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Morning Java: Empty that bucket of pucks

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Friday column comes from the Penguins’ first day of training camp and poses all kinds of annoying questions regarding that still-annoying Boston series and all its implications.

Here’s Sidney Crosby getting at least a little annoyed — as much as he can, anyway — with the topic …

And here’s my talk with Tomas Vokoun

A few other random thoughts from the time at Consol: This is cited only briefly in there, but Simon Despres showing up for camp out of shape is beyond belief, really. Except that it isn’t. Fact is, he needed Pascal Dupuis to kick him in the rear all last summer up in Quebec. At some point, you’ve got to grow up. This apparently isn’t that point. … The lack of grit among the forwards is not only startling but also very much counter to the way Ray Shero has usually built his teams. Expect that to change. … Brenden Morrow’s still available. Takers? … Talked with Sid a bit about these new nets the NHL is installing with slightly different shapes to the bottom back and sides. It’s designed to make passing from behind more of an option. Expect him to look into it. … Don’t make too much of Marc-Andre Fleury getting roasted in the first scrimmage. Really. … One move I already like: Starting camp with Beau Bennett up there with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. Always aim high at the outset. If that works, it’ll be wonderful. … I’ll have more over the next week or so.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, by rink rats Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe.

>> The Pirates took the field at PNC Park as authenticated winners for the  first time, the crowd welcomed them with a standing ovation … and Jeff Locke added to it all. Travis Sawchik and Karen Price were there.

Locke looked like a relieved dude afterward, no?

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from

And if you missed it yesterday, this was Clint Hurdle’s monthly visit to TribLIVE Radio and morning hosts Ken Laird and Guy Junker. Good conversation here …

>> We know Brett Keisel and Mike Tomlin don’t see eye-to-eye on cut blocks, which is fascinating all by itself. Now here’s much more on that legal — but way questionable — practice from our Mark Kaboly.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage by Alan Robinson.

Here’s a look at the Bengals’ twin tight ends that apparently have the defense more concerned than any other facet. Ralph Paulk is in Cincinnati.

Here’s other Bengals news from the Enquirer.

>> Pitt’s offensive line is a work in progress. Jerry DiPaola updates.

>> Bill O’Brien and his Central Florida counterpart share respect. Chris Adamski has it.

JF7N58kU>> Some broadcast stuff: At 11:30 a.m. today, I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio.

At 4:35 p.m., I’ll appear live on MLB Network’s MLB Now with Harold Reynolds and Cliff Floyd. It’ll be my first time on that show, and it’ll be shot by remote camera from the Pirates’ dugout. Looking forward to it.

And on Sunday night, I’ll join Mark Kaboly, Mark Madden and host Alby Oxenreiter on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word.

>> For the weekend, which is about as far as I dare plan anymore with so much going on, I’ll write Pirates for Sunday, then head off to Cincinnati to cover Steelers. Beyond that … no idea.

>> Oh, and don’t forget: Chat today at noon. Right here on the blog.

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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.

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