By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
Morning, Lunatics …
I would ask how you all ever managed to get along without me, except that I looked at the numbers and this blog maintained roughly 60 percent of its usual traffic in the nine days I was putting up blank threads or game threads. Which only reinforces my long-held view that this is your place, not mine.
>> The Monday column, in a similar spirit of humility but also accountability, revisits some of my own column lowlights from the calendar year to date.
If you hate my stuff, this is the column for you.
>> The one example in the column I wish I’d had more room to expand was regarding Jonathan Dwyer. I’m not sure he’s the Steelers’ feature back in 2013, but I do see where should be at the head of any committee that’s put in place to start the season.
For one, I don’t want a second-round draft pick — Le’Veon Bell — handling the ball 25 times a game. That just begs for disaster.
For another, Dwyer’s numbers from 2012 weren’t bad at all.
If the worst thing you can say about Dwyer is the whole double-tap thing — where he lets the coaches know he needs a breather seemingly every other set of downs — then that’s something that seems eminently fixable.
Just ask the man himself …
“To be honest, man, I’m tired of defending myself,” Dwyer texted me over the weekend. “I just want to get on the field and let my play do the talking. When you see me in Latrobe, you’ll be smiling ear to ear. I know I’ll be in shape to be successful.”
>> The Final Word last night included much Pirates and Penguins talk. Rob Rossi and I were guests, and we both wore ties.
I’ve got a live interview with Mark Melancon lined up for the radio show tomorrow, by the way.
And here, if you missed it, was outfield prospect Gregory Polanco being interviewed by our Karen Price just after his promotion last week to Altoona …
>> Rushel Shell back at Pitt? Wow, now that would be quite the (welcome) turn of events for Paul Chryst, who’s aiming to build the Panthers’ offense into a power-based one. No power back = no power offense. Jerry DiPaola reports.
>> The Cup could be lifted tonight in Boston — by the Blackhawks, of course — but there are some wild variables going into Game 6: If Jonathan Toews can’t go, that’s a big loss to Chicago. When he and Patrick Kane were separated, Tuukka Rask looked little different than he did against the Penguins.
I very much see a Game 7 in the making.
>> The Riverhounds have scored a bunch of goals of late — thanks largely to surprising 10-goal man Jose Angulo — and won a bunch of games of late — now 5-4-6 thanks to a 10-game unbeaten streak — after a pretty lousy start. Matt Grubba reports from Highmark Stadium.
Highlights from the 4-1 victory yesterday (over a winless opponent, should be noted) …
>> Nice to be back. Didn’t go anywhere. Spent a lot of time back on the rink, working to get in shape for what I hope is a grand July 9 comeback to dekhockey. Went to see an immensely disappointing ‘Man of Steel.’ Crushed my children in table hockey. Watched a lot of pucks.
You know you’ve got a pretty great job, though, when you’re actually counting down the days until you’re working again. Reached that point about, oh, Friday or so.
Thanks for taking care of the place.
I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m.