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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 more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.



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

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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?

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

    • LETS GO PENS !

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

  2. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

  3. • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

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    • 12/16/2013 5:31 PM

  4. 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.

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

    • 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 !

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

      • 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.

        • 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!

    • 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.

  6. How bout that Tigers bullpen??? ;-)

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

  8. Nice start for the third line !!!

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

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

  11. 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…….

    • 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.

  12. 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……….

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

              • 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.

              • 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.

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

                Have a pleasant evening. :)

                LETS GO PENS !!!

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

            • 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. :)

              • Puckz,
                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

                LETS GO PENS !!

        • 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

    • 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 ?

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

  19. And there is your Consol Energy Center quality ice at work

  20. 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!

  21. @Jandy:

    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.

  22. Good evening all. Nice to be here.

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

  24. 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.

  25. For Brandie………………
    CROSBY!! SCIRE !!!!

  26. WOOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  28. Ollie Maata continues to amaze

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. Sutter put the butter on the biscuit!

  32. 1st shorthanded goal of the year.

  33. Sutter, unlikely hero!

  34. 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. ;)

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

  36. Scrappy bunch those W-B-S Penguins!

  37. 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.

  38. 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 :) :) :)

  39. 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.

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

  41. 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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