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Morning Java: 87 + 71 = 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column is about Marc-Andre Fleury.

Here’s a bit of what Craig Adams had to say afterward:

The game story, by beat man Rob Rossi, looks at a series that’s apparently just getting started.

All those penalties didn’t help the visitors, by Josh Yohe.

Nick Foligno claims he called his OT goal, by Justin Boggs.

Marcel Goc close to a return, and other notes, by Rossi and Yohe.

Blogginess from the scene: Criticism isn’t needed of Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin, at least not in the opinion sense. Simple facts will do. They’ve now gone eight playoff games without a goal, including the four vs. Boston last spring. In this series alone, they’ve totaled eight assists, six of them secondary assists. In this game, Crosby had three shots on goal. Malkin had zero. Tanner Glass had five shots, meaning he had more than Crosby and Malkin combined. … I asked Crosby after the game if the Penguins as a whole took the foot off the pedal after a first period in which both stars, especially Malkin, played well. Crosby replied that, “We were short-handed a lot in the second period, so I don’t think so. It’s tough to keep momentum like that.” He’s right. But there was a lot of game all around that, and not a lot of star power. … Dan Bylsma canceled today’s practice. That also doesn’t require an opinion. … Bylsma had on the ice for the final minute of regulation what is by far his worst defense pairing, Kris Letang and Rob Scuderi. … Bylsma left the arena with his only timeout firmly in his pocket, one that could have been used to refresh one of the other pairings. … The top line, Crosby’s line, Watch the Foligno goal again, if you can bear it. It really does knuckle badly. … The officiating was terrible. I’m not coming close to blaming that for the Penguins’ loss. Doesn’t change the feeling. … Brandon Sutter was good. Really good. So was Paul Martin. Shame neither was on the ice for the final minute. … Lots of readers asking about Crosby’s health. How did he look in the first period? … What I think about what should happen if the Penguins lose this series hasn’t changed at all. … From the opposing perspective, it was an incredible scene at Nationwide after the Foligno goal. Not a soul left even several minutes after the three stars came out. Chanting ‘C-B-J!’ A truly franchise-altering moment.

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, from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

>> The Pirates didn’t hit much again, by Rob Biertempfel.

Earlier in the day, Clint Hurdle made his monthly visit with TribLIVE Radio’s Ken Laird, and the two predictably had a pretty cool talk:

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’ 2014 schedule is set, by Alan Robinson.

We already knew all their opponents, as well as the home/road breakdown, so all that’s newsy here is chronology. Most interesting to me is that they open with 11 teams who combined to go 60-84 last season, including the Browns twice in the first five games, plus the Bucs, Texans and Jaguars.

It’s foolhardy to suggest any 8-8 team should romp under any circumstance, but it’s nonetheless obvious that the Steelers had better do well in this span. Because it gets a lot tougher after that, not to mention accompanied by more night games.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> I’m off the next couple days, heading back home for Game 5 Saturday night. Thank you, as always, for reading.

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. hockeymonster says:

    Ok so know that i’ve stewed a bit came to conclusion that we were a bit indecisive in how we wanted to run the clock out. Seemed like we had the right mindset but missed a few passes that killed rushes and at times cheated up ice leaving dmen without necessary support. Columbus gave us chances to go to D to D an extra time or 2 so forwards could come back but we were in somewhat of a rush to go north just for the sake of going north. No numbers or speed, just one token forechecker due to us simply dumping puck out. If we went D to D that extra time to give forwards a chance to wind it up we could do what we did in 1st period and game 3.

    Basically we went into chip and chase mode instead of playing to our strengths like we’ve been doing.

  2. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s an understatement….But there’s something wrong with the Penguins, and it goes deeper than one person.
    The disappearance (again) of #87 and #71 is stranger than strange.
    A total disgrace from top to bottom

    As for the Pirates…That’s three runs in two nights.
    It’s not very hard to add up, and it’s not very hard to guess the outcome when you score so little.
    This team just can’t hit…..

  3. Kiki Berkey says:

    I’m not worried about Fleury. I just want to know if the guys in front of him can play a full 60 minute game? Fleury’s been tremendous all season & through the first 4 games in this series. A 5 minute game sequence won’t change that for me. Whether the teams have success or failure. Pittsburgh sports fans look back on the past. I’m not going to with Fleury this time. This was a tale of 3 games for the Pens. Come out on fire in the 1st, take foot off of the gas in 2nd & play well to protect the lead. The Jackets had NO SHOTS for 13 minutes. IMO, A lot of things that are wrong with the Pens are with fundamentals. Things that can be corrected with smart & simple plays. Hockey is the one sport where will beats skill. The series is tied 2-2. Shake this loss off & focu on winning Game 5.

  4. DBK2989 says:

    Full disclosure: This is assuredly me being a miserable, bitter homer that’s still incredibly pissed off, but between Twitter and Facebook the awe of Columbus’ crowd is getting tired. It’s a hungry fan base who’s had extremely little playoff exposure. I would fully expect them to be rabid in a tied series especially as a heavy underdog and to celebrate emphatically after a late game-tying goal and OT winner. From what was reported you could hear a pin drop at 3-0. For most of us Pens fans the only comparison we can draw it to is the nursery nap time environment at CONSOL. Again I’m simply tired and angry and just looking to bitch about anything. As always DK thank you for great work.

  5. Crash says:

    Crosby needs to decide if his loyalty to his buddy Kunitz at the expense of team success is worth it? Last year the best line heading into the playoffs was 18/71/14 (Sid was out), then Sid returns and not only is that line broken up, but because Sid wants Kunitz on the PP with him Iginla’s PP minutes vanished as well.

    The PP is too easy, it’s either #2 shooting from the point or trying to set up Kunitz. Geno is an afterthought on the PP. Kunitz should come off, and the $5 mil per year 40 goal scorer should come on. If Sid doesn’t like it? Too bad. Maybe Melrose is right and Sid is injured, because right now he looks like ass. He looks as gassed after four playoff games as Malkin did in the 2008 Finals when they lost to Detroit.

    If Neal keeps getting the chances he’s getting he’ll score more, he has one goal and can easily have 4 or 5 more.

    If they lose this series? #58, #29 (for his own good), and Disco have to go.

  6. Reading says:

    22 seconds left. Hmm. The CBJ’s first home playoff win. Hmm. Can you say the CBJ’s Immaculate Deflection.

  7. poole says:

    I have a real problem with Kunitz’s diving game. I didn’t see embellishment in any sense of the word. It was also the true turning point in the game.

    In a more general sense I hate the system for diving penalties. If a player truly does dive, call the dive and make it the one and only penalty. I see it as one infraction. If the worst that can happen is a penalty to both players, there is no deterrent to stop players from continuing to dive.

  8. poole says:

    Continuing my rant on penalties, I’m part because some calls on the series have been embarrassing (both ways)…

    What’s the deal with a high stick being okay if occurs during the follow through of a shot? Maybe there’s a reason but I can’t guess at one. What if it draws blood? (End sarcasm)

  9. poole says:

    Kunitz’s diving *call* not *game* …sorry

  10. Kiki Berkey says:

    The Blues & Ducks both had 2-0 series leads & are now tied 2-2. Does anyone else think people are asking the Blues about last postseason? They’re up 2-0 vs the Kings after 2 O.T. winners. (Ironically from Steen & Jackman) Then, lose the next 4. Also, the Blues/Hawks have had 3 of their 4 games end 4-3. All 3 of those games have gone to O.T. The Ducks had a 2-0 lead in tonight’s game before the Stars came back for 4 unanswered goals. The playoffs are not easy. Do Pens fans remember a time when we would have loved one goal games? We’ve gotten 4. Considering these games shouldn’t have ended that way. Fleury’s a big reason for that. Also, considering how 3-1 leads have looked in this series. Then Pens going up 3-1 in this series… Do I need to say more?

  11. poole says:

    Also, the lack of production is squarely on 87 and 71, don’t get me wrong. And yes, they had very good regular seasons. But your stars need to be stars in big games or even big moments. That’s the reality of a salary cap league. However, I think Mr shero needs to take a long hard look at the waybthia team is constructed. Build a team with an identity. Start by ditching Scuderi in the off season. Give 87 and 71 skilled wingers with well rounded games. Ones that can support the goal scoring department and carry their weight in responsible and cosistent play. Maybe James Neal is not a core piece this team needs. I understand his value, but at what cost? The rest of his game is ….not conducive to winning. Lose the love affair with Glass and Adams, even if they are cheap. The best players should play irregardless of age.

    Does letang deserve his contract right now? No but he gets a pass due to circumstance (health and D partner). I would explore his trade value if they feel comfortable with the stockpile of young D.

    Fleury, thank you for keeping us in a game where we were dominated for 2 periods. I’m not sure you are worth 5 million though. Paging James reimer.

    And I also want to say…I think the pens can and will win this series. But its the definiton of insanity to face the same issues year after year. Time for some shake up. Buckle up.

  12. Mike Vee says:

    I said it last year and I’ll say it now, this team will not win with DB as coach. He mishandles personel, still cant figure out home ice last change advantage, and can’t adjust his team especially with the lead. 3-0 lead they should have been playing a full blown trap and just picked off CBJ’s mistakes. As DK pointed out what the heck were 4 and 58 doing on the ice at the end of the game!!!! ….Philly 2 years ago, Boston last year and Columbus this year have all taken advantage of being able to take Sid (and Geno) off his game. Yeah, I know blah blah he should rise to the occassion, he’s the best in the world but none of that matters. When he is watching over his shoulder and getting rid of the puck quicker than normal he is off his game and will not be effective. He is a finesse player and the minute Dubinsky started the slew footing, jabbing, poking etc. , Glass or preferably Engo (if he was playing) should have pounded Dubinsky in game one right when that started. He needs time and space not a shadow. Once one guy starts taking runs at 87 and even 71, they all do because nobody does anything and the Pens just take it. Do you think the Bruins would take that? Absolutely not, there would be a gang protecting their own. This Pens team after the whole Islander fiasco and Cooke ordeals has become the “kinder gentler” Pens and they will not be champions until this changes. Our coach and GM refuse to admit between 4 and 58 there is 12 million dollars wasted. Letang should be on par with Doughty and he isn’t even close. Scuderri should never have been allowed to walk in the 1st place and obviously his best years are gone. Honestly, 99 never had to deal with what 87 has dealt with because he had teammates to back him up. I’m not saying that I want nor expect the Pens to goon up but man do they need to get a little bit of team pride and confidence. Unless there’s a radical change, we’re losing next round anyway and this will be 5 years wasted with 2 of the top players in the world and in their prime. I just can’t wait for the press conference when DB gets canned (I’m thinking Barry Trotz as new coach), and lets hope we dont draft another 170LB non gritty player this summer.

  13. Reading says:

    WRT practice-gate, “We’re talking about … PRACTICE. We’re talking about Practice.” On a related note, Crosby has 108 playoff assists placing him third all time on the Pens all-time list.

  14. Mike Vee says:

    Letang has had a pass for 2 years. He is not a $7 mil a year player, period. Personally, I don’t think he has been the same since his first concussion. Last year he might as well have been wearing a Bruins jersey, he was that bad. How much bad play can we afford. $7mil I want Doughty, Keith, Charra, Weber etc

  15. Michael Brourman says:

    Bylsma must be the only person watching this series who doesn’t recognize the fact that the Scuderi and Letang pairing is horrible. Scuderi has been poor all year (when healthy); Letang has been terrible since his return

    Fleury was, and always will be, Fleury. He makes some big saves but that is what goalies are paid to do. But, at crucial times he is abysmal, as he was in allowing the third and fourth Columbus goals.

    But, the real problem with this team is Bylsma. He has fostered and nurtered an undisciplined environment since his arrival. He disdains line matchups. He exhibits total inability to make strategic changes on the fly. Removing Letang from the top power play unit will not suddenly create discipline. And lack of discipline cost them this game. Good teams up 3-0 simply shut down the opposition. This team takes undisciplined penalties which allow their opponents back into the game. That is on the coach.

    Even if the Pens manage to win this series, they will lose the next series soundly. Hopefully, that will be enough to result in Bylsma, Fleury, Scuderi, Orpik and some of the other problems on this team to be terminated. The Pens need a major housecleaning.

  16. Wilbur says:

    What are the Penguins’ options with Scuderi going forward? I’ve tried to mess around with CapGeek & etc. but, regrettably, I can’t make sense of the waiver rules. Even with an increased cap that contract is deadly.

  17. Kiki Berkey says:

    He changed it in Game with Scuderi/Niskanen & Letang/Maatta. But, according to Josh Yohe’s column, Todd Reirden said that was to help with offense not defense. I don’t know. I thought the defense was better after that switch. Bortuzzo would be a nice lineup addition. He’s physical & responsible. Also, I have a feeling he’d take every advantage of the opportunity to play.

  18. rosko says:

    about scuderi’s contract..his contract would not qualify for one of the 2 buyouts that came as part of the deal from the lockout but his contract could be bought out though..per capgeek,its a little complicated but it looks like the formula would breakdown to where the Pens would take an annual cap hit of about $1.3m for 6yrs..thats based on him having 3yrs left on deal and how the buyout works,cap hit is double length of yrs left on deal,…that equates to about a $2.7m per yr savings..i think its a no brainer,he must be bought out..

  19. Thundercrack says:

    In this game, Crosby had three shots on goal. Malkin had zero.

    I had to read that twice

  20. Thundercrack says:

    About 75 minutes before game time, catcher Russell Martin was taken out of the lineup and replaced by Chris Stewart.

    An email from the team said the move was made “per the manager’s discretion” and no further information was available.
    —————
    Has anything new been reported about this? Did Martin take his suspension last night?

  21. DJ says:

    The last 45 seconds of regulation was ugly. Did not look like anyone on the ice was in shutdown mode. Entire game on the line, a win within their grasp and not a single Pen playing with any sense of urgency — except Fleury. If they were out of gas, did our head coach not see that, or was he looking to get a major star a free one?

    Kunitz goes to right wall as an outlet for Fleury. Stemp, who is literally creeping, barely takes even a single stride from the red line to well inside our blue line on the dump in. Scuderi makes a beeline to the left wall opening up the entire middle as two CBJ forwards blow by him. Sid, who was hovering at the red line perhaps waiting for the empty net opportunity, slowly skates to the front of the crease and then fans on the centering pass. And Letang? Cannot even remember where he was on the ice. Certainly nowhere near the action.

    Absolutely horrible.

  22. DJ says:

    As I understand, buy-out not possible given that it was a post-CBA (new) signing.

    If cannot trade him, just eat it all and move on.

  23. Eman says:

    Centering pass? You mean the dump in that the goalie missed as the pens were setting up a breakout?

  24. Eman says:

    There was no opportunity or need to take a timeout. The last faceoff of regulation before the tying goal occurred at 3 minutes remaining. The pens had 7 and 44 on for it. Then they switched twice with 4/58 in that final 3 minutes before the eventual game tying goal.

    Dump in doesn’t get bungled, we’re talking about how this team shut down the blue jackets in the final 14 minutes of regulation.

  25. JAL says:

    JAL’s You Will Travel With Me Tonight Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8SegpqyhgM

    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: How Ike Davis Impacts the First Base Prospects in the System

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-how-ike-davis-impacts-the-first-base-prospects-in-the-system.html

    Prospect Watch: Stetson Allie Crushes Two More Home Runs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-stetson-allie-crushes-two-more-home-runs.html

    Travis Ishikawa Outrighted to Triple-A; Elects Free Agency

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/travis-ishikawa-outrighted-to-triple-a-and-likely-to-elect-free-agency.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Charlie Morton wild as Pirates lose again

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/23/5646002/charlie-morton-wild-as-pirates-lose-again

    Postgame: Walks, stolen bases and errors contribute to 5-2 loss

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/24/5646200/postgame-walks-stolen-bases-and-errors-contribute-to-5-2-loss

    7 Rumbunter

    Brandon Cumpton Will Take Wandy Rodriguez Spot in Pirates Rotation

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/23/brandon-cumpton-pittsburgh-pirates-wandy-rodriguez/

    Gregory Polanco Chopping Down Door to Majors

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/23/gregory-polanco-chopping-door-majors/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Lose Ugly 5-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/bucs-lose-ugly-5-2.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    Game 22: Reds 5 Pirates 2

    http://whygavs.com/uncategorized/game-22-reds-5-pirates-2.html

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Get Sloppy In Latest Loss To Reds

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/04/23/pittsburgh-pirates-get-sloppy-loss-reds/

  26. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140424_CIN@PIT/reds-pirates-preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Wrigley Field greats still marvel at park

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27017255-573/wrigley-field-greats-still-marvel-at-park.html#.U1jrIEC8Bs4

    13 Beaver County Times

    Reds run circles around Morton, Pirates

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/reds-run-circles-around-morton-pirates/article_7388f9df-e6f8-55a0-93a9-8c84f3db7f91.html

    14 Pirates Site

    McCutchen’s continued HR streak not enough

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_04_23_cinmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Cole not suspended, ‘surprised’ by skirmish

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140423&content_id=73137980&notebook_id=73137982&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    15 SB Nation

    Why Gerrit Cole wasn’t suspended

    http://www.sbnation.com/2014/4/23/5641246/gerrit-cole-suspension-brewers-pirates-fight

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Alfredo Simon leads Reds to win over Pirates

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/04/23/alfredo-simon-leads-reds-win-pirates/8080463/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Lohse leads way as Brewers win series

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/kyle-lohse-leads-way-as-brewers-win-series-b99254419z1-256465271.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Mixed feelings about Pujols among Cards fans

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-mixed-feelings-about-pujols-among-cards-fans/article_e014afc8-a26a-57a7-bf2f-affc526ba14d.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Bullpen Report: April 23, 2014

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/bullpen-report-april-23-2014/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Pineda and Pine Tar, Part Two

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23392

  27. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    5 biggest games on the Steelers schedule this season

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/4/23/5645654/5-biggest-games-on-the-steelers-schedule-2014

    MMQB states Steelers should change draft approach

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/4/23/5644024/king-states-steelers-should-change-draft-approach

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    A Few Thoughts on Statistics and Analytics, Part 2

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/thoughts-statistics-analytics-part-ii

    23 BBC Football

    David Moyes: Man Utd insist timing of sacking was right
    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27130111

    Jose Mourinho among Chelsea trio handed FA charges

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27133571

    24 World Soccer

    Supporters spooked by sight of ‘ghost’ fan

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/news/ghost-fan-bolivia

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Game 4 Recap: Pens let lead slip away

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/4/23/5645990/penguins-blue-jackets-marc-andre-fleury-fail-nhl-playoffs

  28. d says:

    Can’t wait for all the Pens apologists to appear and hear how they absolve the Pens and Disco Dani’s “coaching” of last nights debacle :)

  29. d says:

    Love the picture of Scuderi standing in front of the net on that game tying goal…pretty much says it all! Awesome signing by THE GREAT ALL IN ray shero and think we only get 3 more years of this stellar play!

  30. If he didn’t he should have. I hear Stewart had a whale of a game in the field. His second error already. But he had two hits.

  31. DJ says:

    . . . then again, Kings down 3-0 to Sharks. Maybe L.A. will take him back.

  32. AL says:

    The talk about Scuderi reminds me of the same talk about Paul Martin 2 years ago. He went from being the worst defenseman to the best so I wouldn’t necessarily write off Scuds just yet.
    The real problem I see with this team is that they appear to rattle very easily after close losses and don’t come out motivated to do better the next game….they come out looking already beaten. Where’s the enthusiasm, the excitement, the hunger, and especially the competitive spirit? You certainly see it in Columbus especially with the fans.

  33. Jandy says:

    Why not Jacques Martin for head coach?

  34. TJA says:

    Didn’t know until this morning about the Ohio teams – 2 and Pittsburgh teams – 0. Yikes. At least the Pirates have 5 more months to get things turned around. Ok, not really. Don’t want to keep losing to division foes. Need to right the ship. Looking at the standings in baseball looks like years of past. At least right now.

    The Pens…obviously…they only have hours…

  35. Jandy says:

    Rather sickening, isn’t it?

  36. Nastynate82 says:

    Get them skilled well rounded wingers? Nice thought, but it’s not like hockey world is just populated and overrun with them. And you’d have to pay (prospects or dollars) a steep price to get them

  37. Jandy says:

    Letang was right in front of Fleury, I believe.

    I blame the last goal on Fleury, he had no business behind the friggin net.
    But I blame the game on the rest of the team and Bylsma.

  38. Jandy says:

    I’m not an apologist but I absolve Fleury.

    But you’re still just dreamy, aren’t you?

    :D

  39. Jandy says:

    I suggest you print that picture out and hang it on your wall so you can grin at it all day :D

  40. Jandy says:

    Al, you’re onto something when you ask “Where’s the enthusiasm, the excitement, the hunger, and especially the competitive spirit?”

    it’s just so odd, I’m thinking it covers a deeper problem.

  41. d says:

    Thank you :)

  42. d says:

    Great idea :)

  43. Jandy says:

    Don’t mention it.

  44. Jandy says:

    Hey, knock yourself out…

    :D

  45. Dom says:

    Good Mourning everyone.

    Tough break or should I say bounce last night.

    On the bright side, I love the Steelers schedule. We have six games against teams that were above .500 last season, including KC who was worse than what their record was last season. I doubt we’ll make the playoffs but this gives me some hope.

  46. Jandy says:

    Good morning, Dom.
    Thanks for the silver lining :)

  47. buggee says:

    Ohio – 2, Pittsburgh – 0.
    Grrrrrrrr

  48. AL says:

    you may be correct. I know that in the workplace it’s possible that you can be in the job so long that you just get burned out and stale. Sometimes just a little youth can inject some life into the whole team.
    In other words, bring in Bortuzzo and a few other WBS kids!
    Getting to play a few shifts in an NHL playoff game for them would spark some excitement IMO.

  49. BillyBaduka says:

    Agree on the problem.

    No excuses for letting off the gas at this point. If they match Columbus effort they should win. If they don’t they won’t and don’t deserve to win.

    No matter what happens against Columbus, difficult to imagine Pens making it past this round.

    Looks like another good regular season followed by playoff disappointment.

    I know the playoffs are tough but the Pens seem to make it more difficult than it needs to be.

    Pick an area, it can be improved; effort, composure, leadership (every night), goaltending (last night), defensive responsibility (every night), scoring wingers, forward depth, lack of stay at home D.

    As someone mentioned above, trying the same thing for 5 years is looking like one of the definitions of insanity.

    If they’re trying to drive the fans insane, they’re doing a damn good job of it.

    It’s too much to expect The Cup or Finals consistently but it’s not too much to expect consistent effort and composure in the playoffs and the Pens haven’t brought either for 4 years and counting.

  50. Jandy says:

    GGgggRRrrRrrr indeed!

  51. BillyBaduka says:

    Should be:

    Difficult to imagine Pens making it past next round.

    I gotta fire my proofreader.

  52. TJA says:

    I’ll add my “Grrrrrrr”, too.

  53. Jandy says:

    lol

    After last night, it’s hard enough to see straight let alone type properly

  54. Jandy says:

    Good job, Avenger!

    Heap it on, Loonies!

  55. buggee says:

    How does this theory explain game 3?

  56. TJA says:

    We have each other, Jandy! This blog is good therapy.

  57. Jandy says:

    It sure is, Justice :)

  58. likeabugonarug says:

    I think they had it last night, until they got the 3-0 lead. Then Columbus got desperate, just like the Pens did in game 3. And Pens couldn’t match it. Which is a complete shame.

    And no one has even mentioned Crosby’s stick getting snapped in 2 when he was about to shoot while coming down the slot in the 2nd period……….with nothing called.

    Officiating has been horrible, and in fairness it’s been bad both ways. Neal slew-footing someone last night around the net. Guess that’s not a penalty in this series.

    MAF belonged behind the net to stop the puck on that horrible result. The sad part is that that is the worst part of his game, and in many respects keeps him from being an elite goalie. Shame.

    Kevin

  59. buggee says:

    I used to live in Ohio; Cincinnati and Columbus…
    It’s flat
    It’s ugleh
    It has all the personality of a cat’s armpit
    and it’s too close to Michigan
    other than that it’s an awesome place to raise a famileh.
    The Nationwide arena is nice though. Maybe it will be the latest site of the demise of another stellar Pen’s season.

    I’m just full of cheer this morning. Time to get out my collection of shuttlecocks; they always make me smile.

    ETCH IT later

  60. Jim S. says:

    I can’t bring myself to read through all the comments above, as frustrating as that loss was. I only saw the 3rd period. The Pens were obviously hoping to hold on the entire time with that 3-2 lead. Columbus was taking it to them for most of the 3rd period, including easily killing off our power play.

    Then, when the finish line was within reach, I actually thought they did a good job of keeping the puck in the Columbus end most of the time and milking the last few minutes. Then, suddenly, there’s Fleury wandering out of the net (as he all too frequently does) and the game was tied. I know he played great for the rest of the game, but he is the worst puck handler, and generally the worst goalie I have seen in my entire life once he leaves the crease. And, he never, ever gets better at it. It is an adventure every time he handles a puck behind the net. He seems to be oblivious of players on the other team closing in on him. So, he undid all the good he accomplished the entire game in about 3 seconds of stupidity. He’s done this so many times in his career. How can a guy be so good at so many aspects of his game and so incredibly awful at others? I have never understood it.

    Once the game got to OT, I knew he would give up the game winner, and I assumed it would be on a shot that had no business going in. Soft.

    I’m not tyring to boil the game down into just this small portion of it, but I had to comment on the debacle that was the last 30 seconds + OT.

  61. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks Jandy,

    Well put.

  62. BillyBaduka says:

    They got lucky with those 3 goals in 2:13.

    Funny how luck so often finds the team with most effort.

  63. Jim S. says:

    I lived in Columbus, too, buggee. I think it is a nice enough town, but not a lot of character IMO. Stand on a beer can in Columbus, look left and right, and you can see to the end of the state in both directions.

  64. BillyBaduka says:

    And no ones saying they can’t win, we wouldn’t be frustrated if we thought they couldn’t win.

    Pens can turn this around beginning Saturday. Sincerely hope they do but I ain’t gonna hold my breath either.

  65. Jim S. says:

    +++, Billy.

  66. Pucknutz says:

    “it’s just so odd, I’m thinking it covers a deeper problem”

    Me thinkin the same thing. What…..I don’t know……sumpin just ain’t right,

  67. BillyBaduka says:

    Didn’t you say the other day you were not going to watch the game?

    C’mon, we need focus from everyone. :)

    Kidding of course Jim.

  68. Poole says:

    You are right. My point is that not every 20-30 goal scorer is one dimensional like Neal. I love Kunitz and Dupuis but, let’s face it, they’re not getting any younger. When you start exploring shopping Scuderi, Letang, Neal, Fleury, etc like I’ve mentioned, you can create as much salary cap as you need. And I don’t think you need to part ways with prospects. Some GMs will overpay for our vets if we shopped them. Just my two cents.

  69. Poole says:

    Good point. I like both Trotz and Martin :-). The grass isn’t also greener but it could be a spark for the team. I’m hesitant about any new coach with contrasting styles/systems. THere’s always a learning curve and trail and error to see which players play well in that system.

    I disagree to certain extent about Bylsma. I think he is a better coach than given credit. I think a shakeup is need, as I mentioned, but I’m leaning towards player personnel change rather than coaching change.

  70. Poole says:

    Serious question — do you think Ray would allow for Dan to bench Scuderi?

  71. Can’t say I agree with all of you about Ohio. I was born, raised and spent a high percentage of my life there. Not the flat part. You all make it sound like Oklahoma, where I spent 2 years of Bible school and wouldn’t go back without an open vision from the Lord. There are many, many non-flat places in eastern Ohio near the PA, WVa borders. Also, from Columbus to Wheeling. Try I-70 for some hills.

    Having said that, I have only one team I root for in Ohio and they aren’t the Reds, Blue Jackets, Indians or Browns. I’ll never root against the Pirates, Steelers or Pens no matter who they play. But the way the Pens and Pirates are playing now is hard to waste much time on either.

  72. Poole says:

    I will say, Malkin had some exceptional shifts last night. But, trust me I understand, zero shots is zero shots!

  73. Jim S. says:

    I know. I was out for the night, and following on my phone.

    3-0. Sweet! Finally playing with urgency.

    Late 1st period COL goal. Ok, 3-1 after 1. I’ll take that every time.

    Got in the car to drive home from my son’s game. 3-2 late in the 2nd with Columbus on a PP for rest of the period. Somehow managed to keep the lead into the final intermission. Knees starting to wabble just a bit.

    I couldn’t NOT watch that 3rd period. Maybe if the Pirates had been putting forth an effort I could have managed to avoid the hockey game. No help there.

    Sorry, everyone! I broke my self-imposed promise. I showed confidence in our guys, and this is what happened? No chance I’m watching live Saturday.

    I can’t believe we are getting punked by the effing Columbus Blue Jackets. In a college town. When I lived there many moons ago, straight out of college, the Jags and Panthers were being added to the NFL. A whole bunch of cities wanted those teams and submitted bids, including Columbus. I remember the NFL making an announcement early on that, while they had not come close to deciding on the cities, one thing they wanted to make crystal clear was that Columbus was out of the running. It was like the NFL wanted to call out Columbus, specifically, to let them know they were not a pro city. I remember how insulting that was to some residents. But, a whole lot of people were relieved because they did not want OSU to lose any clout in town.

    Obviously, a lot has changed since then, and I think Columbus has grown up a lot. I met a lot of good people there. This is their chance to be excited. I just hate that it is coming at our expense. The Pens need to find a way to win 2 of 3. If they don’t, they need to make sweeping changes to this roster and coaching staff.

  74. TJA says:

    You think you had problems…I lived in Cleveland! At that time…that job was a promotion and a buddy said to me: “If this is a promotion, why are they punishing you and sending you to Cleveland?” Actually, it was not a terrible expereince…I survived and wised up and came back to the ‘Burgh!

  75. Joe says:

    It starts with Crosby. He’s the captain and best player in the world. He’s not showing any of those things and subsequently, neither is the team. Where is the elevation in his game?

  76. chethejet1 says:

    The tone of the thread is clearly most are not surprised and in fact expecting this team to fold. Lack of leadership, intensity and accountability are the hallmarks of a arrogant atmosphere that can’t or won’t see things for what they are. Only a housecleaning will end this nonsense.

  77. Jim S. says:

    I have always thought Cincinnati was a lot like Pittsburgh, Lucky, in many ways including the topography. And, near WV, as you say, it is quite hilly and quite pretty. But, I think once you get near Columbus on I-70, all the way to Indiana, it is flatter than a pancake.

  78. hockeymonster says:

    So to expand on above comments I’ve been trying to sort through the confusion and anger bouncing around in my head and came up with the following conclusion:

    Last nights 3rd period was continuation of 3rd period against canada where we were going to north no matter what, even without a compass. Difference obviously was that we were down a goal to canada and needed to generate off the rush cuz canada’s board play was too good to score off the cycle. However last night when we were protecting a one goal lead we needed to keep doing what we were doing early in the game but to a different end.

    We were hot knife thru butter early cuz our forwards were generating speed up ice with dmen in close support with passes being short n crisp. And chips and flips were leading to rushes after columbus D had to gap up.

    In the 3rd we abandoned the concept of patient regroups in an attempt to get north regardless if forward support was in position to scoot up ice with dmen. Early in the game we were doing this so we could attack off the rush or dump it in and regain possession cuz of the speed and numbers we had. In the 3rd we needed to do this specifically so we could dump it in with speed and numbers so that we could regain possession with the purpose of killing the clock with a forecheck and cycle.

    Heard rumors that pens system has or still does time dmen on how quickly they get the puck north. Seems like this policy was in full affect in the 3rd and my blood pressure is rising just thinking about this concept and logic. Thanks to columbus’ fear and respect for our speed and skill, we had ample time and opportunity to go D to D and regroup like we did in the 1st for the purpose of killing the clock with speed and numbers on the forecheck. This would lead to a cycle that would wear out columbus and kill the clock.

    We CAN NOT fear going D to D to accomplish this end. Dzone coverage is better, trust it. There are times getting the puck out of the zone is priority one. But there are also times when dmen have a chance to be patient but seems to me like were directed to not be patient and to go north, even if compass isn’t calibrated.

    And to make it worse there was a couple minutes in the 3rd were i saw the disco stretch trying to make a comeback. Forwards were bailing out of the zone early looking for the chip to speed play, leaving dmen with no support. Fortunately it looked like someone told forwards to cut that out.

    Instead of doing what we know works we played into columbus’ NZ trap and from i saw we didn’t put them in a position to over pursue or chase the puck out of desperation. We were just blindly going north handing the puck back to columbus trying kill the clock, but instead we killed our flow.

    Obviously flower decided that things were going too well and took upon himself to make it a series but here’s hoping game 5 is 60 minutes of Pittsburgh Hockey.

  79. Wild Bill says:

    So many thoughts on last night. Got home with us up, 3 – 0, having listened on XM to the Columbus radio broadcast – their announcers are pathetic homers, by the way. What I saw when home was a team that produced only two body checks that I can remember in the final two periods.

    We have a team that likes to skate and stick check. We have a team that wants open ice for their creative play. We have a talented goalie who should play to his strength and stay in the net when the game’s on the line, but doesn’t. This team lacks the grit that is necessary for playoff hockey as it exists in the NHL.

    I still think we have not been nearly the same team since the Olympics, regardless of injuries. Our best players gave all of themselves to the Games, and have not been the same since. And while Orpik is an elder statesman on this team, this is Sid and Geno’s team. The lack of determination (mentioned above) of the Pens is on them.

  80. Jim S. says:

    I logged some Cleveland time also, TJA, although I never lived there. Just spent portions of almost every week there for my job for a couple of years. I was ok with Cleveland, and thought it got a bit of a bad rap.

  81. Poole says:

    Housecleaning to me suggests a full rebuild. Sorry, I’m being picky with words, but housecleaning makes me think 87 and 71 are on the table.

    I think we do need to retool and rely on our youth. By that I mean take advantage of the organizational strength — young blue chip defensemen. Use them as an asset to PLAY rather than to TRADE. Get good value for any vets not identified as part of the core moving forward.

  82. True that, Jim. And I don’t want to move back there, either. Don’t let me give that impression. Cleveland may be the worst city on the planet. But there are some nice towns there, too, and some nice parks and scenery, as you say.

    Have you spent any time in Oklahoma or even Kansas? Flat, hot, windy.
    They called Tulsa “Green Country” when we lived there. There was one tree in the whole city, so they called it Green Country.

  83. TJA says:

    Agree, Jim. I “beat it up” and friends I still keep in touch with, but it actually was not a bad place to live at all. They have some nice neighborhoods.

  84. ChefAutomatic says:

    Buckle Up, Baby, for the ride to the golf course.

  85. I’m not absolving Fleury, but I’ve seen goalies with more championships to their name with just as many gaffes as Fleury. The difference? The team in front of them.

    Calling out Crosby and Malkin for lack of production just isn’t right (I’d be more than happy to point out Crosby’s -3 or Kunitz’s -5, however). As the Olympics have proven in Crosby’s case, he doesn’t need to be at the top of the scoresheet to be an effective contributor. Right now, secondary scoring is carrying the load when there was enormous concern that it could. To wit, the Penguins are averaging 3.5 goals per game. That’s more than enough to win a playoff series, even with Crosby and Malkin posting goose-eggs for goals.

    The problem is the Pens are also giving up 3.5 goals per game. I’ll repeat this again and again and again: the Penguins do not know how to win low-scoring games. The mindset, the discipline, the approach… it’s entirely different from the way the Pens play hockey. The Pens win by outscoring the opposition. Until they learn how to win by shutting down the opposition, the playoffs are always going to be an uphill battle.

    This script is nothing new…

  86. They used to. It’s more like Detroit now. I still have a brother-in-law that lives there. He can’t wait to retire and move and he’s been there his entire 63-year life.

  87. Good column by DK. I didn’t see 1/3 of a second of the game and that helps me get a feel of the entire evening’s festivities.

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    Amazing how a night like that can produce such a productive gym visit.

  89. hockeymonster says:

    Seemed like defense wasn’t the problem as much as a lack of pressure on columbus. We were handing them possession way too easily.

  90. Jim S. says:

    Comparing it to Detroit is frightening. I have not spent much time in Cleveland for about 20 years now.

  91. Pucknutz says:

    “Until they learn how to win by shutting down the opposition, the playoffs are always going to be an uphill battle.”

    Excellent point Forecheck :)

  92. Sarah says:

    Lot of soft under achieving perimeter play with Martin and the Sens.
    I dunno.
    They need a bad cop.

  93. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and by the way, good thing nisky got that shot off on PP for re-direct right off the faceoff. Cuz by my count those 3 seconds were the most productive out of the 8 or minutes of PP time. But no worries guys, our PP doesn’t need any tweeking.

  94. Sarah says:

    I think there is some kind of buyout but very limited.
    They have to eat a lot of it.

  95. Jim S. says:

    I have been to OK and Kansas, Lucky. And every point in between, all the way back to Illinois. Iowa and Nebraska don’t offer a whole lot in the way of amusement as you drive the interstates, btw. And, don’t get me started on the Dakotas! Haha!

    But, I’m only talking scenery – not passing judgment on the people of any of those states. I have spent all my life living Pittsburgh and west, and I think the people have mostly been great to me throughout the midwest. They get kind of big city “uppety” here in the Chicago area, but I very much liked the people I met in OH. And, in my 2 years in Indiana, we loved it. It is hard to find more neighborly, friendly people than in Indianapolis, for my money.

  96. Sarah says:

    Letang and Scuderi standing around watching a late goal…..hmm where have I seen that before in this series….don’t tell me….

  97. Jim S. says:

    On a positive note … Cutch is hot! :-)

  98. buggee says:

    Hey Jim, didja live anywhere near the Old ‘n’ Grungy? lol

  99. Sarah says:

    Scuderi is slow and 36, Martin is fast and much younger. He had time to improve and fit into the Bylsma system.
    Scuds is a terrible fit for this system, but would be fine elsewhere , I,e. In LA he was playing top4 shut down minutes in a very conservative D oriented system.
    He is a horrible fit here and it was a ridiculous move by Shero. All the more silly that we needed a vet to baby sit our 7mil Norris candidate. The 19yr old does a better job of that.

  100. Sarah says:

    They are sick of the culture maybe.

  101. theplanisworking says:

    +++++++++

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Lots of interesting, well thought out analysis here on the blog this morning. Here’s mine. The goalie choked.

  103. Kevin says:

    Dejan, I can confirm that several souls left the building promptly including myself. Granted, it was mostly Penguins fans like myself. I do agree the blame falls on the big boys and not Fleury. He made 1 big mistake after keeping them in the game.

  104. Sarah says:

    7 seconds to get out of the zone, else you’re BAD.

    Problem is the Fs are now trained to race for the far blue line the moment the D touches the puck. It’s a turnover system, as the stats suggest…..

  105. buggee says:

    Okel dokel Kentuck-BellMan, that leaves the Bengals, Buckeyes (Schmuckeyes) and the Cavaliers (Crap-o-liers).

    Did I miss anyone?

    Maybe I needs me a happy pill this morning. Just found out that smoking certain… materials in certain clubs/cafes in Amsterdam is no longer legal.

    My world is going to ca-ca

  106. hockeymonster says:

    Can i get that in audio form milo?

  107. theplanisworking says:

    ++++++

  108. hockeymonster says:

    I saw elements of that in the 3rd but seemed like they cut that out. Going north blindly is the problem for me.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    :)

  110. Jandy says:

    Sarah, I think that’s a part of it.

  111. Jandy says:

    what she said.

  112. STZ says:

    I’ve been calling for Bortuzzo to be in the lineup all series. He definitely makes the Pens more physical. And Scuderi was a bad signing. They signed the 2009 Scuderi but its 2014. But Bylsma will have the exact same lineup, except maybe Goc , if healthy. Scuderi must have “no healthy scratch” clause in his contract. The lineup is the softest & slowest to roll out there. And Olli Maatta never gets any criticism. The kid has more goals than hits for season. And some will say , “you don’t have to hit to be a good defenseman”. Well the Pens have enough guys in the lineup who don’t want to or like to hit. Maatta may be the softest in the team.

  113. theplanisworking says:

    Sobering thought of the day Part One:

    If not for brief periods of collapse by Columbus in games 1 and 3, the Pens could have been swept out this series. Totally outhit, outplayed, and outworked. Same script year after year, but to lose to this team, who is so clearly inferior, is a joke.

    ================================================

    Sobering thought of the day Part Two:

    If the Pirates can’t get better pitching, this season could be ugly. U-G-L-Y ugly. May the warmer weather coming up help the entire staff.

  114. Jandy says:

    It’s funny, (not haha, but odd) how this team’s problems started when Duper went down. He WAS in prime shape and worked hard so he could keep up with Sid. Duper wasn’t a problem. His injury was a HUGE problem.

  115. Jandy says:

    hey Poole, you’ve posted plenty of good thoughts on here. Is your home town listed on Biz’s List of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum?

  116. Jandy says:

    Disagree on that one this time, Mye Lo

  117. Jandy says:

    Now, had *EYE* said that…

    ;)

  118. Milo Hamilton says:

    Kinda like the secret service guy that did a flawless job protecting Lincoln for 4 years, then went out for a drink during intermission.

  119. Jandy says:

    Ahhh another visit from a drive-by ****

  120. Milo Hamilton says:

    The game was won, then the goalie choked. That’s not opinion, that’s fact. I’ll even give you the little adventure behind the net as happenstance, explain the next one.

  121. buggee says:

    ROFL!
    Milo, you succinctly summed up that crap performance. A man of few–albeit crushingly accurate–words. Excellent post sir.

  122. Sarah says:

    Neal is one of the worst offenders.
    No substitute for puck support.
    But that is hard work, like going into the corners, forechecking and cycling.

  123. theplanisworking says:

    Please remind me to never be in a kitchen with you …… around sharp knives. Everything you said this morning was accurate, but you wielded your cleaver very well.

    :D

  124. The Bengals and Cavaliers. Who dey?

    Wouldn’t root for either of them if I owned the franchises.

    ;)

  125. They’re not exactly “tearing the cover off the ball” either, especially in the last 2 games, planetarium. 6 hits last night and 1/3 were by bomber Chris Stewart.

  126. Dom says:

    Are the Pens still going to win this series?

  127. Jim S. says:

    Not too close to it, buggee. But, nothing in Columbus is too far from anything else.

    When I first moved there, I was in Westerville because the office I worked at was there. I was fresh out of college. I lived up the street from the Anheuser-Busch brewery. I won’t say my friends and I took advantage of the free brewery tours on the occasional Friday afternoon, but …

    Ok, I will say it. My friends and I took advantage of the brewery tour on Friday afternoons. They had one at 5:00. 22 year olds like that!

    Then, I moved to an apartment with a buddy in Gahanna. Eventually, I bought my first house in Hilliard. There was not much going on in that part of town at the time. I was single, and my dad said I needed to buy a house, so that I could make a little money and be able to buy another house when I got transferred to a more expensive city. 2 years later, I was transferred to Chicago. As is usually the case, my dad was right.

  128. Jandy says:

    hey, he had to wiz!

  129. Jandy says:

    Saturday will go a long way toward answering that question.

    I’ll be watching.

  130. Jandy says:

    MAF shouldn’t have been behind that net. Agreed.
    he shouldn’t have had to make that one save for the game to be lost.

  131. likeabugonarug says:

    Cleveland does have a great Zoo. Have been there twice over the past 3 or 4 years. Really enjoy it.

    Kevin

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    When ya gotta go …

  133. Andrew says:

    Instead we are talking about burning it all to the ground.

  134. Baywatch says:

    Oh! Here you are! I’ve been camped out on the Reds-Pirates baseball thread for 1/2 hour, with nobody to keep me company!

  135. Jandy says:

    hey bay!!! Over here :)

  136. hockeymonster says:

    Actually neal is quite good at puck support. I see swing by dmen a lot to make their passes shorter. But last night in the 3rd and in the 3rd in canada game, it just seemed like the coaching tactic and strategy was to go north as fast as possible instead of regrouping and doing what worked early in the game. Columbus was willing to back off out of fear and respect but we didn’t take advantage.

  137. Andrew says:

    This. The Penguins altered their defensive zone coverage when they trade for Murray last year, why would you then sign a player just as slow for four years? Even though Orpik’s best days are behind him I would rather have him for three more years than Scuderi.

  138. Scott says:

    Of course. I think Ray would allow for whatever will help the Pens advance further in the playoffs. No sane GM would insist on keeping someone in the lineup who isn’t producing, especially when his job might be on the line.

    It’s pretty obvious that Bylsma is the one who’s in love with all the underperforming veterans.

  139. Wild Bill says:

    Really don’t know, Dom. Columbus wins one game and they can feel good because they won a playoff game and weren’t skunked. Now they’ve won another and clearly should believe they are capable of winning the series. Their growing confidence and being jazzed up can overcome a lot of inexperience.

  140. You’re right. Good, positive point. My wife was raised there. She knows some good about it, too. At least from 40+ years ago.

  141. Sarah says:

    I think they will …. Talent will save the day, and likely Bylsma’s arse lol!
    Next round though, may be very ugly.

    Sad part is, I think 1 round win will be enough to keep the country club together another year.

  142. Mirosurabu says:

    I don’t know the answer to that, but I’d be willing to bet that the team that gets to 3 wins first will end up losing the series 4-3.

    (Since neither team appears capable of holding leads of any kind…)

  143. Wild Bill says:

    Gallows humor, Miro, but on point.

  144. Andrew says:

    The Penguins are the forth best defensive team 5v5 so far these playoffs, special teams is killing them, the penalty kill is a mess, not sure when it was decided to let a forward just sit in the crease, fix that and the outlook improves.

  145. Wild Bill says:

    Seems we aren’t the only ones questioning our stars. Philly.com has an article today telling Flyer fans to lay off the criticism of Ginger Giroux. Seems he can’t win games all by himself.

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay, you got an avatar with Sid ? I forgot what he looks like.

  147. Bern_ Dog.. says:

    There is NO SOMEWHAT OF A BUYOUT on Scuderi’s contract… The 2 compliance buyouts that each organization is allowed over the 1st two seasons of the new CBA has to be signed prior to Sept 15th 2012… Therefore, the 3 years remaining of Scuds contract at $3.3 million is all a cap hit. The kicker with his contract is his Limited Trade Clause.. That made his signing even worse..

  148. Jim S. says:

    What a great post, Sarah. I think the exact same thing. I think we’ll find a way to pull this series out, although that is no given.

    And, then, unless something changes drastically with regard to effort and accountability, we get whipped in Round 2. The coach keeps his job. The owner and GM stress continuity. Next year, more of the same.

    When I start to hear that the coach of the big team has a hand in implementing the minor league affiliates’ systems to match with what is being done in Pittsburgh, as I thought I read in the past year or so, I think the owners and GM better be pretty sure the coach is the right guy and that his system is a good one. Because if it isn’t, we could be screwed for years.

  149. Jim S. says:

    I heard he was pounding Yoo-hoos that night like there was no tomorrow. ;-)

  150. Bern_ Dog.. says:

    Letang was sliding on the ice with Crosby trying to block the shot though..

  151. GAWTS2009 says:

    Personally I’m hoping for Laviette

  152. hockeymonster says:

    I dont get it. Didn’t columbus score all 3 regulation goals with man advantage? PP and with goalie pulled. Why is that on scuderi or defense? One goal was a bounce that got over fleury with jenner in front. Then they had the 5 on 3(would’ve been to have that when kuni got slashed), then dubinsky got a lucky one thanks to flower’s generosity. Was scuderi on the ice for any goals against?

  153. Scott says:

    Agree totally on Scuderi, he could bounce back the way Martin and Gonchar did in years past. They may need him in the future, especially if they can’t re-sign Niskanen, Orpik, and Engelland.

    The problem is that right now Scuderi stinks. It’s time to show some guts, acknowledge the problem, sit Scuderi for Bortuzzo, and worry about the repercussions next season.

    The Ducks can scratch Teemu Selanne, but we’re too scared to scratch Scuderi or Adams. That’s the infuriating part.

  154. Milo Hamilton says:

    So it’s bring your kids to work day. I’m a supporter of leave your kids in school day.

  155. Bern_ Dog.. says:

    If that’s not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard it’s a close second that’s for sure… First off Bortuzzo is horrible!!!! I don’t know what hockey you watched all year, but Bortuzzo was about as inconsistent as one can be. Secondly, you don’t call up Dmen from WBS who have 6 games of NHL experience and insert them into a playoff series that’s a best of 3. Especially when the 6 NHL games they played were against teams who were either mediocre at that time or injured. Despres is the only one in WBS who has decent NHL experience and we all know how great he is.. This fan base has some of the lowest hockey IQ’s in the NHL..

  156. GAWTS2009 says:

    Agree with you completly but have to play devils advocate here.
    What if Shero and Bylsma arent scared thier jobs are on the line? Thus, we are thrown into this complancency to “not be wrong.” thus, they play who they want to play not who should be playing.

  157. Bern_ Dog.. says:

    He might be the captain and he may be the best player in the world during regular season hockey, but the one thing he’s not is a leader… That’s been shown time and time again..

  158. ChefAutomatic says:

    thanks for noticing, internet scold.

  159. hockeymonster says:

    Good news guys, Wheeling up 3-0 in their series. Can jandy get a woop woop…

  160. GAWTS2009 says:

    and rightly so based on the meltdown. YES MELTDOWN. Personally I would’ve been upset with the play in the final 2 periods and overtime regardless of outcome. A loss does make it that much worse though.

  161. Jim S. says:

    +++

  162. GAWTS2009 says:

    please show me where Burtuzzo’s play over this year has been worse than scuds? For the lack of min for the 3rd D pairing it would be perfect for Burt to light some fire under the opp skin.

  163. GAWTS2009 says:

    need a new light. It happened in 2008 with theirren and Bylsma was the right man for the job. But that organization knew when to pull the plug on a coach. This one doesn’t trust itself. Been preaching this the last couple of years. Just can’t get much support until recently.

  164. GAWTS2009 says:

    I want to agree with you (i’ve questioned that alot) but the past 2 olympics show that statement is just not true.
    Now with Geno or Kunitz I completly agree.

  165. GAWTS2009 says:

    Don’t want to hurt their feelings!

  166. Jandy says:

    That wasn’t Flower’s generosity, that was a lucky bounce :)

  167. Jandy says:

    Bern_Dog, calling people dumb and saying we have low IQ make you feel smart? because about right now, you might want to clean the egg from your face.

    ****

  168. Jandy says:

    Really?

  169. Jandy says:

    Ollie isn’t softer than Martin, and I see no criticism of Martin up there.

  170. GAWTS2009 says:

    You could easily sense he was going to miss the next one. Wouldn’t say he choked. He did exactly what has always been expected after a tough break. Bob did it the other night. Most goalies seem to let a soft one in after an unlucky bounce. Just part of the momentum in the game. Fluery let us down but the team was a complete dissapointment in that sequence too. Everyone has to do their job.

  171. Jandy says:

    see rosko below.

    Bern…are we being low IQ here again?

  172. hockeymonster says:

    I have a feeling flower wont be going for any skates when opposing team pulls their goalie anymore.

  173. Jandy says:

    You’re welcome trailor trash troll

    :D

  174. Jandy says:

    +++++

  175. Jandy says:

    lol!

  176. Jandy says:

    well said Miro

  177. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  178. Jandy says:

    Mine are working lol

  179. Jandy says:

    WOOP WOOP!

    :D

  180. Jandy says:

    We could h ope

  181. hockeymonster says:

    Took you long enough. :)

  182. Jandy says:

    LOL had to take my lunch break and go home to let my dog out.

    I’m always busy ;)

  183. Andrew says:

    Goals are rare events, I hate blaming individual players for goals and basing performance on it, except in very rare cases. There is a saying in soccer at least three mistakes are necessary to allow a goal don’t blame the last one. The point is Scuderi is old, a slow skater, and the Jackets are targeting his side of ice for entries, and he has taken more penalties than he did all year.

    Furthermore he was old and slow last year and for some reason was deemed worthy of a four year contract. Could he turn it around sure, maybe the ankle injury has had a lasting impact but at this juncture his performance has been bad. Areas to address 1)Fix the PK 2)Separate Malkin and Crosby on PP 3)Cut Scuderi’s minutes or bench him.

  184. Andrew says:

    Burning it to the ground is always a overreaction. In the final 15 minutes of the 3rd the Jackets attempted six shots, two on net. (One was the goal), that was a Devils/Bruins like defensive performance undone by a fatal error.

  185. Jandy says:

    yes, you really are :)

  186. ChefAutomatic says:

    you do realize, dipshit, that your insult might have worked a slight bit better if you knew that it was spelled ‘trailer trash,’ right?

  187. Nastynate82 says:

    Take Torts. He’ll do wonders ;)

  188. GAWTS2009 says:

    I don’t generally agree with Mark Madden but his points are valid with Laviette. I’m trying to find the article he wrote on it.

  189. hockeymonster says:

    Obviously agree with all that. But don’t think scuderi is playing as badly as people are saying. But i did like the way the TOI broke down for dmen in game 3. Didn’t seem like we moved Nisky into top 4 enough last night. However Nisky wasn’t playing great either and took a bad penalty but no one complaining about that. Could only imagine if that was tanger, who was solid. That breakaway we gave up in the 3rd was cuz PM stepped up same time as orpik…technically a mistake by PM but he played well. Just think too much focus on piece as scapegoat instead of addressing the actual issues. IMO.

  190. Jandy says:

    NooooOooooOOOooo!!!!

  191. Jandy says:

    LOL you’re so funny, it wasn’t an insult, just a fact…
    troll
    Go play in traffic
    :D

  192. Jandy says:

    oh and it’s wonderful that you know so much about your heritage…I commend you!

  193. AL says:

    right on Jan…….the comment about Bortuzzo being horrible is in itself enough to qualify for the egg on the face.

  194. Darrell27 says:

    For years now, and especially since the Penguins won their cup in 2009, Penguin fans have been making comparisons between 66/68 and 87/71. Can that nonsense finally stop now? Mario and Jagr may have failed in the playoffs at times, but they always showed up and put points on the board. Not an indictment so much on the Sid and Geno, but more of a realization how special and other worldly 66 and 68 were. They even played in the clutch and grab era and scored. They were a notch above, 66, even more so. Let’s stop with the comparisons shall we?

  195. ChefAutomatic says:

    I’m not sure why you would try to make fun of me for being poor and living in a trailer. That just seems cruel. What sort of man are you?

  196. Jandy says:

    Obviously (Hi Mike Tomlin) I have more b*lls than you do, you make up fairy tales, troll.

  197. ChefAutomatic says:

    Jandy, it seems like we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot–you with the name-calling, me with the making you look like a clown. Can’t we call a truce?

  198. Jandy says:

    Sure Chef, I guess it rubbed me the wrong way, with all the negativity going on. But you didn’t make me look like a clown, I do that enough on my own ;)

  199. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  200. P says:

    I love DK’s work, but I totally disagree with this column – I think Fleury is DONE. I don’t think Fleury played THAT well in periods 2-3. In the third, the Pens didn’t give up a shot for over 10 minutes. He was solid in Period 2, but not exactly standing on his head (and caused some of his own problems with juicy rebounds). That hardly makes up for giving away the game at the end.

    Also, I love DK’s constant, productive presence on Twitter, and I understand he isn’t a “fan” like me, but, man, did I want to punch a wall reading tweets about how happy he (and someone else- Yohe? Rossi?) was for Columbus and how great the arena is. Not saying it isn’t true, but just not a perspective I care about at all post-crushing defeat.

  201. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    I love seeing the world’s greatest sport succeed in new places. I couldn’t care less what that might make anyone want to do to any wall.

    Thanks, in all seriousness, about the generally kind remarks on the work.

  202. P says:

    DK, thanks for responding – very cool. I get it, and wasn’t even suggesting you were wrong for tweeting about Columbus and the environment in the building (I loved the tweets about the Pirates WC environment :)). I was just venting. Keep up the good work.

  203. Milo Hamilton says:

    A brief synopsis of Dan Bylsma’s remarks to the media today.

    - We don’t work hard enough.
    - We need to work harder.
    - Take the day off.

    I think that sums it up.

  204. Zico says:

    DK,

    Can you briefly, and generally, elaborate on your recent tweets that mention “filth” towards the Penguins? Just curious as to what I might be missing.

  205. DJ says:

    Centering pass from behind the net to Dubinski.

  206. Karen22 says:

    Makes sense to me! :D

  207. Karen22 says:

    That would NOT be good! Because if they make it past this round (by the seat of their collective pants), by next season I will have forgotten the whole mess and will be tempted to waste my time on Dan & the Club’s regular season and get my heart smashed in come the 2015 playoffs! I’ve had enough of this stuff!

  208. Carlos Danger says:

    I wish my boss went with this approach…

  209. Sarah says:

    The irony is….all these talented young guys moldering in the minors cos they aren’t experienced enough to replace anchors like Scuderi…

    Yet they entrusted the entire team, NHL and AHL to a guy who’d never coached a single game in the big leagues.

    Apparently Bylsma’s presser was interesting today. Questioning the effort of the team.
    After canceling practice.

    The jokes write themselves.

  210. Sarah says:

    Here is some of the Bylsma presser and some good commentary.
    Not pretty stuff.
    Start at the 20min mark

    Poor Bylsma sounds like he can’t complete a sentence sometimes. Cripes.

    http://cdn16.castfire.com/audio/303/2117/7069/2168338/hockey_2014-04-24-163938-3953-0-0-0.32.mp3?cdn_id=33&uuid=3158d99e94dfdaf3d9259bf480e80473&referer=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FTcLfPMuzFz

  211. Mike Vee says:

    I like that idea as well, can it happen Saturday!!

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