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Here’s ‘The Final Word’ on Penguins’ exit

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

The joint venture between WPXI and Trib Total Media into sports TV continues Sunday night at 11:35 p.m. with the latest episode of The Final Word.

>> Who’s on: WPXI contributors will be Alby Oxenreiter and Bill PhillipsThe Trib will be represented by myself and Rob Rossi. Our topics will be led by the Penguins’ ugly exit, but we’ll also talk some Pirates and maybe Steelers. Hasn’t all been mapped out just yet.

>> How to participate: Each week, we also take comments from viewers through 20-second videos you submit on The Final Word’s Facebook page, as well as comments to The Final World’s Twitter account

>> Where to watch: In addition to the regular broadcast on WPXI-TV, we have WPXI’s live online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans, as well as video podcasts available on both outlets’ Web sites.

Here’s last week’s episode.

Really hope to have you, not only watching but also joining in!

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.


  1. Ghost says:

    First word on Final Word thread?
    Score some runs for Cole on Tuesday!!

  2. kr70 says:

    2 goals in 4 games with a chance at the cup riding on the outcome dictates some changes need to be made. I trust Ray Shero to make the right ones.

  3. 21sthebest says:

    Ghost , just a comment on your post in the game thread. I wonder if that Dad realizes that the NCAA only permits 11.7 scholarships for up to 27 players in D1. I believe getting full scholarships in baseball is rare.

  4. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, Lunatics…………….

    Not only do you have to cheer on the Pirates and Riverhounds, someone has to look after my Pond.

    I know Ghost, Jandy, and Brandie will be playing around, but it will need looking after, til I get back later this week.

    Hopefully, my Pond is sustainable! :)

    Hippo out.

  5. Brandie says:

    I will do my best to help look after your pond. May peace, mercy, and grace be with you during this difficult time.

  6. Drew71 says:

    What Brandie said.

  7. 21sthebest says:

    Brandie, you’re a fine girl.

  8. Brandie says:

    Hippo and all of the others, friends and family, who have reached out to me deserve nothing but the best.

  9. tdb1977 says:

    We will keep the place in order Hippo! No problem with that. Won’t let to much algae ground around here.

  10. Brandie says:

    Just call me: “The Pond Is Working.”

  11. Arriba Wilver says:


  12. Or “Pond” for short?

    The Bible says God is the Father of Mercies and the God of all comfort, so Plan is comforted by Him today and in this tough week.

    End of blog sermon, as I have a regular one to preach here in a little bit.

    Talk to yunz later, hopefully, as the Bucs sweep.

  13. Brandie says:

    Well said, and quite instructive on so many different levels. Thank you.

  14. Drew71 says:

    Walking the surf again this morning.

    What a wonderful time of year for this. The air temp is very warm but until mid summer, the water temp is surprisingly bracing.

    Got some great pics of an angry sand crab. I think crabs have joined my list of favorites.

    Along with venomous snakes.

  15. Brandie says:

    Thank you for the imagery.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    If the Penguins fire Dan Bylsma my guess is tha they will do it in Tuesday. Right about the time Cole throws his first pitch.

  17. Bizrow says:

    + 1, Hippo

  18. Arriba Wilver says:


  19. Lad9 says:

    Same here Hippo. We’ll tend to the pond.

  20. Thundercrack says:


  21. JAL says:

    As far as participating in the Final Word, I agree with Groucho Marx who said “I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.”

    DK: That’s tremendous.

  22. Brandie says:

    GO BUCCOS! Here’s hoping for a sweep today.

  23. Drew71 says:

    The King of Comedy. You tell em, JAL!


  24. Drew71 says:

    The Pirates would extend him.


  25. JAL says:


    That too :)

  26. Ghost says:

    Yes, in fact about a month ago I brought up this very fact regarding the limitations in collegiate baseball and softball scholarships, and someone — you, possibly — replied, citing specific numbers.

    On the other hand, there are many fine D2 programs that have even further limitations (D3 can’t even offer ANY athletic scholarships), but which actually put together superior “aid” packages. I can’t speak for the father I met and his son. My own son will have no such potential decision to face. ;)

    I will say this, however, though the NCAA inconsistently investigates these shenanigans, MANY D2, D3 and JUCO’s play real loose with the restrictions and essentially flout them, getting financial aid to get ball players they want into their programs. A very talented girl who my daughter played softball with last year is now attending Harvard on “academic” scholarship. Harvard doesn’t give out ANY “athletic” scholarships. But they have a huge endowment in the multi-billions that their financial aid office taps into for their financial aid packages. The softball coach for Harvard wanted this girl and helped her get accepted. THEN the financial aid was arranged. (Wink, wink.)
    Also, two kids from the high school affiliated with the Legion ball program both my kids play for in summer and fall are going to a JUCO in Colorado next year. I heard all about the gamesmanship there, too. The big one is that out-of-state tuition is “waved” if said players can maintain a 3.5 GPA. That alone helped fudge the numbers enough to get these kids in there for, essentially, full rides.

    The ‘rules’ are only for the average people like you and me.

  27. Ghost says:

    Take care, Plan. Your Pond is in good hands.

  28. Ghost says:

    Was trapped with other parents inside a concrete pit, yesterday, watching a baseball game in 114 degree weather. Back for more of the same misery for a game that will start at 2:00 pm. Why they can’t schedule this game to start at 2:00 am, I do not know.

  29. Drew71 says:

    Thought I’d stop in and look for the NBA Finals conversation.


  30. Brandie says:

    Go San Antonio.

  31. Drew71 says:

    Fine by me.

    I’m rooting for seven games. All overtimes.

    But yes. When the pixie dust settles, I’d prefer that, too.

  32. Drew71 says:

    And Brandie.

    The tops of my feet are sunburnt.

    I think we are close enough that I thought I could share that.

    Don’t tell Thunder.

  33. Brandie says:

    I won’t tell Zeus, and yikes!

  34. Brandie says:

    Checking out 93.7 The Fan and Andrew Filliponi. Playing audio of Sidney Crosby. Paraphrasing: “We deserved better”. Really? No front of net presence, failed stick handling through Boston’s defense, scoring 2 goals in four games? Sounds entitled to me. Please tell me in what universe does this team deserve better?

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    If that’s really what he thinks, maybe getting rid of Bylsma won’t solve the problem. And maybe we do have an answer as to why Iginla wasn’t on Sid’s line.

  36. Drew71 says:

    Game on and still no NBA thread.

    Well. He probably can’t find it.

    Spelling was never Dejan’s strength.

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    On one hand Dan Bylsma says that Marc Andre Fleury will be his #1 goalie next year. Period. On the other hand he says he hasn’t yet talked to Ray Shero. Seems a little forward to talk in such absolutes about something so significant without first talking the boss.

  38. Mario Lopez says:

    Bylsma must go. I’m now more then ever convinced that Michel Therrien deserves more credit for 09 CUP. Pens players had tuned him out so much, the next coach basically had not screw things up. Bylsma’s pathetic adjustments trying to continue to pound square pegs into round holes instead of adapting his system to his players best talents. Coaches are supposed to put players in best position to WIN & succeed. He doesn’t deserve an contract ext & going into final year doesn’t make sense. Mario/Burkle have turned the #PENS into Yankees of NHL. giving up youth/prospects & draft picks for aging vets & yet again failed.

  39. Arriba Wilver says:


    Who’s in charge here? Bob Nutting?


  40. Dave G says:

    I was just reading the article about Bylsma and when I viewed his photo, something inside of me felt different. I don’t see him the same anymore. I see a defeated person.

    His system was beaten by the Bruins.

    And then I think of how the Pens’ minor league team is built on the same system, so that the players who develop can plug right in to the NHL team.

    Any change of coach and system will be much deeper and much more consuming than many people can imagine, because it affects the Baby Pens as well.

  41. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just watched the press conference. Strange to say the least. It was like, if you fire me here’s how I would have done it next year.

    Also, nothing drives a wedge between a coach & a GM more than said GM acquiring players that said coach really has little use for and uses them (or doesn’t use them) accordingly.

    DK: Ding! Ding! And a triple-Ding!

  42. Brandie says:

    Anything done coaching wise, will have multiple, ripple effects. I see this as a summer of unrest.

  43. Brandie says:

    Heading to bed…please take care of Hippo’s Pond in my absence until I can see to it in the morning. Good Night Lunatics.

  44. Thundercrack says:

    I am about 7 minutes into watching Bylsma’s press conference.
    My first impression is- this dude needs some sleep. Maybe he should have waited until Monday to meet the media

  45. dwf says:

    U-N- F-R-E-A-K-I-N B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E!!!!! If wholesale changes are not made this summer, it is going to cost the Pens some fans.

  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    Maybe he wants that Rangers job ? …

  47. Jason H says:

    The Pens’ postseason reminds me of the SNL skit with Will Ferrell as the co-anchor of an AM talk show. The prompter went out and chaos ensued which cost David Alan Grier his head.

    It was great the TV got them through the NYI series, but that seemed to have brought the Pens to a point of no return?

    Quick questions:

    Any chance Shero waits to see what happens in Finals before deciding on Bylsma? If the B’s shut down the Hawks, could that in some small way validate the struggles of the Pens?

    Could MAF be revitalized under a new coach with a new system? Or his his game FUBAR?

  48. Max says:

    Byslma has shown what he can do in the playoffs with a talent-laden team for 4 (FOUR) years running. Why does anyone want to see a fifth year?????

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