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Morning Java: For sale … not much

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SOCHI, Russia — Доброе утро, Lunatiks …

>> The Friday column is the only one I’ve filed from this side of the planet I really hope you read. It’s about the national hockey team. And the sports page you see above was beautifully designed back in Pittsburgh by our Matt Rosenberg.

The hockey notebook focuses on Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz seeking offense, Finland’s challenge today and much more.

The national women’s team took the loss of a lifetime.

The weekly chat again was all Olympics.

Here are all 12 videos for Channel 11 News so far, including yesterday’s about the national hockey team …

I’m also doing weekday reports for TribLIVE Radio, and here’s yesterday’s edition interviewing Patrick Kane and two other Team USA players.

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.

>> When these Olympics are done in a couple days, the Russians will have plenty of keepsakes and souvenirs. Mostly because they really haven’t sold many.

I’m typing this from the press tables inside Bolshoy Ice Dome, where some of the biggest hockey games in history could be played today and visitors are arriving from around the world … and there’s almost nothing to buy. The concourses are blank white walls, separated by an occasional food stand bearing Coca-Cola logos. That’s it. No Olympic hockey programs, T-shirts, pins, pucks, nothing.

The entire Games is like that, and at the risk of engaging in social commentary, you can’t help but wonder if it’s mostly to do with this part of the world still being so ingrained in the old socialist approach that making money seems an afterthought. I mean, there’s one souvenir store in the entire Olympic Park, no independent kiosks. And even inside that store, the shelves are half-empty because what arrived was snapped up quickly and never replaced.

All of which is my very long-winded way of saying, no, I’m not bringing you anything.

>> Back in that other hemisphere, the Penguins expect to elevate the roles of Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen once play resumes. Josh Yohe reports.

Here’s the Trib’s Penguins page.

>> Jordy Mercer is excited to be the Pirates’ everyday shortstop. Rob Biertempfel reports from Bradenton. Here’s some of what Mercer and Clint Barmes had to say about the position …

Here’s the Trib’s Pirates page.

>> Salary cap relief? Could be coming, Alan Robinson reports from the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Kevin Colbert calls the Steelers’ past two seasons ‘devastating.’

Here’s the Trib’s Steelers page.

>> In some in-house news, TribLIVE Radio announced yesterday that Chris Peak of PantherLair.com is joining our ranks. I could give you the man’s bio, or I can just tell you that the guy knows Pitt football and the recruiting business. Lives and breathes it. Great addition.

>> Three more days.

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.

335 Comments

  1. Thanks, DK, for this read. If will and motivation by themselves could make a win happen, the US should win today. But as we all know, it isn’t just this simple. The Canadians want this game today as well. Hope it’s a good one.

    After seeing what happened to Tavares, I continue to be concerned about what this tournament might do to the Pittsburgh Penguins when the United States of America’s games are over. In an ideal world, not much. However, ….

    • Regarding the impact of the games on the NHL, I had to laugh at DK’s blog comment about the Tavares injury. I don’t like to hang on and make an issue out of anyone’s tweet or chat comment, because those aren’t made with the thought that goes into every word in a column, but c’mon, that bordered on the absurd.

      Maybe he’s been in Russia too long and is picking up by osmosis some of those Russian press tendencies, ha ha. I had to laugh when I re-read the line in a thick Russian accent as if it was being said in some cheezy 80′s anti-Russian propaganda movie like “White Nights.” There it is below. Try it.

      “Their feeling — and I agreed — was that John Tavares’ knee could have been blown out anywhere. And, without having seen his medicals, it’s also possible that one or both of the damaged ligaments had damage before he got here.”

      • Scapper, you have let yourself wide open for a bold reaming :)

        But then, I doubt Dejan will bother.

        But then again, I happen to agree with him. ;)

        • They guy is a poster-child for pure journalism. He’s a beast. But that line…whew, I’m not upset about it. I seriously laughed at it.

          And if you agree, let’s say Sid gets his bean rocked today and misses the rest of the season with a concussion. Would be able to think, “Well, this could have happened anywhere.” Not me. I’d feel it’s a huge waste.

          • Honestly, I’d would think it would happen anywhere. In fact, MORE likely to happen in the NHL games, and NOT the Olympics. I don’t think the nasty stuff happens there that causes so many of the worse injuries.

            But scapper, I <3 you friend, and respect your opinion :)

  2. Yet another good column.

    Do I hope they win? Eh, sure. Will I care if they lose? Yeah…for about 15 minutes. I just can’t get all hyped up about a team thrown together every four years for a two-week tournament. I think it’s much more exciting for the players and journalists who get to play and cover the games.

    I’m guessing that today’s and Sunday’s games are pleasant little winter diversions that most hockey fans just aren’t that emotionally invested in. Looking forward to the gut-twisting, chest-tightening March-June hockey that matters most to hockey fans.

  3. JAL’s Carry On My Wayward Son Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X_2IdybTV0

    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

    t Pitch: Are the Pirates Better Than Last Year? It Depends.

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/first-pitch-are-the-pirates-better-than-last-year-it-depends.html

    Are the Pirates the Top Team in Latin America?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/are-the-pirates-the-top-team-in-latin-america.html

    Draft Prospect Watch: Top Tools and Two Prep Stars Square Off

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/draft-prospect-watch-top-tools-and-two-prep-stars-square-off.html

    You Don’t Have to Wait Until Opening Day to Watch Francisco Liriano (Video)

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/you-dont-have-to-wait-until-opening-day-to-watch-francisco-liriano-video.html

    Wandy Rodriguez Throwing Live Batting Practice (Video)

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/02/wandy-rodriguez-throwing-live-batting-practice-video.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Andrelton Simmons’ extension moves market for defense-first players

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/2/20/5430452/andrelton-simmons-extension-moves-market-for-defense-first-players

    7 Rumbunter

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Are Not Doomed

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/02/20/pittsburgh-pirates-doomed/

    8 Green Weenie

    2/20: Tom O’Brien, IA, Frank Gustine, Elroy Face, Pat Meares…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/02/220-tom-obrien-ia-frank-gustine-elroy.html

    9 Pirates 101

    Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles in on Ike Davis

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/pittsburghpirates/2014/02/20/pittsburgh-pirates-and-baltimore-orioles-in-on-ike-davis/

    10 Saber Bucs

    Nothing but a Whole Lotta Power

    http://saberbucs.com/blog/2014/02/20/nothing-but-a-whole-lotta-power/

    11 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Will Lean On Charlie Morton To Fortify Starting Rotation

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/02/20/pittsburgh-pirates-will-lean-charlie-morton-legitimize-starting-rotation/

    • As for the theme this week, I’m starting to question my theme. They are supposed to be songs written in the key of G major. However, it seems many people who know music disagree on the key of a song. Anyway, some think the songs I used this week are in the key of G major.

    • “Don’t you cry no more”, Joe. Always loved Kansas, especially Song for America.

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Beaver County Times

    Liriano could quietly fill Burnett’s vocal leadership role

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/liriano-could-quietly-fill-burnett-s-vocal-leadership-role/article_7827aae8-e9fd-598e-b21f-bd857c59d6a7.html

    13 Bleed Cubbie Blue

    Know Your Enemy: Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2014/2/20/5419122/know-your-enemy-pittsburgh-pirates

    14 Pirates Site

    Sanchez ready to make first-base job his own

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article/pit/gaby-sanchez-ready-to-make-first-base-job-his-own?ymd=20140220&content_id=67959636

    15 Tampa Bay Times

    Spring training, 1914

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/spring-training-1914/2166648

    16 Fangraphs

    Braves Lock Up Andrelton Simmons, Keep Inflating Extensions

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/braves-lock-up-andrelton-simmons-keep-inflating-extensions/

    17 Yahoo Sports

    Five Reasons to Dislike the A.J. Burnett Signing

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/five-reasons-dislike-j-burnett-signing-152900790–mlb.html

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    La Russa says replay won’t slow games

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/la-russa-says-replay-won-t-slow-games/article_95ff96b2-71f0-5d48-84d5-537a275d2ba9.html

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    John Hart on Atlanta’s Extension Spree and the Future of Club-Friendly Contracts

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22868

    20 Rant Sports

    5 Reasons it is Good for Cincinnati Reds’ Brandon Phillips to Avoid the Media

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/02/20/5-reasons-it-is-good-for-cincinnati-reds-brandon-phillips-to-avoid-the-media/

  5. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Colbert: ‘This is the deepest draft I’ve ever seen’

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/20/5430374/steelers-2014-nfl-draft-class-targets-kevin-colbert

    Steelers trades: Pittsburgh picks up Joey Porter in exchange for Lobster Claws

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/2/20/5429128/steelers-trades-transactions-history-1999-joey-porter

    22 Steelers Depot

    Colbert Says Wheaton Has Had Some Offseason Surgeries To Fix Fingers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2014/02/colbert-says-wheaton-has-had-some-offseason-surgeries-to-fix-fingers/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    European Golden Shoe – Suarez, Ronaldo & Aguero

    http://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/liverpool-real-madrid-man-city-european-golden-shoe

    24 BBC Football

    Manchester City to play Liverpool in New York in International Champions Cup

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26283306

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Minor Distractions – Movers and Shakers

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/2/20/5429404/minor-distractions-movers-and-shakers

  6. Dejan, again, thanks for ALL you’ve done in getting up information and coverage for these Olympics.
    Can’t say enough haw great it’s been, almost like we’re THERE at times.
    Hurry home!

  7. Rask out with the flu.

  8. ….and is Paul Martin out??

    I see the US D pairs do not include him….?

  9. Fowler-Shattenkirk; Orpik-Carlson; Suter-McDonagh; Faulk

    Is Martin injured???

  10. wow a squeaker on Hank…..

  11. Ok so there are literally 2 adjustments that i really hope canada does not make today.

  12. Dang, I’m not liking the missing personnel from the Fins and USA line-ups…

  13. Crap…olli with a soff play.

  14. that’s heartbeat…the coffee is NOT working :(

  15. Good Lord the Finns are missing Tuuka.

  16. The more I watch Maatta the more I am convinced we are under-utilizing him.

  17. I was already looking forward to noon. The article just stoked the coals. Good job as always DK.

    Can’t help but adding that yesterdays game was sports at it’s finest. Excitement, drama and raw emotion.

  18. According to Alan Robinson, the Steelers will be about $9 million over the cap when it is raised to $130 million.

    At the moment, we have nine too many men on the roster. If we trim that down to 52 and release key people who haven’t lived up to expectation and making decent money, such as Curtis Brown, we can easily save over $4.5 million. Plus, it’s pretty clear we’re going to be parting ways Levi Brown and that will save us $6.25 million.

    At that point we’ll be $1.75 million below the cap. Plus, Ike is going to accept a decrease in pay or he will be gone. The same goes to Woodley. Troy might also accept a decrease in pay as well.

    I did hear that Worilds wants $8.5 million per year and he isn’t going to get that here but if he’s willing to come down on that price then I really don’t foresee an issue in signing him or a few other key free agents.

    • I don’t think its that simple at all.

      Lately I’ve begun to wonder, why is everyone so eager to keep together a team that’s gone 8-8 in back to back seasons?

      • Why isnt it that simple? Where is the flaw in my argument?

        • 1.75 million under the cap is nothing. They won’t be able to sign there rookie class let a lone any free agent.

          Even if you cut a player it incurs dead money. Especially if he has multiple years left.

          From Peter King, to Bouchette, Kaboly. All of them have said they still had cap issues. Hell even Robinson has said it wasn’t going to be easy.

          • Levi Brown brings no dead money. $6.25 million in savings free & clear.

            • Uh huh. Your still 3 million over, with Worilds, Sanders and Cotchery as free agents, with Pouncey and Ben due for extensions, a rookie class and some FA fillers.

              Do not discount Pouncey, Ben and whoever else needs an extension. Otherwise, your back to cutting and renegotiating in 2015.

              It is not as simple as it seems.

          • Yes, it is 1.75 before they lower the cap hit on Ike and Woodley. If worse comes to worse we’d release both of them and be under by more than $15 million.

            • Cutting Woodley actually costs your cap a half a million. Savings come in future years.

            • Dom, you need to spend some time looking at cap penalties. You are going year to year with this. You have to have some forsight.

              Part of the reason I think the Steelers suck right, is this rob Peter to pay Paul business plan. Which was the result of trying to keep the team together.

              • “Are you aware they are still paying penalties for cutting Willie Colon?”

                Yes, that was factored in.

                What other penalities was I missing?

              • All penalities were covered on the site I obtained this info from.

              • It’s not simple but it’s not as dire as I thought it was towards the end of the season.

                Here is an article that says that the Steelers are one of the 5 teams in the worst cap position. Then goes on to lay out a similar scenario to Dom’s in how they become compliant.

                http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24382087/agents-take-worst-salary-caps-cowboys-saints-steelers-lead-way

                The article is written late December and assumes a 126 million dollar cap based on NFL projection from 12/11/13.

                Are they out of the woods? No.

                Yes they will carry dead money in ’15 and ’16. They gambled with the 2010 team to make few runs and lost.

                They need to be more prudent with restructuring and resigning but it’s not off the table completely. Hopefully they have learned from past mistakes.

    • Nobody ever really accepts pay cuts. They accept kicking the problem down the road some more. We already have guys taking up cap space who are doing other things with their lives.

      • Casey Hampton accepted a major pay cut. If Woodley or Ivan the great don’t, they could be gone too. I heard some say the same could be true to Troy as well.

        • Well, if they do, great. I hope you’re right, Dom. But, usually it just ends up in freeing up cap space now and tacking it on later. The Steelers have been doing that for a long time now, and it is helping cause these issues.

        • So how do resign Worilds if you wait to June 1st to cut Woodley?

          • Jim,
            You’re confusing restructuring contracts with pay cuts. If Ike accepts a pay cut, it wouldn’t affect the cap next year, like restructuring deals do.

            Bpn8pitt,
            Depending on the amount of the pay cuts, they alone could cover his 2014 cap hit.

            Keep in mind, his cap hit for this year shouldn’t be as bad as the last years of his contract.

            Also, keep in mind that Worilds 2014 gross pay wouldn’t be the amount of the cap hit.

            If Ike takes a pay cut, it might alone cover Worilds cap hit. If he doesn’t and he gets cut then that amount would more than cover it.

            • I’m not confusing them at all, Dom. I know the difference is between a restructuring and a pay cut. What I said is that guys rarely take a pay cut, although they often get reported as a pay cut when it is a restructure. The player is portrayed as having done this wonderful service to the team, when all that is done is the problem is pushed down the road.

              You are saying that Ike, Woodley, Troy, etc. will take a pay cut. All I am saying is that I hope you are right. I don’t believe Troy thinks he is in line for a pay cut.

              I think we are in basic agreement, though. They need to cut ties with a few guys if they don’t take actual pay cuts.

              • Ron Cook did say he felt that Troy will be gone if he doesn’t accept a pay cut. I don’t think that is true for him but it would be Woodley and Ivan the great. Considering that it is almost certain to happen, I really don’t see how the Steelers cap situation is in dire need.

  19. Finland on the PP

  20. when we gonna get some video of the Russian women”s curling team????

  21. Cutting Levi Brown alone will nearly bring the Steelers under the cap. It’sreally not a big problem this year.

  22. Ugh. Rask was a huge loss.

  23. I have a question before I go………

    are other blogs on the Trib “closed” blogs?
    I tried posting something on another blog, and it has been “in moderation” for almost a day. Just wondering if certain blogs require some special passcode, or something.

    Go USA!

  24. The Swedes will go for the gold and the Finns for the bronze on Sunday. Meanwhile, hopefully, the US will face Canada at noontime without Paul Martin. Nevertheless, the best of luck to Coach Dan Bylsma’s team.

  25. Just checked, cutting Brown puts their top 51 under the $130 cap and in compliance. Then the hard work starts, clearing enough space to give them some room to improve the team. I saw some stats that showed Ike Taylor to be the worst corner in football last year. There’s $7 million more right there.

  26. SWE over FIN 2-1. I would like a do over on predictions. I was just kidding about Finland taking Gold.

  27. Observations from Pirate City:

    Clint Hurdle is what one would call a dominant personality. With 4 fields carrying on activities simultaneously (all home plates meet in the center), he moves from field to field taking in all and inserting himself in all. I doubt there is much he misses. He frequently inserts comments, and when I am standing so close I can catch most of his comments. He new phrase this Spring is “Barrel Integrity.” He explained to a coach and a couple players: “I heard the term ‘Ball Integrity’ used so much during football games and college basketball this Fall and Winter. It makes sense that we should strive for Barrel Integrity.” He and Jeff Branson keep repeating the phrase to every player when he starts beating the ball into the ground or popping it high in the air.

    Hurdle also has words of encouragement when players have a good set. He called Jose Tabata “All World” in Spanish after Tabata had an excellent series of swings. Then Hurdle turned and announced that again to the Hispanic players behind him, to make sure all heard. Tabata got the biggest smile! When Clint Barmes stepped into the box, Hurdle called out “NerdPower” to the fielders. Barmes first two swings were off the top of the fence in left. Then he stepped out of the box and smiled at Hurdle. Hurdle has been especially complimentary to pitchers when they have a good “inning.”

    The pitchers have been doing their initial work of throwing in the bullpen, under Ray Searage and Jim Benedict’s watchful eyes and tutelege. After sitting about 10 minutes, they then move to one of the fields to throw an “inning” (24 pitches, I think, is what I picked up) against life batters. Then they sit for 10-12 minutes while another pitcher throws his inning. After that they go back out for their 2nd and last inning. Well designed. I explained yesterday that batters are only to swing at obvious strikes, so there’s not necessarily a whole lot of action. (4 swings by McCutch in 15 pitches by Cole yesterday.)

    Wandy looked great today in his bullpen. It’s very interesting when pitchers are throwing right beside another pitcher. One can watch the movement of both pitchers and hear the sounds. He was throwing hard (not 3/4 like one might think while babying his forearm) and putting the ball exactly where the catcher put his mitt. Man, can he make that ball move! I kept telling myself a bullpen session is just a bullpen session, but he sure looked better that a whole bunch of his fellow pitchers in their bullpen sessions. Then he got in the live batters situation. I told you the batters are to swing only if they are sure the ball is a strike. Many batters don’t swing at all. Wandy had a stretch where 3 different batters swung at 7 straight pitches——4 swings and misses and 3 foul backs into the cage. His pitches were obviously looking like strikes to the batters before darting away. That’s the Wandy who is premier; that’s the Wandy the Bucs need this year.

    I’ll end with reporting what I saw and creating a rumor at the same time. This will make my questionable friend National Mart of Records apoplectic! With 4 fields plus the bullpen work going on simultaneously, seldom are Clint Hurdle and Ray Searage at the same field at the same time. When they are, they are only at the same field for a few minutes at most. Wilp (1st name Matt, I think) is a lefty reliever who pitched in Korea last season. He is a non-roster player. Ray Searage watched his whole bullpen workout and had a long talk with him, then gave him a hug (it’s a bullpen tradition, I guess) after. He was sent to a field 10 minutes later for his “1st inning” which had 3 lefties of the 4 batters. Lo and behold, both Searage and Clint Hurdle show up to watch every pitch . . . . intently. Normally, the pitcher throws his 2nd inning at the same field. Yet Wilp is sent to a different field, where two of three batters are lefties, Travis Snider and Jaff Decker. (Decker’s a stocky midget!) At that field, Ray Searage AND Clint Hurdle AND now Neal Huntington scrutinize Wilp throw every pitch. Afterward, Hurdle goes over to him outside the fence (right beside me!) and says, “Excellent job, Wilp.” He begins to leave, then returns and says, “Good throwing, Wilp.” Wilp is not a hard thrower but the lefties did nothing but foul the ball back or hit weak infield grounders. Nothing was in the air.

    Here the rumor to start: Bucs do not need another lefty in the pen unless Justin Wilson or Tony Watson were to be trade-bait for Smoak in Seattle or the 1st baseman in Texas whom Fielder has cast aside to DH. Run wild, folks. Hurdle, Searage, and Neal weren’t all at the same field together watching Wilp go against lefties just to have a Prayer Meeting!

    Off to Pirate City . . . .

  28. The realization the best hockey game of the whole tournament is on a channel you do not have . . . SIGH!

  29. Paul Martin is out with the flu. Or Putin’s revenge.

  30. Gotta do some heavy stuff…later Loonies

  31. I started reading this article waiting for the joke or the line that says he’s kidding, but it never came…. Not sure if this guy is a real writer, but he goes well out of his way to slam the US team and the US at the same time.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/canada-win-every-way-better-usa-hockey-235823984–nhl.html

  32. Jay Paterno. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  33. Its the thrilla in sochilla…part deux! :)

  34. Is it weird that i’m already wearing my helmet, shoulder pads and cup? :)

  35. Goodness maybe we should start a whole new thread! This game is gonna bust the blog!!!!

  36. It’s cantankerous in here, that will bust the blog!

  37. Wow is it faulk instead of carlson?

  38. Good block 44!!

  39. Tragic PP by CAN

  40. Having troubles with the blog loading…grrrrr

  41. Yow…..1-0 CAN

  42. Orpik has to tie up a stick there….

  43. Blog is broken….

  44. quick saved brooksies azz there

  45. Snore.

  46. Thought that would be offsetting penalties there…..if they scire, Kuni will be crucified…

  47. end of 2, Candada 1 USA 0
    Only 20 minutes left to go, boys…put it in high gear!

  48. Its gotta be suter-mcdonagh every other shift rest of the way. I would blend in brooksie as 5th dman with shattenkirk every now and then but for most part i want fowler-shattenkirk and suter-mcdonagh rest of the way. Time to load up with Kessel and Kane flanking pavelski or stastny. Let JVR and parise muck it up with kesler(if he’s in one piece). Then bring the beef with Pacioretty-backes-callahan or brown.

    • They better bring something. They’re just getting shut down.
      So much for Rossi’s prediction about US speed killing CAN’s D…..

  49. Is this what they call a “friendly” in soccer ?

  50. Start of the 3rd…

  51. DK criticizing the 1-2-2 wanting them to attack CAN more…..good points….they seem timid. Afraid of CAN.

  52. brooksie bailin out quick there

  53. from cbs sports blog:
    Canada just hammering away on Jonathan Quick right now with a solid two minutes of pressure but it remains a one-goal game. Canada’s forecheck compared to the USA’s is night and day.

  54. NBC is airing soap operas instead of Olympic hockey: USA v Canada. Interesting. What may that be saying?

    1. Hockey still has a way to go (I know it isn’t a gold medal game but it’s still a big game. Can’t the sell a boatload of advertisements ?)

    2. Don’t mess with viewers of the soaps

  55. US needs some insane individual effort at this point. I can’t believe they look this flat….

  56. USA is REALLY missing Paul Martin :/

  57. Ok now seeing line changes but not what spock would do…

  58. The upside is I’m getting an awful lot of work done. Might even be able to bail out early and go home & watch something exciting. Like golf.

  59. Canada did what I did not think they could do – play as a unit better than the U.S.

  60. The men’s and women’s hockey team should not be allowed back in the US.

  61. The sad thing about this is that it was probably the Americans last chance for the foreseeable future. The appetite for shutting down the league for two weeks seems to be waning. More and more owners are coming out against the idea & the injuries incurred can’t help that. And, the tournament as a whole has pretty much fallen flat this time around. This format peeked in Vancouver four years ago and I really think we’ve seen the last of it for quite some time. Canada reigns supreme, and we’ll be hearing about until the next time. Whenever that may be.

  62. Canada’s defense was obviously too much as the US lost 1-0! And now, the US will play the Finns for the bronze tomorrow while the Canadians play the Swedes for the gold on Sunday. You naturally wish the US was in the finals but the Canadians plainly dominated totally today.

  63. Chris Kunitz was great today. We’re fortunate to have him here.

  64. I’m always quick to say that I don’t follow hockey as much as baseball and football.
    I’ve enjoyed the Olympic hockey BUT….I could do without it.
    Just from a Penguins standpoint alone….You now have Paul Martin with an injured hand, and Sidney Crosby bouncing his head off the boards.
    It’s not worth it in my book……

    • I am sure that will be the debate.

      I actually don’t know where the balance of power lies…..with the league, or with the NHLPA? If up to the players, they’re coming back in 4 years, N Korea or Mars.

      But I don’t know how that decision is made.

      • I’d like to see more of a pre-lim. As is its 3 games for each team in 3 groups of 4. Would rather see 2 groups of 6 so there are 5 games in pre-lim’s so teams can gel. From there you can do shorter playoff with top 4 from each group playing in quarters.

        • Side benefit would be that pre-lim games have more meaning which would lead to coaches releasing the hounds more often and sooner which would entertain the masses and milo on a grander scale…IMO

  65. Now c’mon, admit it. You might be kind of bummed that the U.S. lost, but it’s not really bothering you that much right? How much emotion can you tie into a team you first saw play about 9 days ago?

    Now imagine if this were a game 7 Pens loss. No comparison, right?

    Yet the league shuts down for over two weeks and guys like Tavares, Martin and Zetterberg get hurt playing in this exhibition.

    When’s Thursday’s face-off?!

    • The Olympic men’s hockey losses I have watched from 76 to today hurt my sports soul more than any other losses in any other sports.

      They have eternal stings to them.

  66. It’s my fault the USA lost. I didn’t see the game.
    Now the Reverend is spared by my victory post.
    “Lucky” for him.

  67. With all the chatter above regarding the Steelers cap situation, an important point was missed……………..

    Even if they manage the cap the next 2 years, what, or how do they approach the Ben extension situation?

    This will not be pretty at all……..

  68. I thought the US had better uniforms. There’s that.

  69. Commissioner Scapper’s New Rules:

    1. You can play in the Olympics, but you agree to forfeit per-game pay if you get hurt there.

    2. Season ticket holders get a per-game, partial refund for each game a player is out. The bigger the star, the higher the amount refunded.

    3. The league continues play without you. Enjoy the love of your teammates as you take your star power halfway across the globe on your ego trip.

    Just goofing around, of course, but…

  70. I don’t know how to rectify this, but it has always seemed odd to me about the Olympics. Team sports, like basketball or hockey, require a bunch of 2+ hour games, played by 6 people at once, and a roster of … is it 20 for hockey and 12-15 for basketball?

    Once all the games are done in those sports, 3 medals are given out.

    Then, someone runs, skates or skis for less than a minute, sometimes, and gets a medal.

    I’m not saying the individuals don’t deserve a medal, by any means. Just pointing out the disparity in some of these Olympic sports.

  71. Certainly would have liked to see a US win….. but hey it is only 1 game. 1-0 game…ain’t like they got crushed…CAN shut em down. Not possible, but would like to see a best of 3 for the Gold.
    Still got more hockey to watch…. I have enjoyed it, not as intense and nail biting as playoff hockey, but entertaing none the less. Little change of pace.
    Players seem to enjoy it – bettin we see em again in 4 years.

  72. So, what did we learn today? Here’s what I learned:

    * A few NHL teams, the Pens included, are going to be short some key players as a result of Sochinjuries.

    * Pittsburgh-area Starbucks locations are likely to see a spike in sales at some point next week. Hopefully, they held off on the drastic layoffs plans contemplated over the past 2 weeks.

    * Groat has given us a glimmer (or maybe more) of hope with Wandy.

    * Sid and Kuni march on, although they have apparently shamed many in their country.

    * Dan Bylsma … I don’t think I learned anything there.

    * The Steelers may or may not be in a great, good, bad or awful cap situation. We still don’t know whether Warren Bankston still has money deferred that is counted against said Steelers cap.

    * Regardless, the Steelers will not sign any impact free agents this off-season.

    * Jay Paterno won’t go away.

    * No. Carolina is still on a roll in hoops. Not sure if Groat even noticed the Dukies lost last night.

    * Soap operas get good ratings, apparently.

    * Plan is under constant “moderation.” But, I’ve always heard nothing is too bad for you, as long as it is done in moderation.

    * The sun will still come up tomorrow. Have a great weekend, everyone!

  73. “More than 700,000 people streaming at end of US-Canada 1st period — higher than concurrents for NBC’s ’12 Super Bowl” – NBC tweet

    Well……. that could mean a lot of things…..

    Olympic hockey is really popular…..
    Lots and lots of folks watching at work on their “work” stations…… being its not a Sunday,and most people working.
    Not on NBC – just cable……
    Not positive on that last one…as I recall to stream it ,ya had to put some stuff about your cable provider.

    I am gonna go with all 3. :)

    • I read that also, puck. I felt like there was a lot of interest in that game today. We set up a big screen in our conference room, and most of our office of 20 or so people spent their entire lunch watching it.

      • Ya Jim, I noticed a fair amount of interest from a number a people that I never considered more than casual fans.
        Lot of people seem to know about it and asked me about it.
        Maybe it is really a good thing for the NHL. In spite of the chance of injury etc., maybe it is worth it to draw more casual fans into the game.

  74. Here is what I learner from reading the comments…

    1. There will be tremendous teeth gnashing over the Steelers salary cap/gap situation, who gets signed, who is asked to leave due to wanting way too much with little room for negotiation, and who will be thrown under the bus and backed over by said bus for coming into camp being woefully out of shape.

    2. The Pens and many other teams will be minus a few key players due yo this Olympic foray. Pens have been there before. Time to man up and handle your business.

    3. Frank Coonelly is like that strange uncle every family has but no one really talks about until he starts talking out of his azz!

    4. Dan Bylsma is Dan Bylsma. Nothing to see here. Move along yinz!

    5. In related news…water is still wet.

  75. I’m not the type at all to lament that things were better in the “good ole days” but I do appreciate that things are both lost and gained with change.

    To that end TCM has two films on tonight that come from a different era of filmmaking, and are well worth your time. At 6:00 ET is “The Sunshine Boys” (1975, Directed by Herbert Ross). It is a film that deals with themes usually avoided by Hollywood like the plague. Growing old and seemingly irrelevant by a youthful changing society. It features two Titans of the cinema: George Burns and Walter Matthau.

    Following that is “Going My Way” (1944, Directed by Leo McCarey). The quintessential Bing Crosby vehicle outside of his likeable signature “On the Road” films with Bob Hope. Doubtful that a film portraying a Catholic priest working for his Archdiocese and working with children would be made today. The Irish lullaby scene brings real tears with it, especially to anyone who, either by distance or loss, is denied the presence of his or her mother.

    This month is TCM’ s salute to the Academy Awards. A great film almost every night.

  76. Dan Bylsma: a coach impervious to adjustments.

  77. It’s good to hear that former Penn State coach Tom Bradley is now a linebacker coach at West Virginia.

  78. Coach Dan Bylsma says he can guarantee the bronze over the Finns tomorrow. Fine, except that we would’ve preferred to be competing with the Swedes for the gold,

    • Sorry, I did watch, but cannot get excited or bummed about the outcome

      You throw a bunch of players together for a couple days

      Then you play

      The best part of this is Dejan got to cover it and there was no stupid stuff

      Beat Em Bucs

  79. An anonymous high ranking Olympic skatiing official has complained that the awarding of the gold medal in figure skating was slanted towards the Russian Adelina Sotnikova, and so, US Figure Skating has submitted a proposal that would rescind anonymous judging this.summer.

    • Of course it was. These figure skaters practice hours upon hours every day of their lives leading up to these games, then the “adults” cheat. Sad.

  80. The Orioles have signed Nelson Cruz to a 1 year contract. The Pirates, of course, have done nothing.

  81. U.S. hasn’t scored in 4 and a half periods. Disco is looking down at Rask & having flashbacks.

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