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Vacation discussion thread 10-17

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Here’s a discussion thread for the day. I’ll be back from this five-day break with coverage of Steelers-Ravens on Sunday from Heinz Field.

Game posts will continue to go up as usual, resuming with Penguins-Flyers tonight.

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. Drew71 says:

    Interesting thread this morning.

  2. scapper says:

    Riveting thread, indeed.

    Heading up to Philly this afternoon from the DC area for the game. Okay, mainly for a Tony Luke’s or Pat’s cheesesteak, but the game should be fun, too. Hope the crowd is extra loud and passionate when they start they start sending Sid their love with that eloquent chant, as the worse it is the better he seems to play there.

    And happy anniversary to the last two Pirate World Series game 7 victories.

  3. Drew71 says:

    Now THAT’s interesting.

    Enjoy the game. And bring home a win.

    Or we’ll blame you.

  4. scapper says:

    Have been at the last two games when the Pens ended 10+ game winning streaks. Hoping the Scapper Black Cloud has been lifted.

  5. Drew71 says:

    Borrow Thunder’s lucky hat. (He has to have some redeeming characteristic. Doesn’t he?)

    Not the new playoff hat. Obviously.

    You gotta wear the old greasy one.

    And be careful when you wear it.

    Don’t stand too near open flames. Or wild animals.

  6. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Chamber of 32 Doors Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTby-nfFd1I

    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 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: How the Pirates Can Benefit From a New Minor League Team

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/first-pitch-how-the-pirates-can-benefit-from-a-new-minor-league-team.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: First Base

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/pittsburgh-pirates-2013-season-recap-first-base.html

    AFL Recap: Tyler Waldron Throws Three Shutout Innings in Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/afl-recap-tyler-waldron-throws-three-shutout-innings-in-win.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    GCL Pirates season review

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/10/16/4817698/gcl-pirates-season-review

    Bucs Dugout Podcast: Looking back at 2013

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/10/16/4845622/bucs-dugout-podcast-looking-back-at-2013

    6 Rumbunter

    Wandy Rodriguez in 2014: Rested or Broke?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/10/16/wandy/

    7 PBC Site

    Pirates add rookie-level Appalachian League team

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-add-rookie-level-appalachian-league-team?ymd=20131016&content_id=63023680&vkey=news_pit

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pittsburgh – Catching 2014

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/10/pittsburgh-catching-2014.html

    9 KDKA

    Walk On Wednesday: Things Are Pointing Up For The Pirates

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/10/16/walk-on-wednesday-things-are-pointing-up-for-the-pirates/

    10 Bleacher Report

    The Best Major League Baseball Announcers of All Time

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1811185-the-best-major-league-baseball-announcers-of-all-time

  7. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Hartman: Free agent Morneau will look for a winner

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/228110231.html

    12 Baseball America

    2013 Draft Report Cards: First Impressions Of The Draft Classes

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2013-draft-report-cards-first-impressions-of-the-draft-classes/

    13 Beaver County Times

    Leyland: Pirates had ‘heckuva year’

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/leyland-pirates-had-heckuva-year/article_0cf105ef-f673-5c48-b5c3-3cfa44945980.html

    14 Detroit Free Press

    Mitch Albom: With a text, Austin Jackson finds himself, Detroit Tigers tie ALCS

    http://www.freep.com/article/20131017/COL01/310170062/mitch-albom-tigers-red-sox-austin-jackson-torii-hunter-jim-leyland

    15 Boston Herald

    Tigers pound Jake Peavy, Sox to even series at 2

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2013/10/tigers_pound_jake_peavy_sox_to_even_series_at_2

    16 Allied News

    EXTRA INNINGS: Happy for past season; happier for seasons to come

    http://alliednews.com/sports/x252029074/EXTRA-INNINGS-Happy-for-past-season-happier-for-seasons-to-come

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    This was one Redbirds let get away

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/this-was-one-redbirds-let-get-away/article_f25db5ee-6ac9-5893-aa97-7894c9131ab0.html

    Cards miss early chance, lose to Dodgers

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cards-miss-early-chance-lose-to-dodgers/article_23f9264a-3c6b-5845-be4d-5e521c0b5551.html

    18 LA Times

    Dodgers put on power display in 6-4 win over Cardinals in Game 5

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-1017-dodgers-cardinals-20131017,0,5006990.story#axzz2hyWKNru4

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    11 Dollar Sign on the Muscle Excerpt Scouting Makeup in 2013

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22066

    20 Fangraphs

    Less Premature Statistical Report on the Arizona Fall League

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/less-premature-statistical-report-on-the-arizona-fall-league/

  8. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    5 Burning Questions on the Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/16/4844090/steelers-jets-ravens-questions-injury-tomlin-mike-adams-worilds-special-teams

    Antonio Brown unsure whether alleged altercation with Todd Haley increased his production

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/ravens-vs-steelers-news-and-updates-leading-into-week-7/2013/10/16/4845896/antonio-brown-steelers-argument-sideline-todd-haley

    22 Steelers Gab

    Win A FREE “100 Things” Steelers Book By Guessing Sunday’s Steelers-Ravens Score!

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/10/16/win-a-free-100-things-steelers-book-by-guessing-sundays-steelers-ravens-score/

    Soccer(football)

    23 USA Today

    Mexican soccer owes a big thank you to the U.S. national team

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/10/united-states-soccer-mexico-world-cup/

    24 World Soccer Daily

    the stories you need to read, 16th October, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-the-stories-you-need-to-read-16th-october-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Remembering to celebrate Sidney Crosby

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/16/4844616/sidney-crosby-is-awesome-at-hockey

  9. JAL says:

    Song The Chamber of 32 Doors by Genesis

  10. Jandy says:

    JAL ~ thanks for the hockey link! I recommend it to everyone…Sid is indeed a special talent.

  11. Jim S. says:

    On pace for 200 points this season.

    Living in Chicago, I can tell you that Sid envy extends beyond the East Coast. People here who claim to be hockey fans often say things like, “Crosby is a jerk.” Or, “Crosby’s a whiner, a baby.” Or, the worst of all, “Crosby is overrated.” They actually think guys like Toews and Kane are better than him.

    My response? He may outscore Kane and Toews TOGETHER this year. Anyone who thinks he is not the best player in the world, get set for a show this year. I think he may lead the league by at least 20 points this season.

  12. Jandy says:

    These same people who call him Cindy and knock him, if he were to come to THEIR team, would be his #1 fans. lol.
    It’s the nature of an average hockey fan.

    I hope with the league cracking down on bad hits, he has a WHALE of a season and shuts up ALL his detractors.

  13. Jim S. says:

    Oops! My math is wrong. He is “only” on pace for 164 points right now. But, he is on a tear now. That will increases.

  14. Jandy says:

    Then you have idiots like Ian Lapierre who shouldn’t be playing hockey:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/dan-boyle-hospitalized-maxim-lapierre_n_4108815.html

  15. Jandy says:

    LOL he’ll have his slumps like every hockey player does, Jim.
    But yeah, He’s tearing it up, glad to see him healthy.

  16. Jim S. says:

    I think hockey is a sport that is so infectious to watch that it is finally starting to draw a lot of local sports fans, at least in Chicago, who get excited that their team is good. A lot of people have no idea what they are watching, and they really don’t understand the game except on a surface level. But, the team is great and they love watching it. So, they think they know what they are talking about.

    Maybe that is a good thing because, ironically, what hockey has always lacked is casual fans. At least, that is what the media experts always tell us. Maybe the league is turning a corner in that regard. Ok, I’m off on a tangent. Anyway, I think there are a lot of surface fans who just parrot what the jealous fans of other teams say about Sid. It is very easy to just say he is a punk if you don’t have to actually get challenged on it. I know that happens with athletes in all pro sports. They often get mislabeled by fans. But, in Sid’s case, it seems to me that people could not be more wrong than to trash this guy. Not only is he the best player in the world, but he seems like one heck of a great young man off the ice. Just my $.02.

    Unlike other sports, though, even idiot national NHL commentators join in the ripping of Crosby. They take subtle cheap shots on the air, and all that does is fuel the idiot fans in other cities. I don’t think they do that for other pro sports. No one in announcing for the NFL rips Tom Brady, for instance.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    WHALE of a season?
    Hartford doesnt have an NHL team anymore………… ;)

  18. Jandy says:

    haha Hipposter! :P

    How are you this wet Thursday?

  19. theplanisworking says:

    I am good.
    Saw Brandies dirge last night……. really hope she is ok.

    But ITS A HOCKEY NIGHT IN PITTSBURGH!!!
    Well, Philthy, but you get my drift………..

    Hope to see you here today, popping in and out, not a big fan of watching vacation slides, ya know……….

    Hope all is well in your world, J-Girl. Try to catch ya later.

    :D

  20. theplanisworking says:

    Remember, Crosby is injury prone.
    I want him healthy, dont really care how many points he scores.

    Just sayin’

  21. Jim S. says:

    Well, once you have a bad concussion, I’d say you are prone to other bad ones. So, he has to be careful about that.

    But, I’m not sure he is injury prone. The shot he took in the jaw was just an unlucky deflection. It is true that it put him out of the lineup for a long time. But, that would have happened to anyone.

    I don’t think he has injuries that are a sign of his body breaking down. Does that make sense, plan? I think there is a distinction between a guy being injury prone because his body is breaking down and a freak injury. Not disagreeing that he has missed a lot of time the last few years. I guess I’m just saying that I don’t think it points to him missing a lot of games in the future.

  22. BillyBaduka says:

    Um, that’s Maxim not Ian. I never thought of Ian Lapierre as a cheap shot guy. Ian fought and played with an abundance of grit but I thought he was a good hard nosed forward, the kind of guy every team wants at least one of on thier roster, “tough to play against”.

  23. Jandy says:

    Jim, you’re spot on. Casual fan is what I meant by average fan. It’s all fun and games to rip an opponent’s star player, but what they don’t realize is that they look like idiots doing it. Numbers don’t lie. The unfortunate thing is, Sid brought the Cry-baby/Whiner names on himself when he came into the league. he DID do a lot of crying to the refs. He was a kid. He’s matured into a rather admirable young man and a wonderful human.
    As far as the NHL commentators, most of them were hockey players, and they’re jealous! lol

  24. Jandy says:

    Yeah I saw Brandie’s confession.

    She’s a good girl, she’ll be fine. Just gotta take it one day at a time and do what she has to do. I just want her to remember to do what she needs to do for herself, mainly. No one else can do that.
    Sending prayers and good vibes her way.

    I have lots of work to get caught up on, so i’ll be in and out too. Enjoy the day, Hipposter :)

  25. Jandy says:

    I follow ya, Jim. And no, Sid is not breaking down, he’s strong as a horse.

  26. BillyBaduka says:

    Crosby is easily the best player in the game and fun to watch.

    As far as the backlash against him, I think that is more a facet of the hype when he was coming in to the league than anything else.

    I hope Gretzky never names another teenager the “Next One”. I’m not saying this is all Wayne’s fault by any means but any kid anointed the “Next One” will face backlash.

  27. Jandy says:

    OOps my bad. But the point remains. Ian Laperierre is worse. Ian’s been suspended before as well. This was a nasty hit.

  28. Jim S. says:

    Catching a little of the Cards and Dodgers and thinking that if the Bucs just had a better plan vs. Wacha in Game 4, they might be the ones who are up 3-2 on the Dodgers right now rather than St. Louis. A lot of people speculated at the time that they should have done something to get him off his pace during the game. Step out now and again, anything to interrupt his pace.

    Oh well, you don’t get to replay games. The Bucs were very close, though, and the fact that the Cards now have 2 chances at home to close out the Dodgers after struggling to fight off the Bucs shows how close our team was to making a World Series run. Hopefully, we can shore up in a few areas over the winter, and make another run next year.

    Baseball America just announced its draft rankings for 2013. I know it doesn’t assure us of anything in the future just yet, but the Bucs were thought to have the best draft in MLB in 2013. Meadows and McGuire in Round 1 look like really good picks right now, and they appear to have grabbed some other nice players all throughout the draft. The only way to sustain success is to have solid drafts, year after year.

  29. Jim S. says:

    I think that is where it started, Billy. But, the people doing it in NHL studios know better now. The evidence is very clear about his ability, his leadership, and that he is a great guy. They are just doing it now out of spite – nothing more, IMO.

  30. Jim S. says:

    Thanks. I was hoping I made that point.

  31. BillyBaduka says:

    Agreed. I like to think that it wouldn’t have reached this level without that start and the hype of the first few seasons.

  32. Jim S. says:

    I have been mostly out lately, so I didn’t hear anything about Brandie. But, I hope she’ll be ok.

  33. Jim S. says:

    You are definitely right about that.

  34. Jandy says:

    Loud and clear, my friend!

  35. Jandy says:

    Sid brought a bit of this upon himself, when he was “young and stupid” coming into the league. See my comment above. But for anyone to keep harping on that old tired stuff, it just shows how immature “they” are.

  36. Jandy says:

    woulda coulda shoulda.

    I want them to do well next season :)

  37. Jim S. says:

    And, my point about other pro sports is they would not put up with unprovoked “shots” about their stars. No one in a NFL booth will ever utter anything bad, not one word, about Peyton or Brady. For goodness sakes, they never even said a bad word about Ray Lewis. They will occasionally criticize other guys who cause their own problems, like Ben. But, if a guy is a star and does nothing off the field to harm his own image, nothing but great things will be said about him from inside the league. That carries over, IMO, to casual fans.

  38. BillyBaduka says:

    I agree that Sid did not help his case with some of his behavior in early seasons.

    Agreed that the continued harping on it says more about the speakers than subject at this point.

  39. Drew71 says:

    I’m going to act like a lawyer and give both arguments re the BA ranking and leave everyone befuddled with my inability to take a stand.

    1. Why the BA 2013 ranking doesn’t matter much if at all.

    A. It has only been four months since these guys were drafted. Two or three since they signed.
    B. These rankings tend to follow overall perceptions of the franchise. Pirates trending up? That helps rankings about ANY matter. Sounds cynical but I think it is human nature. For instance, and although it’s not a ranking thing, it’s sorta why Wade Boggs got so many ball calls on borderline pitches. Or strikes for Maddox. Doesn’t mean that a team that deserves a ranking of 24 will get #1. But since it is totally objective, the difference between 1-2-3, or between 23-24-25, might be influenced by other, franchise perceptional issues.

    2. Why the BA 2013 ranking DOES matter.

    A. Sure, it’s not crucial, but isn’t it better than being ranked 10th? Or 24th?
    B. Isn’t the answer in 1B an argument FOR it’s value? So #1 might be easily or fairly ranked 1, 2 or 3 or so. But NOT 24. Isn’t it meaningful and positive simply to be Top 3?

    I keep flip-flopping between Who Cares?…and…Better Than The Alternative.

  40. Drew71 says:

    Just hit me to ask…can it sorta be both?

  41. scapper says:

    When other teams’ fans say they just don’t like Sid…fair enough.

    When they say he whined and cried too much at first…fair enough.

    When they say it just irks them that the league has used him as the face of the game when they could have spread it around more and used more of the other stars? Again, I hear ya.

    But when they say he sucks, is overrated, is soft…goodbye credibility.

    I know a number of Flyers and Caps fans who don’t like him but admit that he does not, in any way, suck. I use the same argument for Ovie. I don’t care for a lot of what he does, and his game has its weaknesses, but c’mon, as pure goal scorer? He’s simply thrilling. I’ve seen all the great goal scorers for a long time, and this guy is as deadly as any of them from ANYWHERE on the ice. Does he “suck”? Um…no.

  42. Jandy says:

    :thwap:

  43. Jim S. says:

    Yep, no excuses. Had their shot. It was fun. Next year will be also.

  44. Jandy says:

    +many

  45. Jim S. says:

    I think #2 is accurate, Drew. The rankings don’t mean much right now. But, the fact is, the guys the Bucs grabbed in round 1 pretty much tore it up in their first short season. Doesn’t mean they will be future stars. But, there is a lot better chance of a kid becoming a star if he has success right away than a kid who doesn’t. Kids who don’t have immediate success are not necessarily doomed for failure. But, the chances of them becoming impact MLB players are less than the ones who succeed right away. That is just logical.

  46. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. At some point, you just look foolish when you try to say a guy isn’t any good when he is tearing up his sport right before your eyes.

  47. Jim S. says:

    True, when he was 18 or 19.

    The Bradys of the world, and I know I keep using him as an example, get to whine at their coaches, their teammates, and the refs all season long, and they are “fiery leaders.” And they don’t even get to the league until they are 22.

    It’s just one more example of why the NHL doesn’t completely get it yet as far as marketing itself. Honest criticism is fine. Carrying a grudge for almost 10 years after it was true is not.

  48. Jandy says:

    Well said, Jim!

  49. Jim S. says:

    Gotta catch a plane home. Have fun talking! Go Pens!

  50. Jandy says:

    Oh, sorry, I quit reading at Just hit me…

    ;)

  51. Jandy says:

    Happy and safe travels!

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

    Vandergrift native & former big leaguer Rudy Minarcin has died at 83. Rudy pitched 73 games in the major leagues & served his country honorably in Korea. His career highlight came in 1955 while pitching for Cincinnati when he pitched a 1 hit shutout against the Pirates at Forbes Field.

    Rest in peace Rudy.

  53. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just looked it up. The hit was a 2nd inning single by Dale Long.

  54. Kevin says:

    How bout that there Matt Cooke? Reaching out to Patrick Kaleta to help him learn the non-goon hockey style.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/27203/cooke-to-kaleta-i-can-help-you-change

  55. Kevin says:

    oh yeah, not only does Cooke not have any penalty minutes this year, he also LEADS the Wild in scoring. How awesome is that.

  56. Shame he couldn’t have gotten the no-no. What a thing to tell your grandchildren.

    Although, a 1-hitter wouldn’t be a bad story either. 1 inning of big-league ball would be a great subject around the family table.

  57. Drew71 says:

    First stat re penalty minutes: impressive.

    Second stat re team scoring: might that say something about the team?

  58. Kevin says:

    yes probably. When I was watching the other night… the MIN-BUF game, they have good skaters and are very good at puck control. But, even having the puck all that time, they didn’t put it on net very much and when they did they didn’t get good shots off. (seemed like they were more concerned about just possessing the puck). And from what I remember of Cooke, he wasn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas around the net to score on 2nd chances. I dunno if that’s changed either… haven’t looked into where he’s scored his points.

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    When his baseball career was over he came back home to Vandergrift & ran the family corner grocery store until he retired sometime in the late 90′s. His obit reads like the story of America.

  60. Jandy says:

    Cookie is a good human being and a very good hockey player. I miss him!

  61. Jandy says:

    Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Dany Heatley

    They should ALL be scoring better than Cookie…just sayin…

  62. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said. As a Pens fan living in Flyers country, I have this conversation many times a year. In fact just had it a few minutes ago with a new guy at work where I was introduced as “one of the Pittsburgh people”. With the game tonight, it went straight to Crosby. To the new guys credit after a few of the pat lines about Crosby, he did admit Crosby is a great player. He just hates him because he’s on the Pens and plays well against the Flyers.

    Lets go Pens!!!

  63. Jandy says:

    hey hey Revvie :)

  64. Jandy says:

    RIP Rudy.

    I never heard of this guy, Milo. Thanks for bringing his story to our attention :)

  65. BillyBaduka says:

    I’d be amazed if Cooke is not still going to the dirty areas and “taking out the trash” as Mike Lange used to say for jumping on rebounds.

  66. JohninOshkosh says:

    My father fought in Korea. Was evacuated out of the Pusan Perimeter and was involved with the Inchon Landing. Never spoke of it. I had to learn about it in history books.

    A remarkable generation of Americans. Korean war vets are disappearing.

  67. Jandy says:

    So would I!

  68. Jandy says:

    My ex has an uncle that in the Korean War. He’s messed up in the head. Seriously. He mentally abused his daughter for years. I intervened a lot, taking her to my house for as long as 3 -4 weeks at a time. After she graduated high school and went away to college, he got some help. He’s on medication to control his mood swings/anxiety issues. He actually realized how bad he had been and apologized to his daughter.
    Sad, sad stuff.

  69. Kevin says:

    +1 this!

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    So true. When I was a little boy and I would go to parades with my grandmother, there were still WWI vets marching. Where did it all go ? Now I’m depressed.

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    Didn’t mean to depress you! Lives well lived are worth celebrating, even if those lives are gone.

  72. Kevin says:

    and this too!. He’s a much better player since he changed from goon-headhunter cookie to responsible-mindful cookie. It’s also clear to see the early cookie wasn’t any better than a 4th line grit player whereas now he might be a top 6 forward.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Minnesota Wild rule!! :)

    I predict Parise captains the United States Men’s National Hockey Team in Sochi .

    Dang, that team is going to be strong with Quick in goal.

  74. JohninOshkosh says:

    I still refer to them as the North Stars, though.

    Norman Green can suck it!

  75. Jandy says:

    Agreed

  76. Jandy says:

    LOL! North Stars even sounds better, Oshie!

  77. Joni says:

    As for players who are amazing and universally liked, Pavel Datsyuk comes to mind. I have yet to meet a person who speaks negatively about “the magician”. Appreciating stars on other people’s teams is possible. We know that. I wish Sid’s naysayers knew this, too.

  78. tdb1977 says:

    And because of that fact – I will never follow hockey again. Took my heart when they left. Haven’t cared to watch a game since.

  79. Iceman says:

    Cooke really turned around his entire life when he changed the way he played. He became much more of a family man and a contributor to the community. In the league, he will forever carry the stigma of being a dirty player and he earned that label. I think he will be the first to admit that he made some mistakes in his life and on the ice and he cannot change those things.

    I miss having Cookie on the team and wish him all the best in Minnesota. I also truly respect that he is reaching out and offering assistance to players on other teams. It shows he cares more about human life and the game of hockey in general and this is a great thing.

    Keep up the good work!

  80. Iceman says:

    Here is my problem with Datsyuk (and it has absolutely nothing to do with him). Detroit fans and Datsyuk fans in general are almost always some of the biggest Crosby haters. I understand them being upset that Crosby gets so much attention while Datsyuk kinda flies under the radar, but hearing Datsyuk fans talk about it is so annoying.

    That said, Datsyuk is one of best (if not the best) two way player I have ever watched. Not only is his puck handling skill out of this world, but he is a backchecking fiend as well. Great player.

  81. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    So, I admittely don’t know much about hockey, but I do know Sid is the best in the world.

    I was watching the NHL Network the other day and one of their commentators was saying how Sid looks like pre-concussion Sid again.

    Again, I dont know much about hockey. Who should play this line or that line, but I can see who the fastest dude on the ice is and game in, game out, its Sid.

    I honestly give hockey a go, but then something stupid happens that I can’t get into.

    The sport is actually one of the most exciting sports to watch, edge of your seat type dynamics, perhaps its the soccer style scoring.

  82. Bizrow says:

    Just checking in

    Any more lunatic sign-ins?

    As slowly getting into retirement mode, even here ;-)

  83. Joni says:

    Iceman,

    Just curious… When you say hearing Detroit fans talk about “it”, do you mean hating Crosby in general, or Wings fans talking about how fantastic Datsyuk is and how other people do not acknowledge his skill because of Crosby? Or both?

    All the cool cats believe and understand that talent should be celebrated, regardless of their team. Except when it comes to the Flyers.
    and yes, I understand that I am not a cool cat because of that last sentence. :)

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Havent seen any Biz.
    maybe I scared them off?

  85. Jandy says:

    You’re the one missing out…

  86. Jandy says:

    Nor have I. I haven’t been actively recruiting tho. I’ll start that again when the Boss comes back from vaca…

  87. Jandy says:

    You’re an exceptionally cat because of the last line
    ;)

  88. Jandy says:

    make that cool cat lol

  89. Jandy says:

    Ryan, as much as you know about baseball, you could be an expert on hockey in months. Maybe you prefer not to? ;)

  90. buggee says:

    Will be hopping a commuter flight to Filth-a-delphia in about an hour. This visit to The-Biggest Armpit-In-The-Western-Hemisphere should be great fun for 2 reasons:

    1. How could such a colossal dump come up with something so frikken good as that cheesesteak?!?!?! (nobody does it better than Tony Luke, but hey Tony, go easy on all the onions please)

    2. To bask in the trainwreck that is the Flyers. I still laugh at this absurd comment: “Claude Girioux is the best hockey player in the world!” Brings a tear to me eye it does it does.

    remember to be exceedingly rude to each other but smile so it eases the pain of the knives going into each other’s backs ‘n’ ‘at. Raise It and Smoke It. You’ll find IT in your local hookah shoppe

  91. buggee says:

    sing it loud and proud jandylicious!!!

  92. Kevin says:

    I agree with you that there are players that you can respect. They just play their game. On the other hand, people can find plenty of reasons to dislike a certain player. For example, ottawa senators fans and Matt Cooke. Or penguins fans and Chloe Geeroo. When part of their game style is to get under the other teams skin (which… im pretty sure is the flyers MO when playing the penguins), it doesn’t take much to develop a very great dislike for a certain player.

    I can also see that with Sid. He plays with some edge and, atleast in the early years, complained to the refs to get calls. He’s the captain though so that’s part of the job.

    So, while I agree with you, its not just that so-n-so is the proclaimed best player in the world. It’s playing style too and whatever they can pick out. There’s not alot to hate about datsyuk, he’s just really good.

  93. buggee says:

    I hate being mislabelled.

  94. buggee says:

    proof that he stinks

  95. theplanisworking says:

    I dont know if his body is breaking down, but he does get injured a lot, it seems. Lower body injuries, that jaw thing…….. look, when a player has a lot of injuries, even if they are “freaky unlucky” injuries, that player is injury prone.

    And, Jandy, I know Sid is in good shape, but that makes the injuries even more perplexing. And, dont forget Game 7 of the 09 Cup Finals……. Franzen checked Crosby, and he was done.

  96. Kevin says:

    One example, did anyone see in the game the other night… I think it might have been panthers. Some guy delivered a “cheap” hit on Kunitz (I think) and Crosby went over and subtly took his legs out. Obviously (to me), he’s just sticking up for his teammate. I didn’t like that play so obviously a panther fan REALLY would not like that play.

  97. theplanisworking says:

    Well, if you would quit biting them……………. ;)

  98. likeabugonarug says:

    Or they’re just trying to get your goat.

    Kevin

  99. Jandy says:

    ;thwap:

  100. Jandy says:

    buggeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

  101. Jandy says:

    You better quit maligning me, Mr. Hipposter :P

  102. Bizrow says:

    I’ll post a list on the game thread tonight

    Thanks for keeping an eye on things ;-)

  103. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  104. Jandy says:

    You got it, Biz :)

  105. Jandy says:

    Oh, we got you pegged, buggee, my friend lol

  106. Joni says:

    So it’s the player’s talent plus sustained appropriate behavior (focusing on your game first and foremost). Makes sense to me. Especially with Datsyuk and all of his Lady Byng trophies.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    See some peeps (relatives of the Duck) on the Pens thread tonight.

    I would like to wish everyone a Happy Four Prunes Day, and a Happy National Pasta Day.

    :D

  108. BillyBaduka says:

    There’s no question that they are. I used to take the bait, now not so much.

  109. Iceman says:

    It’s a little bit of both with Detroit fans. Because they feel slighted about the talk and praise for Datsyuk, they feel it is necessary to rip on other star players that are getting praised or talked about.

  110. Jandy says:

    lol ya nut :P

  111. Kevin says:

    yes, that’s the one that clearly sticks out beside the multiple concussions and jaw thing. Franzen checked him hard into the boards… I dunno what happened there. Anyway, not sure of any other injury.

  112. Jandy says:

    Hipposter, there aren’t a “lot” of other injuries. His main problems have been concussion-related for the puck to the mouth thing.
    Letang deals with more injuries by far.

  113. Kevin says:

    bah yes. Thanks Jandy. I’m having trouble completing my thoughts today. My point was besides the concussions and jaw thing, what else is there? Or is the concussion thing alone enough to make him injury prone… I would probably argue that it does… atleast moreso than another hockey player with no major history of concussions.

  114. Jandy says:

    It’s all good, Kevin. :)

  115. Kevin says:

    um, not to be contrary.. but who are the other people you would consider in “running” for the best hockey player in the world? I am also assuming you are limiting it to just forwards otherwise we’d have to include Jonathan Quick. Obviously Datsyuk is on the board. I’ll let others reply and then I’ll give my opinion.

  116. Joni says:

    Thanks for clarifying it for me (it’s been a long day and not all of my synapses are firing)!

  117. Kevin says:

    I want them to win the penant. If the trend continues, they should have 105 wins next year. But, what the hell are trends anyway.

  118. Milo Hamilton says:

    Engelland playing right wing tonight. Now there’s a creative way to hang on to an extra defenseman.

  119. Jandy says:

    Seriously???? I’d LOVE to see him there permanently! He’d make a great wingman!

  120. Kevin says:

    +1 – yes exactly my point in way fewer words.

  121. Kevin says:

    on who’s wing? sutter?

  122. Jason says:

    No, Vitale.

  123. Jandy says:

    Here ya go, Kevin:

    MORNING SKATE INFO
    The Pens had some interesting lineup looks at today’s morning skate. The third line was Glass-Sutter-Adams and Engelland was skating on the fourth line. Letang rotated in with the defensemen and also worked with the second power-play unit. It seems like the Pens could play Letang and dress seven defensemen. Or they could play Engelland solely as a forward with the usual six Dmen and still scratch Letang.

    Here are the groupings…

    Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
    Jokinen-Malkin-Kobasew
    Glass-Sutter-Adams
    Zolnierczyk-Vitale-(Engelland)

    Orpik-Martin
    Scuderi-Niskanen
    Maatta-Letang-Bortuzzo

    1st PP unit: Martin, Malkin, Jokinen, Crosby, Kunitz
    2nd PP unit: Maatta/Letang, Niskanen, Sutter, Dupuis, Kobasew

    Definitely a different morning skate look. I’m curious to see what the coaching staff has planned for tonight’s lineup.

    –Sam Kasan

  124. Iceman says:

    Bylsma keeps trying to say that he is not doing this because we are playing the Flyers. I think that is a crock. He knows what happens when we are in Philly so he wanted as many “tough guys” on the ice as possible. Jeffery is the furthest thing from tough guy so he sits and Engelland goes out and plays. My guess is that Engelland picks up 12 PIM and has 4 min of ice time. We shall see.

  125. Iceman says:

    Great article on this decision and why it is a bad idea over on Pensburgh at http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/17/4849114/playing-deryk-engelland-as-a-forward-is-a-bad-idea-but-the-pens-are. Worth reading.

  126. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Ha! Oh I could pick it up, I try.

    Maybe its all the foreign names I can’t pronounce.

    So I assume the lines are to make the best match ups. Since the players don’t play every minute, you want the lines to provide the best match ups against the other guys stuff.

    Similiar to relief pitching match ups?

  127. Jandy says:

    very much like it.

    As far as the names, I can’t pronounce a lot of them anyway. I butcher them in my own way and provide hubby with countless laughs lol

    It’s so fast, it’s never boring. It’s a lot of fun to try to watch everything all at once, as it happens so fast.

  128. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    This is the crap that I don’t get.

  129. Jason says:

    Rossi has on his blog that Letang is out for tonight.

  130. Jandy says:

    Yup, I saw that. I believe Kasan posted practice lines….which mostly are used for games…but I do believe Rossi is correct, Tanger is still out. Unless Disco Dan has a surprise for us.

  131. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I know the positionings, I know most of the rules…this is what I dont get.

  132. Jandy says:

    What don’t you get, Ryan? Just ask :)

  133. Jandy says:

    These are the lines, as to which guys play together on a line. The lines are then matched up at game time, by the coaches, with home team having last change on the ice.

  134. hockeymonster says:

    I’m intrigued to see Engelland at RW but taking Jeffrey out is unnecessary. I would’ve kept same lineup and just moved Jeffrey down to 4th line center with Vitale being the scratch. Jeffrey’s been too solid defensively to bench just cuz your playing philly.

    Either way main reason I jumped on was just to say pens need to make sure they don’t get suckered into an up and down game. Flyers look bad but they still have speed and skill up front so solid Neutral zone play and dzone coverage is still highly necessary. Play the 1-2-2 keep it simple and I guarantee philly gives us chances to pounce!

  135. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    OK.

    So do I assume correctly that during a PP they drop the defenseman for more offensive production?

  136. Jandy says:

    They can substitute a forward for the PP if they feel they want to add offense, yes. It’s wise to keep at least one defenseman on even during a PP.

  137. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    wait, wait, wait……so they don’t know who these lines are paired up against until the last minute?

    And they home team makes the final call?

    Kinda like Bill Belechick in NE keeping his entire roster as a “game time” decision?

  138. Jandy says:

    The coaches capitalize on who they feel has the best skills for scoring with the man advantage. If the other team’s penalty kill unit is known to get aggressive, they may stick with 2 defensemen instead.

  139. Jandy says:

    They have a good idea who gets paired with the other team’s lines…Our checking line would get paired with their scoring line, for example. But home team gets last line change, so it doesn’t always pan out. You have to watch for an opportunity to make a line change to get favorable pairings in that case.

  140. Kevin says:

    so wait, is Letang a game-time decision then? and.. I am also assuming that means Letang in lieu of Maatta in that case… or maybe it just means if Letang plays he’ll get 2nd PP and Maatta will just be on the bench. Letang-Maatta would be cool defense pairing though too.

  141. Kevin says:

    bah nevermind I should refreshed before posting.

  142. Kevin says:

    we’ve gone 5 forwards before… and been burned badly. need that defenseman though to hold the line. Martin’s been great.

  143. Jandy says:

    Agreed kevin!

  144. Kevin says:

    can Iceman or someone summarize this for me please? my work browser blocks pensburgh for some reason :(

  145. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yesterday’s love for Robert Bortuzzo has now morphed into today’s for Dustin Jeffrey. Let’s see, THEY BOTH STINK. That’s all. :)

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Please get suckered into an up and down game. It’s October for goodness sakes. I want to be entertained. I want 7-6. Throw in some fights too while we’re at it.

  147. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Of course..

  148. hockeymonster says:

    Basically looks like they’re saying engo isn’t a useful enough player to justify playing just cuz its philly.

  149. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!!

  150. With ya on that, Ryan.

    Fun to watch it be analyzed by these folks, though.

  151. Jandy says:

    #freeollimaata

  152. Jandy says:

    They’re saying DB likes Engo since his WBS days, and that’s why he’s playing him :D

  153. hockeymonster says:

    Haha…ok milo i’m with that…well said…it is October. As long as Fleury’s shrink is available during intermission.

  154. Jandy says:

    get the beer ready! Peanuts, popcorn, chips, pistachios if you want….let’s be entertained!

  155. What’s wrong with 2-1 and 3-2, Milo? You could pretend it’s that other sport we don’t criticize.

  156. Jandy says:

    haha Spunkster, I’m just not the best at explaining this stuff. That would be Sarah :) She’s not on right now.
    But I do my best.

  157. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s on speed dial. :)

  158. Jandy says:

    S O C C E R

  159. Jandy says:

    ;X

    :fleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee:

  160. Jandy says:

    never fear, Mike Bales is here!

  161. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve said it before. Right now is about accumulating points & entertaining me. I worry about how they’re playing after the trade deadline. Oh, and I wish everyone would get healthy too.

  162. Iceman says:

    Dustin Jeffrey needs to play. He just needs to be playing somewhere else :)

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bales has the phone. Direct line to Dr. Dani.

  164. Jandy says:

    ya know, Milo, maybe we should put Zatkoff in for a while too, to see how he does against the Philthy Flyers.

  165. hockeymonster says:

    So you probably have the “Gladiator” dvd?!?! Are you not entertained?!?! :)

  166. Jandy says:

    There ya go!

  167. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Interesting……

  168. Jandy says:

    Milo comes here to be entertained. Doesn’t that tell ya something? ;)

  169. Jandy says:

    very.

  170. hockeymonster says:

    No no…Jeffrey’s been solid defensively and created a bunch of chances for sutter, kobasew and others. Not his fault they don’t bury the puck.

  171. Jandy says:

    Iceman, I am with you, he’s pretty decent, and I think his career would be rejuvenated with another team.

  172. Jandy says:

    well that stinks

  173. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t consider that entertainment ! :)

  174. Jandy says:

    LOL! You’re probably right. Now I’m being silly ;)

  175. Kevin says:

    home team doesn’t always get final call though. for example, if the penguins get pinned down in their own zone, the flyers can get in as many line changes as they want. hold on… final call only applies to dead-puck changes? for faceoffs? That would make more sense. I gotta be honest. I never gave it this much thought before.

  176. buggee says:

    Do that again Jandy! Wait a sec til my rubber mask is adjusted please.

    Looks like Dupuis is breaking out. I think he’s going to have a monster year.

    “Roll call for Brandan Sutter… Mr. Sutter? Where are you Mr. Sutter.” Tanner Glass and Craig Adams have mo’ goals that Brandan Sutter. What’s this world coming to?

    That was a fun game against Edmonton. There’s so much frikken talent on that team that if they ever get it together as a team they’re going to be a juggernaut.

    Raise it and call Edmonton a bunch a wet-behind-the-ears jagoffs and then give ‘em a slice of chip-chopped ham

  177. Jandy says:

    buggeeee! You’re a sucker for punishment, friend. :)

    :thwap:

    Edmonton has a lot of young talent that will be lethal next season.

    Sutter is just fine, he’s playing great…

  178. Jandy says:

    Be careful ya don’t hurt yerself, buggee!

  179. Kevin says:

    bah blocked yet again… hopefully he passes his concussion test and can go on sunday.

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    Buggee !!!

 
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