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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Tic-tac-4-0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> No column today because I switched days with Joe Starkey. Here’s his view on Ben Roethlisberger, Todd Haley and the no-huddle.

>>  Roethlisberger continues to embarrass NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport by stating he’ll do whatever it takes, including financially, to stay with the Steelers. Alan Robinson reports.

And how about this gem from the QB: “We’re always excited to see what Ian’s gonna make up this week.”

The defense’s fear factor is ‘dwindling a little bit,’ Larry Foote tells Robinson.

I discussed the Steelers’ sudden swagger to open the radio show yesterday …

I also asked Jason Worilds a couple Qs over at South Side HQ …

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Browns news from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Here are official game highlights from


>> The Penguins dialed up the D with a brilliant, four-touches-in-two-seconds power-play goal and a superlative team-wide shutout. Rob Rossi reports from D.C.

Before the game, Alexander Ovechkin shared some strong observations on Evgeni Malkin exclusively with Rossi.

And a terrific insider blog entry from Rossi to boot. That’s a hat trick.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Capitals news from the Washington Post.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Pitt feasts off Durand Johnson’s threes to top Lehigh. Kevin Gorman was there.

>> Duquesne and Ovie Soko take down Albany. Chris Harlan was there.

>> In football, Pitt’s Lafayette Pitts is rising up, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> Penn State needs more from the O-line, by Chris Adamski.

>> The Pirates set their 40-man by adding a whole lot of Latin American talent. Travis Sawchik reports.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

I’ll also be writing about the Steelers for the Friday column. And the Sunday column. And the Monday column, off the game in Cleveland. And the Thanksgiving column. And the Black Friday column off the night game in Baltimore.

It’s football season ‘n at.

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. Ghost says:

    Stetson Allie not protected. Oh well… Can’t protect everybody. If he were squeezed in, somebody else would’ve been squeezed out. Maybe the Pirates don’t project him as ever making it all the way to the bigs? But how does this 40-man roster thing work anyhow? Once a player is put on it, how long does he have to stay on it? I’m sure there’s something in place to prevent teams from just clearing space to move intriguing prospects onto the 40-man until the Rule 5 draft has passed, then moving them back off.

    DK: All that stuff up there, and you’re on the 40-man?

    Oh, Ghost, Ghost. Branch out a little, my friend!

  2. Ghost says:

    (Just because.)

  3. Ghost says:

    Still can’t get over the Pirates. Can’t help it. Love Big Ben, but the Steelers are going nowhere this year. Can’t even pronounce “Ovechkin.”

    Here, how’s this? The Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade. Juicy, juicy.

  4. kr70 says:

    I’m with you ghost…I like the guy who puts up how many days to spring training.

  5. Thundercrack says:

    Does it really matter that 3 of the 4 players added to the 40-man roster are from Latin America?

    DK: Honestly, man, move on.

  6. Jandy says:

    Groat has a fan :)

  7. Jandy says:

    Only to he extent that their scouts are bringing in quality prospects, right? RIGHT???

  8. meglasdad says:

    It doesn’t necessarily matter, but it does show that after all those years of getting little to no talent out of Latin America, the investment in their new facilities down there is starting to pay off.

  9. Jandy says:

    This is why Dupuis remains an integral, important part of this Penguins’ team. For those of you who do not appreciate him, it sheds a lot of light:

    Dupuis talked quietly with Bennett for about two minutes. His point made, Dupuis then headed for post-practice treatment.

    Bennett scored his first goal in the Penguins’ 4-0 win over Washington.

    “He wasn’t joking about that,” Bennett said of Dupuis’ call for him to better conserve energy.

    “I was completely serious,” Dupuis said after the win.

    Dupuis is even more serious about his most important role with the Penguins.

    It’s not as a top-six winger, which he remains as the left-side guy for Evgeni Malkin. It’s as one of their most trusted leaders.

    This came from Dejan’s link above Insider Blog Entry, from Rossi.

  10. Jandy says:

    I should add that Bennett tends to do more workouts AFTER morning practices. Duper advised him not to use that energy that would be put to better use on Sid’s wing.

  11. JAL says:

    Respect Aretha Franklin Written by Otis Redding

    JAL’s Respect Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates Added Some 2014 MLB Players Today

    Pirates Prospects Who Are Eligible For the 2013 Rule 5 Draft

    Pirates Sign Five Minor League Free Agents

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates’ position players deserve more credit for team’s 2013 success

    6 Bleacher Report

    Ranking MLB’s Top 20 Offseason Rumors from Least to Most Probable

    7 Green Weenie

    40-Man Settled, Arb Approaching, Minor League Deals…Manager

    8 Deadspin

    Who Is John Allen, The Baseball Reporter Revealed As A Twitter Hoax?

    9 Chicago Now

    Baseball is not immediate

    10 Pirates Site

    Polanco could give Pirates an unmatched outfield

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Charleston Gazette

    Power’s Tyler Glasnow honored by Topps

    12 NJ Star Ledger

    Major League Baseball defends arbitration process after Alex Rodriguez walks out

    13 Baseball Nation

    Ryan Braun trade rumor: Heading to Mets for a first baseman?

    14 Detroit Free Press

    Drew Sharp: Tigers lucky they found a way to unload Prince Fielder’s burdensome contract

    15 Dallas Morning News

    Will Prince Fielder flop like Josh Hamilton? There are similarities, but scouts say no

    16 NY Times

    Rodriguez Isn’t the Only One Who’s Had Enough

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    End of an era as Carpenter retires

    18 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Schumaker, Pena not ‘prone to strikeouts’


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    How to Make Up a Good Trade Rumor

    20 Fangraphs

    Tigers Exchange Albatross For Good Player, Get Even Better

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Jason Worilds coming off self-described ‘best game’ in win over Lions

    Steelers Film Room: Splash plays highlight win over Detroit

    22 Steelers Gab

    Poll: Who Is Your Most Disliked Steelers QB Of All-Time?


    23 Sporting News

    Geoff Cameron one of few bright spots in drab USA loss

    24 World Soccer Daily

    The stories you need to read – November 20, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Thursday: Firing on All Cylinders

  14. Jandy says:

    What an incredible difference in game execution the Pens had last night. Exciting to watch. The just totally boxed in #8 and pretty much had the Caps on their heels most of the evening. Let’s hope this game plan sticks!

    Malkin is just itching to but loose. Can’t wait to see it happen.

    Nealer broke the ice.

    Nice goal by Bennett, too.

    Sid was Sid. :)

  15. Drew71 says:

    Well. To them it matters.

  16. Drew71 says:

    No 40-man? Fine.

    I’ll even stay off the SEC.

    How bout this?

    Surprise pick for the Final Four. Duquesne.

  17. Let’s hope that the Pens have solved their offensive problems for the present, and that Malkin will score soon.

  18. Drew71 says:

    …and I love the Palumbo Center.

    If Giant Brick Walls Could Talk.

  19. Final Four of what?

    Will they win four games?

  20. Jandy says:


  21. Jandy says:

    Oh. the stories they would tell ;)

  22. Jandy says:

    We’ll find out Friday and Saturday evenings.

  23. Jandy says:

    So, Drew, how cold is it there today?

  24. And as for Ben, well, I trust that he means what he says, at least for now, and so, I would hope that the Steelers can build a team around him that can win, and so, we can all forget this nonsense and root for them to beat Cleveland this Sunday and then Baltimore on Thanksgiving night.

  25. And as for Ben, I think we can all take his word for it and concentrate on the next two big games, okay Mr. Rappaport?

  26. Jim S. says:

    It was a fantastic effort all the way around, Jandy.

    Geno did some great things. But, he still passed up some shots that were begging to be taken. C’mon, Geno! We know it’s in there.

    Fleury was fantastic. I am happy to say I was so wrong for thinking he could never come back like this, after the meltdown in the playoffs. I said I thought they needed to trade him, and that he could only get back on track for some other team in a change of scenery. That was during last year’s playoffs, and so many on here told me they could see exactly this scenario this season for Fleury. So much for my hockey acumen. Those people were right and I was totally wrong. Flower is playing as well as ever.

    He will still need to keep it up once we get past game #82, but I think he will. Also, DB will need to get him some rest as the season moves along. I’m sure Mr. Shero is looking for some veteran help on that front. Go Pens!!

  27. Jim S. says:

    I just heard a report on NFL Network this morning from … yes, the guy with the initials I.R. Apparently, Ben is pondering retirement after this season if he doesn’t get a pay raise. He is pondering a lucrative offer to become the Head Coach at Miami (OH). Still developing …

  28. Jandy says:

    Jim, that will be the proof for Fleury, when we’re past Game 82. I sure hope he has his head straight, and that the “system” doesn’t hang him out to dry…again.

  29. Jandy says:

    ROFL! A new soap opera…As The Football Flounders….stay tuned for the next episode…

  30. Jim S. says:

    I believe Jacques Martin is being credited with a lot of the improvements defensively. Nice hire by the organization.

  31. Jim S. says:

    I figure this “insider” reporting stuff is pretty easy. Even I could do it. You just say whatever you want to say, and Deion Sanders and Rich Eisen just nod their heads.

  32. Arriba Wilver says:

    It means Rene Gayo is doing his job.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Penguins were interested last night. Simple as that.

  34. Jim S. says:

    Nope, not at all. Just means Mr. Gayo and his staff are doing their jobs well.

  35. TK says:

    If Giant Brick Wall Could Talk it would say:

    TK paid four years of activity fees to build me.

    Then it would ask:

    Why has he never visited me?

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    JAL’s link #13 is very interesting, if not to suggest the rumor isn’t out there. Braun in NYC would be a good fit. Let those folks deal with the two most hated players in baseball, with Ortiz a close third. Subway Series could be rebranded the Syringe Series.

    It would weaken the Brewers, I think, as Davis (Khris or Ike) would not combine to be the player a juiced Braunie was. This confirms my suspicion that Melvin is looking to unload this PR nightmare if someone is willing to take that contract.

  37. Jandy says:


  38. 21sthebest says:


  39. 21sthebest says:

    I think Mr. Palumbo helped more than we did.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates have also had internal discussions about Robbie Cano.

    Clint: Boy, wouldn’t it be great to have Robbie Cano.
    Neal: Yeah, sure would.

  41. 21sthebest says:

    I see you’re not branching out either.

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, if the Brewers are so desperate to get rid of him that they’d trade him for a stiff like Ike Davis we’ll send them Garrett Jones.

  43. Jim S. says:

    Plan, to answer your question from late yesterday afternoon about Travis – I like him. I think Travis does a good job and I enjoy his writing style on baseball. But, I can see how his writing may not be every baseball fan’s cup of tea because he tends to delve into the SABR side of things. I think he does it in a way that most baseball fans in Pittsburgh would find engaging if they stick with him. But, that’s just my take. I straddle the fence of traditional baseball fandom while also being an admitted numbers geek. That’s not for everyone.

    If the question is about Travis’s reporting what Josh Johnson’s agent had said, essentially that the Pirates were one of the 3 or 4 finalists for his services, I have no doubt now that the agent probably wanted that story written to try to increase the offer from San Diego, where Josh probably wanted to sign all along. And, I would bet Travis knew that was a possibility as well. But, it had been written for a long time by many people that the Pirates had interest in Josh Johnson as a good “bounce back” candidate for 2014. So, if a reporter does his job and checks in with that player’s agent, and the agent tells him that the Pirates are indeed one of the finalists, what do you do as a reporter? DK and Travis can answer better than I, because I have not walked in their shoes. But, it seems to me, if the agent seems credible on the matter, you write a story similar to what Travis wrote. I don’t think there is any way the rumors will come through every time, but that doesn’t mean the reporter didn’t do his job. Travis never said the Pirates would sign Johnson – only that they were high on his list.

    If I’m getting too far into the weeds on this, I apologize. I did not see your end of the day question until this morning.

  44. NMR says:

    Anyone who believes there is a shred of truth to link #13 needs to read link #8 first.

  45. Jim S. says:

    One thing is for sure, Osh. We should definitely see this year just how good Ryan Braun really is.

  46. Dom says:

    Stetson Allie was left unprotected. I doubt he’ll be grabbed in the rule five draft. It’s hard to imagine he’ll last an entire season in the big leagues.

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, I don’t think there is much truth to it other than I think Melvin would love to get rid of him. I never thought Fielder would get traded and yet Texas dove ihead first into the insanity pool.

  48. NMR says:

    You have been missed, my friend.

  49. TK says:

    That’s why they named it after him.

    Told us he always signed his name with P.C.M. after it to remind him where he came from.

    P.C.M. = Poor Coal Miner.

  50. Joni says:

    And hallelujah!

  51. Jim S. says:

    This Jameis Winston story does not appear to be going away.

  52. Dom says:

    Thank you NMR. That is very kind. I’ve been checking the threads every now and then but haven’t had as much to say as of late.

  53. hockeymonster says:

    Night and day difference. Think I counted 3-4.5 stretch passes for whole game :)

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Imagine the booster that paid the woman to keep quiet.

  55. hockeymonster says:

    Defensive structure has helped flower but he’s also doing better staying within the posts and not over playing sharp angles. Hope last night remains the blueprint.

  56. Jim S. says:

    Reminds me of an old joke, Dom. A husband and wife have a son. A lot of time goes by and the son never says anything. He seems normal in all other respects, but he just doesn’t talk. Finally, they are eating breakfast one morning, and the son, who is now about 5, says, “Cereal’s cold.” The dad says, “You haven’t said a thing your whole life, and that is what you decide to say, now?” The son says, “Up until now everything’s been fine.”

  57. hockeymonster says:

    I also got a kick from PM’s post game interview with Pierre.

  58. He was overmatched at High-A. He should start there again this coming season. He did tear up Low-A.

  59. Jandy says:

    I missed that Monster Mash. What was said?

  60. hockeymonster says:

    He said that was best game all season and that “it was all about playing as a unit with forwards helping the d”. That was basically his quote.

  61. JohninOshkosh says:

    Gotta love Florida law enforcement. Couldn’t get convictions on Kennedy, Anthony and Zimmerman. Probably figured they would save themselves the embarrassment and let some rich alum hush it up with a check.

  62. NMR says:

    Has it really gotten that bad? You’re my Brewers source, so I trust you know.

    Braun, as a baseball player, is really, really good.

  63. Jandy says:

    thanks, and he’s right :)

  64. Jim S. says:

    The woman’s family is alleging that the Tallahassee PD told her to think long and hard about bringing charges against a football player in that town given how important football is there. If true, that would be unfortunate.

    DK: Let’s hope it blows up into something big. All too often, it doesn’t.

  65. NMR says:

    Just when the States got to poke fun at our Canadian friends, Florida had to go and try to one-up Rob Ford.

    That is so Florida.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    Looks like you didn’t read #13 very closely. Basically says there is a rumor (there is) and that it won’t happen. Actually ends up with a reasonable conclusion—move Braun to 1B.

  67. Jim S. says:

    True, Lucky. I believe they are concerned about his ability to sustain his hitting at higher levels because he strikes out so much right now.

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    It would be worse than unfortunate.

  69. Jim S. says:

    I like that you have a “Brewers source.”

    I have a guy that can hook me up with merchandise that “falls off trucks.” :-)

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    If Florida could talk.

  71. Jim S. says:

    Yes, for sure.

  72. Arriba Wilver says:

    I suspect that’s why there hasn’t been any concern mentioned about it.

    Unless people are just trying to branch out.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Dolphins and Incognito say “thank you” for changing the subject.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love Florida, for one week a year.

  75. NMR says:

    Exactly, Milo.

    Football culture just disgusts me anymore.

    How many times is this going to happen?

  76. NMR says:

    Nope, read it just fine buddy. But thanks for caring!!!

  77. NMR says:

    Haha, Nate’s my “Tigers source”. You’re my “Cubs source”. Ryan’s my “Giants source”.

    My connections run deep.

  78. Stuart says:

    Is there a sport where total team effort has as much impact on results than hockey?

    I’ve seen almost every Penguin game on TV this year, and most were hard to watch.. But two games, early season Bruins, and last night, the Penguins looked like they invented the game. It was fun to watch, and there wasn’t any channel surfing during that game.

    Gene Collier, last night said something to the effect that you could describe any Penguin Game in either two words or three words: “Stanley Cup” or “No Stanley Cup”. Last night was Stanley Cup.

    If there is a coach who can turn that effort on, like a faucet, with talent like the Penguins, they would be undefeated.


  79. Drew71 says:

    No weather report today, Jandy.

    I’m branching out.

  80. 21sthebest says:


  81. Joni says:

    I agree, PM gave a great interview last night. Paul’s poise during his interview with Pierre totally took my mind of Jeremy Roenick’s unfortunate choice of attire. I think even Don Cherry might have winced on that one. :)

    DK: Paul Martin’s a really intelligent young man.

  82. JohninOshkosh says:


  83. theplanisworking says:

    Thats because they are “branching out”. ;)

  84. Jim S. says:

    Need a watch?

  85. Jandy says:

    well. hooey!


  86. Jandy says:

    I almost had to put shades on! lol

  87. 21sthebest says:

    Somebody should interview Florida.

  88. Damon says:

    Loved the Pens team effort last night – they are starting to look like they did in their first 8-10 games. After Ovi rung one off the post early on, he really didn’t get close. Defense was excellent keeping the puck away from the net and intercepting passes. Forwards back-checked very well too. Players got in front of the net in the offensive zone. Pretty much went though the checklist of everything everyone was complaining about, and took care of business (other than Malkin passing to Kunitz when he was wide open 8 foot in front of the net).

    Bennett is starting to look good on Sid’s RW – I think they are starting to click. Same for Dupuis on Malkin’s LW. Jokinen and Sutter have chemistry. The new lines are quickly growing on me…

    The only negative I could speak of last night was the number of turnovers the forwards and Dmen had coming out of their zone. I don’t even think it was Washington doing anything special to force turnovers. At times the Pens would pass the puck right to a Cap player. The defense covered really well every time though. Other than that, just about a perfectly played game.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I thought I was your reading comprehension source. ;-)

  90. hockeymonster says:

    JR and Milbury are background noise…

  91. Jim S. says:

    Esther Rolle? She died in 1998. No help there.

  92. Jandy says:

    Seriously Monster Mash, I don’t know how in the world anyone couldn’t be blinded by the red plaid shirt and highly patterned crimson tie JR had on.. UGH!

  93. Jim S. says:

    + many.

  94. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well, thanks. Been called many things in my life. “Source” is a new one!

    My take on it is this. The Milwaukee media (including our (giggle) buddy, Michael “Don’t call me Mike” Hunt, have been pretty vigilant on this. The Brewers are going to be embarrassed at whatever happens opening day. If the fans stand and applaud (which they most assuredly will), that will be embarrassing. If they boo harshly (which they won’t), it will similarly look bad on an organization holding on to him. This is very polarizing here. Most people in Wisconsin are similar to Western PA. Work hard, play by the rules, etc. They don’t like betrayal or self-serving celebrities. Look at Pittsburgh with Jagr. This is a state where the most iconic sports franchise, the Packers, have not even retired the jersey of, arguably, its greatest player ever, because he had the audacity to un-retire and play for the Other Jets.

    I think the Brewers are uncertain as to how good a ballplayer he is. As Jim alluded to, nobody knows how the unjuiced Braun, assuming he is unjuiced, will perform.

    I think if they get rid of him, it will be before the Brewers Fest in January so they can maximize the PR. I think they would want to get rid of him for something better that a stiff (thanks, Milo), though. In the end I think he stays and the Brewers ride out the opening day publicity and hope PED’s didn’t make him the great player he has been. That’s a lot of scratch to pay for a lot of years.

  95. Jandy says:

    very, very good summary, Oshie, I like your take.

  96. Jim S. says:

    I think the Brewers will ride it out, Osh, and hope he can still be a great hitter. If he finally says and does all the right things, keeps a low profile, etc. it will eventually stop being a distraction. He has been his own worst enemy to this point, obviously. I believe local people will be very forgiving if he learns to take a dose of humility.

    If they trade him now, there is no way they will get much for him – for the reasons stated. We just don’t know how good he’ll be since he has been linked to PEDs since college.

  97. theplanisworking says:

    There is always the progressive insurance chick…………

  98. Jandy says:

    Glad to see Brenden Morrow doing well in St. Louis:

    While Morrow admits he hasn’t been as outspoken as he may be in the future, Hitchcock said that his presence has made other players accountable.

    “It’s not what he says,” Hitchcock said. “It’s the way he acts and the way he behaves. I don’t want to say that it scares people straight. I think his presence and his stare make you want to play a little bit harder.”

    DK: Another one of those odd dynamics from last season is exposed: It’s VERY awkward for a newcomer veteran, even a former captain, to find that comfort in the Penguins’ room, which is now and will forever be dominated by the players at hand.

  99. Dom says:

    I wonder if we can expect a JFK theme entry for the blog tomorrow.

    DK is a JFK buff isn’t he?

    DK: Buff is a bit much. I love the Sixth Floor Museum. Have been there with every professional trip to Dallas I’ve ever made, and that’s a lot.

  100. theplanisworking says:

    You mean Groat2Maz2Stranglove ?
    He comes out like Punxsatawney Groat and announces the days til Spring Training, then goes back into his hole. When it gets closer to actual ball being played, he starts sweating more, and a big, goofy smile comes across his face.

    He does us a nice public service by doing that. ;)

  101. theplanisworking says:

    Actually I think it does matter. Latin America was such a barren wasteland for the Pirates for so many years, that I feel it does matter. Yes, Mr. Gayo is doing a wonderful job, but he doesnt do it alone.

    It is a nice recognition of his work down there.

  102. theplanisworking says:

    Hoping for Superstition by Stevie Ray Vaughn —- written by Stevie Wonder for tomorrow.

  103. theplanisworking says:

    Where is Matt and Lucky when you need them?? ;)

  104. Damon says:

    If there wasn’t such a low salary cap this year, I’d bet Shero would have re-signed Morrow. He’d look good on the 3rd line right now…added grit would help the team too.

  105. theplanisworking says:

    Does Rappaport wear a black trench coat, and fedora when reporting these “exclusives???

  106. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, I was just being as little facetious yesterday……….. I just saw the back and forth over what I felt was nothing, and I just asked to get clarifiaction on who to believe/cheer for before I proceeded.

    Your answer was much more than I expected, and I thank you for that.

    Wouldnt want to get a blog ticket after all………..

  107. 21sthebest says:

    I loved that show. And Thelma.

  108. The Dolphins beat San Diego last week since the Chargers played lousier than they did, and so, the only thing that really matters in Florida is that it’s still football season.

  109. Bizrow says:


  110. theplanisworking says:

    Watching last night’s game, I thought how maddening it is to watch the Pens play. Some games, there is little to no effort. Some games they look like squawking chickens instead of Penguins. Other games, they have supreme effort, only to lose by a goal in a low scoring affair.

    Last night was one of those games you wish they could bottle for all 82 games. Great effort, no goofy breakout passes, players doing the dirty work in the corners, putting pressure on Washington’s forwards, excellent penalty kill, crashing the net, and that PP goal by Crosby was simply a thing of beauty, as were the 2 passes to set it up.

    Last night’s game, and the Boston game, show what happens when the Pens are “on”. When their skill on the ice is supplemented by grit and hustle (and no dumb peanalties/mistakes), the end result is a truly beautiful game to watch.

    Makes one wonder if they “turn it on and off” sometimes…………. but since the 3rd period of the Anaheim game, the switch seems to be very “on”.

    DK: In fairness, last night was a game EVERY team would want to bottle up. The Penguins played near-perfect hockey. That’s rare for the best of them.

  111. Bizrow says:

    I’m pretty sure he has written about visiting Dealey Plaza, maybe during the last Super Bowl down there?

    DK: I’ve written about it several times, but all of those are links I wouldn’t put up here. :)

  112. Damon says:

    Interesting take by Craig Custance:

    One of the promising developments for the American Olympic hockey team has been the emergence of a number of defensemen making a case to play in Sochi. John Carlson, Keith Yandle, Erik Johnson, Torey Krug and Seth Jones have all had outstanding starts to help their cause. But Wednesday night’s win over the Capitals was a reminder why Dan Bylsma doesn’t need to look far to find a duo that works in Sochi. Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik helped shut down Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, following a game in which they saw plenty of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, limiting the Ducks to one goal. Those are Olympic performances against Olympic-caliber competition.

    DK: Don’t think Orpik and Martin weren’t reminded of that. Or that they NEEDED to be reminded of it.

    I’ll be especially interested to monitor Jones in Nashville. Immense natural talent, and he’s right under David Poile’s nose there. I’d love to see him go, even if as a spare part. He’s a big part of the national team moving forward.

  113. Well, tomorrow, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination will be commemorated, so at least you can understand why Dejan is paying so much attention to it right now.

  114. Jim S. says:

    “Dyno-mite!” JJ was the man. Never liked the moody little brother. Thelma had it going on, though.

    John Amos was great, as he was in Coming to America and everything else I ever saw him in.

  115. Jim S. says:

    Haha! Blog tickets can magically go away, I hear … in Talahassee. :-)

  116. NMR says:

    Hahaha, but honestly, you are my English language source.

  117. Dom says:

    Has he said anything to that affect?

  118. theplanisworking says:


  119. NMR says:

    And that is why you’re my source! Much appreciated, sir.

  120. hockeymonster says:

    Seemed like they were feeding off the speed they were generating thru the neutral zone with the puck. Led to a ton of possession time and the kind of dump ins that led to quality cycles and chances. Or in other words “no goofy breakouts”. :) Amazing what a little player movement on PP can accomplish too.

  121. hockeymonster says:

    Lets hope team USA looks like the pens did last night…

  122. Jandy says:

    Shero was likely gritting his teeth when he had to let him go…

  123. Jandy says:

    Can we duct tape it in the “on” position?

  124. Bizrow says:

    Not that I know of

  125. 21sthebest says:

    Jim, don’t forget John Amos in the one of the McDonald’s commercials from the 70’s.

    “Grab a bucket and mop……”

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, your the one with the 9 wides.
    Get “on” it, Jandy. ;)

  127. NMR says:

    Gotta disagree with that last paragraph, Jim.

    Braun tested positive in 2011. We have 930 PA for which to judge how good he’s een since presumably stopping, over which he has slashed .313/.386/.525.

  128. Jandy says:


  129. Jandy says:

    somehow I don’t think the 9 wides would work in this scenario ;)

  130. theplanisworking says:

    Never, ever underestimate the power of the 9 wides. ;)

  131. Dom says:

    I hope he does talk about the tragedy. I would enjoy such a topic.

  132. theplanisworking says:

    Amazing what crashing the net will do also.
    The way the Pens didnt crash it at all earlier this year, one would think the net was quarantined………..

  133. What more can you expect, considering what’s at stake here? Of course, the best thing these athletes can do, especially at this time, is to stay away from these loose women and thus avoid these problems.

  134. theplanisworking says:

    Out for awhile………….
    behave yourself.
    No biting. ;)

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    Here it is. Commercial also featured Anson “Potsie” Williams. You Deserve a Break

  136. theplanisworking says:

    With all the baseball interest the past few days, surprised that no one mentioned the A-Fraud fiasco.
    Slamming tables, bug eyed rage……….. maybe he is still using?

    Or is he “branching out” ?

  137. hockeymonster says:

    Yup. I think they tried to get to net before but getting shots thru to the net are easier when you get defense on their heels and regain possession with numbers. Maatta is a machine from the point. Good shot selection too. Letang could learn a thing or 2 from him :)

  138. Jandy says:

    Loose women?? And that makes the athlete not loose?

  139. Jandy says:

    Behave? LOL!

    I kick, remember? :P

  140. Jandy says:

    He’s going for an Academy Award

  141. Now, Mother T. The young man said he didn’t use PED’s. Who are we to dispute that?


  142. 21sthebest says:

    Dodgers sign Dan Moskos and Clint Robinson to minor league deals.

  143. As for Jamies Winston’s predicament, well, you wish these athletes had the sense to avoid loose women and the troubles that come with them, although they too often don’t, unfortunately.


  145. NMR says:

    My lord. This guy has to be joking.

  146. Jandy says:

    Well, I’m Mother Theresa, pleased to meet you, Reverend Spunky ;)

  147. Jandy says:

    I don’t think so, NMR. He rambles on a lot, but he doesn’t usually joke. Not even sure if he knows how to do that…

  148. Jandy says:

    You’re just wrong in the head, James.

  149. JHadar says:

    I like that Moskos is still trying to make it.

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s joking.

  151. NMR says:

    Honestly makes me glad I don’t have kids.

    Scares the sh*t out of me to be reminded this kind of archaic thinking still exists.

  152. NMR says:

    That Clemson degree is probably worth more than that right arm at this point.

  153. The Gunner says:

    I would think Allie is at least 3 years away, if he ever gets here.

  154. The Gunner says:

    Unfortunately, probably more times than we could ever imagine. Too many thugs play that game.

  155. Teige Johnson says:

    McLendon…..I recall him being praised nonstop from DK last season as he wasn’t seeing the reps due to Hampton’s still-dominance (which is SORELY missed btw) Funny though, I haven’t seen DK praise him at all this year or eat any of his words. . . . BTW ( love the DK articles and not trying to drag him down, just pointing it out)

    DK: I wouldn’t take it as dragging me down in any way. Time passes. Things change.

    McLendon looked great in short spurts last year. No one would dispute that. McLendon’s also a supremely hard worker. That hasn’t changed. But I did write at the time — including asking Mac about this in interviews — that his run-stopping was in question. Well, it’s been exactly that. He’s struggled with it. That’s why we’ve seen more of Al Woods lately.

    You know, I write 200-plus columns a year, and none of them is etched in stone. Things really do change.

  156. 21sthebest says:

    And the left one.

  157. 21sthebest says:

    Forgot about Anson Williams being in that one, and there’s another character actor in there too but I don’t know his name.

  158. JohninOshkosh says:

    The venerable Bob Schieffer broadcasted Face the Nation from the Sixth Floor Museum last Sunday.

    I’ve never been, and I figured it was some cheesy local museum that someone threw together to make a tourist buck. I was surprised. Looked like it was a quality museum giving due respect to the sensitive history involved.

    I would like to see it. Must be somewhat creepy standing in that sniper’s nest knowing that this was the location world history was irrevocably changed.

    DK: It’s not just the museum. The entirety of the completely unchanged Dealey Plaza — right down to the 1960s light fixtures and street signs — is breathtaking.

  159. NMR says:

    For what its worth, my comment was directed as much at the authorities as it was directed at the player.

    People in all walks of life commit sexual crimes. Football players just get help covering them up.

  160. Jandy says:

    AW, you sure about that?

  161. NMR says:

    Hey, at least I remembered Clemson.

  162. Jandy says:

    P*ssy! :P

    (Not you, Biz)

  163. Damon says:

    I was just thinking….how do you assemble a defense corp for an Olympic team? The Pens have Martin and Orpik as a shut down pair, but against the talent in the Olympics you’d need 3 shut down pairs. Every team will have 2 or 3 potent lines. So does having a shut down pair a necessity, or do you just look at the available players, pick the best 7 or 8 and go from there? I would think you would need at least a shut down pair like Martin and Orpik, but Bylsma and that crew – or any national team coach – has their work cut out figuring out that puzzle and make it work.

  164. Jandy says:

    Morrow just has *it*

  165. Jandy says:

    Welcome to the Asylum, Teige! Care to give us your hometown, so Bizrow can add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum :)

  166. 21sthebest says:

    You only get kudos for that if you’re >= 40.

  167. 21sthebest says:

    Ian Rapoport killed JFK.

  168. Court Jester says:

    As the olympic hockey talk starts up it reminds me of Sid’s goal against the Americans a few years ago. That was one of the most complex emotions I have ever felt. As a fan of Crosby’s I was so happy for him to score, but as an American I was cheering for our team to win. I remember jumping up off of my couch with a cheer for Crosby and then immediately cussing for the Americans losing. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the same feelings ever associated with being a sports fan.

    DK: Heard so much of that from readers at the time. I was working and on a ridiculous deadline, so emotions were at the usual nil. But I remember walking out of the arena that night in Vancouver washing through some of the same thoughts.

  169. hockeymonster says:

    How bout adding the piece to the list?

  170. Jandy says:

    Jester, I hear you! I was elated and disgusted both at the same time. Such is the life of a hockey fan :)
    Hey, as I said to Teige above, if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Luantics’ Asylum :)

  171. Jandy says:

    There are so many deserving players…I don’t envy anyone who has to choose the “ones”.

  172. The Gunner says:

    I visited the Kennedy Museum about 5 years ago when I was in the Dallas area on business. It was quite a moving experience. And, creepy is an understatement of the feelings I had when I stood in the sniper’s nest. As a 13 year old on 11/22/63, I remember the events all too well.

  173. hockeymonster says:

    I’ll be happy to choose :)

  174. hockeymonster says:

    Also been meaning to say….how bout geno’s defense last few games? Iceman has been pointing out his overall play and assists but lately it seems like he’s in been in better position to create turnovers and help down low as well.

    Also i think duper and jussi should switch lines. Jussi is most useful playing with geno if not sid and duper seems to always look good with sutter. Still wanna see how gibby does this weekend but i wouldn’t hesitate to give megna another shot. Not only is he quick with good acceleration but he has good hands, IQ and vision. People have criticized his finishing ability but with late bloomers like him who have their legs under him its usually a good idea to let them get acclimated to speed of the game. His hands are capable of finish.

    And where’s sarah? We dismantle caps in text book fashion and no sign or her? She did say her head would explode if engo played ahead of borts again…should we be worried? :)

  175. Jandy says:

    Yeah I’m sure you would, but I’m thankful you’re NOT. Then Paul Martin stands a chance ;)

  176. Damon says:

    I’d go with:
    J. Johnson

    extras – Byfuglien and Carle

  177. Jandy says:

    Yeah I wondered where Sarah was myself. But after that win, she should be grinning like the cat that ate the canary…
    I get upset with people who don’t appreciate Dupuis, but he is so versatile, and such a team player, he will happily play anywhere in the lineup.

  178. Jandy says:

    Bigfugginugly! I love that guy…wish he was a Penguin…

  179. Jim S. says:

    Umm … plan … he said he DIDN’T use to Mike Francessa. Now, if there was ever a guy who seems trustworthy …

  180. hockeymonster says:

    He’s been a totally different player and defender going back to around the boston game. Very happy for PM.

  181. Jim S. says:

    I would also say that Washington figured into the equation. They pretty much rolled over and played dead once they fell behind. BTW, I love that about them when it comes to games with the Pens!

  182. Jim S. says:

    That clearly prepared John Amos for McDowell’s in Coming to America.

  183. Jim S. says:

    There are two guys in there I recognize from a lot of guest appearances in sit-coms. But, I don’t know their names.

  184. Jim S. says:

    I said the same thing yesterday about Vogelsong’s successful battle to make something out of his career after his disastrous time with the Bucs, Jhadar. If Moskos sticks with it, he could still carve out a decent career as a LOOGY. I wouldn’t say I’d lay money on it, but LHP get a million chances.

  185. Damon says:

    Malkin did make some plays in his own zone – a couple times he seemed to get there just as the D-pair was showing signs of cracking. Much better playing the whole rink.

    I’d keep Duper in the top 6 because he has been one of the top 5 on 5 scorers in the NHL in the past few seasons, and they need to get that going again. No way he does that on Sutter’s wing. Plus Jokinen showed good chemistry with Sutter – and has played with Sutter in Carolina. I think Jokinen’s could help Sutter get going too.

    I agree on Megna – he seemed to be in the right spot more often than Gibbons or D’Agostini.

  186. Jandy says:

    He turned it around last season as well, Monster Mash, but coming from you that is high praise.

  187. Jim S. says:


    I don’t know about Casey Hampton still being dominant last year. He was practically immobile. He was still effective at run-stopping due to his size and strength, but that is not nearly as important as it once was. The Steelers are giving up the bulk of their points because we have no pass rush and a shoddy secondary.

  188. Jandy says:

    agreed on everything :)

  189. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been meaning to get Duper to see if he can fix that pesky ice surface situation at the Consol. :-)

  190. hockeymonster says:

    No question duper can score. Was just thinking duper can help sutter in terms of depth and with defensive responsibility. And seems like jussi cant be jussi without a geno or sid to create space for him. Duper however can be super duper anywhere.

  191. 21sthebest says:


    The one guy is Robert Ridgely who played the Mayor in Beverly Hills Cop II.

  192. Jim S. says:

    Is Jeremy Roenick married? He must sneak out of his house w/o his wife seeing him. There is no way she would have allowed him to go national TV with that shirt & tie combo last night.

  193. Jim S. says:

    Travis thanks you.

  194. hockeymonster says:

    He was better than the season before…but come on…we all remember the season before. He’s much better defending front of net, passing lanes and just in general gettin shoulder to shoulder and liftin a effin stick. There was only so much i could take… :)

  195. Jim S. says:

    You could totally be making that up, 21, and I wouldn’t know. But, I’m impressed either way that you know the name of the Mayor in BHCII.

  196. Jandy says:

    Oh my goodness. Monster Mash and I agree on Duper, I think I’m gonna swoon

  197. Jandy says:

    LMAO, Jim, that’s exactly what hubby said last night..before he fell asleep and snored thru the rest of the game.

  198. Jandy says:

    I bet he would work on it, too ;)

  199. Jim S. says:

    Even if this is your idea of a joke.

  200. Jandy says:

    Martin was very good last season. Even you can’t deny it.

  201. Jim S. says:

    That combo was like Hee-Haw (shirt) meets The Cars (skinny tie).

  202. Jim S. says:

    & no add’l charge.

  203. hockeymonster says:

    I can retire from bloggin in peace now….

  204. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and i’d have him on the squad. His game as is on big ice would be good. I’d try to keep he and brooksie down to 20-22 minutes but they both are gettin it done.

  205. JohninOshkosh says:

    + Thanks for sharing.

  206. Jandy says:

    I was like WTH is he wearing?? hubby was howling. I gotta see if he’s married now…

  207. 21sthebest says:

    Well Dejan’s married.

  208. Jandy says:

    yes married with two children

  209. Jandy says:

    Good point, 21 ;)

  210. 21sthebest says:

    Don’t be impressed. Google knows everything. I just had to place the face.

  211. hockeymonster says:

    Would be tempting to move big buff to forward just for olympics! Get that truck moving towards the net at top speed on big ice…oh my…

  212. Jandy says:

    That’s generous of you :D

  213. Jandy says:

    Look out, Loretta!

  214. Jim S. says:

    Suspicions confirmed. Snuck out.

  215. hockeymonster says:

    It is generous isnt it?!?! :)

  216. Dom says:

    I was thinking that too.

    Not only is he married but his wife is a 10.

    DK: I’m Polcovich to her Schilling.

  217. Jim S. says:

    “As God is my witness, I swear jeans shorts were in style at that time.”

    I also thought turkeys could fly, but that’s another matter.

  218. Jandy says:


  219. Jandy says:

    You are incorrigible!

  220. Dom says:

    We had this discussion before didn’t we? Most turkeys can indeed fly. Just not the ones that are about to be a Thanksgiving day entrée.

  221. theplanisworking says:


    Its Groat the Groundhog !!!!! ;)

  222. Jandy says:

    Let’s not let facts get in the way of a fun narrative ;)

  223. theplanisworking says:

    He interned under Cherry.
    Cut him some slack, will ya? ;)

  224. If you’re talking about DK, you’re right. I don’t know about Roenick’s wife.

  225. theplanisworking says:

    Les Nesmann on line 1 for you…………………….

  226. Jim S. says:

    Your legend just took a hit. A small hit.

  227. Jandy says:

    YOur check is in the mail ;)

  228. Jim S. says:

    plan, you’re right. Being around Don Cherry would screw up anyone’s fashion sense.

  229. Jim S. says:

    But, from the height Less dropped them, Dom?

  230. No check expected, Jandelita.

    The rascal is always posting nice pictures of her and she tweeted “Happy Birthday to my amazing husband” on his birthday.

    She has to be a 10 to put up with his orneriness.


  231. theplanisworking says:

    Try 13 with the patience of Job.

    BTW, good afternoon, Reverend.
    Hope the BLUEgrass is treating you well.

  232. Jason says:

    I was looking at the Pens’ roster over on CapGeek. When Scuderi comes back, what defenseman gets waived/traded? They would be alright with the cap, I think if they just send down Sill and a d-man, maybe someone else.

    Another thing, does anyone know whether D’Agostini would have to clear waivers? Don’t think anyone would claim him though.

  233. Same to ya. (Careful with all the greetings. Might be considered branching out).

    And somebody blew some grass the other day around here. It smelled like weeds burning all day.


  234. Jim S. says:

    Operative word is “presumably.” We don’t know for sure that he stopped using after the last positive test, right? I think he is going to be better for the Brewers than the value Milwaukee would be offered for him right now. In other words, if you took a guy that is the same age and who performed identically in those 930 at bats but has never been suspected of PEDs, don’t you think he would bring a better return?

  235. Jandy says:

    true dat, Spunky!

  236. Jandy says:

    Gotta get some stuff done…Yinz be good. have a nice evening :)

  237. theplanisworking says:

    Weeds, or weed? ;)

  238. NMR says:

    But that’s not what you said, Jim.

    You said there is no way they’ll get much in return, not they’ll get less than if he didn’t get caught at all.

    And if we can’t be sure he stopped after 2011, then we can’t be sure he’s stopped at all which means PED use, or lack there of, shouldn’t factor into our conversation.

  239. Jim S. says:

    All I meant to say was right now, I think they’d be selling at the low end of his value.

  240. NMR says:

    Oh, well I certainy agree there.

  241. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was listening to Rossi on Madden’s show on the way home. He said that he didn’t think Pittsburgh fans fully appreciated Orpik and Martin. In talking to coaches from other teams, he said that they consider them a dominant defensive pair. He also defended Malkin, with the obvious caveat that he wasn’t scoring goals.

  242. Very much too young.

  243. theplanisworking says:

    Courageous to do such a high-stress, high-profile job.
    You are so right, much too young.

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    Very sad.

  245. Sarah says:

    Hey Peeps, I have been lurking.
    Had some minor surgery (cataracts that began mysteriously when I was much younger and finally had to come out)….

    Caught up on the highlights….esp the four-touch goal – crazy good.

    The Pens were up for this game.

    Liking BB up with Sid. Duper seems OK with Malkin, but the most juiced I’ve seen Geno was when he had Kunitz for a little bit couple games ago. SPeakign of Juicy, he seems OK with Sutter, but I still don’t consider Duper a top-6 winger.

    I still see Geno avoiding taking shots and though DK tells us not to over-think it, I still maintain his shoulder might not be right. You don’t go from top of the league in shots to one shot every 8 shifts for no reason.

  246. Sarah says:

    I did see that outfit!!!!!!

    My EYES!! MY EYES!!!!!!!

  247. Jandy says:

    Wow…cataract surgery…bet you’re a much better goalie now ;) (LOL)

    I disagree about Duper, but we’ll just have to let it at that :)

    Glad to see you, Sarah!

  248. Jandy says:


  249. hockeymonster says:

    I thought you said you agreed that duper should be with sutter yesterday? :)

  250. hockeymonster says:

    Welcome back sarah!

  251. Jandy says:

    I agree he plays well up and down the line up, Monster Mash. But I do believe he is a solid top 6 player. :)

  252. hockeymonster says:

    You see pensburgh link below for wed game? Unreal metrics in there.

  253. hap2009 says:

    Your last paragraph says it all. How will he play after game 82?
    Fluery has always been noticible in the regular season. I like his new mindset but I’m reserving my right to judge his performance during the playoffs.

  254. Jandy says:

    I hope they remember HOW to play like this tonight and tomorrow LOL!

  255. hockeymonster says:

    Fewer stretch passes = more goals

    Dont worry if they forget ill remind them :)

  256. Jandy says:

    stay on it! ;)

  257. Sarah says:

    Thanks Peeps!!! Yes it will be nice to see one puck instead 3 blurry ones!!!!!!

    Jandy I think Duper brings a lot, and his speed helps Sid in a lot of ways.

    I just think too many plays fizzle on his stick and think there’s better options. I think he’d be awesome 3rd line, as he has been through most of his career.

  258. Jim S. says:

    Sarah and Jandy: Checking back in and commenting the next morning! I like it! I thought I was the only one who checked the blog for cold pizza the morning after.

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