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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Penguins 4, Islanders 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (14-8) vs. New York Islanders (8-11-3)

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: Root Sports, 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi and I are on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, 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. This is a very dangerous game!

    ——speed of Islanders
    ——coming off almost perfect performance in last game
    ——Zat in goal
    ——looking ahead to Canadians
    ——mental let down being back at home

    Defense going to have to collapse around goalie again, like last time.
    Stray, get frisky, and goals will result.


  2. Pucknutz says:

    Lets Go Pens


  3. hockeymonster says:

    NOOOOOO…..Planisworking is suppose to open the thread. :)

  4. Pucknutz says:

    He has been slacking lately – drop the puck ! lol

  5. hockeymonster says:

    Bad hippo

  6. Pucknutz says:

    Dunno Groat, dangerous may be a bit strong…..
    Isles are fast….. Pens aint exactly slow…
    Almost perfect performance …… proly aint gonna play that well – 80- 90% of that outta do.
    Zat – kid has been playing much better – D will tighen up for him.
    Looking ahead – ya they sometimes do that.
    They have been home for two days, should be setteled…. although sometimes at home ya tend to put on more of a “show” for the fans….
    Isles PK is 30th …. maybe feast on that and put it away early. Na the Pens never make it that easy. :)

  7. theplanisworking says:


  8. theplanisworking says:

    The thread wouldnt load for me til a little bit ago. :(

  9. theplanisworking says:

    Is that like bad Grandpa??

  10. Wild Bill says:

    Hey, I want to stick my spur in the ice, too. Let’s go Pens!

    Hoping no Nabokov on a night we’re using Zats.

  11. Pucknutz says:

    Hate when that happens- worse– I painfully slowly type a long post and it just sits there and spins for an hour!

  12. Pucknutz says:

    Easy on that ice Bill, it is bad enough without spurin it up !!! lol

  13. hockeymonster says:

    And bad santa

  14. theplanisworking says:

    Bad Santa was one of the funniest movies ever.

  15. Wild Bill says:

    Ok, I’ll take my boots off.

  16. theplanisworking says:

    You want 16 angry union members chasing after you?

    Still cant figure out how a $330 million dollar arena, that has more awards than people on the earth, has such bad ice.
    Its all Dejans fault.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Open call out to one Milo Hamilton.
    Would like to hear your thoughts on WPIAL Games tomorrow.

  18. hockeymonster says:

    You’re welcome :)

  19. Eric Bowser says:

    Kunitz – Crosby – Bennett
    Dupuis – Malkin – Neal
    Jokinen – Sutter – Gibbons
    Glass – Vitale – Adams

    Orpik – Martin
    Maatta – Letang
    Niskanen – Engelland


    Let’s Go Pens!

  20. hockeymonster says:

    Engo = Adams

    I think we’re stuck with this

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    Yeah… stupid come playoff time.

  22. Eric Bowser says:

    It’s a Light ‘em Up Night in Pittsburgh

  23. Pucknutz says:

    Geeze….. Stiegy says Fleury about five times…. Did cover is pretty slick … “looked like Fleury anyway”
    Ah well Stiegy gets excited…

  24. theplanisworking says:

    I havent heard another Steigy “classic” recently………. “cleared, but not out”. :(

  25. theplanisworking says:

    KUNITZ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1-0 Good Guys!

  26. Pucknutz says:

    Kuni deserved that one – he was hanging around the front of the net the whole time. Sid sets him and he can and does bury it!!!

  27. theplanisworking says:

    KUNITZ ON FII-YER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2-0 Good Guys. :D

  28. Pucknutz says:

    That is a “true fact” …. but yinz all know what he means… LOL

  29. Eric Bowser says:

    Amazing what the Pens PP can look like with Letang off the top unit.

  30. Pucknutz says:

    Pulls Gibbys skates out from under him right in front of the goal. Dangerous play … why no call ?
    Ya sometimes ya let em play….but not a potential bad hurt one.

  31. Sarah says:

    So is Borts injured
    Or just Bylsma’d?

  32. Pucknutz says:

    You know how much I hate to agree with you Eric…. but…….. :)

  33. theplanisworking says:

    Much as I hate fighting in the great sport of Hockey, I feel a fight is coming in this game. Isles with chippy play, always bumping into Zatkoff…………… looks like iot is gonna happen……

  34. Wild Bill says:

    This game is not over; those guys can skate.

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens are not exactly playing sound hockey… leaving zone a bit much before puck is out and Isles are crashing the net hard. Pens need to control the puck in offensive zone and make sure F3 is positioned correctly.

  36. Dom says:

    Okposo looks hurt.

  37. Wild Bill says:

    Right on.

  38. Eric Bowser says:

    That was a terrible high-sticking penalty assessed to Evgeni Malkin to wipe out Chris Kunitz’ third goal of the game. The inconsistency of NHL officiating isn’t just a game-to-game problem from one set of referees to another, it is wildly inconsistent from shift-to-shift.

  39. Eric Bowser says:

    They took some shots that period… MacDonald, Grabner, and Okposo, the latter the worse for wear.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    Gary “The Troll” Bettman hears you, and says another lockout will help fix the problem.

  41. Pucknutz says:

    Normally I don’t bother whining about officiating — been watching the game for almost 40 yrs — NHL refs try to keep the game even — just the way it is— I usually can live with that, but…
    For some reason tonight some of the non calls and the phantom high stick on Geno are gettin to me.
    Robbed Kuni of a hat trick…. IMHO.

    Ok, rant over, Kunis gonna get it and more !!!!

  42. Jandy says:

    in other words, the referees suck?

  43. Jandy says:

    Cal Clutterbuck needs knocked into next week

  44. Jandy says:

    I hate to agree with you, but I do!

  45. Pucknutz says:

    Geeze, Eric, that twice in one night I agree 100 % with ya!!! LOL
    Maybe we are drinking the same thing? :)

  46. Jandy says:

    Hey hey, it’s Spunkster :)

  47. Jandy says:

    If the Isles had a decent coach, they wouldn’t be in the cellar.

  48. Pucknutz says:

    St. Peter aint gonna like that kinda talk up there Saint.
    Might send ya to the penalty box in purgatory for a bit!
    Even though you may be correct! colen, right para

  49. Dom says:

    2-1 good guys

  50. Jandy says:

    And I can kick St. Peter in the derriere with the size 9 wides too ;)

  51. Jandy says:

    Dom, your man getting a break tonight

  52. theplanisworking says:

    HE SHOT THE PUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. Dom says:

    Finally! Malkin with a goal

  54. Jandy says:

    And there it is!

  55. Jandy says:

    woop woop!

  56. Dom says:

    About time. He was certainly playing too much

  57. Jandy says:


  58. Dom says:

    Martin hits the crossbar.

  59. Wild Bill says:

    Letang forgot he’s a defenseman again.

  60. Sarah says:

    Oy Zatkoff looked way offline there.

  61. Dave G says:

    Zats has a HUGE 5-hole to shoot at.

  62. Jandy says:


  63. theplanisworking says:

    3-3 Bad guys…………….. ;)

  64. Dave G says:

    Goal was stick-side… but watch the replay. Gaping 5-hole there.

  65. Sarah says:

    Good God.
    Another fish we’ve seen before.
    Hit a post, miss a breakaway, pass when .you should shoot….
    2 mins later its tied.

  66. Dave G says:

    Martin turns it over and it’s a tied game.

  67. Dom says:

    3-3??? I walked away for five minutes!

  68. Jandy says:

    sadly so…

  69. Dom says:

    The score isn’t what I want but this is as exciting as it comes.

  70. theplanisworking says:

    1st period……………….. Pens on top of their game.
    2nd period……………..Pens on bottom of their game.

    Frustrating the difference between effort, and carelessness.

  71. Jandy says:

    more carelessness …. and dropping the game plan for run and gun….smh

  72. Sarah says:

    Stunning to watch the Pens p-ss this one away. The Isles just do that to them.

  73. Pucknutz says:

    Ya it is fun to watch… need to settle a bit in the third though…

  74. Sarah says:

    Bennett Bylsma’d w 2:53 of ice time that period.

  75. Pucknutz says:

    Not peed away yet, agreed the Isles sucked them into a run and gun, lets see if they focus a bit in the third.
    Hate to admit it but the run and gun “is” fun to watch. Lotta Ohhoos and Ahas and Yeahs and oh Sh$$s !
    Hey its reg season, have a bit of fun!!! lol

  76. Pucknutz says:

    Ya, what he do bad???

  77. Pucknutz says:

    Looks like “run and gun” till the end…..

  78. Jandy says:

    Bylsma must be seething…

  79. Sarah says:

    And it appears the line experiments are over.

  80. Pucknutz says:

    Ya, perversely, I am lovin it !!!

  81. Pucknutz says:

    Whackin and hackin !! 2:30 left, Don’t get no better !!!!

  82. theplanisworking says:

    THANK GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. Jandy says:

    Nah…just mixing it up a bit again

  84. theplanisworking says:

    Hallelujah !!!

  85. Jandy says:


  86. theplanisworking says:

    Its a win!!!

    Crosby’s 250th!

    Bring on Le Habs.

  87. hockeymonster says:

    Just wanna know one thing…was Milo not entertained?!?!

  88. Pucknutz says:

    Loved this game – not the “perfect play’ as the last – but very entertaining.
    Run and gun – well Sid took care of that.
    Absent some of the bad calls early – the Pens run away with this one. No fun in that!
    This is one I really wish I was in the building. Just see soooo much more there.
    Great one for the Consol crowd!!!
    Go Pens!

  89. Wild Bill says:

    The boys got it together down the stretch. Kunitz still got hosed by that call on Malkin.

  90. theplanisworking says:

    Good night everyone.

    Tomorrow…………. GO PITT !!!!!!!!!!

  91. Jandy says:

    Night Hipposter :)

  92. Jandy says:


  93. Brandie says:

    Glad to see the beloved Pens won. Maybe I’ll see you all for the Have. Take care all!

  94. Brandie says:

    Have should be Habs!

  95. hockeymonster says:

    Good team effort last night. Happy to see Zatkoff hold his own too. For most part they have good understanding of my monster puck possession system but wanted to say we cant be committing 2 forecheckers when opposing defense has clear possession or about to have clear possession of puck. We’re doing a good job of generating speed with possession thru neutral zone which is leading to a lot of 50/50 pucks and pressure. But when we dont or cant regain possession our F2 needs to back up and defend passing lanes up ice. We did this to perfection against the caps wed night but got a little too carried away last night. I know left wing lock has and will help but we gotta pick our spots when it comes to sending in multiple forecheckers and working outside a 1-2-2 formation. But still good team effort and focus last night. We’ll be doing the Monster Mash soon enough :)

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