Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Penguins 4, Flames 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (26-10-1) vs. Calgary Flames (13-16-6)

Time: 1:08 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 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:

    Friday was a busy day in the NHL……………

    1st, Brooks Orpik skated with the team yesterday, but we dont know when he will officially return. No word how the skating went.

    2nd, Boston Herald “rationalizes” why Thornton should get much fewer games suspension-wise………….

    3rd, and finally, Semyon Varlomov had all the charges dropped against him yesterday…………….

    Yes sir! Banner day for the NHL.
    Then they wonder why they are called a garage league.

  2. Bizrow says:

    Things are not always fair

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

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation

    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*, Lake Havasu City
    • Argentina, Buenos Aries
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Alaska – Anchorage
    Australia – Mackay, Gold Coast, Geelong
    Brazil – Vitoria, São Paulo
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank, West Hills, Encino
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks
    China – Beijing
    Crete – Vlites
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    England – London
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera) and a*, St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, W Melbourne, Melbourne, St Johns, Wesley Chapel
    France – Strasbourg,
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth, Savanna, Hoschton, Grayson, Newnan
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne, Ramstein*
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin, Chicago, Naperville
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield, Munster
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt, Maquoketa, Urbandale
    Ireland – Dublin
    • Israel – Ginot Shomron
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Georgetown
    Kuwait – Relyks76*
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead, Elkridge, Frederick, Bowie, Sykesville
    Massachusetts – Boston, Tyngsboro, East Gloucester*, 617 Strong*, Medford
    Mecca – Slienmann*
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mason, Battle Creek
    Minnesota – Yinzer, St Paul
    Mississippi – Biloxi, Ocean Springs
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Nebraska – Omaha, Lincoln
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville, Hammonton, Mullica Hills, JERSEY SHORE, Montclair, Monmouth Beach
    New Mexico – Mike, Albequeque, blazer
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Lewistown
    Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point, Winston Salem
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton, Northwood, Middletown, Dayton, Cambridge, Martins Ferry
    Oklahoma – Tulsa – OKLAHOMA CITY/MOORE ,,
    Oregon – Roseburg, Eugene
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, Erie, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Green Castle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Philipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Natrona, Charleroi, FREEDOM, Denver, Midland (the home of good food and many bars), Selinsgrove, Dormont, Scott Township, Blawnox, Arnold, Ligonier, Wells Tannery, Swoyersville, St Mary’s, Titusville, Shippingsburg, Sharpsville, Brookville, Mountain Top, Mt Joy, Bloomsburg, Portage
    The Philippines
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston, North Charleston
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park, Pleasanton
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke, Vienna, Alexandria, Lynchburg
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet, Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Grafton
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*
    439 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
    Lemonade Guy
    The Gunner, Mr Bob Prince
    The Great One, he stays regardless
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin Mcclachety
    Mike Emerick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg/Swissvale
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh*
    Rocky Bleier*
    John Challis – Courage + Belief = Life
    All Servicemen and women that have been in battle, ever
    Sgt Doug Vitale
    Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band
    Barney Dreyfuss
    George Benson
    Phil Coyne
    • Tony Dorsett
    • Vince Lascheide
    • John Barbaro
    • Art McKennan
    First Responders***
    27 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 4 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 12/21/2013 12:33 AM

  3. Carlos Danger says:

    Not sure if I just overlooked it but I am in Carnegie, PA and follow Dejan religiously. Not physically following him, just read all of his articles. Wanted to clarify that so there are no unnecessary restraining orders or anything…

  4. Drew71 says:

    As the holidays approach, this is the traditional time each year when I start to plug into the Pens on a more regular basis. I won’t get to see a lot of their games, so I have a Q(s) as I leave my hockey hibernation.

    For those of you who HAVE been watching and feel qualified to answer (I wouldn’t be, even if I had watched)…

    Is MAF playing at an elite (or close enough to it) level?

    If so, is it just another example of a tendency to meet expectations withOUT the pressure of playoff hockey?

    If not, if this is different, why? What’s changed?

    None of those Qs are intended to imply or assume a negative or a positive. I’m just asking because I’ve picked up a sense of change from many of you.

  5. Drew71 says:

    And I can’t trust Dejan on hockey now that he’s evidently become a Cheese Head.

  6. cherokee23 says:

    Follow the team pretty regularly, far from an expert. My thoughts….as with the whole team, they will be judged by the playoffs. They have proven to be a great regular season team. I do like how MAF is playing & handling himself, except for playing puck behind the net. He seems more reserved & confident. After being concerned with teams play early, I also like how the team is playing lately…..My concern is if they can continue to play simple & sound hockey when all the regulars return from injury, or if they will fall into the trap of free-wheeling play. In conclusion, If the “stars & regulars” can stick to & play a simpler, hard working game I like their chances. But, I’m not so sure they can/will do that

  7. hockeymonster says:

    I’m sure he’ll appreciates some tweets from carlos danger :)

  8. MadTurk says:

    Simply put he is playing more post to post and not flopping around as much. Which crates better angles and better positioning without the awkwardness.

  9. Pucknutz says:

    Yes, he is playing what I had called calmly – but someone else called it “economy of movement” – DK perhaps.
    Well put Turk.
    Still scares me behind the net though !

  10. DJ says:

    Always amused when I see a local recruit dissing Pitt and saying the coaching staff disrespected him by signing other players at the same position. If that’s your concern, then how about committing early?

    From Pitt’s perspective, not having top quality d-backs to go along with linemen is killing them. Was at the Miami game and the defensive backfield was awful, despite all the accolades coming into this year. Henry would have helped there.

  11. Joey Bats says:

    LaMarr Woodley has been playing with the same style (economy of movement)…since signing the BIG FAT $ CONTRACT a couple of years ago.


  12. Matt says:

    This Pens team is where the Steelers would be if they had won those first 4 games despite injuries. They’re seeing adversity, dipping into the younger players, and being forced to adapt. The team will be stronger for this.

    MAF looks good and is leading the league in several categories. He’ll be fine I think. His playoff choking has become a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy. Everyone looks for it, so it amps up the pressure and the slightest mistake sets people off. They just need to commit and let him play.

  13. DJ says:

    Also amused that Dravon Henry was taking advice from Rushel Shell.

    There’s a sound decision-maker.

  14. DJ says:

    A good analogy on Steelers and Pens.

    That said, there always that one cheap, soft goal every few games with Fleury where you have that little pang, wondering if the ghosts will be resurrected. Will know much more this spring.

  15. Carlos Danger says:

    Hockeymonster – I will try to refrain from sending anything like my namesake.
    Drew – I have observed most of the games so far. I use that term because I watch intently usually, but sometimes the PBR tastes too good so the later periods are a little hazy. Anywho, I pretty much agree with the other comments. I feel like the team has been playing more sound defensively around fleury which enables him to calm down and play better because of that. But like Cherokee said, will that continue when we have all of our regulars back? That is the part that has frustrated me the past few years – when we finally get our best players together on the ice it seems like they abandon the system that made the team so successful in their absence. But I digress… In response to your question I feel that Fleury is back to the player we all hoped he would be. I think the bigger question is will the players around him continue to play this sound defensive hockey throughout the season and postseason.

  16. Stuart says:

    I’m not sure that MAF is Psychologically Sound at times. He is fine most of the time, but occasionally makes a little mistake which seems to snowball, eroding his confidence. He should not be allowed to venture behind the net. Most of his problems begin there. In a game earlier this season, he kicked the puck from behind the net right onto someones stick in front of the empty net. Things in that game went downhill from there.

    Right now, he’s looked great. Most of the goals he has allowed recently, are from a little distance rather than net-front. On the plus side, he is able to forget a bad game the next time out, and, in fact seems to be sharper after a bad one. I wish he could do the same thing after a bad goal. Unfortunately letting in a bad one invariably leads to letting in others.

    In summary, he is playing well, but watching him makes a person uneasy.


  17. Drew, I have not observed any games from my desolate location here in south central KY and have little knowledge of the sport on the whole, however they are winning and I attribute it to the 1-3-1 and MAF’s lack of pressure from an experienced backup.

    Plan will not concur. He believes the 1-3-1 should be left to basketball.

    Stay thirsty my friend.


  18. And they say that most fans and players want the NHL to continue to be a garage league, presumably because that’s all they’ve ever known.

  19. MadTurk says:

    Yes he scares me when he leaves the front of the net every time. Seems to always give it to the other team.

  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not to mention un-biased.

  21. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not sure what prosecutors dropping charges against a hockey player says about the NHL.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Yes, Matt and DJ. We are allowed football-hockey analogies.

    Just a friendly warning, however, of the bold reamings to follow any BASEBALL analogy.

  23. The Pens have just signed Jeff Zadkoff to 2 years, $600,000 a year, and, hopefully, it’ll be well worth it since their backup goalie has been doing quite well lately, including that recent win over the Minnesota Wild.

  24. Thundercrack says:

    If you were physically following him we would have noticed you.

    We’re always just a few steps behind DK at all times.

    Except when he goes to cold places in Canada

  25. Brandie says:


    Thanks for the shout out yesterday! Came at just the right time. ;-)

  26. hockeymonster says:

    Sharks have a week for him

  27. The prosecutors said that that they had new evidence which determined that there was nothing to prosecute. Whatever.

  28. Bizrow says:

    Welcome Carlos, Carnegie makes it 440 locations

  29. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey you wacky muppet you. All the best to you & yours this holiday season & especially in the year ahead.

  30. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think Shin So Choo owes 10 percent to Brian Kenny. Ridiculous.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:


  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    Harry Z !

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    Now John, we all know that walks are the most important thing these days.

  34. theplanisworking says:

    Pot stirrer! ;)

  35. JohninOshkosh says:

    Too bad that wasn’t prevailing thought when I was in little league. I would have been filthy rich.

  36. theplanisworking says:

    Actually Drew, you hit the nail on the head with your original comment, Fleury is doing well, because it is the regular season with no pressure.

    Yes, he got a new goalie coach, and he went to a psychologist, but we wont know much until the playoffs. The defense has been better infront of him, and he isnt flopping like a fish in net, but keep in mind, he had a great regular season last year, then imploded.

  37. Wild Bill says:

    I’m just glad to have Choo out of our division. He was a problem.

  38. Drew71 says:

    Thunder. I didn’t know your house was in Canada.

  39. Drew71 says:


  40. Drew71 says:

    Thanks for the MAFeedback, everyone.

    If I were to summarize, it seems that most are providing a nuanced message that:

    1. He looks like he’s playing differently than last regular season, which MAY imply its not just the usual regular season MAFster. BUT…

    2. We’ll believe it when he does it in the playoffs.

  41. theplanisworking says:

    That Crosby kid can play just a little.

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maata off to the locker room. The hits just keep on coming.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    Team Canada will always be prohibitive favorite for Gold so long as he laces up the skates for the Maple Leafs.

    What a pleasure to watch play.

  44. JohninOshkosh says:

    National Team, not Toronto. :)

  45. theplanisworking says:


    Have a great time tonight at the “Tanker Bowl”.
    StubHub says there are only 468 tickets available for the game, so you wont get to stretch out as much as you would like.

    I fear the game may be set back 40 years tonight………..
    you are a brave soul for getting a 10-game pak for the Bucks……..

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yohe says he blocked a shot with his hand or arm. Sometimes those gloves don’t offer a whole lot of protection.

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s out there to start the 3rd.

  48. theplanisworking says:

    Even the women getting ready for the Olympics………… sheesh

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    Technically, they said they didn’t think they could win a conviction. I just didnt’t see the connection between prosecutors dropping charges and the NHL being a “garage league.” But “whatever” may be right on point.

  50. Sarah says:

    US women have a lot to prove

  51. Sarah says:

    ….and tHis Crosby scrub, why do we hang onto him?……

  52. Sarah says:

    I believe it’s all about 2) since last spring. And maybe before.

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not as much as most other places.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    I was just linking that even the women are brawling.
    I saw the “highlights” on ESPN this morning.

    I think each penalty box had 6-7 players in it.

  55. theplanisworking says:

    I was just linking that even the women are brawling.
    I saw the “highlights” on ESPN this morning.

    I think each penalty box had 6-7 players in it.

  56. Brandie says:

    Thanks Meye-low! I hope your Christmas and the year ahead is peaceful, prosperous, and blessed.

  57. hockeymonster says:

    Is that what midseason form looks like?

  58. Sarah says:

    Seriously can anyone explain Adams’ ice time? Ahead of Sutter for cripes sake, and basically in the top half.
    On the same note, explain Despres’ TOI.

  59. Anyhow, the Pens won their 10th straight home game against a soft team that gave them more of a battle than they anticipated this afternoon, and so, they should now have mostly clear sailing, at least until playoff time.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News