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Morning Java: Fifteen to go

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Thursday column off Game 1 comes in praise of Dan Bylsma, the playoff coaching wizard. For Game 1, anyway.

The game story, by beat man Rob Rossi.

The Columbus perspective, by Jason Mackey.

Play of the game, by Chris Adamski, of course, was Brandon Sutter’s goal, described in the video below by the Canadian legend Bob Cole, who’s been on air since 1969 and will retire after these playoffs:

Gary Bettman in the house, by Rossi.

The city coffers benefit big-time, by Bob Bauder.

Other news and notes, by Adamski.

Blogginess from the scene: Not wild about Todd Richards’ demeanor so far. I get that he’s a rookie coach as far as playoffs go, but there’s no point in saying this about his Blue Jackets after the game: ‘We aren’t here just to go to school. We’re here to win.’ Uh, who’d  have thought any less of the legit No. 7 seed in the conference? … I’d love to see the NHL adopt an NFL-style review for plays that happen in games that aren’t called penalties and aren’t suspension-worthy but could still merit fines. Case in point was Brandon Dubinsky’s ridiculous slew-foot of Sidney Crosby. … Man, what a wonderful hockey player Matt Niskanen is becoming, huh? Just think of all those dollar signs being attached to every performance like this one. … Niskanen and Paul Martin need to be on the power play. Do what you have to from there. … I don’t see or understand the Brian Gibbons thing. … Crosby’s keeping a healthy approach about when and how he’s used by Bylsma in matchups: ‘Whenever Dan tells me to get out  there, it doesn’t matter. You get ready to compete. What makes you successful against Dubinsky is the same thing that makes you successful against Johansen.’ … MIA for Pittsburgh: Chris Kunitz, no points, minus-2, lots of unambitious plays. MIA for Columbus: Ryan Johansen, a 33-goal scorer with no points and three shots. … Am I the only one who thought Sergei Bobrovsky actually played worse than his line? Visible lack of confidence at times. … Expect R.J. Umberger to be back for the Jackets in Game 2. … Columbus wound up with a 48-27 edge in hits. The Jackets also had two giveaways to the Penguins’ 10. … That gold-out was a failure. The number of people who showed up wearing gold, from what I saw outside, couldn’t have been as high as 5 percent. And the feel with the freebie T-shirts … eh. Just forget it. We are who we are. Give us towels.

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, including this neat video of old friend Mark Letestu mic’d up for the game.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio podcast began with your calls on Penguins-Jackets, the Pirates’ speed bumps, the Steelers’ draft and more, and here’s video of that segment …

>> Johnny Cueto could be taunting the Pirates after shutting them out. Travis Sawchik reports from Great American Band Box.

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

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Here’s Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’ll cover the Pirates’ return to PNC Park today and write a Friday column from there.

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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.

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