 0 goals against the Bruins in the conference finals prior to his beating up inferior opponents in the first two rounds with seven goals.

    Where are Crosby and Malkin during the team’s biggest time of need?

    If you answered trying to fight Patrice Bergeron or bump into Rask, you would be right. Teams have found the recipe to beat the Penguins, it starts with agitating them at the core.

    Now that the Penguins have lost again in disappointing fashion, it might be time to fix the team as they’re rotten to the core.

  114. “Pittsburgh: City of Collapses”

    Another fail of epic proportions.

    Time to dismantle.

  115. I can hear it now “the Pens just ran into a hot goalie…nothing you can do about that”. Can hear all the excuses that are going to be made for this team…SAD!

  116. Well, you did promise War & Peace.

    Now let me read this thing

  117. This is pretty much it for the Pens.

    Nice little era but they had a good enough team this year. If their stars can’t deliver when it counts they won’t do it again.

    Doesn’t matter who the coach is. Or what changes will be made. They’ll come up short.

    Time to focus on the Pirates I suppose and the Steelers. Pens are finished as a legit team that should be taken seriously.

  118. One more tidbit that I found:

    The only time that a team was more pathetic offensively than the Pens in this series was the Wild in the 2003 Western Conference Finals — one goal in a four game sweep by Anaheim.

  119. I know most of you will disagree but Malkin has to go. The Pens could get two quality defensemen for him. Then, we need a coach that knows how to play defense.
    Shero’s trades were horrible and Mario needs to put him on the carpet.
    The dink and dunk offense will NOT win a cup.

    • the pens showed they could play def in the last 2 games..not pretty d but relatively effective d. however, they were unable to score. not sure how trading malkin fixes that.

    • He’s at least one of the three best offensive players in the world. You don’t kick a guy like that to the curb. Effective coaching should be able to cover for any defensive issues that he has, but you just don’t throw away a player like Malkin. The Pens should, and will, try to sign him to a long term contract. I just don’t know if he will want to stay on the Pens. Maybe he wants to be alpha dog somewhere else or maybe he just wants a change of scenery. We’ll know by the end of this summer, if he signs an extension or not.

      • I’m thinking he stays. Malkin is getting better at english and American ways, but I just don’t see him actively seeking to go outside his comfort zone again…but hey what do I know?

        • Of course, I don’t really know either. I’m just kind of surprised nobody brings up this possibility when talking about Malkin. They just assume he’ll be traded or want to sign an extension.

  120. Serena and Sharapova tomorrow at 9:00 am.

  121. Didn’t DD guarantee a “WIN” tonight? I’ll bet he is still in denial that the game is even over :)

  122. San Jose Penguins?

  123. This press conference with Mr Regular Season is almost laughable. He thought they played hard ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  124. Milbury and Jones both say Bylsma has to go on post game

  125. I am going to go drink heavily and watch a thoroughly distracting movie. This sucks, but Boston was clearly the better team. Pens have issues, they will be addressed. I still believe in the organization and the character of the team. More hard lessons were learned, from top to bottom, and all of them have a lot of soul searching and processing to do.

    Embarrassing yes. Stunning yes. Inconceivable yes. But maybe from this true low point a fundamentally better team will rise from the ashes.

    Nite all.

    • Night Sherry, drink one for me too …. hang in there!

    • They got humiliated by the Flyers last year. Swept this year. Two Game 7 losses at home to lesser teams. Come on folks. Save the optimistic bs. This team should’ve been as motivated as ever this season after the way last year ended and they’re right back in the same place. It’s just a crappy lousy collapse. The team is a huge failure. There’s nothing good to say to spin it around.

      • Listen, sir, if i choose to be optimistic, or at least not totally depressingly a downer, that’s MY choice. Banging my head against the wall won’t change things. Besides, it’s sport, and there are more important things to worry about for real. Sorry, just the way I see it. If you wanna call it optimistic bs..that’s your prerogative.

  126. Shockingly inserting Tyler Kennedy didn’t fix anything.

  127. I’m not sure if this the most difficult championship to win. But it’s almost unbelievable that the Bruins have one more series to play.

  128. If wholesale changes aren’t made after this “Charlie Foxtrot” then. Mario/Ron/and yes RS are living in a alternate universe…one in which the Pens are playing for the Cup :)

  129. I think the reason disco was only popular for 5 years or so was because it failed to adapt as a musical genre.

  130. Since when did that idiot Milbury’s opinion become a ringing endorsement for doing the right thing? If he said Bylsma should be fired, then I definitely think he should be kept.

    • Jones is worse. He’d be annoying if he was just reciting the Pledge of Allegiance..

    • I can’t stand either of them.

      I think the point is, if even these two goobers can see it…

      Bylsma has to go.

      I’d much rather get rid of Dan than completely blow up this team.

      Why people want to see Dan get another shot with this group of players does not make sense to me.

      I’ve seen that movie before. It doesn’t end well. Same results, lapses, breakdowns, loss of composure.

      Time for a change. Some want to blow up the roster instead, ok I just think intakes a lot longer to assemble that new team than find a coach. This team is not that far away. Dicipline is all. I think if Dan would have disciplined anyone (beyond rookies) for turnovers and lax play, we’re not having this discussion.

      Dan (and injuries) squandered 4 years of the Sid/Malkin era. Time to see if someone else can get a little more out of this team.

  131. OK I’m off to bed. Have lot to do tomorrow. I’m sad our boys lost, but the Pens are STILL my team. Night!

  132. Kill Bill it is.

  133. good night all,,,good to sleep on and or take a few days to analyze this, all though I have my leanings on DD needs to go. I just have a difficult time blaming the players. They have one approach for 4 years regular season and playoffs, it takes time to adjust to defensive playoff style hockey.

    IMHO is why it looked like they were out of place, thinking instead of reacting, and no idea how to deal with the adversity of always being down, never playing with a lead.

    They had no puck possession on the offensive zone, and never had a strategy to deal with Boston’s defensive coverage. 3 rebound chances in the 1st 3 games, would like to know how many tonight. Couldn’t have been many.

    Tomorrow is a new day it will be interesting to say the least how ML and RS decide to move forward…

    • Puck possession is a great goal.

      Gotta have a plan or when you’re not possessing the puck.

      Pens finally started to use some of the things one does to break the trap but not until game 3. Shoulda started that 4 years ago.

  134. Won’t be around much this weekend and it’s time to focus on the Bucs so here’s my DDD (delusional disco dan) rant straight from his headslapping presser…

    1. We never played bad.

    2. There was an invisible force field around the net.

    3. Rask is the next Patrick Wah.

    4. We had incredible scoring chances, but were undermined by forces unknown.

    5. You media people only THINK we didn’t adjust the PP.

    What an awful coaching performance. Again. There’s really not much more to say.

  135. Does anyone think Colorado would trade the #1 pick for Letang or Fleury?

    • Wondering same re Letang. I’d be calling Colorado and Florida.

      I’m skeptical we could get anything of real value for Fleury right now at his salary.

  136. Dejan,

    Did anyone ask Disco why on earth Matt Niskanen played every game? Just curious. Especially since that elusive one goal difference he kept mentioning was given up because of Niskanen in game 3.

    • Goal # 1. Goal # 2 all on Engelland, aided by a non-call.

      • Correct on 2. But without goal 1, goal 2 never happened. Final score: Pens 1 Boston 0 end of regulation.

        Niskanen was the playoff version of Tyler Kennedy in the regular season. Total doormat.

        • I would put him and Engelland in the same category.

          • I’d give Engelland a little less flack simply because he didn’t play as much. Not as much opportunity to screw up and play porrly. Plus I thought he was the better of the worst out of those 2.

  137. Grover talking post-game radio that “no one has tuned HCDB out.”

    Wonder if he knows something we don’t know and that the word from on high is that while there will be changes in player personnel, there will be no changes in the coaching staff.

    • That’s sounding very consistent with DK’s pre-playoffs column.

      And if no one has tuned him out, wonder if he ever told anyone to go to the front of the net.

    • Did you hear DD’s post game? I know he’s probably emotionally drained, but he’s completely out of tune with reality. Coaches that can’t recognize their own team’s weaknesses don’t win many championships.

  138. I’m not in a particularly good place tonight, so excuse me, but I don’t know why I love this blog when everyone has the same old pet theories and themes and stories. Where’s DK and all others admitting Iginla was just horrible for all of the playoffs (and didn’t deserve what ice time he had), that Morrow tries hard but we rarely saw him clearing a puck from the half wall or actually skating his way into a reasonable scoring position, that Sutter falls down instead of being strong on the puck at all (the anti-Staal who had dead feet and dead hands). In case everyone is wondering, the NHL these days is all having the strength and foot speed to pressure the puck constantly and continually, eliminating all time and space with all four lines instead of two. The paper champion was created by the media who need hyperbole and twitter followers to get more readers – I actually thought that ‘burgh was the underdog of the remaining four teams. Again, I’m not in a good place so sorry to everyone for ranting.

  139. Since the start of these playoffs I have been emphasizing that we should go with a line-up that placed a premium on speed and puck handling / finishing abilities. I particularly emphasized it this series with Boston. (See my posts at 1:51 p.m. and 3:19 p.m.). Bennett played Games 3 (sparingly) & 4 (don’t have his TOI yet) and Depres none.

    HCDB, although having a reputation as an innovator when he first came to the team in 2009, instead elected to go with “old guard” philosophies and his favored players displaying perceived “toughness” over those quicker and more skillful. Sitting at Game 1, 1.5 periods in, it was clear to me (no expert) that was simply the wrong approach. While we were outhitting them by a wide margin, Boston players were smiling after a good number. Importantly, our hits were not productive, leading to turnovers and ultimately scoring chances. We wasted two games trying to prove we were tougher than Boston.

    On Sutter, while he is far down on my list of reasons why we did not fare better this series, he is simply not strong enough. The Pens need to pay his way to the Gary Roberts’ School of Off-Season Conditioning & Training this summer. And if there are 2 sessions, he should attend both.

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