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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Flyers 2, Penguins 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (11-6) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5-10-1)

Time: 8:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: NBC Sports Network (national), TSN2 (Canada), RDS (Quebec), 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are on the scene. I’ll be writing the Thursday column from here, all on the opponent.

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.


  1. Pucknutz says:

    Lets Go Pens!!!

    SHOOT !

  2. Go 1-3-1.

    For Roger and Joyce, alias plan and Jandy.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Reverend.
    I can always count on you. :)

  4. theplanisworking says:

    Well, you shot my mojo again. ;)

  5. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Oh that’s right, this game is nationally televised, which means I still need to set the DVR.

    My younger kids, age 5 and 4, will actually watch a hockey game with me. They won’t watch football as much, but for some reason they respond to hockey. I don’t get it, but it’s cool.

  6. Pucknutz says:

    Nah, it has become one of 100 of my pre-game superstitions ! lol

    Check out the Pens Website . Guys wore camo unis with rank insigina on them. Bunch of Vets there – cool.
    I really liked them – some of the other camo they have worn looked a bit cheezy, but IMHO todays were very nice.
    Wonder if they will auction them off as they sometimes do ? I might even consider spending a buck or two on one with Sgt. stripes ! lol

  7. JohninOshkosh says:

    So excited game is on nationally since I went cheap and didn’t pony up for the NHL package this year.

    Here’s hoping the Pens win and get out of this funk they seem to be in.

    Wonder if my guy, Coatesy is there. I’m pouring a virtual beer on his head as I type.

  8. theplanisworking says:

    I saw that. This is the second thing of class I saw about the Pens today. The other was the blog turkey giveaway. ;)

  9. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Yea it’s a good deal. I think a lot of the Pens games actually are, especially since the NBC Sports channel is picking up some hockey games.

    I just wish I could make it home in time for the start. Or for you hockey nuts, make it home in time for the puck to drop.

    I’ll be pushing it I think.

  10. JohninOshkosh says:

    Max Scherzer is your AL Cy Young winner.

    Hasn’t been announced yet, but I’ll just post Clayton Kershaw wins the NL Cy Young.

  11. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    No big surprises there… either league.

    Right choices for both too.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    Can anyone insure that I’m going to have a stress-free, happy filled 60 minutes of hockey tonight? I really could use it….

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! No underwriter worth his or her salt is going to OK that insurance!

  14. theplanisworking says:

    Not at all.
    But I bet there will be many fights!

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    Just saw the news (way out of loop lately) about Buffalo firing GM Darcy Regier and Head Coach Ron Rolston. Great moves with Pat LaFontaine as President of Hockey Operations and Ted Nolan as Interim Head Coach.

    I’d like to see Neil Smith or Craig Patrick get the GM position.

  16. Karen22 says:

    NBC Sports AGAIN?? CRAP! We don’t get it. Another night of junk TV. Going to massage my brain and read…

  17. Pucknutz says:

    Really Eric, its the Flyers…. nuff said ! lol

  18. 21sthebest says:

    Just keep in mind that the Penguins will make the playoffs.

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    I realize it is merely a self-serving promotion of its on air programming, but I have enjoyed the “NHL Rivals” series on NBCSN and I like that they have used Wednesday night to feature rivals.

  20. Pucknutz says:

    This one certainly fits the “Rivals” theme !!!!

  21. Wild Bill says:

    If the Pens just play hockey they should win. If it turns into mayhem, the advantage turns to the Flyers.

  22. poz says:

    Not a chance my friend. But you know that, and simply tossed the question out as a tease. The team is a bit unsteady and a prediction would be a guess. Hence the unsettling feeling of anticpation in our stomachs. However, if I believe in their talent, and I do in some respects, then they get this win at home…..

  23. poz says:

    The above reply was supposed to be in response to Eric’s request for a stree-free game. I remain a hockey novice, and obviously challenged by techology. Off to prepare for the game. Take care friends…

  24. Pucknutz says:

    Drop the puck !

  25. Wild Bill says:

    They are dragging this out big time.

  26. theplanisworking says:


    KUNITZ !!!!!

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ha ha.

  28. Milo Hamilton says:

    No one gets more goals disallowed than Chris Kunitz.

  29. theplanisworking says:

    WE WERE ROBBED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. theplanisworking says:

    WE WERE ROBBED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Until I’m blue in the face. Kicking it in should be legal. Period.

  32. theplanisworking says:

    Only in America…………..

    thanks to the neanderthal wing of the NHL, Ray Emery is ingoal, instead of a jail cell.

    Move along, nothing to se here…………….

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m preparing to be irritated.

  34. Pucknutz says:

    Hate to say this – did look like a “kicking motion” – but just like bring the skate up to deflect.
    Nice play anyway.

  35. Pucknutz says:

    Milo, methinks I agree w/ya. They play the puck with the skates all the time all over the ice. Why not at the goal.
    Ya but I am not gonna hold my breath till I am blue. Breath Milo or you will look like a smurf! LOL

  36. Barb says:

    Refresh my memory who is with Doc Emrick because I just want to smack him.

    DK: Pierre McGuire.

  37. theplanisworking says:

    Way to go , Barb.
    You come in, and the Boss comes with you.

    That aside, welcome, and go ahead and smack McGuire.

  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    Are you referring to Ed Olczyk ?

  39. Eric Bowser says:

    Letang…. time to start earning that money

  40. Barb says:

    There is always the first time for everything.

  41. JohninOshkosh says:

    Anybody have any thoughts about the idea the GM’s are kicking around to extend OT to 10 minutes ?

  42. Eric Bowser says:

    In an effort to prove the reverse-jinx….

    Penguins third line is a bunch of soft players, that’s not good.

  43. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m fine with 4on4 for 10 minutes…. too many games are going to shootouts.

  44. Eric Bowser says:

    This team’s PP is atrocious..

  45. theplanisworking says:

    I would like to see 20 minutes 4 on 4.
    It would really open things up.

  46. Barb says:

    Okay so now we have switched to football?!?!?!?

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    Eliminate it altogether & go to a 5 man shootout. I can’t believe I just said that, but I guess I’ve evolved.

  48. theplanisworking says:

    We are on the PP??

  49. Eric Bowser says:

    And Sutter continues to be a mess offensively….

  50. Eric Bowser says:

    No energy, no pace, no organization to it…. such a waste of talent by this coaching staff.

  51. Milo Hamilton says:

    6th in the league atrocious ?

  52. Barb says:

    Another exercise in futility.

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wish they would play 4 on 4 for 10 minutes. A win in OT is 2 points with none awarded to loser. And go back to ties-1 pt each.

    I really don’t enjoy the shootouts, but I also realize I live in America and watch American television,

  54. Eric Bowser says:

    Cycle, cycle, cycle… missed shot…. easy entry out of the zone….

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    I never get too concerned about this team unless they aren’t scoring. Well …

  56. Pucknutz says:

    That one was- decline the next one – seem to play better 5 on 5.

  57. Eric Bowser says:

    Yes… my standards are high.

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    Does Malkin still play ?

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Who ?

  60. Eric Bowser says:

    Rumor has it, that isn’t Konstantin Koltsov wearing 71 for Pittsburgh… sadly, I can’t tell the difference all that much right now.

  61. JohninOshkosh says:

    So the director heard Ovie deliver that line and was comfortable saying, “Cut! Print it!”

    OK, then.

  62. 21sthebest says:


  63. theplanisworking says:

    Outhit, outworked…….. only a matter of time til they scored.
    That overturned goal is going to haunt us……..

  64. Eric Bowser says:

    What a weak play by Bortuzzo

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    Fine effort by Bortuzzo. Feh.

  66. CWalton_67 says:

    Well, you can always count on MAF to come up big in big games…

  67. Eric Bowser says:

    Time to see if Penguins bounce back or they go into shutdown mode again like against the Rangers.

  68. Jandy says:

    They better do SOMETHING Spunky….we lose to Philly, we look REALLY BAD.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Except this isn’t a big game.

  70. Wild Bill says:

    Classic Flyer goal – possession below the goal line and pass to a forward charging down the slot.

  71. Jandy says:

    smart kids ;)

  72. Sarah says:

    Who’s our PP coach again?

  73. theplanisworking says:

    Past 3 games, Pens have come out buzzing, get no goals , then turtle.
    Dont know if that is the players quitting, or the coaches not keeping on the players, but at the Pro level, that is unacceptable.

  74. Jandy says:

    Maybe Dejan will smack McGuire. And smack the Pens while he’s at it…

  75. Wild Bill says:

    The Pens continue to refuse to dump the puck in and go get it on the pp.

  76. Jandy says:

    I’m with you, Milo. I love the shoot outs

  77. Jandy says:

    for how many years now?

  78. Sarah says:

    Horrible matchups out there Berube is having his way.
    Well, we are on the road.
    Oh, wait…..

  79. Jandy says:

    Eric, how is Perry doing?

  80. Sarah says:

    Hope he’s not in a suit the next 5 games.

  81. theplanisworking says:

    How many times can we vote?

  82. Eric Bowser says:

    He’s doing good. Thanks for asking.

  83. hockeymonster says:

    Cleary Jeffrey would be the answer to your ills….

  84. Jandy says:

    Glad to hear that :)

  85. Sarah says:

    Man I hate watching this kind of game. We have a bunch of chances, nada. They had like 2 decent shots and they’re ahead. It blows.

  86. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Letang is a disaster on the PP. They miss Martin there – he actually makes good decisions and puts shots on goal from the point. Incredibly, he’s also much better at getting the puck into the offensive zone, even though he only has a fraction of Letang’s skating and stickhandling abilities.

    Classic hockey period where one team dominates the start with tons of chances, but can’t score, and the other team buries one of their only chances.

  87. hockeymonster says:

    Our bottom 6 is killing me

  88. poz says:

    Groundhog’s Day. Once again the Pens look pretty generating a few shots early,but no goals to show for it. Then Pens get knocked off the puck in your own end – one chance and they are losing.

  89. J Walter Weatherman says:

    I get a sense that DB sleepwalks through some games – this seems to be one of them.

  90. theplanisworking says:

    With the talent on this team, they should never look as listless and uninterested as they sometimes do.

    If their effort equaled their talent, they might go undefeated.

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chris Kunitz should play for the Riverhounds in the off season. He’d surely lead the league in goals,

  92. Jandy says:

    I do know it’s making me crazy! Grrrrr!

  93. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pat LaFontaine in the news always reminds me that, when I was 19, my then girlfriend kept my LaFontaine jersey when we broke up.

    Man, I miss that jersey.

  94. Jandy says:

    oh man, Oshie, that is awful….I’d miss that jersey too!

  95. JohninOshkosh says:


  96. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Nun.

    I get frustrated with the same mistakes happeneing over and over. Thats on the coaches.
    But, thats why they get paid the big bucks.

  97. Wild Bill says:

    Lol, Milo

  98. Jandy says:

    Barb! hey! You need an avatar ;)

  99. Jandy says:

    I may have to take my size 9 wides out there!

  100. Dom says:

    You should have asked a friend to have her return it to you.

  101. Jandy says:

    Dom you’re so cute!

  102. theplanisworking says:

    With your avatar, I just cannot visualize you with the 9 wides !!!

  103. Jandy says:

    LOL yeah..kinda kills the visual, eh?

  104. theplanisworking says:

    My ex kept my Penguins Starter jacket years ago.
    I went and got it. $330 dollar coat, that she would have soiled.

  105. Jandy says:


  106. Pucknutz says:

    “turtle” pretty harsh Plan – don’t see that at all – somewhat the flip side of that. Start pushing too hard – get out of rhythm, make mistakes. These guys don’t quit – maybe lose focus – but not quit. And this segues me to Mr. Malkin….
    Geno is just wound so tight , has no “quit” in him – can’t do it all himself – needs to relax and just let the “game” come to him- too much talent and desire there. Relax Geno!!

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Funniest part is, I donated it to charity, because I knew of people who needed a warm coat. So it went with 5 other coats.

    Yes, I miss it, but……….

  108. JohninOshkosh says:

    You the man, Dominic!

  109. Jandy says:

    Grand idea, Hipposter!

  110. Eric Bowser says:

    Yes, let’s shoot the puck and have no one in front of Emery…..

  111. Barb says:


  112. theplanisworking says:

    SID !!!!!!!!!!!

    WOOP WOOP!!!!!!!!!
    HAPPY CAMEL DAY !!!!!!!!

  113. JohninOshkosh says:

    PP goal sighting!!!

  114. theplanisworking says:


  115. Eric Bowser says:

    Amazing, Malkin RW board and Crosby in front of net.

  116. Barb says:

    Hey what day is it?!?!?!?

  117. Barb says:

    What a concept.

  118. JohninOshkosh says:

    Shut up about the Zamboni door! Geez Louise!

  119. Jandy says:

    LOL! Philly made a big boo boo and didn’t have anyone guarding Sid

  120. Jandy says:

    You tell ‘em oshie!

  121. Jandy says:

    I’m going insane watching Letang miss the open side of the goal…Grrrr!!

  122. Eric Bowser says:

    Letang IS NOT a number one defenseman, he IS NOT a power play quarterback, and he IS NOT a goal scoring defenseman.

  123. Barb says:

    Other than that he’s okay. :)

  124. theplanisworking says:

    + many camels……..

  125. Jandy says:

    I’ll see your Geez Louise and raise you a Cheese ‘n Rice!

  126. Jandy says:


  127. Jandy says:

    Giroux, you friggin p*ssy, you!

  128. theplanisworking says:

    P-O-S-S-E !!


  129. Jandy says:


  130. theplanisworking says:

    Flyers score.
    Again, outworking the Pens.

    Bylsma and Kunitz look clueless.

  131. Eric Bowser says:

    Get Letang off the ice….

  132. Pucknutz says:

    Cheese ‘n Rice!- Raise ya red beans and rice , think that trumps the cheese, gas ya know! lol

  133. Jandy says:

    He’s not the only problem. You can’t sit half the team.

  134. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry, LeTang.

  135. theplanisworking says:

    Wanna bet?

  136. Jandy says:

    Go ahead and sit them. Bring up the kids from WBS. Fine by me!

  137. Jandy says:

    LOL Puckers, ya nut :P

  138. Eric Bowser says:

    James Neal and Beau Bennett have been invisible… that can’t continue.

    Kris Letang….

  139. Dom says:

    Malkin was the player of the game by the one announcer

  140. Milo Hamilton says:

    Upset Alert & potential BCS buster – Ball St. leads Northern Illinois 24-20 at halftime.

  141. Jandy says:

    As I said, it’s not all one player….

  142. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ball busting, if you will.

  143. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Sorry, I fell asleep watching this game. What did I miss?

  144. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh good. They’re getting worse.

  145. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not a flipping thing.

  146. chethejet says:

    Team is unwatchable. Nice all skate so far. No question this team is badly under performing and has little fear of Bylsma, Shero and Mario..

  147. Barb says:

    Well I think I shall call it a night. Morning comes too soon :(

  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    I hate to go there, but working a little harder wouldn’t hurt.

  149. theplanisworking says:

    Arent there some leaves covered by snow calling your name? ;)

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Are they in the SEC?

  151. Dom says:

    Time to tie up the game.

  152. Jandy says:

    Night Barb

  153. J Walter Weatherman says:

    This is valid.

  154. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, to expand on your point regarding ” working a little harder” :

    The Pens seem to lack effort in many areas. They rely too much on talent, pretty passes, or as Olzo said “Globetrottering” it. I dont know if they lack the players to get dirty, if they just dont want to work, or if the coaching isnt there, but it is a glarting weakness, and other teams capitalize on this game after game.

    Kind of tired of seeing this happen.
    I dont know what the answer is……………..

  155. Purple Moose says:

    If the goal was on the glass, we would be winning 8-2.

    How does Letang and Niskanen leave two Flyers all alone behind them on the PP when the puck never left the zone????????

  156. J Walter Weatherman says:

    DK hit on this at the beginning of the season. This team lacks grit. You’re seeing that personified in this game.

  157. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sad part is this is what most NHL games look like these days. The product just isn’t very good right now.

  158. Purple Moose says:

    It all points to coaching. Bylsma doesn’t like to match lines as if we can just roll the puck out there and win the game on talent alone. 95% of hockey coaches down to peewees match lines but our coach doesn’t see the need to do this.

  159. Purple Moose says:

    The fact is that we had a very easy schedule the early part of the year and built a good record. Now that we are playing the big boys, we are being out worked, out hustled and out coached……………………just like the playoffs.

  160. J Walter Weatherman says:

    The disheartening thing about your statement is that you infer the Flyers are the “big boys”. They stink. The Pens just stunk worse tonight.

  161. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Letang is the worst. He could be all alone in front of the net and find a way to hit a defenseman with a shot.

  162. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh well, at least the better team won tonight. That should help everyone sleep better.

  163. J Walter Weatherman says:

    The Pens just got dominated by a bad team that played last night, whereas the Pens hadn’t played since the weekend. Nice job, Pens.

  164. theplanisworking says:

    That last play is the difference between a team that gets it, and a team that doesnt it. Malkin goes behind the goal line, and a Flyer on each side pressures him. When an opposing players goes behind the Pens goal line, the Pens just sit back and watch.

    Oh well, thats hockey.
    Roughly 65 more games to go.
    Wonder if Bylsma is going to coach team USA like this?

    Everyone have a good and safe night.

  165. Purple Moose says:

    Letang almost single handedly lost this game tonight. He must of had a dozen good scoring chances and missed them all and gave up the game winning goal because he was getting ready to rush up ice on the penalty kill instead of worrying about his man standing behind him who had a day and a half to score.

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    And today, the Pirates did nothing.

  167. CWalton_67 says:

    No will to win. No refusal to lose. No adjustments–ever. No extra gear, no grit, no character. We’ve been watching the same thing for five years; players in a system that can be dominant at times, but rarely when it matters most, or until they play a team with an actual will to win. This team needs a major overhaul of philosophy and or personnel and no one with the exception of 87 should be untouchable.

  168. Dom says:

    No! We lose.

  169. DJ says:

    Lot of perimeter play tonight.

    The Perimeter Penguins . . . hmmm.

  170. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Two offseason decisions that confound me:
    1. Re-signing Letang at that money
    2. Sticking with Fleury as clear #1 goalie

    I was also lukewarm on Bylsma returning, but I could understand that decision. If you can’t learn from your history, you will pay for it.

  171. Wild Bill says:

    Thought the Flyers played very well in the third period, minimizing chances all period until near the end. I find it hard to think that Berube could be the reason for this, so I’m thinking the assistant coaches there are doing a really good job. Paddock was a pretty good coach in the AHL.

    On offense, the Pens must be willing to dump and chase more. Having said that, they must have missed the goal 15 times tonight. Some of that is Emery cutting down angles, but some is just missing, period.

    Best game by Malkin in a while; the pass to Sid for the goal was pretty. Is Letang a defenseman?

  172. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That’s the most I’ve seen of the Pens so far this season.
    I think I’ll keep it that way for awhile.

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