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Penguins 3, Maple Leafs 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (23-10-1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (17-14-3)

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: Root Sports, NHL Network (national), 105.9 The X

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe 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. theplanisworking says:


    Um, maybe we need Hawkeye and Radar and Klinger too?
    Pens resemble a M*A*S*H unit.

  2. Dodkong says:

    Just be glad the damage is being done to the defensive corps. With the young talent they’ve stockpiled, in theory, they should be able to weather the injuries.

    If this were to happen to the forwards, I think that the Penguins would have to rename themselves the Pittsburgh Titanics.

  3. I find it quite interesting that the complaint level around here about the prospective, and then confirmed, length of suspension for Thornton was higher than the National Debt . . . . .

    . . . . . but nary a comment has been registered that the Penguins are about to become the only National Hockey League team to have TWO players under NHL suspension AT THE SAME TIME for delivering head shots to other players.

    I guess it’s only “heinous” when the other teams hit our players. With Neal and Engelland, it’s just “boys will be boys.”

    Pay attention, Mario and Shero!!

    Maybe Dejan can go on Winnipeg radio to decry James and Deryk!

    DK: They aren’t comparable. I’ve discussed all of the hits in question commensurate to their actual impact. What you cite were hits. The other thing is an outright assault during a stoppage on an unsuspecting and soon unconscious victim.

  4. Jim S. says:

    No BJ Honeycutt, though. I think the team will go downhill, just as the series did.

  5. Jim S. says:

    Geno is out with an injury, and Neal is already suspended. So, 2 of our top 3 forwards are actually out now.

  6. Bizrow says:

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    • 12/16/2013 5:31 PM

  7. Never was the 1-3-1 more important than now with these young defensemen playing so much.


    (spoken like a true person lacking in hockey knowledge)

    For plan and the shriveled saint.

  8. tpbco says:

    Don’t forget Beau Bennett, who was a top 6, when he went out.

    So that’s 3 of the top 6 forwards and 5 of the top 7 dmen.

    Hope MAF is up for some heavy lifting.

    Also saw that Toronto leads the league in fighting majors. If HCRC decides to go that route…we got Harry Z and Bortzo….period. That’s bringing a slingshot to the OK Corral.

  9. tpbco says:

    Can’t argue with you double play. Both were stupid and selfish and the timing was the worst part of it. BOTH of them are needed right now.

  10. tpbco says:

    Sure hope MAF is on his game tonite.

  11. Pucknutz says:


    Can’t fire nobody tonight – too short handed as it is.

  12. Bizrow says:

    With all the injuries, right now, any points we get are gifts and much appreciated

  13. tpbco says:

    DK I agree, they aren’t comparable. But the end result (suspensions) are the same. Plus it appears the one heck of a lot of the NHL hockey world DOES think they are comparable, largely from the disinformation campaign out of Boston.

    And neither GMRS and HCDB helped with their comments about thornton.

    JMO, but Engo’s incident may have been a tipping point. I will not surprised if he doesn’t get 5 – 10 games…just because.

  14. hockeymonster says:

    Rest of the league would consider themselves lucky to play in games and rivalries as heated as Boston, philly n Detroit, regardless of suspensions.

  15. Bizrow says:

    How bout that Tigers bullpen??? ;-)

  16. hockeymonster says:

    I think neals knee was worse than Engos hit. Shammy would really be losing credibility if he gives him more than 2-3 games. And its too bad that thug known slew foot Clarkson is still suspended. He got 2 games for a much worse hit than Engos. I hope we get a chance to run that thug one day.

  17. Dodkong says:

    2 of 3 or 3 of 6 isn’t the same as 4 of 4.

    The forward equivalent of the current defense situation would be Sid, Geno, Kunitz and Neal being out all at the same time. And guessing that will be for approximately 6 games.

    How many of those hypothetical 6 games would the Pens win missing the quartet of forwards I mentioned above?

  18. JohninOshkosh says:

    For those who may have missed it above, game is national game on NHL Network.

    My wife and I really enjoy HBO’s 24/7 for the New Year’s Day Winter Classic. Of course, it features Detroit and tonight’s opponent, Toronto. It comes across readily that the writers for that series love hockey. The cinematography is fabulous. Well done for the NHL collaborating with HBO.

    Plus, it’s easily the closest my wife and I get to watching sports together !

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sorry, Mr.Biz. Wasn’t meant to be a reply. Just got a tablet, and trying to figure things out !

  20. Dodkong says:

    Unless I’m forgetting something, Engelland is guaranteed at least 6 games since he has an in person hearing.

  21. hockeymonster says:

    It’s not a guarantee. Up to Shammy.

  22. Pucknutz says:

    I believe you are correct Biz…
    But for some strange reason I have a good feeling about this game – young guys gonna play hard and good.
    If the Flower holds the fort long enough – who knows…
    Don’t look good on paper though.

  23. hockeymonster says:

    I hope Sarah reminded disco to keep Phaneuf away from sid.

  24. Pucknutz says:

    I figured someone would poke the bear — figured maybe the Saint — no you! LOL

  25. theplanisworking says:

    To heck with the 1-3-1.
    I suggest tonights gameplan has lots of bubble wrap………

  26. theplanisworking says:

    Which one is it? Tiger? Or Bull? ;)

  27. Pucknutz says:

    Nice start for the third line !!!

  28. theplanisworking says:

    Hmmmm, I posted 1-0 good guys on the Morning thread.
    OOPS !!!

  29. Pucknutz says:

    Young guys ain’t afraid to go to net !!!

  30. theplanisworking says:

    Gratuitous fight time.
    Funny, didnt see that in the Steeler game last night as a way to “settle things”.

    Bettman, Jacobs, and Shamahan cackling with glee somewhere…….

  31. theplanisworking says:

    This doesnt surprise me, but it bothers me.
    He has a technical “right” to do this, but……………….

    Interesting to see how the Neanderthal Bettman caves on this……….

  32. Pucknutz says:

    Gratuitous fight ? (Big word Plan not sure I get it. lol)
    Spontaneous I would call it. Was it necessary? Prolly not
    I am evolving though – in the past I would have said “OK good fight – in the course of play”.
    Now – as soon as I saw the helmet come off – somebody gonna get hurt – don’t need that at all.
    Do I need to see a couple fights per game to enjoy it – Nah, not at all. Game has tooo many other good things going.
    Love to see good hard clean hits – fighting can be banned – won’t hurt a thing.

  33. Dodkong says:

    Why would Bettman change the discipline that his subordinate handed out?

    Wouldn’t that send a message that there is a division in the NHL front office?

    I fully expect Bettman to uphold the discipline. Now, the neutral arbitrator that Thorton and his camp will move to afterwards, that’s a completely different story.

  34. Jandy says:

    Let’s not let details get in the way of a good narrative ;)

  35. Jandy says:

    It’s likely to be 5 games or more.

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Goes to an arbitrator if it remains 6 games or more.

    Mr. Thornton, if you are so contrite and sorry, like you presented yourself the night of your assault, then why not be accountable and accept your paltry punishment ?

  37. Jandy says:

    Hey! I resemble that remark! :P

  38. Jandy says:

    OK yinz are all taking my name in vain tonight!

  39. Jandy says:

    Bull or crap?

  40. Pucknutz says:

    Good point, gotta back your subordinate.
    No brainier for Bettman – even if he loses the NHPL is the one that looks bad.

  41. Jandy says:

    Actually Borts looks extremely pissed off about something!

  42. Jandy says:

    actually, he should ADD 5 games!

  43. Jandy says:

    If Thornton is sorry, then I’m Mother Theresa!

  44. Dodkong says:

    I believe he was checked by the guy he fought. Probably took exception to something there.

  45. Pucknutz says:

    Now we are talkin sense!!!!!

  46. theplanisworking says:

    Bettman doesnt HAVE to uphold the punishment.
    He has the right to diminish it, regardless if it goes to an arbitrator.

    As for backing Shammy to appear “united”, you dont know Gary Bettman. This has the makings of appeasing Bettmans boss…….. Jeremy Jacobs, Boston owner. Also dont forget, there were some in the Boston and knuckledragging camp that thought the penalty was too harsh.

    I see Bettman knocking off a game or 2.
    Whether Thornton takes it to an arbitrator remains to be seen.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    Well………………… ;)

  48. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Milan Lucic was almost coerced into a fight by a fan in downtown Vancouver last night. Sounds like he deserved to be slew-footed and pummeled into unconsciousness by the fan for refusing to defend his honor. Then, the fan should’ve only received 15 days of probation, which should be appealed.

  49. Dodkong says:

    So why wouldn’t Bettman appease his other “boss”, Mario? Or one of his other 28 other “bosses”?

    I’ve just never understood this train of thought that a professional sports commissioner kowtows to just one owner. If he were to do that, he’d alienate all the other ones.

  50. theplanisworking says:

    Go back and reference the latest lockout.

    Bettman was listening to Jacobs, the real force behind the lockout.

    GODell listens to Kraft the most, not all owners equally.
    Selig listens to BOS/NY owners, not all owners equally.
    Stern listens to his favorite owners.

    As for listening to one owner making other owners upset, all the commissioners listen to the most powerful, or the owners that are best for the $$$$$ of their sports. Happens frequently.

  51. theplanisworking says:


  52. Dodkong says:

    So none of the other owners were in agreement about making more money by shrinking the players take? Jacobs was the *only* owner pushing to make more money?

    Sorry, not buying that at all.

    Bettman listens to all of the owners, as he works for them. He’s inclined to do as they wish during lockout negotiations. But to flip things on this suspension topic at the behest of one owner. Nope, don’t see Bettman doing that. Not unless he’s angling for a pink slip.

  53. theplanisworking says:

    Your argument is lacking.
    All the owners were not in agreement for the lockout. They were divided……. not 50/50, but there was not unanimous agreement for a lockout. So, if the owners are divided, who does Bettman listen to? If we apply your argument, he cant listen to anyone, because they arent unamimous, and he doesnt want his “pink slip”.

    Very rarely do owners in a league agree unamimously on a sublect. It does happen, but not often. Again, if we apply your argument, nothing would ever get done. All commissioners listen to trusted confidant owners. Not saying its right or wrong, it just happens. Tagliabue listened to Rooney. GODell listens to Kraft. Selig listens to Steinbrenner. Stern listens to Buss. And, Bettman listens to Jacobs.

    Commissioners may technically listen to all owners, but that doesnt mean they listen to them equally.

    Guess we will have to see what happens at the appeal hearing. But to say any commissioner doesnt have more trusted owners he listens to, isnt right.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    When the fights equal the goals scored in a game, well………..

  55. Dodkong says:

    While I’m not against the non-staged fighting, I really don’t like the concept of a player fighting more than once in a game. That is the type of thing that just begs for mental health damage.

  56. says:

    Agreed! I could watch that show three times a week all season. The Flyers-Rangers series was even better than the Pens-Caps. Episode 1 this year was prime.

  57. Jandy says:

    Bodie must have pissed off more than one Penguin lol

  58. theplanisworking says:

    2nd fight in a game by the same player should result in a match penalty.

  59. Jandy says:

    That might not be quite fair, Hipposter, especially if he didn’t engage it. Players could tag team other team’s players to get them ejected.

  60. J Walter Weatherman says:

    The Pens are essentially playing a 1st line, a 3rd line, two 4th lines, and three third defensive pairings (or worse). Not quite sure how they’re competitive.

  61. Jandy says:

    You know, kinda like you get tag-teamed on here ;)

  62. Jandy says:

    sheer will by the WBS fill ins :)

  63. theplanisworking says:

    Do like Orpik did in Boston, refuse to fight, and skate away.
    Really not hard to do, but I can see your point.

    Players need to be smarter.

  64. Dodkong says:

    Ok, yes, my choice of words was poor there.

    Of course a commissioner can’t listen to every individual owner and intend to get anything accomplished. But he most likely listens to a majority voice. Otherwise, how does a commish listening to his BFF owner get anything done? Since, by your own determination, listening to that BFF owner, still wouldn’t get anything accomplished, right?

    You making this claim that one owner has a Batphone to his respective commish’s office that gets him preferential treatment smacks of either insider info or a persecution complex.

  65. theplanisworking says:

    No persecution complex.
    Just going by what I remember what happened during the last lockout.

    Have a pleasant evening. :)

    LETS GO PENS !!!

  66. Jandy says:


  67. Jandy says:

    A lot of people believe Jacobs’ money influence(s) Bettman. Myself included. Anyone who thinks money doesn’t talk is just ingenious

  68. Pucknutz says:

    Cumon Sid, ya don’t throw a punch right in front of the refs – get the guy later !

  69. Dodkong says:

    Ugh, listening to the Toronto feed, they’re talking about Despres. Calling him a stay at home defenseman. That he’s been biding his time in the AHL. Wow, how completely off target that commentary is.

  70. Jandy says:

    yeah that was dumb

  71. Dodkong says:

    And there is your Consol Energy Center quality ice at work

  72. Brandie says:

    I would ask that question of the poor nun who had her jaw broken among other injuries after being attacked by the teenage thug. He accosted her. Would the attack not have happened if she, this 85 year old nun fought back? Makes you wonder!

    Enough of this blame the victim mentality. Mr. Thornton, accept your punishment and move on!

  73. Jandy says:

    Hear, hear!

  74. theplanisworking says:

    Good Evening, voice of Reason Muppet.

  75. Dodkong says:


    Sure, money talks, I’m not naive to think otherwise. But the train of thought that one owner has the pull, or leverage, to “make” a commish do as he wishes makes no sense to me. Why would the other 20something-30something other owners put up with this? Why would they not vote to fire said puppet commish immediately?

    Maybe Jacobs was the (self?) appointed leader of the majority owners voice pushing to take money from the players during the lockout? Maybe it’s Jacobs acting as the go between for that majority owner group and Bettman? I refuse to believe that it was Jacobs on his own pushing things. If that’s the case, then why does any Bruin player ever get disciplined? Why wouldn’t the Bruins get the benefit of favorable playoff scheduling?

    And as for money talking, why wouldn’t the Leafs, Rangers and Habs owners not have more pull? They are the flagship franchises in the NHL.

  76. Brandie says:

    Such a quality facility to have such ghetto ice.

  77. Jandy says:

    Dodkong, I have better things to do than argue this line all night…like watch the game :)

  78. Brandie says:

    Good evening all. Nice to be here.

  79. Brandie says:

    Good evening Nutzie!

  80. Jandy says:

    Nice to see you, Brandie Sistah :)

  81. Brandie says:

    Hey hey…We have Nunzie, Nutzie, Federal Street’s own Hockey Monster, Hip Hop Hippo, Revvie…quite the crew. Mind if I hang for a bit with yinz?

  82. Pucknutz says:

    Rather patronizing there are we not Plan.

    Dodkong makes some good points and you seem to just blow them off.
    Come back with—
    “Bettman was listening to Jacobs, the real force behind the lockout.” Plausible but…
    Now how do you really know that???
    Jacobs may indeed be one of the “squeaky wheels” in the NHL but there are certainly a number of owners that have as much money and as much pull as him.
    Persecution complex is a bit strong— but you have been beating the drum pretty hard on Jacobs lately.
    He aint the only one – the NHL as a whole is glacially slow to implement “any” change.

    Have a pleasant evening. :)

  83. theplanisworking says:

    not patronizing
    And, by your logic, I would say Dodkong blew my points off also, but its all good.

    I wish you an even more pleasant evening. :D


  84. Jandy says:

    Please do :)

  85. Brandie says:

    Hockey players are dropping like flies! Hopefully Megna isn’t too dinged!

  86. Brandie says:

    Why, It’s The Plan! The Plan!

  87. Jandy says:


  88. Brandie says:


  89. Brandie says:

    If they all fall, who replaces the replacements?

  90. Jandy says:

    YOu, Me and Sarah!

  91. Pucknutz says:

    Fair nuff Plan.
    We can quibble forever about the details but I will just stand by my last point…

    ” the NHL as a whole is glacially slow to implement “any” change.”
    As the Saint say below – lets watch the game!!!

    I wish you an even more pleasant evening. :D

    Absolutely no sarcasm intended !!! lol

  92. Brandie says:

    Only if I can play a wing!

  93. theplanisworking says:

    2 minutes for “check to the head”.
    I dont like the sounds of that.
    I am fearing another “hearing” for a Pens player.
    Not good.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Chicken wing?
    Penguin wing?

    Curious minds want to know.

  95. Jandy says:

    I am too, that was bad

  96. theplanisworking says:

    For Brandie………………
    CROSBY!! SCIRE !!!!

  97. Jandy says:


  98. Brandie says:

    It’s The Crosby Show…Get out her ugly sweaters!

  99. Jandy says:

    Ollie Maata continues to amaze

  100. Pucknutz says:

    Can’t see a suspension on that one – would be a bit “pickey” — looked to me to be clean.
    No intent that I could see.

  101. Pucknutz says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes…

  102. Brandie says:

    Should be her, not her!

  103. Brandie says:

    HIRE MAATTA! Beaker is amazing!

  104. Brandie says:

    Mmm Chicken wing!!!!

  105. Pucknutz says:

    Borts ain’t just chopped liver tonight either!!!

  106. scapper says:

    This game is going to provide some great stuff for 24/7. We’re going to hear some great garbage talk on the ice, the benches, the locker room…already can’t wait.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Borts playing on the edge tonight.
    Not saying that is a bad thing, but with that “check to the head” penalty, I will say it again, and again……….

    Players HAVE to be smarter.

    But I do like the fact the Pens arent cowering to a physical club like the Leafs.

  108. theplanisworking says:

    As I stated Mr. Kunitz!

  109. theplanisworking says:

    Never mind………….


    Great penalty kill there!

  110. Brandie says:

    Sutter put the butter on the biscuit!

  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    1st shorthanded goal of the year.

  112. Jandy says:

    Sutter, unlikely hero!

  113. Brandie says:

    Keep taking and dishing hits to the head that’s going yo become difficult Plan.

  114. theplanisworking says:

    There you are!

    And, you provide the fact of the day.
    Well played, sir.

  115. Brandie says:

    Me too Brother Scappz!

  116. Brandie says:

    Good observation sir Meye-low!

  117. theplanisworking says:

    I dont care what type of smoke and mirrors are being used, how big the MASH wing is, the fact that All of Wilkes-Barre is on the Pens roster, the Pens keep finding ways to win. In this recent streak, San Jose, Toronto, Detroit, et all are being beaten by the Pens.

    Not exactly little sisters of the poor.
    Seems like a different player comes up big every game.

    Scary to think of what this team could do if/when they get everyone healthy.

    And, credit has to go to Disco, Granato, and Martin for the job they are doing. I do reserve the right to FIRE BYLSMA if the Pens go south. ;)

  118. As I predicted, the 1-3-1 does it again!

  119. Brandie says:

    Scrappy bunch those W-B-S Penguins!

  120. Brandie says:

    But tonight it’s


  121. theplanisworking says:


  122. Jandy says:

    darn right Spunky!

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dodkong—welcome to the Blog. If You haven’t done so already, list where you live and Biz can add it to the Lunatic Nation list.

  124. Pucknutz says:

    Ok, I am gonna be a smart a$$ braggart and ref my 6:48 post !!
    Blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while !!! lol

    Seriously, great game, young guys played hard , fast, and with tremendous energy!
    Matta, Borts, what can ya say!
    Can they carry the emotion forward and hold the line till the regs come back ????
    Just one game– lotsof adrenaline flowing out there – but I am liken what I am seein for depth later in the season.
    lets do a few big smiles :) :) :)

  125. Wild Bill says:

    Saw pds 2 and 3. All credit to Bortuzzo, Sill, Harry Z, and Megna for not letting the Pens get pushed around. Somebody needed to hammer Kadri, though.

  126. Pucknutz says:

    Second that Arriba – good posts Dodkong – enjoyed the repartee!

  127. The Pens are winning with nothing, just as the Steelers should be but aren’t.

  128. If Shawn Thornton were really and truly sorry, do you really think he’d be filing an appeal?

  129. Joni says:

    Absolutely agree with the 24/7 road to the winter classic specials. I thought the Rangers/Flyers was the best of the bunch. Whenever I see Brian Boyle I think of the team’s ugly Christmas sweater party. That and the “you’re bleeping irrelevant out here” comment!

  130. Jandy says:

    Haha! Loved that “irrelevant” comment LOL!

  131. The Penguins, of all people, are defending Sean Thornton in all this. Now you all try figuring out that one.

  132. Of course, Shawn Thornton’s main reason for appealing his suspension is financial, though he should’ve thought of that before he beat up Brooks Orpik.

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