TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Morning Java: Neverending climb

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Wednesday column challenges Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to do better.

Bg0VxikIMAAK11S

The news coverage up here in the mountains focuses on Lauryn Williams’ suddenly strong bid to become only the second Olympian with gold in the Summer and Winter Games.

The hockey notebook looks at Dan Bylsma’s steady hand and other Penguins-related stuff on quarterfinal day.

Here are all 10 videos for Channel 11 News so far, including yesterday’s on the incredible nerve center of the Olympics …

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio, and here’s yesterday’s edition interviewing Olli Maatta and Blake Wheeler about instant team-building.

Here’s the Trib’s Olympics page.

Here’s the official Sochi 2014 page, with all the schedules and results.

Here’s the official U.S. Olympic team page.

Here’s the official NHL Olympics page.

And here’s NBC’s Olympics page with all the highlights.

>> The climb to Sanki Sliding Center, home of bobsled, feels like it never stops.

The phenomenal topographical distance between Sochi’s coastal cluster, home of the ice sports, and up here in Krasnaya Polyana, home of the snow sports, is a peak elevation of 7,610 feet. Or 1.44 miles.

Think about that: It’s like rising elevation-wise from Los Angeles to Denver, then adding on another half-mile. Oh, and in the span of less than an hour.

Know how your ears pop driving up Grandview Avenue to Mount Washington in a matter of seconds?

Well, imagine the ears popping every minute or so for an hour straight on the winding, swirling bus ride, and you’ve got this experience down.

>> Back in that other hemisphere, Tony Sanchez continues to earn the Pirates’ trust behind the plate. Rob Biertempfel reports from Bradenton, and he uploads this video, as well …

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page, including more on Francisco Liriano being named opening day starter.

>> Six players the Steelers will watch closely at the NFL combine, by Alan Robinson.

Here’s the Trib’s Steelers page.

>> This one’s worth a repeat: We have tons of great blogs at TribLIVE, all specializing in their respective sports. Encourage you strongly to check them out and bookmark.

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.

414 Comments

  1. First? Nah, blog must be broken.

  2. A year ago, Francisco Liriano was an enigmatic mystery man trying to get healthy. Now, amazingly, he’s about to become the Pirates’ Opening Day starter. {Jayson Stark}

    One of the reasons you gotta love baseball. ( I guess this type of thing happens in all sports)

  3. JAL’s Sweet Home Alabama Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye5BuYf8q4o

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2014

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: A Glimpse at the Future

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/first-pitch-a-glimpse-at-the-future.html

    Jason Grilli throws off the mound; Josh Harrison has a girl

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/jason-grilli-throws-off-the-mound-josh-harrison-has-a-girl.html

    Draft Prospect Watch: Top-Heavy Draft For College Pitchers

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/draft-prospect-watch-top-heavy-draft-for-college-pitchers.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Francisco Liriano to start Opening Day

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/2/18/5422966/francisco-liriano-to-start-opening-day

    7 Rumbunter

    Travis Snider Finger Saving Kitchen Utencil Gift Ideas

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/18/travis-snider-finger-saving-kitchen-utencil-gift-ideas/

    The Andrew Lambo Project Begins

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/18/andrew-lambo-project/

    8 Green Weenie

    No Snow In Bradenton…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/02/no-snow-in-bradenton.html

    9 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Bucs All But Out On Kendrys Morales

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/02/18/pittsburgh-pirates-rumors-bucs-kendrys-morales/

    10 Saber Bucs

    A.J. in PNC vs. A.J. in Philly

    http://saberbucs.com/blog/2014/02/17/a-j-in-pnc-vs-a-j-in-philly/

    11 KDKA

    Despite Losing Burnett, Coonelly Says Bucs Will Be Better In 2014

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/02/18/despite-losing-burnett-coonelly-says-bucs-will-be-better-in-2014/

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Full-squad workouts begin in Bradenton for Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.bradenton.com/2014/02/18/4999503/full-squad-workouts-begin-in-bradenton.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates | Grilli still making most of closing time

    http://www.bradenton.com/2014/02/19/5001516/pittsburgh-pirates-grilli-still.html

    13 Beaver County Times

    Sanchez prepared to forgo Pirates’ 1B platoon

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/sanchez-prepared-to-forgo-pirates-b-platoon/article_22cf98f5-46ce-549f-b466-11a2f04855ce.html

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates hope Alvarez continues strides from October

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/pittsburgh-pirates-hope-pedro-alvarez-continues-strides-from-october?ymd=20140218&content_id=67892460&vkey=news_mlb

    15 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Spring Training Profile: Edinson Volquez

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/02/18/pittsburgh-pirates-2014-spring-training-profile-edinson-volquez/

    16 Fangraphs

    The Orioles Bet on the New Ubaldo Jimenez

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-orioles-bet-on-the-new-ubaldo-jimenez/

    17 ESPN

    Clint Hurdle’s message: The time is now

    http://espn.go.com/blog/spring-training/post/_/id/1334/1334

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Strauss: Now it’s Cards’ turn to be heavy favorites

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/joe-strauss/strauss-now-it-s-cards-turn-to-be-heavy-favorites/article_71a1424b-1ad7-5bb5-b114-e6be50b7e6b6.html

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Top Tools Best Hit/Power

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22854

    20 Lindy’s Sports

    Pirates’ McCutchen vows to build on MVP year

    http://lindyssports.com/mlb/pittsburgh-pirates/column/fantasy-news/pirates-mccutchen-vows-to-build-on-mvp-year/186188

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers seeing Ben Roethlisberger lead by example

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/18/5422330/roethlisberger-leads-by-example

    Steelers trades: Jerome Bettis deal one of the most lopsided in franchise history

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/18/5421748/steelers-trades-list-jerome-bettis-rams

    22 Steelers Depot

    Will the Steelers Start Playing Some Moneyball in the Near Future?

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2014/02/will-the-steelers-start-playing-some-moneyball-in-the-near-future/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Football Dynamics: Bayern, Arsenal, Man City & Barcelona

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/football-dynamics-bayern-arsenal-man-city-barcelona

    24 BBC Football

    Rene Meulensteen, Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley exit Fulham

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26251769

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Dan Bylsma Has Been Here Before (Tuesday Slew)

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/2/18/5423484/dan-bylsma-has-been-here-before-tuesday-slew

  6. It’s just like the Russians anymore. They detain and rough up members of the Pussy Riot band protesting corruption and anti gay laws in Russia while allowing a demonstration outside the American embassy by youthful pro Putin party members protesting the ref’s disallowing the goal that might’ve allowed Russia to beat the US in that preliminary hockey game.

  7. Report from Pirate City and Spring Training:

    1/ LOTS of fielding drills of first full day of workouts. Different from last year, when all infielders took grounders at same field on first full day, Pedro, Jordy & Barmes, Walker, Gaby & Lambo stayed at one field and Matt Hague, Chase D’Arnaud, Martinez, and Travis Ishikauwa were sent to another field. Gaby was obviously giving instructions to Lambo between grounders. Lambo fielded grounders fine, but his footwook around the bag was less than stellar. He looks like he is playing “connect the dots” defense. I was here when Bucs were converting Jeff Clement to 1st Base, and Clement was much more fluid. Much, much more!

    2/ After Starting Pitchers were all done throwing bullpens, they (and catchers) came to this field with the starting infielders for bunt defense practice. Pitcher took stretch, then threw either to 1st or home (to make sure 1st basemen did not leave too soon), then coach threw down bunt to charging Pedro, Lambo or Gaby, and pitcher, while catcher shouted out base to throw to. This went on quite a while. Some lollipop throws, but only throws into center field were by Wandy and Lambo. Very next bunt after throwing into center, Lambo threw a 2-hopper to 2nd. He has a way to go!

    3/ Travis Snyder already nursing an injury——Rob B says it’s a cut finger, but Snyder started out doing the basic stretching exercises and running with the outfielders, then came over to the trainers, spoke to them, then stood with them during rest of running and stretching. Don’t know why a cut finger would keep him from running and rolling his shoulders and stretching his quads and hammies.

    4/ For fielders, always two groups——infielders and outfielders. When sprints were run at end, Jordy Mercer usually finished first in each drill; sometimes Barmes, once Neil Walker. Surprised one of younger guys like D’Arnaud or Hague would not try to shine here. Pedro always last. For outfielders, Marte always first, McCutch always last.

    5/ Fun to watch batting practice groups. Preset by coaches, 4 to a group. Travis Snyder must have originally been with McCutch, Marte, and Polanco——only group of just 3. Pedro did not BOMB the ball like last year but it was just one day. I loved how McCutch handled his hitting: his first 20 swings he went exclusively to right and right center. When he had that zeroed in and put 3 straight over the right center wall, then he started pulling the ball. And pull it he did, off the roof of the batting cage building and the roof of the dorms. No cheapies.

    6/ Know how this works: each group hits for quite a long time, while other 3 groups shag. Each hitter gets 6 swings, then next hitter steps in, then next, then next, then back to 1st hitter. That’s what made the McCutch/Marte/Polanco group so much fun . . . only three and more rounds. McCutch was the Bombing star, while Marte was the hitting star, hitting line drive after line drive into the gaps. He was most consistent of all, with a roof shot thrown in every once in a while. Polanco start out slowly. After McCutch started fencing the balls, left and right, then Polanco started hitting moon shots over the rightfield fence into the swamp there. B-I-G shots——the kid has power——but I would like to see the high fly balls go away and line drives over the fence or to the gaps like Marte and Cutch. Fun to watch though. His power shots were bigger than Pedro’s on this day!

    7/ After batting practice there against coach, groups immediately to another field where they hit against a pitching machine throwing nothing but curves. Marte was the star not only of his group but of every group I watched all day. He still hit almost nothing but line drives against curves. Jordy Mercer was the 2nd star, and Barmes 3rd. McCutch hit about two medium fly balls against curves (out of 30 swings) with the rest grounders to short or up the middle, or foul backs. Polanco did not get it out of the infield and kept ‘reaching’. On this day he could not hit the curve. Remember: They know curve coming! Lambo had the worst 5-swing set: 2 swings and misses (the only ones I saw), 3 foul backs. On Lambo’s regular batting practice against coach, he hit a lot of Major League infield popups. UGH!!

    8/ I watched Taillon and others throw bullpens, but they each threw only 25 pitches so there wasn’t much to see. No one was popping the ball very much, and no “stuff.” Grilli threw the ball the hardest, at least by sound, but he warmed up behind screen in 2nd bullpen, so you could only see his outline. Sounded good though and his form is unmistakable.

    IT’S TIME FOR BASEBALL, FOLKS!

  8. Oh boy. Frank has pronounced that the Bucs will be better this year despite losing A.J. We’re doomed.

    Had been wondering about the elevation change near Sochi when looking at those vista shots. D.K. has made it clear how dramatic the change is. The weather there has been ridiculous.

    I’m very concerned for the Ukraine the minute the Olympics are over.

  9. Hopefully, Papa Francisco will be ready to start against the Cubs when opening day comes round on March 31 at PNC Park.

  10. You have likely also heard about outfielder Travis Snyder cutting his finger while in the kitchen paring sweet potatoes not long ago.

  11. Only small gripe I have about Sid is that I would like to see him take the puck in deeper on goalies when he has a clear path to the goal mouth, something that Patrick Kane often does.

    Sid has such unbelievable hands and stick-handling abilities that I think it would benefit him.

  12. Finns go up 3 – 1 with a pp goal. Russians curiously passive on the kill.

  13. Varlamov out, Bob in.

  14. Go, Lauryn Williams!! I can’t imagine learning a new sport and being an Olympics favorite several months later. That’s pretty special. She’s living the dream. I hope she captures Gold!

  15. We’ll I’ll be darned, the sun is shining in Duncansville :)

  16. End of 2nd period. Finland 3, Russia 1

    • Just got a chance to check in – from what I heard Suomi looks good as a team, Ovi is choking and Geno has looked better in this game. Is this about right so far? I may get a chance to see some of the 3rd….

  17. The Finns are leading the Russians at second period’s end 3-1. It’s been said that if the Russians are eliminated, it’ll be the worst Olympic defeat in Russian history, especially since they’ll be going home for the third straight year without a medal. Too bad.

  18. Don’t look now, but Predictocevic might have nailed it or come close. He picked the U.S., Canada and Finland to medal. Can’t remember which order, but I know he didn’t pick a U.S. gold, but a Canada one.

  19. Did ya’ll hear that CBS replaced Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe from their pregame show and added Tony Gonzalez?

    I don’t know why they wanted to tweak that lineup as those five guys had such great chemistry.

    Maybe Marino will work in the Dolphins front office.

  20. I don’t know who the Finnish equivalent of Robert Bortuzzo is but he’d better get ready. I don’t know how you can trust Olli Maatta in the medal round. :)

  21. Wonder where Brandie and Sarah are with a hockey game in progress. They must have headaches.

    :o

  22. Finland now on the PP

  23. Grandlund hits Malkin, he’s a bit shaken up.

  24. So looks like the ruskies have been practicing the disco stretch….

  25. Rootin for the Finns – but feeling bad for Geno.
    Finns playing shutdown now ….

  26. Whoever this Russian coach is, I foresee a vacation to Siberia soon.

  27. This is looking like the Pens-Bruins series.

    Russia’s finest talents getting stymied at the blue line, and then Rask at the back end to stop the few lesser quality chances that do get through.

  28. Bob just shut down Jussi on a 2 on 1

  29. I see where Olli gets his cool….. Finns very composed… no panic…

  30. 2 minutes left in the game :)

  31. 4 straight icings wow

  32. Am I the only one that finds this game amusing ?

  33. FInal Finland 3 Russia 1

  34. On the ice surface size, you certainly expose D-men who cannot skate, but there seems to a lot of downtime spent retrieving pucks along the boards and in the corners where it is difficult to immediately get a body on a D-man.

    Heard that Finland’s rinks are wider than the NHL but about 8′ less than a traditional international surface. That size might be ideal, giving the true skating talents more room to operate but eliminating some of the puck retrieval time.

    I love the goal further away from the end boards. Better chance of keeping it away from the goaltender. Fleury would certainly benefit.

  35. Shero needs to get Geno on a plane right away.

  36. Rats poor Geno.

  37. Wow…..good for Finland, good for Jussi and Maatta. For all the talk from the Russians about making it their Olympics, they just didn’t seem to have the urgency and passion they claimed they’d have (except against the US). Hope the Finns meet the US in the gold medal round.

    • Damon, seems the Russians were out-coached…

      • Seems they were out-everythinged….surprising since they were missing several good players, and the Russians had their whole team. I feel bad for Geno, and Milo had an excellent post above – Geno needs to leave that mess ASAP and get back to Pens practice (which I think starts today?).

        Already getting pumped/nervous for noontime…

      • That will happen when the President (or whatever title Putin has now) picks the coach.

  38. Russians will regret not starting Bobrovsky for a long time.

  39. I know that Russia’s forwards were underwhelming, but equally underwhelming were their D-men. They would benefit from a couple quality puck-moving D-men.

    Can we trade Letang to Russia?

  40. Al Michaels redux: “Do you believe that Ovie is still medal-less? YESSSSS!!!”

  41. Unpleasant thought: Tuukka Rask is out there waiting for the Pens once again come playoff time.

    • I hate to agree with you, but he makes the Bruins the favorite to win the East.
      Boston is built for playoff hockey.

      Pens need to step it up to go to the Cup Finals.

  42. Besides leaving KHL to play in dallas i’d love to hear what nichuskin did to be benched in favor of tikhanov and popov? Good thing they left volchenkov and gonchar at home.

  43. I think when you look up “class act” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Teemu Selanne.

  44. Would this be a good time to point out that there are all of 5.4 million people living in Finland? It is a decent sized country, geographically. But, the population density might be the lowest in Europe.

    For a small country, they sure do put out a large # of world-class hockey players.

    And, they also seem to have somewhat of an idea of how to form and coach a team as well.

  45. Good lord….I’m seeing on twitter that Malkin actually had to TELL Bil to pull the goalie. Malkin told the coach. Unbelievable.

  46. They say that for the older Russian hockey players, this loss will never be forgotten or forgiven, while for the younger ones, not so much so, although the Russians will be hanging their heads over this for some time to come.

  47. Y’know Peeps that net being off its mooring an inch or so is lookin mighty large now!!

  48. This is what I want to hear from Malkin now: “I am fly.”

  49. I’ve decided that for next Halloween I’m dressing as Johnny Weir.

  50. Just heard the Russian coach threw Ovi under the bus saying something like “I have no idea how Ovechkin couldn’t score in 4 games.” Guess he’s trying to avoid a trip to Siberia…

  51. I have an idea how it happened – he’s a one dimensional player, and teams now know how to take that dimension away.

    • Sorry, thought I hit reply to Damon.

    • Maybe he cut his finger on a potato also?

      • Hey Planster. My son’s BB team will be playing your Hurricanes this Saturday in the WPIAL’s at a time and place TBD. How many points will you give me? :)

        • Wherever it is, get there early.

          • Indeed Milo.

            I heard the gym was packed over an hour ahead of time last Saturday. I remember driving some older fans to games when I still lived there……….. we always got there first so they could pick a good seat, and the AD always got a chuckle hearing the times I got them there.

            Not saying I ever went fast, but once I got from NC to North Allegheny in 26 minutes. Everyone else got there 25 minutes after me. :)

        • I don’t know……….. maybe 20 or so?

          I looked at the bracket, and I don’t know where they will play the game. Could be North Allegheny, Ambridge, Chartiers Valley, or some other random spot. I hope you already have your tickets if you are going………… New Castle will buy every ticket available. Doesn’t matter how big the gym is.

          Good Luck to your team.

          • Thanks Plan. I am figuring NA, Butler, or maybe even Westminster if they can get another high profile game there. Definitely getting there early.

        • Ben O’Connor is a top notch coach.

          • Don’t know much about Bethel Park, or their coach. I do believe you when you praise him.

            The problem New Castle poses for any team is their speed and athleticism. If you try to run and gun with them, you will lose by 30. If you try to slow the ball down, they are aggressive with their D, and create many turnovers and get easy baskets, and you lose by 20.

            Best way to beat New Castle is to play tough, physical D, and pray they have an off-night shooting. That has only happened once in the past 3 years. Coach Blundo isn’t a slouch either………….. but I just don’t see how a team can beat NC.

          • Yes he is. On a personal and professional level, i just love the guy. One of the finest men I have ever met. His game plan against Fox Chapel was brilliant and he had the guts to stick to it. My son, who is as deep on the bench as you can imagine, thinks the world of him.

  52. Last week, a high school senior from Bensalem Pa., scored 14 points in a game. He was the team manager for the past 4 years. The Sixers signed him to a ceremonial 2-day contract. Pretty neat, huh?

    He has Down Syndrome.
    Enjoy this article…………..

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/sports&id=9434878

  53. Wish they would have televised this game. Then again the network probably would have ruined it with a glowing ball and television timeouts. Cool stuff!

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/hockeybest-before-usa-canada-usa-meets-canada-in-sochi-street-hockey/

  54. Rob Biertempfel tweeted:

    Will #Pirates extend Hurdle/GM? Nutting: “It’s early in ST. Not time to have that discussion.” Um … #Braves extended their GM/mgr today.

  55. Checking in on another D-man in the 2012 NHL Draft:

    Derrick Pouliot — 47 GP, 17 G, 44 A, 61 PTS, +29

  56. Nice to see ESPN isn’t slobbering all over Jeter for the whole year.
    Presser right now about Jeter retiring.
    Can’t wait til the real pressers start every day.

    Oh, wait……….

  57. And now, Ted Ligety has become the first American to win the gold in the Men’s Giant Slolem in sledding. And the US will be competing in the hockey semifinals shortly.

  58. Derek Jeter has played in 2,602 games. In only 1 of them has his team been mathematically eliminated.

  59. Quick starting for US

  60. Here we go, USA hockey!

  61. That was quick. Keep your foot on the pedal!

  62. I don’t care how old Jagr is whenever I see him with the puck down low I’m afraid what he is going to do.

  63. Crosby breakaway and shoots from 25 feet. No goal. What did I say above about wanting to see him take the puck deeper on goalies?

    Kunitz then follows off crossbar with wide open net.

  64. I hope our line changes dont get worse in 2nd period.

  65. Czechs dominating play…c’mon boys, put it in high gear!

  66. USA USA USA!!! 2-1

  67. What a sneaky play by Latvia 1-1

  68. Changing the Crosby line again. I don’t get it.

  69. Great pass by Backes. Blues Olympic contributors: Backes, Oshie & Pietrangelo.

    Backes another player from the incredible 2003 NHL Draft headed by Fleury. We got that pick right. Ryan Stone picked #32 before Patrice Bergeron (#45), Shea Weber (#49) and David Backes (#62)? Well, not so much.

  70. Get on backes back….the bingo game is ready to roll…

  71. Get the puck on goal and good things happen. Imagine that! 3-1

  72. ANOTHER SCIRE !!!!!!!!!!!! 3-1 USA!

  73. It’s looking good for the US at the end of the first period since they lead 3-1. Now all they have to likely do is not let their guard down like the Czechs did in the quarterfinals vs the Slovaks and they barely got by then.

  74. Jones ripping Babs a new one in between periods. ROFL!

  75. USA on PP, let’s get a goal!

  76. Rollin Rollin Rollin! 4-1

  77. Well, the selection committee did a great job!

    4-1 USA!

    Tell DK they aren’t screwing up the Olympics…….

  78. DK tweets, Canada-1 takes gold, USA-1 and Lauryn Williams take silver.
    .01 seconds back.

    :(

  79. Elana Meyers chokes away gold in the bobsled. Lauryn Williams needs to find herself a driver.

  80. Flipping back and forth and I must say the Canadians are playing some uninspiring hockey.

  81. Nice to see USA forwards listening to Bylsma and going to the front of the net.

    Now if we could only get our Pens doing the same come playoff time.

  82. I’m thinking there will be a large degree of celebration going on in Finland tonight. They have a political and military history with their neighbors to the East that has not always been pleasant.

    And, Russia is 25-30x the size of Finland, population-wise. And, this game took place on Russian soil. The Fins back home have to be loving this. David slew Goliath.

  83. Nail-biter for Canada. Kunitz with the yawning net only minutes in now looking large. He’s usually money so may be gripping his stick too tightly.

  84. The US now leads decisively 4-1 at the end of the second period. Let’s hope they can wrap it up in the third period.

  85. Meanwhile C a nada thinks they’re playing Switzerland….

  86. USA 5-1 Phil Kessel didn’t want anyone forgetting about him :)

  87. Message for Olympic hockey teams:

    Try not to have the entire weight of your country on your backs when you play.

  88. WTH is going on?? The Canada game???

  89. Hemsky goal USA 5 -1

  90. Canada scores.
    If they lose, it will be an upset for the ages.

  91. 2-1 Canada. OH Canada . . .

  92. WEBER Goal Canada 2 Latvia 1

  93. Talk about a heavy shot.

  94. Both Ovie and Jagr out of the Olympics.
    Great day to be a Pittsburgh hockey fan.

  95. So let me get this straight. The winners of the next games play for gold/silver and the losers play for bronze?

  96. The decaying carcass of Sandis Ozolinsh !

  97. Canada hung on to beat Latvia 2-1

  98. USA is doomed.
    Barry Melrose just said USA favored over CAN.

    On the plus side, he didn’t look like Don Cherry……..

  99. Olympic hockey is the best. There’s always a player on another team where you focus on his play just a little more than during the regular season and think what the Pens might be if they had “that guy.”

    There’s probably six on the USA team alone where I’ve had that thought.

  100. Nicely done Latvia!

  101. It’ll be the US and Canada in the men’s finals, just as it should be, and, hopefully, the US wins the gold.

  102. So…… its CAN/US – FINN/SWEDEN – semis ….. correct?

  103. Ok peeps…picks? Beat you to it sarah…ha.

    • USA — gold
      FIN — silver*
      CAN — bronze

      * wishful thinking

    • Fins 2, Swedes 1.

      US 3, Canada 2.

      Fins 2, US 1 in 2OT.

      • Wow jim…finns with the gold…bold pick.

        • I figure why not? Trying to be the smartest guy in the room.

          Plus, even though I didn’t see the game, it sounds as though they may have played a better game vs. Russia than the US. I’m just going by my take on the comments here.

          Rooting hard for the US, of course.

          • Ya the finns were solid today for sure. But i like where the US team is at now too. Canada hasn’t been tested yet but they still look shaky…but scary at the same time. Finns have work to do against the swedes who were only up 1-0 going into the 3rd against slovenia.

            I still need to think about my picks.

            • Yah I honestly got nothin at the moment!
              Biggest surprises for me is how good FIN has looked, without all FOUR of their C’s.
              And how meh Sweden seems, though Lundquist is great. That is going to be a hell of a battle.

              Re US and CAN, I dunno. US looks like they have much more speed….Babcock definitely doing his best to ruin continuity, and needs to roll 3 lines giving more TOI to the best players.

              And Kunitiz couldn’t put a puck in the ocean at this point. Does he play?

              • I didn’t see much of the canada game but looks like their fighting it pretty good. Think i’ll have some thoughts tomorrow. Finns are hot, swedes are the swedes and canada/usa is a toss up no matter how bad canada looks.

  104. All Scandinavian semi vs all North American semi. The Swedes have a great deal of contempt for the Finns. And the USA wants payback from Vancouver.

    An outstanding final four.

  105. Conan O’Brien:

    “Two members of Pussy Riot were arrested for protesting in Sochi. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to 6 months in a Sochi hotel room.”

  106. Ok, now that we have resolved all of that for the day ….

    On to the news of the day.

    AJ Burnett. Love him or hate him?

    JK. :-)

  107. Tavares out w a knee. Wow.

  108. DK: After covering the bobsled, are you able to then watch replays of the hockey games today?

  109. latest edition of In The Room….love these…

    http://penguins.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=93328&navid=DL|PIT|home

  110. Just think, one week from tonight…………and we STILL won’t have real hockey. Get these silly exhibitions over and let’s get back to hockey the way it should be played.

    Best part about this final four is that I’ll be happy regardless of the outcome. Four teams deserving of a medal. Well, except for the one that soils the metaphorical bed, that is.

  111. Tomas Vokoun has been medically cleared to play. I guess the Letang issue is sparing them some serious cap problems.

  112. Good to hear USA won, Canada squeaked on by, and Finland won. I feel bad for missing the party, but I had some adult issues to attend.

    One of which is securing a position as a Customer Account Advisor, full time, with benefits.

    Details to follow.

    BTW…Stu, if you got your ears on…thank you again.

  113. Class act, that Ray Rice! I was listening to ESPN Radio on my drive home, and Dan Lebatard described a video that TMZ Sports has posted that apparently shows Rice dragging his fiance off an elevator in Atlantic City. You may have read that he had a blowup with her in a casino. Sounds as though it might be getting a lot worse now. There are reports that he also decked her with an upper cut. Oh my! The description I heard, which described witnesses to this, sounded chilling.

    Ray Lewis might need to be called in to intervene.

  114. Catching up on canada game and i can most definitely get used to watching crosby setup weber for one timers.

    • From your fingers / keyboard to Shero’s pocketbook? Let’s make this happen Ray!

    • He, in particular, prompted my “hammer at the blue line” comment above @ 2:36 p.m.

      • Upon further review Canada doesn’t look as horrible as some have suggested. Kuni hit the bar but all in all he and sid have been as consistent as anyone. Price still hasn’t been tested so i expect that to change but i dont think canada will have a hard time focusing for the game. Babcock holding them back a bit by rolling 4 lines but that will change. Still cant make a pick.

  115. Syracuse just lost their 1st game. To 6-19 Boston College at the Carrier Dome. OK, they’re 7-19 now.

  116. Syracuse just lost to 7-19 Boston College 62-59 in overtime! Their winning streak is over! Now only Wichita is undefeated!

  117. Now that Syracuse has lost, should I be expecting a hue and cry about their out of conference schedule? Or start the “fire Boeheim” movement?

  118. If Pitt only had any kind of scoring attack, then they could’ve beat Syracuse at home themselves instead of losing to the Orange the way they did.

  119. NBC’ s Russian POLITICAL analyst calls out Alexander Ovechkin during in-studio interview with Dan Patrick. He slammed the Russians selfish play and lack of team effort.

    Remember, Pozner’ s job during the Cold War was to put good spins on Soviet Politburo and the Kremlin in the Western media!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News