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Morning Java: Playoff pucks in October … wow!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column goes to bat for Jarvis Jones, and it does so now rather than later.

Some of what the young man had to say yesterday …

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Tom Brady, always compelling, by beat writer Alan Robinson.

Still haunted by Terrelle Pryor, by Ralph Paulk.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including more on Jarvis.

Here’s Patriots news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from


>> An October night at a hockey rink doesn’t get much better. The Penguins and Bruins went at it voraciously, almost at a playoff level, and the home team prevailed by hanging on to the final horn. Really entertaining stuff.

Some randomness from the evening at Consol: Dan Bylsma’s left-wing lock had its toughest test and maybe its most important in the minds of the athletes. “It was big for us to go out there against this team and have success with it,” Pascal Dupuis was telling me afterward. “Those guys can come at you with speed in the neutral zone, and we took that away.” … Funny how Jarome Iginla was effective all night on the right wing. Imagine. … At least a couple of the Penguins’ players were furious with Brad Marchand and the refs for the Kris Letang diving call, much more so with Marchand. They felt Marchand had his knee out to injure Letang. … Anyone else notice a similarity between Marc-Andre Fleury’s final save and a certain other final save he once made? … Similarly, the Brandon Sutter peanut-butter special over Tuukka Rask’s blocker was a near carbon-copy of his Game 2 laser to the exact same spot, right down to the puck popping off the twine the same way. Not sure I’ve seen that. … One of game’s most telling moments was Sidney Crosby’s partial breakaway after a long, long shift in the defensive zone. He looked so exhausted he barely got off a shot. I couldn’t help but tease afterward and ask if he considered a dump and change. “No, but Kuny did,” the captain came back with a grin. Sure did. Chris Kunitz went off to the bench, and no one could blame him. … This will get forgotten today, and it shouldn’t: Fleury was the better goaltender. … I’ll have much more on this game’s finest performer for the Friday column.

Oh, wait, the tooth! You want to see the tooth! Here you go …

The game story focuses on pinpoint execution of a solid plan. Beat man Rob Rossi has that.

The D is about to get busy, by Rossi.

Rob Scuderi has ankle surgery, by Josh Yohe.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Bruins news from the Boston Globe.

Crazy story coming out of Colorado regarding Semyon Varlamov. The Denver Post was on this all night.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The National League Central was finally eliminated from World Series contention. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has that angle, while the Boston Globe cover the $150 million champs.

>> Looking ahead to Pitt and Georgia Tech, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> Doing likewise with Penn State, by Chris Adamski.

>> I’ll write Penguins for the Friday column, after which it’s off to Boston for football. Oh, and I’ll have the usual check-in with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m.

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.


  1. woah…where is everybody?

  2. The $150 million Red Sox were only the fourth highest payroll.

    The Dodgers and Yankees had payrolls in excess of $200 million. They each have a payroll higher than the Bucco’s gross revenue!

    The Yankees nearly outspent the Sox by nearly $80 million!

  3. What. A. Hockey. Game.

    Just wow.

    Sooner or later Malkin WILL get a goal :)

  4. Another shameless plug for Face-Off Factor….great article on the Fourth Line:

  5. I wonder if anyone in Boston noticed that the Bruins played?

  6. Song The Wind That Shakes the Barley by Loreena MCKennitt

    JAL’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: MLB Parity is a Parody

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Recap: Shortstop

    The Pirates Might Be Best With Mercer and Barmes in 2014

    How to be a Professional Blogger

    AFL: Phil Irwin Goes Four Innings In Scottsdale’s Sixth Straight Loss

    5 Bucs Dugout

    How can the Pirates upgrade at right field?

    6 Rumbunter

    Looking Back: Baseball Prospectus-Cubs Will Finish Ahead of Pirates

    Pirates Clint Hurdle Talks A.J. Burnett During Media Rounds

    7 City of Champions

    Pirates outfielder Starling Marte robbed of first Gold Glove award

    8 The Green Weenie

    Andrew Lambo

    9 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Starling Marte Got Robbed Of Gold Glove

    10 Red Machine

    Who Is The Biggest Rival For The Cincinnati Reds?

  7. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Boston Globe

    Red Sox cap season with World Series title

    12 Fox Sports

    McCarver’s exit a loss for baseball

    13 The New Yorker

    Why I Quit Major League Baseball

    14 Think Progress

    Baseball Isn’t Struggling On TV — It’s Just Taking A Different Approach

    15 Boston Herald

    Redemption Strong: Red Sox wrap up improbable title

    16 Metro West Daily News

    On Baseball: Red Sox came together as championship roster

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Series ends with Miller remaining idle

    Bernie: Cards finish with a fizzle

    Strauss: Wacha out of gas, but don’t blame him

    18 Sweetspot

    Quick thoughts: The best team wins it all


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    15 Things We Were Wrong About This Year

    20 Fangraphs

    How the Red Sox Got to Michael Wacha

  8. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Jarvis Jones says Steelers want him to be more technical and technique-sound

    Steelers vs. Patriots: Bill Belichick suggests alternative method to preparing for Ben Roethlisberger

    22 Steelers Gab

    Video: Roethlisberger Says Brady Best The Best QB In The NFL


    23 Bloomberg Sports

    Serie A Column: Can Parma be this year’s Udinese?

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Problems on and off the field for Sevilla after a summer overhaul


    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins Cling to 3-2 Win over Bruins

  9. Dejan is referencing Fleury’s final save of the 2009 Cup clinching game. He slides from left to right, making himself as big as he can to block the final scoring chance. Puck deflected to the corner, game over. I did notice it, and if Flower noticed it, that might help even more with the return of his mojo.

    That was the best October hockey game I can recall watching. Ever.

  10. The Penguin game last night was one of the top ten regular season games I have ever watched, I have been fortunate to have seen many other great games, from the Olympics, to the 87 Canada Cup, to many playoff hockey games, and last night ranked up there. Great flow ( I think the first period had only 3 whistles), fights were at a minimum, which totally rebukes anyone’s view that fighting is necessary to have a great game, great D played by both teams.

    The one thing that marred last night’s game was the Refereeing in the 3rd period. Duouis checked Chara (or Lucic, but I thought it was the 8 foot tall condor), he turns around and cross-checks Dupuis, no penalty called. Later in the 3rd, Iginla checks Crosby into the boards from behind, interferes with him getting up, not one penalty. The refs had a choice of boarding, cross-checking, interference, but the whistles went into the pockets. I guess some things will never change in the NHL.

    Thing that impressed me the most about last night’s game, was the Penguins didnt get rattled like last spring against the Bruins. They played disciplined D, Crosbydidnt melt down when he was blatantly roughed up without a penalty, unlike last spring, when he was constantly jawing with Chara, allowing Boston to get into his head. And , with all the injuries to the Pens so far, it truly was a great all-around effort.

    • Really didn’t like the replay of the “diving” call on Letang, either. Most of the time, third periods are street fights, especially the last 7 minutes or so.

      • Yeah that dive call was a joke. Letang penalized for his athleticism. I thought he jumped because it was leg/leg contact to avoid knee injury. He flips because of the hit.

    • Agree with what you posted totally. That game was like watching the long lost NBC tape of the playoff series last year that wasn’t shown. Especially with Doc Emmerick and the NBC guys calling the game, just felt like a playoff game. Sutter and Jokinen had sick goals. Along with the refereeing, I think the only other disappointment was Geno getting three golden chances, and Rask not having to move at all to make three saves on him. I just wonder if he is snake bitten and is griping the stick a little too tight. Anyway, wholly freakin awesome game!!!!

      Pens are already 7 points up in their division….

    • Good stuff, Hipposter.

      • Thanks, Jandy.

        I see why you hate 8pm games…….. gives you even less sleep.
        Of course, that is a great built-in excuse to use the 9 wides a lot more…… ;)

    • I would also like to point out that both between periods, and especially after the game, Mike Milbury had many positive things to say about the pens, especially their D. I had to take extra heart medication when I heard these good things come out of his mouth, but I digress.
      Thanks to Wild Bill, for jarring my memory for that embellishment penalty on Kunitz……. total crap there. The refereeing between the first 2 periods and the 3rd period was like night and day.

      I think Geno will be fine, but he needs to juke a little on breakaways. Shooting the puck into the goalies chest isnt a good way to score.

  11. Hello, My Friends!

    Just returned from 14 days of hanging my Jolly Roger——the flag, that is——off my 4th floor balcony at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

    I did not take my computer . . . . and I did not answer my phone . . . . I ran along the ocean, I listened to the powerful waves, I rejuvenated myself, I grew closer to God.

    Dang, other than a Pirate World Series, what could be better?!?!

    I visited Duke, as I always must when in North Carolina (along with eating BBQ, Brunswick Stew, and hush puppies) and even took in a Women’s soccer practice for a time——don’t tell JAL: it will ruin my image. The ocean and Duke!!! I’m rarin’ to go!!

    Listened to Mike Lange and the Pens last night as I drove the last miles. I feel hockey seeping into my blood.

    Too bad we don’t have a football team. Let’s go Pens!!!

    • Good to hear from you, Groat. Aren’t get always great?

    • “Dang, other than a Pirate World Series, what could be better?!?!”

      I’ll say the answer to that is a Penguins’ Stanley Cup Final !

      Good to see you, Groat. Glad you recharged your batteries.

    • Did you sleep in a tent outside Cameron Indoor for a ticket? ;)

    • I love that area, Groat. My family stayed in Holden Beach every year for about 25 years until some of the kids of my brothers and sisters started getting too old and were missing the last few years.

      • Sweet Jimmie,

        Great area. Not too commercialized. Best seafood in the world. Hush puppies. Grits with red-eyed gravy. The saltiest country ham anywhere!

        My happy opinion of you just grew another notch. You understand the finer things in life!

        • Thanks, Groat. We haven’t been back now for 2 years. My dad always organized it, and he is getting older and slower these days. So, it’s tough for him to get down there. And, as I said, a lot of the kids have other things to do in the summer.

          But, it literally kept our family together for so long. We came from all corners of the East and Midwest for 2 weeks every year. I’ll never forget waking up, walking or running on that beach, maybe going golfing or just lounging at the beach, drinking a few cold ones with my brothers and dad. We would play stickball with the kids near the water when we weren’t in the water, dodging the roped off areas where the sea turtles hatch. Then, maybe a few Margaritas later with our wives back at the house over some great grilled fish or BBQ. Some of the happiest moments of my life have been down there.

          We only went a couple of times in Fall, but the weather was unbelievable. Spent a Thanksgiving there once. We were usually there the last week of July/first week of August – when sports were over for the summer for the kids.

          Thanks for reminding me how much I love that place!

          • Great, great, great memories, Sweet Jimmie! Thanks for sharing.

            No one can ever take those family times from you. Ever.

            Maybe it’s time for you to be your Dad.

            • That’s a really good thought, Groat. My two girls are in HS now, with one going to college next year. You’ll cringe at this part – on a soccer scholarship! The other one is a Soph, and our son is in 7th grade. So, I do look forward to starting that tradition all over again with them and their kids. And, it doesn’t matter how far we live from NC. That’s where we’ll choose to do it, if we can.

              Incidentally, I visited Duke’s campus while in Raleigh last November for a soccer tournament with my daughter. We only had a couple of hours there before our flight out on Sunday. But, we loved it. Saw the tributes to your namesake in Cameron Indoor. Walked that campus, and loved all the little nooks and crannies that were perfect for photos. Just gorgeous.

              Will be down there again in early Dec with her. I asked her if she would like to go see UNC this year, and she said “Let’s go back to Duke!”

            • Love NC coast and the food

              Mmmmmmm country ham, hush puppies, pulled pork and fresh seafood. Go every year with in laws and love it.

              Glad your back Groat.

              Love the ocean. Swimmin’ in pools OK but no waves to ride. Lucky to have had family that lived in OCNJ so I got to spend summers with them. They got the house before Jersey shore land skyrocketed. Didn’t realize how privileged I was to have that opportunity until later in life.

              A day at the beach enjoying the weather, nature and “getting closer to God” as Groat put it is always a day well spent.

              • Willie Good-Duke-ah-h-h!

                Ocean City, New Jersey———1st glimpse I ever had of the ocean. 9th grade. Good place.

                You are so right . . . . a great privilege.

                I once spent a week there in a house that Lynn Swann was the immediate previous tenant. Not a bad place (someone else was paying!).

                I am so in love with the North Carolina coast and the ocean. You, my Friend, have good taste.

              • Many thanks my friend! Right back at ya on the good taste!

                Very cool about the staying where Swann stayed. I met him while delivering flowers downtown Pgh. It was raining and he shared his umbrella with me.

                And when I read “growing closer to God”, I thought I know exactly what he means. I find that time so rejuvenating.

                That’s awesome that OC was the first place you saw the ocean. Me too. Then every summer planted with family on St Charles beach (1st St). Right in front of Browns on boardwalk. Best donuts in the world.

                Not to take this to a down note, but I also conducted eulogies for both parents on that boardwalk. Then scattered some of their remains in the ocean about a year apart (@12 years ago). Hope that doesn’t gross people out. Probably not allowed to do it, I just did it.

              • Willie Good-Duke-ah-h!

                Mack & Manco’s on the Boardwalk still the only pizza that competes with Vincent’s in Forest Hills as the best pizza ever!!

                Can’t look at the power of the ocean and waves and not be filled with “God-Presence.”

                Nothing gross about you honoring your parents in that way. Better place than some hole in the ground with a ton of cement above you!


  12. So the World Series is over, huh? Man, must have overslept. Talk about 2 teams I could care less about.
    Very interesting to see David “Huge papi” Ortiz named the WS MVP. Being I didnt see a single inning, I cant say what he did or didnt do, but wasnt there many suspicions over the years about him and PED’s? The weight gain, the 700-foot HR’s, the big head like Bonds? The injuries….. signs of a PED user breaking down? Now obviously (quoting Tomlin ;) ) I am not saying there is any proof, but I am just curious about things, that’s all.

    $150 million dollar payroll? If the circumstances were reversed, wouldnt Pirate fans want the same thing if the team had the revenues? I applaud the team for spending, but more importantly, spending wisely. Yankees, Mets, Cubs spend a ton too, and they have nothing to show for it. Now ESPN, and FOX Sports can milk one of their favorite teams winning the WS for a year. Yech.

  13. As for the column on Jarvis Jones, DK simply has to stop making so much sense.
    The Steelers are 2-5, arent going anywhere, and should be playing players to see what the future holds. Playing Worilds, Clark, and other players who arent going to be on the team next year, while noble, wont let the “braintrust” see what they have, and what they need to address. The only way to see what they got is play them. Obviously, this is lost n Coach Cliche.

    Cant wait to hear the excuses after the Cheatriots carve up a slow Steeler D, which has had trouble with Mr. Bundchen in the past with great defenses. We will get a bunch of code speak, junior varsity quotes, 29 obviously references, it is what it is — nonstop, and more questions than answers.

    Looking forward to that……………….

    • In trying to figure out what’s there that I might not be seeing, perhaps Jones is not preparing as well as he should and the demotion was an attention getting device. Can’t imagine this will last long.

      • Ah…that’s exactly what I read in MT comments.

        Not sure what anyone else was reading…to me, regardless of his draft postion, regardless of the record, dude gotta earn the spot – giving it to him won’t help him or the team, now or later and I ‘ve been as disappointed as anyone with Worlids.

        • Looking at his highlights it looked like he freelanced a lot and went to ball a lot in college. I think they’re trying to get him to play within the defense and it seems appropriate to me.

      • Same interpretation I made. Can’t just give it to him if he isn’t earning it. Wouldn’t matter with this season most likely, but could make a big difference down the road once the team gets really good again.


  14. One final thought this morning……………

    2 reasons why you should never, ever bet on sports, even when given great odds (excluding Playoffs window here, of course)

    1) Semyon Varlamov gets arrested for domestic stuff. If convicted, the Avs chances of a good season took a huge hit.

    2) The Philadelphia 76ers last night beat the Miami heat. So? Miami is projected to win 66 games, and an NBA championship. Philadelphia is projected to challenge the 1972-73 Sixers for worst team in NBA history. But I saw the replay last night on one of the 200 Philly channels I get (YECH!!!), and Michael Carter-Williams can flat-out play.

    • Thanks for bringing the Sixers up, Hipposter. Have you heard their tag line for the season? “Together We Will”. I can remember a Pgh. team using something like that recently. In many ways, the two teams are probably very comparable.


  15. I just looked back at yesterday’s “Morning Starbucks” to see what’s been going on around here and found it was all about The Sport That Must Not Be Named!!!

    Thank you, Jesus, that I was not here!!

    The mediocre indoor football team at Consol outdrew the Riverhounds!!!!
    Why in the world are we even discussing this stuff?!
    More folks attend a North Allegheny high school football game than attend Highmark Stadium!

    Let’s go PENS!!!

  16. I put this on yesterday’s Morning Java, while most were talking pucks. In case anyone is interested…..

    Former Steeler, and all-around great guy, Levon Kirkland’s wife Keisha lost her battle against lung cancer yesterday. She did the weather on our local news for a few years while Levon coached high school football here. They were both extremely well liked. She never touched a cigarette in her life. Very sad.

  17. Just wanted to let you all know that I took a long, hard look at those $13,000 seats at Fenway yesterday and was going to pull the trigger on 5 of them to take my family. But, I couldn’t find cheap airfare. And, I just hate overpaying when I think something isn’t worth it. :-)

  18. I actually was switching back and forth between the WS game and the Pens last night. Of course, I was also recording the Pens to watch it in its entirety later. After the Sox got the big lead, the decision was easy to just flip 100% to hockey. And, then I only had to watch the first period over late last night.

    What a game! Playoff atmosphere. I had a friend text me earlier, saying he felt like watching hockey and wondered if there were any good games on. I told him about the Pens-Bruins. He was amazed at the intensity, and he’s a big Hawks fan (and fellow Bruins hater!).

    Still cannot get over the call on Letang in the 3rd period. You have to be kidding me, ref! The entire last minute felt like the last minute or so vs. Detroit in Game 7 when we won the cup, especially the frantic last half dozen seconds or so complete with a big Fleury save. Great fun!

  19. Quite the exciting Pens game last night. Was great to see a game like we should’ve seen during last year’s playoffs. Quick thoughts:

    - MAF looked great. Man I hope he can hold it together into the playoffs. He can carry this team the way he is playing right now.
    - Glad to see Sutter get a sweet, well deserved goal. He has been playing good defense all year. He deserved to get a goal and man was it a pretty one.
    - Best game I’ve seen by Geno all year. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t put away any of his great chances.
    - I’ve liked the way I’ve seen Megna play these last two games. He seems to be fitting in well there.
    - Tanner Glass is still hitting every freaking moving thing on the ice. Where was this guy last year when we picked him up. He has been one of my biggest surprises this year.
    - Hopefully this injury bug is getting all of our injuries out of the way early. Their dropping like flies.
    - Oh and Pascal Dupuis is a stud. WOW!

    • Duper is one of my fav players…and I had to laugh at him pulling his tooth out LOL

      This Glass is the one Dejan told us we would love. And I do!

      Best point above: Jayson Megna. The kid gets it. He’s fast, he’s conscious of the ice around him. He’s smart. He has the tools. Now beef up just a bit and he’s a total package. I like seeing him play with Geno, he’s not afraid to go to the net and he can make sweet passes.

      DK: If you’re seeing finishing hands on Megna, let me know. Not me.

      • Nice to see Megna, Glass, Matta, etc all doing well.
        Wasnt it just last soring that Shero was criticized for “mortgaging the future”?
        There wasnt talent to come up from Wilkes-Barre?

        In Shero We Trust.

        • Should be “spring”.
          Damn Jandy typos………

        • I trust him, too. But, we need him to solve the goalie situation. Fleury can’t play 65 regular season games and expect to not run out of gas in the playoffs. I don’t know what is out there, veteran-wise, but I hope he finds something soon.

          • I wonder if his inactivity on the goalie front means he thinks Vokoun can return?

            • DK probably knows more inside info on TV’s recovery than we do. Last I read things were going well. But, I also read that this scared the you know what out of him (rightly so) to the point where it made him think he should consider retirement. He has enough money. No sport is worth your health in your 30′s. Couldn’t blame him.

              Regardless, I got the impression that it might be a long shot to expect him back helping this team this year. But, I’m still hoping for it.

          • Believe me, the goalie situation is right in the front of Shero’s mind…patience :)

      • How did Maatta do?

        Nobody has said much about him since DK’s column except that he messed something up in the next game but it wasn’t his fault.

        DK: If you aren’t talking about a defenseman, it’s a lot like not talking about an offensive lineman. Highest praise possible.

      • I’m so glad they could keep both him and Kunitz. I was worried it was one or the other and when they signed Kunitz first I was worried Dupuis was gone and he was the one I would have picked to stay if it had been one or the other. I still miss Cook but it seems as if they have filled in nicely.

    • Great observations – here’s another one…Kunitz was beating the crap out of the Bruin defenders all night. How many times did he hit them so hard they’d bounce off the boards and fall down?

      • Plenty, Damon. Good observation. At one point, the Pens led in hits something like 31-18. They had something to prove last night. It certainly doesn’t make up for last spring. Only the playoffs next spring can do that. But, at least they showed the Bruins that they will answer the bell.

    • Last night reminded me of games 3 and 4 from playoff series as far as structure and intensity goes. But with the pens being more acclimated to defending the neutral zone and using the high slot to get shots thru the result was more favorable. Amazing how much better a goalie will look when rushes up ice don’t resemble jail breaks.

      Out of town right now so didn’t see the Carolina game so didn’t see megna in top form till last night. Looks like he has some jump to his stride and some hands n vision. Was D’agostini a healthy scratch for Jeffrey? Couldn’t believe my eyes…Jeffrey in pens win…just saying…

  20. I listened to the replay of Mike Tomlin’s Presser last last night and was glad that, if Jarvis Jones needed to do more study and prep time, Tomlin was acting like a Coach and sitting him down for a time to get it in Jones’ head to do his homework.

    However, Dejan’s column makes a lot of sense. Good read.

    DK: Thanks, Groat. And again, I do get that the kid needs to improve. I just see being on the field as a critical part of that.

    • Groat

      That’s exactly what I took away from MT. He was bad, bad, bad positionaly. Not one play, consistently. It was at least inferred that Jones was not putting the necessary study in…if that ‘s the case, I agree with sitting him until he does. He has to earn playing time, just giving him the spot will not help him nor the team in the long run.

      IMO, giving him the playing time he has gotten to this point was a significant change to the “Steeler Way”, he has got to do his part.

  21. Hi Groat:

    Welcome back to civilization.

  22. Again, I am slipping………………

    Happy Caramel Apple Day!!!
    Happy Knock Knock Joke Day!

  23. With all the talk about MLS and the stadium size I looked and found this on Wiki yesterday:

    “The Riverhounds plan to join Major League Soccer within ten years from 2013. Highmark Stadium will initially seat 3,500 spectators, though the team plans for an eventual expansion to 18,500.”

  24. Great blog title today. I think you get about a half dozen of those a year & you’re never exactly sure when they’ll crop up. A random act of kindness from the NHL, if you will.

    • So, Milo, what’s the cost for a ticket to the HS football game cost?

      • He don’t pay.

        He’s one of them broadcasters.


      • I believe it’s $6 – $10. Cheaper for students. Playoffs cost more. Why do you ask ?

        • See above, percentage-lowering “serious” question from TC.

        • Thunder was asking up above.

          New Castle’s ticket prices are anywhere between 8-14 a game.

          • Gotcha Plan. I’ve somewhat caught up. I was going to go there yesterday but I figured I’d just leave it.

            • I looked up the awards question we had last night.

              The awards are voted on before the postseason begins.
              Huntington should win.


          • Shows the difference between WPA and IL football. I live a mile from maybe the biggest HS in the state. Ticket prices are cheaper here, and still they don’t fill the stadium unless the biggest cross-town rival is playing our team.

            People think we have big-time HS football. They haven’t a clue on that front in IL.

            • My alma mater was a huge football school.
              Crowds of 12-14,000 were common for us.

              Now, they get 5,000, if they are lucky.

              • I hope they bring 5,000 tomorrow.

              • Maybe 4,000 for us most weeks. And we have almost 5,000 students.

              • If this was a basketball game, yes they would.
                New Castle always travels well, so it will be interesting.

              • I remember those days well, Plan. Taggart Stadium used to be at or near capacity in the 80′s and at times was SRO. Huge crowds, with both the “parents’ side” and “students’ side” being jam packed.

              • Everyone has moved from New Castle to Austintown.

                Has to be the reason.

              • Ha! Good one. Speaking of Austintown, the football team is doing well this year. Undefeated and ranked #2 in the state’s big Division 1.

              • Casper, I am sure you remember the game vs. #3 nationally ranked Mt. Lebanon.

                Now THAT was a game !

              • Hey Plan — I do but can’t place the year (oh, how the details fade as the years pass by). I know it was early ’80′s. Back then, Mt. Lebo was a powerhouse and one of our biggest games. Butler was always a big game back then, but those days are long gone.

              • No. 2, eh Casper?

                Is the University of Moeller still the big powerhouse it’s always been?

                Lost track with Ohio football when we came down here 15 years ago.

            • Yep, Moeller is still big time. Cincinnati Colerain and the Cleveland Catholics (St. Ed’s and St. Ignatius) are still up there as well.

              • Their recruiting still rivals most colleges, then, I see.

                Glad some things don’t change.

                Makes me happy when a school like Fitch can be ranked that high and not be a private school.

              • Boardman used to be good. I know they are Fitch’s huge rival.

                To the Mt. Lebo game Casper……… It was 1984.
                Lebo ranked #3 by USA Today.
                Lebo got all of 100 total yards that game, but 68 of those came on one play……. tipped pass they took in for a TD. Missed PAT.

                New Castle missed 3 FG’s in that game, they moved up and down the field, but had nothing to show for it.
                NC got a touchdown with no time left on the clock.
                The Lebo coaches and players did the choke sign to our kicker (classy), and he proceeded to kick the PAT.

                That was when New Castle still had that mystique to their program. best thing was, no recruiting.

                I remember all this, but cant tell you what I had for Sunday dinner.

              • I remember that well, Plan. You’ve brought back some more vivid memories. Booker Brown was the QB, no?

              • No. Scott Gattie.

              • Hmm. I guess my memory fails me again. I thought Latsko was the QB in ’83, Brown in ’84 and Gattey in ’85.

              • You may have Brown and Gattey switched.
                Gattey graduated in 84. I graduated with his older sister.

              • I think I’m right on this, but who knows? I played and grew up with both on the North Hill. I believe Brown graduated in 1984 and Scott in 1985. Could that game have been in 1985?

              • Possible.
                I thought it was 84.

                But who knows? I have Oldzheimers.

              • Possible.
                I thought it was 84.

                But who knows? I have Oldzheimers.

              • You think you’ve got it bad? How about this? Not sure why this didn’t come to mind but when I played for GW in 8th grade Scott was our QB and he was in 9th grade. So, by my great deductive reasoning skills (sarcasm), I’m going to say that the Mount Lebo game was in 1985.

              • Casper, I finally found it.

                Scott Gattey was the QB for New Castle in 1983-1984. The game was September, 1984. I had to go to the site to see when he was QB.

                Sorry for any confusion I caused.

              • Dang! I’m the one with Oldzheimers! Good work, Plan. I’m gonna check out that website. I’m hoping it can bring back some more memories, albeit faint as they are.

              • When you go to that site, you have to go under football records, passing, 2 year stats to find it.

            • Got it. I figured out my problem. That game was in 1984 and Gattey was the QB in the fall of 1984. But he graduated in 1985. Booker Brown was the QB in the fall of 1983 but he graduated in 1984. Brian Heaney was the QB my senior year (1986) but he graduated in 1987. There’s the confusion. My bad!

    • I’m waiting for confirmation on playoff ticket prices. Let’s see how fast they respond.

  25. Interesting article by Kevin Allen in USA Today.

    Fighting is down in the NHL. 65% of games so far without a fighting major. Highest total in seven years.

    Yet, a whopping 98% of the NHLPA does not want to see fighting eliminated.

    • I don’t want to see it eliminated either. Just get rid of the staged fights.

      On the other hand, it seems like the illegal head hits are way up…

    • John, I wonder sometimes if the players want to keep it because they know personally of pals who will quickly lose jobs if it goes away, and they don’t know the guys who will take those roster spots?

  26. Shout out to Biz on his last day at the power plant! :o

    On to re-firement!


  27. Funny how the Red Sox went from tragic, comical Greek figures to the disliked new New York Yankees in less than a generation.

    • Having the ability to and spending more than Spain’s GNP will do that to a team. Especially when your team can’t (or won’t).

    • They’ll have to invent some new “curse” to get behind like, “We’ve never won the World Series during a leap year facing a right handed pitcher, at home, who wears Converse cleats”.

      • I loved when Ben Affleck whined several years back, I think when the Yankees re-signed ARod: “It is hard being a Red Sox fan when the Yankees just get to outspend everyone else and buy their championships.”

        • I think when the Red Sox started complaining about the Yankees’ spending was when I jumped ship on them as a favorite team in the AL.

          I thought Arliss Howard did a great job in Moneyball as John Henry.

          • My wife was watching the post game show with me. When John Henry started talking she said, “Is that the guy from Moneyball?”

            • That was a weird interview. All of a sudden, he became totally preoccupied with the smoke. I think he thought the good people of Boston were burning down his shrine.

    • Generation, how about going from 69 wins in 2012 to 97 wins in 2013

  28. I know a lot of people tuned baseball out when the Pirates bowed out a few weeks back, and I get that. Usually, I have done that every year (since ’92) as well. For some reason, I stayed with it through the rest of the playoffs this year and enjoyed it with my kids.

    As much as I loved baseball, I had truly become much more of a football and basketball fan in recent years. I believe it was the pain I endured from following the Bucs. I had grown to accept their failure, although I still agonized over the losing. But, my love for baseball was rekindled this season. For that, I am thankful.

    I look forward to next year with great anticipation. It’s still only the Dominican Winter League, but once again young Mr. Polanco’s rising star shown brightly yesterday. BB, 1b, Grand Slam in his 1st 3 ABs. 11 game hitting streak with 4 HR. Probably doesn’t mean much in the big scheme, but I like what he’s doing. I think he has a dream of getting to Pittsburgh at some point next year and putting a vice grip on RF for many years. He still has work to do, though. Much work. Encouraging for me, nonetheless.

  29. Can anyone give me a good reason why slow, 60 year old Craig Adams is on the ice in the final minutes? Other than he’s Bylsma’s bff? He couldn’t get out fast enough to cover Iginla on the 2nd goal. and he was so tired he couldn’t even move the last 20 seconds. Can we stop pretending he’s a Selke candidiate? Wouldn’t it make sense to put someone with actual speed on the ice? Oh, and who was supposed to be covering N. Lidstrom on Fleury’s Game 7 save? Yep, Adams. He’s a lovely 4th liner, but has no business being out there in the final minute. But stubborn Bylsma will keep putting him on the ice.

  30. Hilarious bit in my local paper about how the Patriots are practicing with an offensive lineman “playing” Quarterback in prep for Ben. However, I think that bulge in Bill B’s cheek was his tongue. Any other bulges are anybody’s guess.

  31. Red Sox parade scheduled for Saturday.

    Dejan will be able to cover it.

    • Oshkosh b’Gosh,

      What is the significance of the North Stars logo? Pining for the good ol’ days?

      • Exactly. It’s hockey season. I was surfing the web going down memory lane and hadn’t seen it in awhile. So, thus the change. Although, I’ve seen the Dallas Stars have kind of harkened back to it with their new unis. I’ll change it for college buckets season.

        I saw Minka Kelly on Fallon last night. Maybe that’s an idea for an avi!

        Send me your HS yearbook photo and I’ll use that!

        • Minka Minka Bo Binka! Banana Fana Fo Finka! Good choice.

          Except every time I look at her I would remember that Derek Jeter has already been there.

          Hm-m-m. I’m good with that!!!

        • Hoops, real hoops, in 8 days!!!!

          I watched the Bulls against the Heat two nights ago. Three starters on Chicago from Duke: Carlos Boozer, Lual Deng, Mike Dunleavy. Weird.

          • I’m in Milwaukee Saturday night. Sixteenth straight home opener for me. The Bucks have an oddly incredibly good home opener record. Going to be a long season, I think.

            I was thinking the other day how it will be a sad day when Coach K calls it quits. College, Olympic and Professional basketball are so much richer because of him. Transformative figure.

            • 16 straight!! Congrats!! That’s my record with the Pirates. Finally broke the strike year when I was living in Iowa.

              Are Bucks setting up to compete with 76′ers for #1 Pick and Wiggins or Jabari Parker? Seems like it to me.

              If Coach K gets that point guard from Minnesota and the big man from Chicago who is going in tandem with Jones next week during the signing period, K may NEVER retire!

  32. Flyers trade Max Talbot to Colorado for Steve Downie. Flyers must feel they need more punks. Glad for Max…

    • Wow. Max is a physical player. Downie is a punk, like you said, Damon.

    • FWIW, according to a couple of flyers blogs, it’s simply a salary dump. Downie FA after this season making a little more than Max, but as we all know Max has a few more years on his contract and they figure he’s redundant to what they already have.

      The classic comment…”he (Downie) is more than a face puncher”…uh huh.

      But it is true he would be tied for the philly scoring lead with Leclavier…gee wonder why they are off to their worst start in their history?

    • Glad here too, everybody. The idea of Max with the Flyers was nauseating. I bet Patrick Roy respects his game more than he did Downie’s.

    • They always feel they need more punks in Philly. They’ve been the same way for 40 years. They keep firing coaches, and the new ones have different names but their style of play never changes or adapts.

    • The Avs have a good ballclub. Talbot is nothing but a plus there.

    • Strikes me as a nothing trade. Nothing for nothing. I guess I give Colorado the edge since Talbot makes less money.

  33. Here’s another good telestration by Jesse Marshall over at Face-Off Factor:

    It explains how Jussi got his Juicy goal that gave the Pens a 2 goal cushion.

  34. Trick or treat! Isn’t anyone going to answer the blog door and pass out candy? Ugh! :-(

  35. Late comment today…last night was the perfect example of why Bylsma is not amenable to adjustments. It was his system executed to perfection. It works when all players are in synch and on top of their game. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Nonetheless, that game was a thing of beauty featuring all the reasons that make hockey the great sport that it is. Pascal Dupuis pulling out his teeth? A soccer player would have rolled on the ground shamelessly for a full five minutes and been out for a month.

    I agree with the column, but no way you can expect Tomlin to even give a hint that h is doing anything more than trying to win the very next game. Admitting so is tantamount to waving a white flag.

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