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Morning Java: Drop the puck!

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will feature you once again. We’ve got all kinds of ground to cover, so I’ll open by taking your calls on any topic. Will the Penguins sweep the Blue Jackets? Or will the series take five games? Still worried about the Pirates at first base? How about the rotation? You name it.

So do it. Call me at 412-320-7925.

Feel free to email sportstalk@tribweb.com if you can’t call. But I’d really rather hear from you.

At 2:30, we’ll be joined by Josh Yohe, the Trib’s hockey beat man.

And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter, this on Tony Sanchez.

To listen, just click on the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the iPhone version of the TribLIVE Radio app, or the Android version. Both are free and ridiculously easy to use.

>> Here we go!

Sidney Crosby is no Kid anymore when it comes to playoffs, by Yohe.

Evgeni Malkin is ready and raring, by Rob Rossi.

Marc-Andre Fleury has plenty to prove, by columnist Joe Starkey.

Tomas Vokoun will merely provide depth, by Chris Adamski.

The Blue Jackets sound confident, by Craig Merz in Columbus.

Advanced metrics of the matchup, by Jesse Marshall.

Honestly, I don’t have much to add beyond what the Monday column described: Penguins in five.

Any two teams can be pitted, no matter how lopsided, and someone can concoct reasons why a series should be tight or could even swing an unexpected way. That shouldn’t happen here. It can’t happen here. The Penguins have markedly superior skill on the top two lines, are much better on both special teams, have a more accomplished and mobile defense … they’re even healthier than Columbus, if you can believe that. The variable that still screams out is that of Fleury vs. Sergei Bobrovsky, and goaltending always can be enough of a variable to dwarf all others. But I don’t see it. I really don’t.

I’ll respect Bobrovsky and his 2013 Vezina Trophy enough to presume he’ll steal one game. No more.

Oh, and if it’s a Cup pick you want, it’s Teemu Selanne going out on top.

Our panel on WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word each picked one possible way the Penguins could lose this series:

And here’s what TribLIVE Radio‘s morning team of Ken Laird and Guy Junker had to say about the playoffs finally being upon us:

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, our Chipped Ice blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Blue Jackets news from the team’s official site.

Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.

>> The Pirates had to settle for a pseudo-split with the Reds. Travis Sawchik reports from Great American Band Box.

Wandy Rodriguez’s vanishing velocity, by Sawchik.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> The Steelers pick up another punter, by Alan Robinson.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page and our Steel Mill blog.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’ll cover Game 1 today, the Pirates’ return to PNC Park tomorrow. Hope you can call the show!

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.

Comments

  1. Anchor says:

    Let’s go Pens! The 2nd season starts.

  2. It takes a brave and confident man to run a call in sports internet radio show opposite the live Pirate game on the real radio!!

  3. I merely hope that the Pens can do well against Columbus, and then can do better than expected for the rest of the playoffs, if possible. As for the Pirates, well, let’s hope they can beat the Reds in today’s rubber match, weather permitting, and then, they can take a least a couple versus the Brewers at home, again weather permitting.

  4. I hope it rains softly Wednesday for the Pirates-Reds. The ball flies out of that Little League Field the Reds play in when it’s raining.

    Pirates should start Tabata, Barmes, Tony Sanchez, and Josh Harrison so they all can get their first HR. Maybe powerhouse Josh Harrison can also get his first hit. He seems to be driving to go the whole month without getting a pinch hit.

  5. Now that Geno will be back in the lineup, maybe the Pens’ chances will be slightly better. And I mean slightly, beyond Columbus, if they indeed beat the Blue Jackets in the playoffs.

  6. Brandie says:

    I am not one to say that injuries come at an opportune time, but this may be true in Geno’s case. Hopefully he took this opportunity to get his head out of himself and her his head in the game. I will definitely be cheering on our Boys of Winter!

    I miss posting during the day, but it has been insanely busy. I got a raise and the owner wants to train me on how to run the business. If sports teaches us anything, it’s to take the opportunities given to you and make the most of them. That way you can angle for a bigger contract later (HA!).

    Have a great day all!

  7. Brandie says:

    For Revvie…

    Pardon the typo. Geno is not a her.

  8. Wild Bill says:

    Everything you’ve been and done got you to this opportunity, Brandie. Take full advantage if you can, and if it’s not toxic to who you are.

  9. Thundercrack says:

    Just heard the guys on the Fan talk about how there are still tickets available for tonight’s game.

    $233 is the most expensive ticket. Wow!

  10. Wild Bill says:

    In a very long season, the Pens have had little to really play for the last few weeks. Now they have it all to play for. Can they gear up? Will they be a more focused team starting tonight? Do they want it all, as much as they say they do? Will the coaching staff get coherent third and fourth lines? We will find out starting tonight.

    In these first two at home, I’m almost more interested in how the Pens play the game than whether we win. But two wins would be really nice.

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s Tell It To the Rain Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vef5RErWYHo&feature=kp

    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

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/probable-pitchers

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Pirates Loaded Farm System Highlighted by Indianapolis

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-pirates-loaded-farm-system-highlighted-by-indianapolis.html

    Prospect Watch: Pat Ludwig Throws Five Shutout Innings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-pat-ludwig-throws-five-shutout-innings.html

    Development is coming quickly for Gregory Polanco

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/development-is-coming-quickly-for-gregory-polanco.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Mike Leake, Todd Frazier homer for Reds in Pirates’ 7-5 loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/16/5619634/mike-leake-todd-frazier-homer-for-reds-in-pirates-7-5-loss

    7 Rumbunter

    Video: Pittsburgh Pirates Join Daniel Bryan “Yes Movement”

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/15/video-pittsburgh-pirates-wwe-daniel-bryan-yes-movement/

    8 Green Weenie

    Reds Keep the Runs Comin’ In 7-5 Win

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/reds-keep-runs-comin-in-7-5-win.html

    4/15: Alleghenys Play Ball, Batty, Chief Yellow Horse, Hammerin’ Hank Greenburg, Twin Killings and More…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/415-alleghenys-play-ball-batty-chief.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    Game 13: Pirates 8 Reds 7 / Game 14: Reds 7 Pirates 5

    http://whygavs.com/april-2014/game-13-pirates-8-reds-7-game-14-reds-7-pirates-5.html

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Win Suspended Game In Cincinnati, But Fall In Nightcap

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/04/15/pittsburgh-pirates-win-suspended-game-cincinnati-fall-nightcap/
    Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop Jordy Mercer Struggling In Everyday Role

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/04/15/pittsburgh-pirates-jordy-mercer-struggling-everyday-role/

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140416_PIT@CIN/pirates-reds-preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Several Cubs could be attractive to Yankees as season progresses

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/26871481-573/several-cubs-could-be-attractive-to-yankees-as-season-progresses.html#.U05gKEC8Bs4

    13 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Wandy Rodriguez Concerns Outweigh Joy of Victory Against Cincinnati Reds

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/04/15/pittsburgh-pirates-wandy-rodriguez-concerns-outweigh-joy-of-victory-against-cincinnati-reds/

    14 Pirates Site

    Cole allows career-high five runs as Bucs fall to Reds

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_04_15_pitmlb_cinmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Pirates keeping close eye on Wandy’s velocity

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140415&content_id=72133208&notebook_id=72152282&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    15 Wichita Eagle

    Royals among teams expressing interest in free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan

    http://www.kansas.com/2014/04/15/3406514/royals-among-teams-expressing.html

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Homers from Leake, Frazier lift Reds over Pirates 7-5

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/04/15/home-runs-leake-frazier-reds-win-pirates/7761973/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Crew’s bats stay silent in Tuesday’s loss

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-offense-again-stymied-by-cardinals-pitching-b99248649z1-255433581.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals’ pitching dominates Brewers

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-pitching-dominates-brewers/article_61e4ba01-0d4e-5c4e-ab6e-e26a456e1481.html

    Cards one of 3 teams with no black players

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinal-beat/cards-one-of-teams-with-no-black-players/article_ed396296-af60-5ee6-ac0c-b74186361349.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Park Features In Play

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/park-features-in-play/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Eight Notable Early-Season Injuries

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23315

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Rolando McClain can’t finish workout with Ravens

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/latest-news/2014/4/15/5618800/rolando-mcclain-ravens-retirement-comeback

    Steelers sign ex-Bears P Adam Podlesh to 1-year contract

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-steelers-free-agency/2014/4/15/5618012/steelers-sign-ex-bears-p-adam-podlesh-to-1-year-contract

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Luis Suarez’s turnaround over the last 12 months

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/luis-suarezs-turnaround-last-12-months

    23 BBC Football

    Arsenal 3 West Ham 1

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26933276

    24 World Soccer

    Jose Mourinho: how special is the Special One?

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/brian-glanville/jose-mourinho-special-special-one

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins Practice Update: Malkin to return for Game 1?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/4/15/5617134/penguins-practice-update-malkin-to-return-for-game-1

  14. Jandy says:

    Sistah! I am so proud of you and happy for you! <3

    Keep on keepin' on and moving up!! :)

  15. Jandy says:

    wow, that absolutely amazes me…that there are tickets still available.

  16. Jandy says:

    +++++

  17. Jandy says:

    well said, Wild One!

  18. Milo Hamilton says:

    I heard the same discussion. Standing room tickets are $80. Hope a bunch of student rush kids get in. At least they’ll be enthusiastic & make some noise.

  19. Jandy says:

    But they better get their free pizza first! ;)

  20. The Cardinals beat the Brewers again last night. Let’s hope the Bucs can do the same at home this weekend, weather permitting.

  21. The Pens should beat Columbus in the playoffs since they always beat the Blue Jackets, and this time should be no different, hopefully.

  22. Wild Bill says:

    Joe, thanks again for all you give us with these links. For example, I am stunned that in 2014, there are three MLB teams with not one black player on their roster.

    The Pirates trade rumors link was also useful, if not surprising. Thanks again.

  23. Thundercrack says:

    Well the sell-out streak at the Consol is in jeopardy. If it ends then they will have to stop referring to it at the beginning of every broadcast of Penguins game. A certain someone will be happy with that. (and it won’t be Mario or Burkle).

    And I just posted this because 1) I am surprised tickets are still available, 2) I am surprised that tickets for the first round are that much.

    I hope this doesn’t turn into a debate about the fans of each of our sports teams here in Pittsburgh. (that may even lead to a bold reaming :-) )

  24. Milo Hamilton says:

    Their average ticket price for this round is 2nd highest of the 16 teams in the playoffs. Playoffs that include teams in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston etc.. Ouch.

  25. Me, too, Brandestina. And thanks for the typo to start the morning. Will miss the day myself today due to an out-of-town meeting, but should be an exciting one.

    Jandy can keep NMR, AW, 21 and the crew in line and bring home 2 wins.

  26. Wild Bill says:

    Thank heaven for the Cards. Right now.

  27. Jandy says:

    TC, you’re a pot stirrer!!!!! :P

  28. Jandy says:

    Just wow.

  29. JD says:

    Troublemaker

  30. Jandy says:

    it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it ;)

    Be safe Spunkster :*

  31. Jandy says:

    Pot calling the kettle black :P

  32. Andrew says:

    Here is a scouting report on Gregory Polanco from Baseball American, that I came across.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/what-to-expect-gregory-polanco/

  33. Dom says:

    Happy Birthday to Pittsburgh’s greatest friend, Bill Belchick.

    Double B turns the big 62 today.

  34. I will. Thanks. You, too. 110 miles one way. Nothing close around here.

  35. DJ says:

    James: Please temper that positive vibe you’ve got going on the Pens today.

    My fear is you’re going to jinx them.

  36. Jandy says:

    lol, too funny DJ

  37. DJ says:

    Idiom-tosser.*

    *Hey, I figured I’d just join in on the name calling so as not to disrupt the roll here. Let’s see if we can make it to 25 consecutive.

  38. Jandy says:

    I resemble that remark :P

  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    The lovely and awesomely kick ass, Ellen Barkin, turns 60 today.

  40. NMR says:

    Groupon joke.

  41. Thundercrack says:

    Ahhhh….that never gets old.

  42. NMR says:

    Need a cold shower after that one.

    Thanks, Andrew!

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    $932 for a family of four. Just the tickets. Better not order a hot dog, junior. Wow.

    My wife and I paid less for air tickets, hotel and some meals on our last four night trip to Vegas. That’s for both of us combined!

  44. BillyBaduka says:

    Osh,

    Great post yesterday on the merits of focusing on the journey rather than the destination.

    I admit that with the Pens, my expectations have been too high and a primary source of frustration with the team.

    I usually share your philosophy on that. For whatever reason, I haven’t been that way with the Pens for years. I’d like to think it has something to do with living in Flyers country but the answer is inside, not outside as is usually the case.

    Your post helped me view this post season in a different light, more anticipation and less angst.

    Thank you.

    PS. Please bring back the Joe Strummer avatar from time to time. Love that avatar.

  45. GAWTS2009 says:

    Thank god I can student rush. Though 3 hr drive is limiting me to the weekend games this year.

  46. DJ says:

    Dear Pens Critics Society members:

    Yes, you know who you are. All these years and months of offering baseless negative commentary (okay, a couple facts) on Orpik, Bylsma, Scuds, Orpik, Letang (pre-condition), Fleury, Malkin, Orpik, Gladams, Pyatt, D’Agostini (remember him), Vitale, Kobasew and even our beloved captain, Sidney. You should all be very ashamed of yourselves. Well today is the day for a fresh start. Time for you to listen to all of your own critics by turning the page and letting go of all that angst and negativity.

    Let’s DO this playoffs thing and bring us another Cup!

  47. Jandy says:

    Where ya driving from GAWTS? Care to join the Loonies Asylum? Just post your hometown and Biz will add you to the list :)

  48. Jandy says:

    +++++

    Let’s Go Pens!

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    Also the 67th birthday for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He is still the leading scorer in Milwaukee Bucks history. He left the team in 1975 after just 6 seasons. Quite a franchise there!

    Probably the least forward thinking rule change in sports history was college basketball banning the dunk because of Lew Alcindor. “We need more set shots!”

    Happy Birthday, Roger Murdock!

  50. GAWTS2009 says:

    We NEED Prededictions!
    I have:
    Det in 6
    TB in 6
    Pitt in 5
    NYR in 7
    Col in 6
    Chi in 6
    Ducks in 6
    LA in 7

  51. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Bill. Will do on the avatar.

  52. Jandy says:

    I hope you’re right with the Detroit in 6!

  53. DJ says:

    Well, there goes our consecutive string.

  54. GAWTS2009 says:

    I have a league on NHL.com:
    Name: Ship Hockey
    Pass: Manitowoc
    Join so we can get a bunch of lunitics in!
    Please note the pass may be manitowoc
    I think I capitalized it but can’t remember

  55. BillyBaduka says:

    I’ll second that.

  56. Arriba Wilver says:

    And, he was great in Airplane.

  57. BillyBaduka says:

    LETS GO PENS!

  58. Jandy says:

    :p :p

  59. GAWTS2009 says:

    I know Regular season doesn’t translate (ala the PENS!) but Detriot has absolutly dominated Boston this year.

  60. BillyBaduka says:

    Roger, Roger

  61. Thundercrack says:

    It was very compelling radio. Listening to Jim Colony navigate around the seating chart on the Penguins’ web site., telling us what sections had seats and the prices

  62. Thundercrack says:

    He was great in the movie.

    I think she is hot. She’s really good when she is in Modern Family

  63. GAWTS2009 says:

    Just checking to see if this image shows up

  64. DJ says:

    Nice, Andrew.

    Cannot wait to see him.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, Osh. Missed the Roger Murdock reference. Duh!

  66. Jandy says:

    nice…

  67. GAWTS2009 says:

    Doesn’t seem to have worked…

  68. DJ says:

    Yes, looks great.

    I think you’re my second cousin.

  69. GAWTS2009 says:

    haha for some reason it wasn’t showing up on my computer

  70. GAWTS2009 says:

    why’s that?

  71. Pucknutz says:

    Like your style DJ!
    Ya , lets do this playoff thing and have some fun :)

    LETS GO PENS !

  72. Dom says:

    Bruins in 5
    TB in7
    Pitt in 6
    Philly in 7
    Col in 6
    Chi in 6
    Ducks in 5
    LA in 7

    I’ll Predict Boston over the Ducks in the finals!

  73. Jandy says:

    Jandy
    April 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Where ya driving from GAWTS? Care to join the Loonies Asylum? Just post your hometown and Biz will add you to the list :)

  74. Jandy says:

    LOL DJ, behave!

  75. Jandy says:

    Dom, we dont’ WANT Bahstahn to win :/

  76. Sarah says:

    You go B!!!

  77. GAWTS2009 says:

    I’ve been on here for the last two years. So, I think I was added before. I’m from Greencastle, PA. Don’t post often because I seem to only post when I’m in a negitive mood. I formally went as hap2009 or hap1998. I can’t remember which but I change it to match my twitter.

  78. Jandy says:

    OK Hap/GAWRS2009, I remember you :)

  79. DJ says:

    Pre-avatar posting.

    See “James Thompson” up above.

  80. DJ says:

    [smiley face]

  81. GAWTS2009 says:

    I would gladly give all the above metioned a pass for another x number of years if they bring home another cup!

  82. cosmo says:

    BOS in 7
    MON in 7
    PITT in 5
    NYR in 7
    COL in 5
    CHI in 6
    ANA in 6
    LA in 7

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    Absolutely exuded sexuality in Sea of Love (1989).

  84. cosmo says:

    Dom, log onto NHL.com. They have a bracket challenge like march madness.

  85. GAWTS2009 says:

    I have PENS Ducks. Even if it is Boston in the ECF against us. Look what happened to Detriot the second time we got ahold of them in two consecutive years.

    Though I’m a stats major and only prefer to look at stats that support my oppionion all other stats are Not applicable and were of pure coincidence.

  86. GAWTS2009 says:

    yeah please join the league too hard otherwise to do the scoring!

  87. DJ says:

    Welcome, GAWTS!

    And very glad to see you’re not one of those critics who take more pleasure in being right than in seeing the Pens succeed. We had our absolute fill of THOSE types yesterday.

  88. scapper says:

    Yes, please return to the great Joe Strummer. (Did I really just plead with you replace that stunningly hot female with Joe Strummer? Yes, I guess I did.)

  89. JAL says:

    thanks

  90. Dom says:

    Will do. thanks.

  91. GAWTS2009 says:

    It took me a long time to finally give in

  92. Dom says:

    Is there a DK Blog league I can join?

  93. Jim S. says:

    Great news, Brandie! Hanging in there and believing often pays dividends. I’m happy for you!

  94. DJ says:

    Yeah, me too.

    But then had to stay true to my roots.

  95. GAWTS2009 says:

    Billy Agree with you about being in Philly area. They’ve perminently scared me. Went to a boarding HS in West chester for 4 years and my fience is from Downingtown. Atleast she’s a pitt everything fan or we’d be in trouble haha.

  96. GAWTS2009 says:

    Missed all the posts yesterday, was busy at work. I might have to read through.

  97. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Jandy.

  98. Dom says:

    I am very pessimistic about the Pens chances.

    I really don’t see us getting past the Flyers or Bruins and its seems hard to imagine we could go to the SC finals w/o facing one of those two teams.

    We could also just as easily be defeated by the Rangers.

  99. GAWTS2009 says:

    I should’ve named it that but didn’t dawn on me to invite you all until too late

  100. Sarah says:

    NEGATIVITY ALERT!!!
    DJ, call the SWAT team!!!!!

  101. Andrew says:

    Does anyone have opinions about Super Two status, the Astros called up George Springer?

  102. GAWTS2009 says:

    That’s why I have us facing the Rangers and Tampa. Tampa has done well against Mon,Detriot has destroyed Bos this year(only game BOS won they were down 3 goals and came back), NYR dominate Philly at home.
    Those teams are the ones pens seem to be able to beat this year. I don’t think the Rangers are going to stop us unless lunquest(SP?) gets hot. Philly we easily beat **IF** malkin, neal, and a select others don’t lose their head. I think we beat Boston this year if it comes to that. PENS seem hungry.
    Don’t know what it is about this year but I feel better than the previous couple (even with the lack of talent). What Myron Cope used to say? something about a wheeling feeling. IT IS TIME!

  103. Nate83 says:

    It’s hard not to be excited about a guy in which a perfect comp. can not be found. Essentially the guy said no player has ever possessed this size, speed, power and plate discipline all at the same time. I think the group that included Hamilton, Heyward and Strawberry was pretty good. It looks like those all probably have more power but Polanco may out perform them in the other areas. Haven’t read anything about this kid in over a year that has been negative from a performance standpoint or attitude.

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thank you, thank you Dom. Need some hidden vigorish here.

  105. NMR says:

    “Don’t post often because I seem to only post when I’m in a negitive mood.”

    I hear you there, brother. Your restraint is commendable. Someday maybe I’ll learn.

  106. Jandy says:

    :THWAP:

  107. NMR says:

    Haha, seriously though, that move does make me laugh.

    This is the team that just gave fans the ultimate F-U last season by admittedly refusing to spend any money on players to make a bad team marginally better.

  108. Jandy says:

    never! ;)

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    To who?

  111. DJ says:

    In all seriousness, you might not want to waste your time.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was being serious. DK has already given them the kiss of death by saying no way they lose to the Jackets.
    Don’t you remember “The Pens Will Win The Cup!” ;-)

  113. GAWTS2009 says:

    I’m pretty excited today and i’m posting, closing on a house tomorrow, finally hit me I’ll graduate college in May, and i’ve got (beer league) softball tonight!. Maybe change is in the air!

  114. Dom says:

    But how can we get past the Flyers when they’re 10-1 at Consol?

  115. Jim S. says:

    Pens squash COL in 5. I still think it was a bad idea to ever put a professional team in that college town. I know they are playing better of late, but the Pens have always handled them, and I see it continuing. I foresee plenty of support for our team in their arena, as always – especially if we have them down 2-0.

    BOS and PHL are the only teams I see as capable of beating the Pens in the East. I’m trying to stay positive, and expecting the cream to rise to the top.

  116. GAWTS2009 says:

    It’s a new and improved mindset of Neal and Malkin!
    OR NYR give us some help haha

  117. Andrew says:

    Also of note Springer was not on the 40 man, but Polanco is so if the Pirates called up Polanco before Sunday he would credit for a full year of service time, thus the Pirates would lose an extra year. The Astros do not lose the extra year because of some intricacy of service time and the 40 man roster.

    At least that is what John Decker said over at Pirates Prospects.

  118. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t know Alcindor was the reason for that, Osh. Thanks for the history lesson. I thought it had occurred more as a result of Wilt and guys a few years ahead of LA.

    I have a very faint memory of his first years as a pro. I know he teamed up with an aging Big O. I thought they brought an NBA Championship to the beer city.

  119. Sarah says:

    We CAN beat the Flyers!
    YES we can!

  120. Thundercrack says:

    You have just put into a ‘group’

  121. Andrew says:

    The only negative thing I have seen is questions about how good his breaking pitch recognition is.

  122. Jandy says:

    ;)

    AND YEAH I hear ya on Dejan…he needs to hush..maybe that :thwap: is for him!

  123. Dom says:

    I don’t feel I’m being overly pessimistic. All what I’m saying is, seasons over, we’re not winning the cup, and there’s always next year.

  124. Jim S. says:

    In what will soon become the 3rd largest city in America and an amateur baseball hotbed, no less. I got that little tidbit from Michael Kay on the Yanks-Astros broadcast two weeks ago.

  125. hockeymonster says:

    +++

  126. mcpitt88 says:

    if they play the right way they should win… against anyone really!

  127. Scott says:

    Actually, it seems highly likely the Pens could reach the finals without playing the Flyers or Bruins. The Rangers usually dominate the Flyers, so they will probably help us out.

    As I’ve noted before, history tells us that if the Pens reach the conference final, the Bruins won’t. It’s been 22 years since there was an eastern conference final rematch. Conference final rematches just never happen anymore in this age of parity and upsets.

    The Bruins are the ’13 Pens – the team that peaked too early, became the Cup favorite and then saw their season end in disappointment. I am going to enjoy watching them go down, whenever it happens. Sorry, Jarome!

  128. JohninOshkosh says:

    They did, indeed. 1971. Swept the Baltimore Bullets 4-0 in the Finals.

    Still a beloved team.

  129. Dom says:

    good news

  130. Arriba Wilver says:

    ’71 was a good year. ;-)

  131. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, dunk was banned from 67-76. Alcindor was player of the year in ’67. He graduated in ’69. So dunk prohibition affected his last two years of eligibility. Freshman were not allowed to play. So, his one year with the dunk allowed was enough for the clowns running college basketball to outlaw it.

    The worst part of that rule, in my opinion, is that it denied the world of David “Skywalker” Tompson’s incredible athleticism during his college years at NC State.

  132. Karen22 says:

    Two words for these playoffs: Discipline…Fleury. That is all!

    Now go do it, Pens!

  133. Milo Hamilton says:

    Montreal. At least that’s what my bracket says.

  134. Sarah says:

    Yeah I will be most interested in MAF. He has looked more stable to me this season….but as we all know that means very little starting at 7:30 tonight….
    I hope he is Like Wall!!!

  135. Sarah says:

    No pessimism allowed here!!! check out our new mods yesterday!!!

  136. Sarah says:

    Yeah I had the same thoughts yesterday. It’s the best bracket possible to avoid bad matchups like BOS or PHL.

    I sure hope you’re right about the Bs peaking…but man they look like a well oiled machine. I think the matchup with Wings will tell us a lot.

  137. Dom says:

    He’s the only reason I have hope for the postseason.

  138. Sarah says:

    Wow, brave statement!! I agree that goaltending is a wild card, just that MAF is often on the wrong side of Wild LOL!
    But I like the kid and hope he does great. After the first round he will need to.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    My daughter, who was a Virginia Tech Sophomore on April 16, 2007, posted on her Facebook page a remembrance for the anniversary of the shootings that day.

    What the Virginia Techies say is “neVer forgeT.”

    I don’t know what it is about this time of year . . .

  140. Jim S. says:

    Nice post, AW. I have a niece who was a student there at the time also. Tragic day.

  141. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I brought up DT last week here. He was one of a kind. I recall as a kid when Pitt made it to the Elite 8 and had to play an undefeated NCSU team on their home court – Reynolds Coliseum, I guess. Monty Towe, Burleson, David Thompson. I recall Thompson making one of his skywalker leaps and landing on the shoulders (or thereabouts) of a slumped over Billy Knight. He left the game briefly, only to return with a big white bandage wrapped around his head. Pitt hung tough for awhile, but faltered at the end. That is one of my earliest remembrances of college hoops.

  142. Dom says:

    Rob Rossi did predict the Pens to win it all and for Geno to be the MVP. He also predicts that Boston will be out in the first round.

  143. Jim S. says:

    Stargell Statue salutes you for that, AW!

  144. Jim S. says:

    Come to think of it, based on Osh’s info. about the Bullets, it may not have been such a great year for the folks in Baltimore – at least for baseball and basketball.

  145. Dom says:

    Not brave at all. Fleury is the best Pens goalie of all time. What other former pens goalie would want in lieu of him if he’s the best?

  146. Jim S. says:

    I’d say he probably is the best. But, last year’s meltdown was epic.

    Barrasso was pretty good also.

  147. Fine Girl,

    GREAT JOB!!!! (and I am yelling that!)

    Can I get a raise when you become my Boss?

  148. There are quite a few here who only post when they are in a negative mood!

  149. Van Slick,

    John Decker is wrong if that’s what he said.. George Springer will have 166 days on Astros 25-man if he stays all season.

    Polanco has 0 right now. A player must have 172 days on 25-man to qualify for full year. No way Polanco can now have that.

  150. In Spring Training he was missing every cutoff man on outfield throws.

    He performed poorly against the curve throwing batting machines, obviously below those in his hitting group. His timing was way off, even when he knew curves were coming. Give him time to adjust.

    I mentioned those “performance issues” from Spring Training.

    On the positive side, he wore his hat properly.

  151. Great call on David Thompson!

    Still the best college player I have seen in person . . . . and that includes Bill Walton.

  152. GAWTS2009 says:

    Now I’m going to have to look that up! I usually run away screaming when Rossi says something and I agree (still bitter about the jagr done deal statement years back). However, I do respect his oppinion and writings

  153. Sarah says:

    Barrasso.

 
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