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Final: Maple Leafs 4, Penguins 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (7-3) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (7-4)

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Air Canada Centre, Toronto

TV, radio: Root Sports, 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins pageRob Rossi is on the scene.

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.

116 Comments

  1. • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    • Remember – When you play Pittsburgh, you play every person on this blog and in the city

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation

    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
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    • Argentina, Buenos Aries
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    Nominations are always welcome
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    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 10/26/2013 5:23 PM

  2. So after Maatta-Nisky blew chunks last night, will DB bring in Borts who’s been so solid with Maatta?

    Or do I dream??

  3. I’m posting just so our leader DK and folks like Eric know I’m still around. I will start engaging during games later in the season.

    Tonight I watch to see how the Pens respond to a bad loss.

    And one other reason I comment. I’m an old guy (other side of 60) who came to hockey late in life. Two sports writers – one being DK – helped me to understand the game.

    I asked a lot of questions. Along the way I became the antidote to the phrase “There is no such thing as a dumb question.” But regardless of the question, DK always took the time to respond. I thank him for that.

    DK is one of the best in his business. I have the coherent answers to my dumb questions to prove it.

    Go PENS!

    Go DK’s blog!

  4. DK is posting pictures and videos to Facebook of his time in San Francisco. It is one of the few cities on the planet that can compare to Pittsburgh’s beauty.

    If DK wasnt a columnist, he could be a professional photographer. Seroiusly.

  5. Hope letang shook off the rust last night. Our dzone coverage as a whole wasn’t great but letang was he fighting the puck on the 4th GA but on the 2nd he didn’t switch with sutter and left the goal scorer wide open for the redirect.

    If bylsma wants to know who he can bench to put in Jeffrey how bout kobasew? Other than costly turnover last night hasn’t done much. Pens record with Jeffrey out isn’t great either…just saying :)

    Have a good night all

  6. Expected Pens lineup

    Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    Jokinen – Malkin – Kobasew
    Glass – Sutter – D’Agostini
    Adams – Vitale – Engelland

    Orpik – Martin
    Scuderi – Letang
    Maatta – Niskanen

    Fleury

    Toronto
    JVR – Kadri – Kessel
    Raymond – Bolland – Clarkson
    Ashton – McClement – Orr
    McLaren – Smith – Bodie

    Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
    Rielly – Franson
    Ranger – Gardiner

    Reimer

  7. Good news. Mom is better and Dad is doing well. We had a nice visit.

  8. LETANG !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Thank you to everyone for your support.

    LETANG!!!!!!

  10. Goodness, finally. Great pass by Geno.

  11. Lack of discipline…..

  12. Hmmmmm.

    Not a good hmmmm.

  13. What was Letang doing there??

  14. Marcia Wallace, voice of Edna Krabappel, passed away today at age 70.

    RIP Miss Krabappel!

  15. Wow. Nice save by Flower

  16. Dayum, Duper, that has to go in!

  17. Good evening all. Well I see the PP is working its magic again.

  18. PP looks sick.

  19. I didn’t realize that Letang’s goal was on the PP.

  20. Reimer and Flower are taking turns showing each other up

  21. What the heck is up w Sid tonight?

  22. Gotta go five hole on reimer n look for rebounds. He sits back in net but plays big with good angles. Clarkson needs to pay in 3rd after we get 2 more goals.

  23. Pens now have 53-37 advantage in shot attempts, which means Pens are doing good job of controlling the puck and getting shots off but unable to convert some real good chances like Dupuis’ with Vitale, Glass in tight, and a few others.

    • Eric, do you think that the advantage in SOG every game is in any way related to the change in D?

      • Puck possession from an offensive philosophy has been the Bylsma mantra for a few years now but it made little difference as he didn’t build off that belief with a defensive approach that limited time and space in the neutral zone that takes advantage of his team’s best players asset, their skills.

        Now, we’re seeing more counter-attacking and long-term, that’s going to give their top two lines many more opportunities to convert and more importantly, get their bottom two lines more involved offensively as well.

        I don’t believe Bylsma made the change because he connected the dots, rather I believe the defensive changes were forced because of the NHL’s rule changes on icing.

        The Penguins can’t simply chip-n-chase anymore and that took away the stretch pass as one of his main breakouts, which required deeper passes from the defensemen down low in the zone to forwards too far up the ice.

        Less turnovers, more possession. Less gap… which means, easier ability to get back on defense by forwards and track their men better and create turnovers.

        Simple really but something Bylsma flat out refused to do… until now and even then, I wonder how much of it was the inclusion of Jacque Martin on the coaching staff.

        • Thanks.
          I was thinking along these lines, but didnt say anything til I got a confirmation of sorts. It really is simple……….. good D creates more opportunities.

          I think the changes were made in that “meeting” after the season between Mario, Shero, and DB. I am sure the Martin hiring was crucial also.

          Even though we are getting more SOG, the conversion rate seems to be lower than previous years. So many times the Pens get shots……… into the goalies chest.

  24. 2-1 bad guys……….

  25. Its groundhog day with this team. Geez.

  26. Peeks in, sees no one around.

    Makes it more comfortable for my party…….. ;)

  27. Thanks for all of the good vibes Jandy-woman!

  28. All the criticism about Despres’ conditioning… Pens don’t look all that well conditioned tonight in Toronto. Pathetic performance.

  29. Gee whiz what the heck happened? I leave for a while and the game goes to he$$ in a hand basket?

  30. Even though he’s the team’s conscience, and he’s one of my own and the media’s favorites, I think we may be witnessing Orpik’s last year with the Pens.

    Considerably slower stick, rare to see tape-to-tape passes anymore, not anticipating passes of the rush . . . the list grows longer each year.

    • I wouldn’t mind Nisky or Orpik leaving even with an injury to Scuds.
      I was one who was hoping they’d let Letang go and try to get some wingers, or better bottom 6.

      Let’s face it, our teenager on D has better composure and higher hockey IQ than Letang.

      • Yes, Sarah, I know you were on record on that.

        I want to be patient about this since the D was looking pretty good until 3 games ago. That said, our offensive “stars” are aging and so I would like to see more of our defensive corps turning over right now — particularly early in the season — getting more than just one D prospect NHL game experience under his belt. Keeping Maatta is certainly progress. But is Depres really that far in Bylsma’s doghouse that he has no ability to help this club? How about Dumoulin?

        As I see it, if the NHL game experience gap between our O and D grows wider then the window of years for legitimate Stanley Cup contention will be going with it. I’m not enamored with our balance right now. I think it should be further tweaked.

        Perhaps this won’t be as much of an issue when Neal and Bennett come back and we are putting up a few more goals and we’re not as focused on the D play. My fear, however, is that it is going to be an issue that persists.

        • Correct that . . . until 2 games ago. I thought the defense actually played well in the loss to the Avs. I will give this some more time. However, this is the natural reaction when you see the same signs of what you saw last spring from Letang, Orpik, etc.

          Need to take a deep breath. It’s early.

  31. And as for the “offense”….I believe that is 4 goals on 115 shots on goal last 3 games.

    In the process making the likes of, um, Giguere, Nabby, and Reimer look like Tretiak.

    At this point, til we get real wingers back (Neal/Bennett) I’d be OK with just throwing SId and Geno together and hoping for something. Unless those 2 carry the team, we don’t score much. Jussi I think could help too. But really, our depth on O right now beyond our top 2 guys is nil.

    And Sid looked like he was concussed last night. Hope it was just the flu.

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