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Morning Java: Let’s talk it out

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column is one of those Xs and Os pieces I really enjoy writing but I’d imagine have a really limited audience, regardless of sport. Oh, well. This one is about the Penguins’ F3 system of backchecking, and it includes something you might not have known about Jacques Martin’s role on the staff.

Hope you give it a chance!

Faceoff success is pivotal in the playoffs, by Jason Mackey.

Three shorties is three too many, by Josh Yohe.

Paul Martin’s excellence is calculated by Jesse Marshall.

It’s Flyers-Rangers tonight at the Garden in Game 7 for the right to come to Pittsburgh. Here are Game 6 highlights of Wayne Simmonds’ hat trick from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

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

>> 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 Pittsburgh sports topic.

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 Rob Biertempfel, the Trib’s baseball beat man. And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter.

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.

>> The Pirates’ bullpen is continually evolving, by Biertempfel in Baltimore, where there was no ball to be played yesterday.

Starling Marte had been set to hit seventh, by Biertempfel.

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

Here’s Orioles news from the Baltimore Sun.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

And here’s what the Subway Final Word panel had to say when asked to identify the team’s most surprising problem to date:

>> A handful of Steelers spoke with media after voluntary workouts on the South Side. Alan Robinson covered.

Our daily NFL draft preview today looks at tight ends, by Robinson.

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

>> The rape case James Franklin undoubtedly hoped to leave behind at Vanderbilt — involving his players — reared its head anew, and this time Franklin’s name was attached. The Nashville Tennessean reports.

Here’s a January column I wrote on this very possibility. Some Penn Staters were not happy I invested a column on the topic.

>> Pitt basketball suspended Derrick Randall for DUI, by Kevin Gorman.

>> Our weekly chat covered all kinds of ground, not all of it sporting, as I continue to be challenged for some form of fanhood.

>> I’ll join the WDVE Morning Show gang at 8:15 a.m. Available online.

>> 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. Bizrow says:

    So lets take a minute and ask ourselves why we have lost some inmates

    Drew?

    Playoffs?

    And there are others, many for sure.

    This is a place for sports/personal chatter/what have you

    I’ve checked in a lot recently and I don’t like what I see

    Just sayin

    Lighten up lunatics

    Been there, done that, its empty

    • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation

    Pittsburgh – Sochi – Moscow – New York – Fort Myers – Port Charlotte – Bradenton – Sarasota – Clearwater – Tampa – Orlando – Charlotte – Pittsburgh
    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*, Lake Havasu City
    • Argentina, Buenos Aries
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Alaska – Anchorage
    Australia – Mackay, Gold Coast, Geelong, Sydney, Balmoral (Queensland)
    Brazil – Vitoria, São Paulo
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank, West Hills, Encino, Clovis
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks, Perth – Ontario
    China – Beijing
    Crete – Vlites
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    England – London
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera) and a*, St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, W Melbourne, Melbourne, St Johns, Wesley Chapel, Fort Pierce, Lakeland
    France – Strasbourg,
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth, Savanna, Hoschton, Grayson, Newnan, Macon
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne, Ramstein*
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin, Chicago, Naperville
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield, Munster, Jasper
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt, Maquoketa, Urbandale
    Ireland – Dublin
    • Israel – Ginot Shomron
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Georgetown, Russellville
    Kuwait – Relyks76*
    Louisiana – Slidell, Shreveport*
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead, Elkridge, Frederick, Bowie, Sykesville, Columbia, Towson
    Massachusetts – Boston, Tyngsboro, East Gloucester*, 617 Strong*, Medford, Hamilton
    Mecca – Slienmann*
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mason, Battle Creek
    Minnesota – Yinzer, St Paul
    Mississippi – Biloxi, Ocean Springs
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Montana
    Nebraska – Omaha, Lincoln
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville, Hammonton, Mullica Hills, JERSEY SHORE, Montclair, Monmouth Beach, Flemington, Oceanville, Mays Landing
    New Mexico – Mike, Albequeque, Blazer, Berkeley Heights
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Lewistown, Stony Point
    Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point, Winston Salem, Fayetteville
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton, Northwood, Middletown, Dayton, Cambridge, Martins Ferry, Akron
    Oklahoma – Tulsa – OKLAHOMA CITY/MOORE ,,
    Oregon – Roseburg, Eugene
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradford Woods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Greencastle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Philipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Natrona, Charleroi, FREEDOM, Denver, Midland (the home of good food and many bars), Selinsgrove, Dormont, Scott Township, Blawnox, Arnold, Ligonier, Wells Tannery, Swoyersville, St Mary’s, Titusville, Shippingsburg, Sharpsville, Brookville, Mountain Top, Mt Joy, Bloomsburg, Portage, Carnegie, Homer City, Allepo Township, Irwin, Claridge, Downington, Cheswick, Antis Township, Union City
    The Philippines
    Rhode Island
    • Russia
    Serbia – Subotica
    Singapore
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston, North Charleston, Sumter*
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park, Pleasanton
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Uzbekistan
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke, Vienna, Alexandria, Lynchburg
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet, Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg*, Grafton
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*
    469 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
    Beano
    Lemonade Guy
    The Gunner, Mr Bob Prince
    The Great One, he stays regardless
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin Mcclachety
    Mike Emerick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg/Swissvale
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh*
    Rocky Bleier*
    John Challis – Courage + Belief = Life
    All Servicemen and women that have been in battle, ever
    Sgt Doug Vitale
    Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band
    Barney Dreyfuss
    George Benson
    Phil Coyne
    • Tony Dorsett
    • Vince Lascheide
    • John Barbaro
    • Art McKennan
    • Steve Dirt Denardo*
    • K9***, Rocco
    • Rick Sebak
    First Responders***
    28 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 4 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s of any species, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 4/29/2014 4:05 PM

  2. Bizrow says:

    Forgot to sign my thoughts

    Biz

    Beat em burgh ;-)

  3. bpn8pitt says:

    Regarding the whole Donald Sterling fiasco, I can’t help but think there are quite a few people, both in the NBA and outside in other leagues that are secretly very frightened about what’s out there with their voice on it.

    I don’t know if people heard about the Warriors assistant making recordings? And I hope some people aren’t naive enough to think that Donald Sterling is the only guy in sports with a mistress who’s got an axe to grind and tape recorder.

    Awful comments, that have no place anywhere. But I think a lot of checks are going to be written by some of the same people condemning Sterlings comments, to silence some of their own bias, foolish words.

  4. Nate83 says:

    Agree. However Silver had no choice but to go this route. The players union was organizing a possible playoff boycott in protest of Sterling and a show of support for the Clipper player and employees.

    Mark Cuban has been spot on with his comments. This is a dangerous road to go down and all owners should be ready to be scrutinized if this goes through if Sterling decides to fight it.

  5. Stuart says:

    What is the NBA?

    Stuart

  6. Baywatch says:

    I second that emotion, Stu!

  7. DJ says:

    Enjoyed the column. Whatever Jacques Martin did in Games 5 and 6 he should keep it up.

    Pulling for Rangers despite their speed and goaltending for simple reasons. We’ve shown no ability to solve/stop the Flyers PP and our PK has been middling.

  8. Which part of the Flyers HAVE the Penguins shown the ability to solve?

    Tough to play intelligent hockey when you’re eyes are ablaze.

  9. Sammich says:

    I probably don’t know hockey, but I enjoyed the column today anyway.

  10. bpn8pitt says:

    Yea, Nate. Some of the shows yesterday were talking about the precedent it sets and what happens down the road when somebody else commits the same mistake. This is far from over, and is going to have some far raging effects. NBA was dumb with Sterling for long time.

  11. chethejet1 says:

    Pens have let MAF out to dry on the PP with a defense that allows unfettered forwards to position them selves directly in front of the goalie without consequence. The flyers will kill the Pens if they get on the PP. Pens soft and globetrotter puck movement will play right into the physical advantage of the flyers. Better hope the Rangers win.

  12. Thundercrack says:

    Former Pirate Brian Bixler hit a walk-off home run last night. He’s in San Antonio…AA team.

  13. And now, the Pens will have to wait until Sunday for the next contest vs. whoever wins tonight although you all likely hope that the Rangers will win in NYC.

  14. JoeyBats says:

    Beat Em Bix !! ;-)

  15. Jandy says:

    National Bigot Association?

  16. Jandy says:

    Indeed. ignoring a festering wound doesn’t make it go away.

  17. Jandy says:

    +++++

  18. Jandy says:

    Dejan, loved the X’s and O’s…thanks much. Good to see Jacques being taken seriously here. He may be the next head coach.

    Loonies, Jessie Marshall’s article Dejan linked above on Paul Martin is excellent.

  19. JAL says:

    JAL’s Rain on the Roof Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQKyG1mMgb8

    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: The Pirates Farm System Got Some Good Pitching in April

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-the-pirates-farm-system-got-some-good-pitching-in-april.html

    Prospect Watch: Andrew Lambo Hits First Home Run, Nick Kingham Struggles

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-andrew-lambo-hits-first-home-run-nick-kingham-struggles.html

    Pittsburgh Pirates Positive Regression Candidates: Neil Walker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/pittsburgh-pirates-positive-regression-candidates-neil-walker.html

    Updated MLB.com Draft Prospect Rankings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/updated-mlb-com-draft-prospect-rankings.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    What is Gregory Polanco working on in Triple-A?

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/4/30/5667180/what-is-gregory-polanco-working-on-in-triple-a

    7 Rumbunter

    Does Super Two Make Any Sense

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/29/super-two-mlb-does-it-make-any-sense/

    Great Scot: Episode 11 – Pittsburgh Pirates: How to Fix The Problem

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/29/pittsburgh-pirates-how-to-fix-the-problem/

    3 Ways To Get Gregory Polanco in Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup ASAP

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/04/29/gregory-polanco-pittsburgh-pirates-how-to-get-him-to-majors/

    8 Green Weenie

    4/29: Rollie & George, Satch Opens Greenlee Field, Red Wins First Sunday Game, Buc Streak & More…

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/04/429-rollie-george-satch-opens-greenlee.html

    9 SaberBucs

    Baseball Simulator: Are the Pirates Using their Best Batting Order?

    http://saberbucs.net/2014/04/29/baseball-simulator-are-the-pirates-using-their-best-batting-order/

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Did Bucs Make A Mistake Letting Justin Morneau Walk?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/04/29/pittsburgh-pirates-bucs-make-mistake-letting-justin-morneau-walk/

  20. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates Orioles Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140430_PIT@BAL/pirates-orioles-preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Rain, Reds prevent Samardzija from earning first ‘W’ in 3-2 Cubs loss

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27143071-573/rain-reds-prevent-samardzija-from-earning-first-w-in-3-2-cubs-loss.html#.U2DVY0C8Bs4

    13 The Mercury

    BASEBALL: Pottstown icon Bobby Shantz looking great at 88

    http://www.pottsmerc.com/sports/20140429/baseball-pottstown-icon-bobby-shantz-looking-great-at-88

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates-O’s rained out; makeup set for Thursday

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/pirates-orioles-rained-out-with-makeup-set-for-thursday?ymd=20140429&content_id=73738960&vkey=news_pit

    Sadler still getting goose bumps over callup

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140429&content_id=73744218&notebook_id=73745092&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    15 Pioneer Press

    Twins call up Kris Johnson to pitch in Thursday doubleheader

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_25661000/twins-will-pitch-kyle-gibson-then-mike-pelfrey

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Hamilton’s 1 st MLB home run lifts Reds over Cubs 3-2

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/04/30/billy-hamilton-first-mlb-home-run-reds-win-cubs/8498277/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers rally again to beat Cardinals in extra innings

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/brewers-rally-again-to-beat-cardinals-in-extra-innings-b99258159z1-257273671.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Carbon-copy loss for Cardinals

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/carbon-copy-loss-for-cardinals/article_ee3152e1-c798-5fd3-8758-0fed758f1287.html

    19 Fangraphs

    The Brewers’ Amazing and Worrisome Bullpen

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-brewers-amazing-and-worrisome-bullpen/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    10 Things We Learned in April

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23442

  21. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Being a good teammate is leading by example, not keeping locker room secrets

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/4/29/5664376/being-a-good-teammate-is-leading-by-example-not-keeping-locker-room

    Mock Draft Mania: Reactions to release of Kiper’s and McShay’s latest predictions

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/4/29/5664982/todd-mcshay-mel-kiper-latest-mock-draft-nfl-2014

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Wright-Phillips, Dwyer provide early season scoring spark

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/wright-phillips-dwyer-provide-early-season-scoring-spark

    23 BBC Football

    Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss questions critics of style

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27215502

    Robbie Savage’s Premier League awards

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27171297

    24 World Soccer

    Is the rehabilitation of Luis Suarez complete?

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/news/rehabilitation-luis-suarez

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points: Victory edition

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/4/29/5664230/pens-points-victory-edition

  22. The Pirates game might be rained out again tonight and the next hockey playoff game might be on Friday against whoever wins tonight in NYC. Stay tuned.

  23. Pucknutz says:

    Aint that the truth! LOL

  24. Jandy says:

    I’ll take King Henrik and his Rags anytime over the Filthy Flyers.

  25. DJ says:

    True, DK.

    Sad, but so true.

  26. DJ says:

    Trust me, NONE of us know hockey.

    There are only five people who do and they’re letting no one else in their little club.

  27. Jandy says:

    well, screw that!

    ;)

  28. DJ says:

    Martin has been fantastic.

    Don’t tell HM though.

  29. Marc from Norwalk says:

    DK –

    Enjoyed the F3 column. Maybe I am in the minority, but I get a kick out of reading pieces like that which make me generally smarter as a hockey fan as opposed to the “Shot The Puck” or “Hit Somebody” layman I typically am.

    Aside from Neal, who else should we watch on the ice as the F3?

    Thanks!

  30. Karen22 says:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  31. AL says:

    “The Penguins will see blood red as soon as they see all that orange”. That quote from DK’s chat yesterday really struck me. If their next opponent is Philly, think they might have learned their lesson from 2 years ago and just might keep their cool?

  32. Jandy says:

    ha! even the inestimable HM has admitted it..and he will admit it again…

  33. Jandy says:

    Chris Kunitz for one….Dupuis was a good one, but he’s injured :(

  34. BillyBaduka says:

    DK,

    Really enjoyed the column. I like X and O columns. I would like to see more but the point that the audience may be limited. Judging form the comments here, folks seem to enjoy and want to learn more on the strategies and tactics employed.

    Thanks for another great article.

  35. Jandy says:

    dittos

  36. BillyBaduka says:

    I hope your wrong but you’re probably right.

  37. Jandy says:

    yeah, BB Bat, it pains me to say it, but these guys just always take the bait and blow their cool with Philly.

  38. theplanisworking says:

    DK, this is exactly the damning indictment of the Pens lack of discipline, focus, and leadership, that Philthy can do that to professional hockey players.

  39. AL says:

    I liked it too. I only get to see what the TV camera shows me but with more X’s and O’s I can start looking away from the puck more. Never knew there was that much strategy in the game.

  40. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, Al, there’s tons of strategy. You can’t be a dummy and play an effective hockey game…the more cerebral the better! That’s why I love these X and O articles, they shed light on what’s going on. FaceOff Factor has them too.

  41. AL says:

    Yeah, I know. But the game moves so fast that it’s hard to pick it up sometimes.

  42. Jandy says:

    LOL I know! it’s always too fast for me…

  43. NMR says:

    Haha, awesome DJ.

  44. BillyBaduka says:

    Faceoff Factor is really good at breaking hockey down. If folks like this kind of article, check FF out.

  45. NMR says:

    I appologize if I’m missing something, but what do these James Franklin “allegations” claim he did wrong regarding the Vanderbilt rape case?

  46. BillyBaduka says:

    The F3 will vary depending on the flow of the play.

    The fluidity of hockey is one of the things that makes it challenging to see or read the X & Os.

    If the puck is taken deep by the RW, LW will likely be F3 and vice versa. Of course the Center can be F3 if both Wings (F1 and F2) are deeper in the Offensive zone.

    There is a variant of this called the Left Wing Lock. In that system it is intended that the LW is always F3. Even then, depending on the flow of play the RW or C may need to read the play and cover F3 for the LW.

    While Neal has good skills to execute as F3, he hasn’t always shown the
    willingness to backcheck. None of the team has consistently. That’s why the first two periods of Game 6 looked so different than the other games. The Pens Forwards were disciplined in their defensive responsibility.

    Call it F3, 1-3-1, LW Lock or the Neutral Zone Shuffle (the last one is made up); the most important thing is that the Forwards hustle on the backcheck.

    The commentators and analysts mentioned during game 6 that the Pens forced Columbus wide in the Pens zone. The middle was taken away. This indicates the Pens are executing the system well. The forwards have come back to clog the middle of the ice.

    When Malkin wants to, he is fantastic back checking. He excels at lifting the puck carriers stick from behind and stealing the puck.

    Two if the best I’ve seen are Hossa an Ron Francis. Very smart and skilled players.

    I know this isn’t as good as a response from DK. Hope he answers you.

  47. Jandy says:

    BB Bat, this is excellent!

  48. BillyBaduka says:

    Good stuff DJ.

  49. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks!

  50. theplanisworking says:

    My guess is witness tampering? Possible intimidation?
    I don’t think Franklin was allowed to contact her after she reported the assault. Or not.

    This was a chance PSU took hiring the guy. Maybe it’s nothing.

  51. scapper says:

    “When he wants to…” Truer words….

  52. 37 DAYS UNTIL GREGORY POLANCO IS CONSIDERED “READY” TO BE BROUGHT UP TO BIG CLUB

    {because NOW is not nearly as important as 6 seasons from NOW}

  53. Nate83 says:

    DK, I really enjoyed the F3 column. I found it very informative and I will watch the next game with just enough knowledge to think I know what I’m talking about.

    I personally do not mind these type of columns even if it’s on a sport I know a little more about. It’s nice to know that what you are seeing isn’t always as simple as it looks. Such as in this case other things go into our final defenseman looking bad. Others have not completed their job and put those defenseman in a difficult position. Although I already knew that was the case I didn’t know the exact details.

    On another note until game 5 and 6 I thought the team looked like they lacked effort save a few players like Vitale, Sutter and a few others. I saw a lot of players gliding around and being indecisive. In game 5 and 6 I saw much more aggression and strong skating until the last 5 minutes when t seems they where back on their heels a bit. Hopefully the effort continues the rest of the playoffs. I would rather be aggressive and make some mistakes then to just let the other team control the pace of the game and control the puck possession.

  54. JohninOshkosh says:

    Puttin’ my noggin to work before coffee!

    Well done, William.

  55. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks Osh!

    I wrote it before finishing my first cup. I’m surprised its coherent.

  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    Always raises eyebrows when someone associated with the accused talks to a rape victim.

    Plus, there are unseemly references to her helping the team and being a part of pretty girls welcoming recruits. Nothing new there, unfortunately, but smacks of times gone by.

    Needs to be looked into. Not a witch hunt but calls for a review.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pimping young coeds for recruiting purposes ?

  58. Jim S. says:

    Wayne Simmonds has no chance against our shutdown defense. :-)

  59. Jandy says:

    Ugh! I Hope the Rangers win!

  60. Jim S. says:

    If they are willing to take some early Philly penalties and can actually make them pay with power play goals, then maybe there’s a chance.

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    Looks like Friday/Sunday for Games 1 & 2.

  62. Thundercrack says:

    smh

  63. NMR says:

    Yeah, that’s what I don’t understand. I mean, why would Franklin not be allowed to contact her? Why is it a big deal that he called offering his condolences?

    It almost reads like there is more to it.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    The most overrated player in recent NHL history is Ryan Miller. Check. Coming in a close 2nd is Henrik Lundqvist. Check ?

  65. NMR says:

    Yeah, pretty girls and football players have gone hand-in-hand as long as I’ve been alive, but you wonder if this sort of relationship fosters the entitlement that these players clearly have over their victims?

  66. NMR says:

    Grossly overstated.

  67. Jandy says:

    Pens usually do pretty well against King Henrik

  68. Thundercrack says:

    I think people should read the article that DK linked to above. Then see what conclusions they can jump to.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Look, you know how defense attorneys go about this stuff. Throw a bunch of stuff at the wall. It doesn’t even have to be true. Most of the time it’s not. So why hasn’t he just come out & denied it ? Say it’s ridiculous & move on.

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m just grabbing the popcorn. Looks like the show’s back on.

  71. NMR says:

    Haha, well done.

  72. NMR says:

    And you’re proud to admit that? Some guy you are.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    I did. Read it yesterday. Nothing helps the coach in my reading. Just raises more questions.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:

    And Junior Mints. I really like Junior Mints.

  75. Jim S. says:

    From a tweet from DK last night, which was an excerpt from the Tennessean:

    “Referring to records, the attorneys said the victim was contacted by Franklin and Galt during a medical examination four days after the rape to explain that they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting.

    It went on to say that at some point, Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it.”

    Just allegations at this point, and I want to stress that. But, if true, there is no way this guy lasts at PSU, nor should he. Making contact with a rape victim (raped by football players) while she was being medically examined to ask her to get her pretty friends together to bring more really swell kids to play football for him at Vanderbilt? The “against the rules” aspect of asking her to help him recruit is maybe the least worrisome part of this to me.

  76. Jim S. says:

    I was telling that to a friend of mine from St. Louis when they acquired him. He wasn’t hearing any of it. Now, he’s on board.

  77. Jandy says:

    You want a Coke with that?

  78. NMR says:

    “…at some point, Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting…”

    Jim, how could Franklin have a private meeting with her at the same time she was in the hospital?

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    He did lead Sweden to a Gold Medal. Does that count ?

  80. hockeymonster says:

    I’ve even elevated PM to player/coach status…what more can i do? :)

  81. Jandy says:

    Sure it does. I don’t think Miller is over rated. I think he played behind a defense that STUNK in Buffalo.

  82. Jandy says:

    OOps you mean the King. He isn’t over-rated either. But, the Pens usually do just fine against him.

  83. Jandy says:

    There ya go, DJ lol

  84. hockeymonster says:

    +++

  85. Thundercrack says:

    Franklin, in a statement released late Tuesday, denied any wrongdoing.

    “The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true. I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further.”

    Maybe Franklin is guilty of some kind of wrongdoing. Maybe he did contact the girl because he knew her and was concerned about her well being. I think I’ll wait until this all plays out before I jump to some crazy conclusion.

  86. hockeymonster says:

    Hmmm….you dont say….

  87. Jandy says:

    LOL Revvie, don’t say the “P” word :P

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sorry Thunder. I missed that non-denial denial.

  89. Jim S. says:

    I have no idea what “at some point” means. It could mean 2 weeks later when she was out of the hospital. I took it to mean the private meeting and the meeting while she was being examined were separate.

    There is some sorting out of information to be done here.

    I hope the guy was not involved, and that he gets his name cleared. I believe attorneys have been known to play fast and loose with the truth to aid their clients. I have no idea at this point whether that is true in this case. If this is all false, I want to see his name cleared immediately.

    But, these are strong allegations that he should be able to defend if they are not true. If he actually made contact with a girl who was raped 4 days earlier by members of his team, and did so while she was being examined by a doctor, and at some point was so callous that he actually thought she should help him recruit, then he is one sick guy who should not be employed by any school as a football coach. That seems pretty obvious to me.

    If it is not true, then his name should be cleared immediately, and the lawyer’s actions should be dealt with. He should be able to determine if his client has told him the truth before making such allegations on her behalf.

  90. Thundercrack says:

    I agree John, it does raise questions. But I want to wait until I hear the answers before I jump to the worst possible conclusions.

  91. AJS says:

    You got the sequence out of order. He asked her to help recruit. Then she wa raped and being treated. Then he went to her to tell her he cares for her because she had helped.

    Either way, the breaking of the NCAA rules is an issue. My alma mater is a mess right now.

  92. AJS says:

    So in the likely event that the Bucs are rained out again tonight will they try to play 2 tomorrow or try to find another mutual off day? Oh and 50% chance of rain in baltimore tomorrow as well.

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    Since 2009, Lundqvist is 0-12 in playoff games when his team holds the series lead. Yep, he’s awesome.

  94. Jim S. says:

    I thought we were talking about the Ryan Miller who played GT for Buffalo and now St. Louis. I thought that guy plays for the US team.

    I think he’s good, but overrated.

  95. hockeymonster says:

    So for what’s worth i think the Dzone coverage has been better this year. And the regular season stats back it up:

    Shots allowed per game: 28.8 which is good for 10th in the league ahead of Boston and NYR who game plan around their goalies big time.

    Goals allowed per game: 2.49 which is also good for 10th which is virtual tie with anaheim, ahead of colorado and that team in chicago.

    Considering injuries and bottom 6 issues, not sure saying dzone coverage has been bad holds water. Definitely saw improvement this season compared to previous seasons when our system gave up the middle of the ice too easily due to Disco’s 2 man forecheck system. System has been altered and the result has been better NZ discipline which allows for defensive box/triangle to drop down to dzone in organized manner.

    With that said, i have a Memo for Jussi:

    I saw what you did, or rather didn’t do on Tyutin’s and Foligno’s goal. I didn’t bring it up cuz i think the coaches got it covered. But Jussi, don’t not do that again! :)

  96. Thundercrack says:

    I hate Mother Nature. I’ve hated her for many months now.

  97. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, Osh. I see you meant Lundquist with the Sweden comment.

  98. Jandy says:

    My fault for the confusion. Ryan Miller was the GT for Buffalo and helped US to a Silver in the 2010 Olympics, and was named MVP.

  99. Jandy says:

    about the same as Fleury :D

  100. Jim S. says:

    Then, the Tennessean got the sequence wrong. I just put word-for-word what DK’s tweet had from the excerpt from the Tennessean.

  101. NMR says:

    “Making contact with a rape victim (raped by football players) while she was being medically examined to ask her to get her pretty friends together to bring more really swell kids to play football for him at Vanderbilt?”

    It seems like the article clearly made you believe that the two events happended simultaneously. But if Franklin called to say he cared about her because she helped them with recruiting, wouldn’t that insinuate that the meeting had already happened?

    This is what I’m confused about. I don’t think the article does a good job of establishing any sort timeline for these events.

  102. Baserunning and pitch recognition is what he’s working on at AAA.

    If that’s the case, half the ML roster needs a stint in Indy.

  103. NMR says:

    Thanks for that, AJS.

    Puts a completely different spin on the situation.

  104. Jandy says:

    The article also did a good job of making Franklin look bad. wonder why?

  105. Jandy says:

    Only half? ;)

  106. theplanisworking says:

    I don’t know.
    Where is Edgar Snyder when you need him?

  107. Jim S. says:

    It’s been a weird spring. Detroit has played 22 games and Arizona has played 30.

  108. Jim S. says:

    FWIW, I think Lungfish is more overrated.

  109. theplanisworking says:

    No Coke, Pepsi. ;)

  110. theplanisworking says:

    Lungfish?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  111. Dom says:

    I could never taste the difference betweent the two.

  112. Half are pitchers. None of them can run the bases. That’s why they quit using them as pinch runners.

    ;)

  113. Karen22 says:

    I’m an admitted hockey “moron,” but I do know a thing or three about baseball, and THIS is why the Pirates were no April fluke in 2013, and also why calling up Polanco now will do nothing to correct this glaring 2014 April problem:

    http://goo.gl/RbMWoC

  114. AJS says:

    I suppose there is a chance I misread it. Maybe I need to look again and make sure that wasn’t just my interpretation.

  115. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hardly anyone can, Dom. It’s been proven in numerous studies. That’s why Pepsi had those “Pepsi Challenge” ads years ago when they had loyal Coke drinkers take a blind test live. They knew 50% or higher would choose Pepsi based on studies, even involving tasting one after the other.

    My Mother in Law always professed to being a Coke loyalist. One night I served Pepsi and she had no idea. Not a good night with the wife, by the way.

  116. 21sthebest says:

    What???????????

  117. 21sthebest says:

    Junior Mints are very refreshing.

  118. NMR says:

    Wouldn’t be the first case of bad journalism ever recorded, that’s for sure.

  119. Stuart says:

    Dejan, I thought your F3 column was the best this year. I’ve been a hockey fan since the early 70s, and still remember such luminaries as Bob “Battleship” Kelley, and the totally (really) insane Steve Durbano. I know that despite my following the Penguins since those good old days, my knowledge of hockey is superficial at best. I can tell when players are dogging it or “running around in their own end”, and I can appreciate a good forecheck but the more subtle strategies are lost on me.

    Two reasons jump out to me as to why my knowledge hasn’t improved in the 30+ years I’ve been watching: 1. The speed of the game. It’s hard enough following the moving puck let alone watching players without the puck; and 2. Most of my viewing is done on TV, where it’s hard to focus on one isolated player and his responsibilities, especially if he doesn’t have the puck.

    I’ll watch the next game (I hope it’s Philadelphia because it’s much more satisfying to beat them) with interest in what the F3 is doing, or not doing. Thanks for the upgrade in hockey knowledge.

    Stuart

  120. Jim S. says:

    I am not drawing conclusions. I am saying it is not clear from what I read so far that he didn’t meet with her after the hospital examination contact and ask her to continue helping with recruiting. If that happened, it’s really bad. I certainly hope it didn’t happen.

    For that matter, and I don’t care if it does still happen at many schools … but coaches recruiting pretty coeds to attract players to the program is a pretty seedy practice. I’ve read a lot of stories about the expectations of recruits when that happens.

    Aside from that ….

    Doesn’t it seem at least a bit odd for a football coach to be contacting a girl 4 days after she was raped by members of his football team while a doctor is examining her? If that’s my daughter, I don’t want him or anyone from that football program going anywhere near my daughter or calling her – let alone while she is being examined by a doctor. I don’t think she or her family would be in the mood right then to have the coach calling to say she was important to the program right about then.

    Again, if it didn’t occur as this story and the victim’s attorney allege, then he deserves to have that clarified. Something doesn’t add up for me.

  121. Jim S. says:

    Channeling Kramer, 21? Another great episode.

  122. Andrew says:

    Outside your local ER, handing out business cards.

  123. Jim S. says:

    I thought it deserved one or two more HAHAs. ;-)

  124. scapper says:

    Would they make the Rangers or Flyers play a third game in four days?

  125. theplanisworking says:

    It’s a good thing that Detroit has only played 22 games.
    Saves their bullpen. ;)

  126. scapper says:

    I wouldn’t count on seeing a Pirates game tonight. No end in sight to this nonstop rain.

  127. Jim S. says:

    It doesn’t seem clear in that story, AJS. But I can see that I took it one way and you took it the other.

  128. NMR says:

    “Doesn’t it seem at least a bit odd for a football coach to be contacting a girl 4 days after she was raped by members of his football team while a doctor is examining her?”

    You’re certainly entitled to your own opinion, Jim, but weren’t Penn State officials raked over the coals for NOT trying to contact or identify any of Sandusky’s victims after they heard about his transgressions?

    I think the absolute worst thing we can do as a society is lump an entire program into the acts of a few players. This undoubtedly will provide motivation for the team, coaches, and University to withold information, however wrong they may be in doing so.

    And yeah, as I said to John, maybe it’s time we start examining these “old school” practices such as the pretty girls and recruits.

  129. theplanisworking says:

    HAHA
    HAHA !!!

    :D

  130. Jim S. says:

    I guess it is possible that Vandy (and the local paper) feel jilted about him leaving. There is a mess with the program over this rape, and the coach is now gone. Somebody could have an ax to grind.

  131. Jandy says:

    LOL! Revvie is on a roll again today :D

  132. Jandy says:

    Faceoff Factor called him Luckqvist lol

  133. theplanisworking says:

    DK, thanks for the F3 column.

    I have wondered aloud on here what Martin’s role would be come playoff time, and now you gave us a good glimpse.

    Thing that continues to bother me is the fact that the F’s aren’t ‘enthusiastic’ about the backchecking role. You would think they would embrace it, for you know, reasons like winning?

    I humbly vote you do more ‘X’s and O’s type columns.
    Makes us think.

  134. NMR says:

    3/5 of the Brewers rotation are outpitching their peripherals by more than a full run and they have absolutely zero depth behind their starting five.

    Wake me up in August.

  135. Thundercrack says:

    I noticed that too about the pitchers. They can’t run the bases.

    I was at the game a few weeks ago when Martin was on second and he eventually came around to score the walk-off run….and hurt himself. I wondered why they didn’t use a pitcher as a pinch runner.

    And then I remembered that none of them can run the bases. (Maybe Locke is decent at it)

  136. Jandy says:

    BOOM!

  137. AJS says:

    OK, I looked again. The article says “He cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting.”

    I took the next part of the quote to be explaining how she assisted with recruiting:

    “It went on to say that at some point, Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it.”

    I was thinking the conversation about recruiting happened first and then the “i care for you because you helped” statement

    i guess he could have had her helping, and then the rape and then later pulled her in and said lets ramp up this recruiting effort by pulling in some friends. But I doubt he would be going to a girl that just was attacked by football players and ask her to put herself in that position again. The scenario you paint didn’t ven cross my mind. I wll agree that it is poorly worded and vague reporting at best though.

  138. Andrew says:

    Did you miss that entire series where Penguins excelled at puck retrieval and breakouts against Columbus’s aggressive forecheck, utilizing consist puck support from the forwards and just about zero stretch passes?

    Agreed about the PK, it sucks in just about every aspect.

  139. Pucknutz says:

    Bring on the Flyers !
    Lets either exorcise the demons or just go straight to h e double hockey sticks in a hurry.
    Lets see what kind of team and coaching we really have.
    Beat the Flyers convincingly in 5 or even 6 and move on with some swagger.
    Play stupid and lose… lots of personnel changes will be in order.

    Then again…the Rangers do seem to be the better match-up… :)

  140. AJS says:

    Also, if she was already helping with recruiting then why would he have to convince her to do it again with the “all the other colleges do it” part?

    Still agree it is vague though.

  141. Stuart says:

    Thanks Karen, good link. The Brewers might be authentically good but they still have more hot dogs than Oscar Myer.

    Stu

  142. AJS says:

    That’s a good point NRM but didn’t the Bucco starting 5 pull the same crap last year? And when i wake you up, the Brewers may well have fallen mightilly, but I am thinking the Bucs will be down there with them.

  143. hockeymonster says:

    +++

    Was wondering if puck retrievals were to your satisfaction :)

  144. Jim S. says:

    I think you are probably right, AJS. But, the way it was laid out in the article was pretty confusing.

  145. JohninOshkosh says:

    Three Game 7′s tonight!

    Long live the Stanley Cup playoffs where no victories are guaranteed and there is no such thing as an underdog! Love it!

    Go Mild!!!!!

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pretty cool to see Star Wars is having an Old Timers Game.

  147. Andrew says:

    Brew Crew bullpen is on pace to be the greatest of all time.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-brewers-amazing-and-worrisome-bullpen/

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dang it. Not meant as a reply. I keep messing that up!!!!

  149. NMR says:

    Same stuff for the last three years, actually.

    The only difference last year, and the thing that turned them into legit contenders, was depth.

    The Brewers have nothing close to Liriano, Morton, and Cole to fill in if any of their starting 5 falter.

  150. NMR says:

    Cue up Dejan’s Blog last spring about Grilli and Melancon never giving up another run again.

    Gold!

  151. Thundercrack says:

    I’m sure there are plenty of Dejan blog posts that refer to ‘unsustainable’

  152. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++

    Little did I know when I was a kid watching the first Star Wars, er fourth Star Wars, that I would be watching the same stuff with my own kids decades later.

    Have to go with Star Wars and the Bond movies as the most enduring franchises. The Yankees and the Cardinals.

  153. Jim S. says:

    I think it is a little different in that we are talking here about the football coach of the accused players, and 4 days after it occurred. I never thought Joe Paterno should be seeking out victims following the incident. Paterno and PSU should have ensured an immediate investigation took place by the police. An investigation by the police was already taking place at Vandy.

    Someone from the school’s administration contacting her to ask about her condition seems a bit different to me than the coach of the players being accused doing it. He would not automatically be seen from the outside as a 3rd party genuinely acting in her best interests. A lot of people would see him as someone intervening in an effort to protect his job and possibly cover up a crime or intimidate a victim. By contacting her, I think his motives would have to be at least scrutinized.

    As I said, I would not want him making any contact with my daughter, and I hope he could understand that without needing to be told so. And, if I were his lawyer and he were innocent of any wrongdoing I would not want him contacting her like that, either. I think it was bad judgment on his part, at the very least – even if his intentions were totally above board.

    It will come out, and as I said, I hope it turns out he is innocent of any sort of wrongdoing.

  154. Jandy says:

    Haha Oshie, Pepsi is just a weeee bit sweeter…but hey, it IS hard to tell.
    My thing is, I collect Coca-Cola memorabilia. I have a clock that is worth $300, three glass trahys (like candy trays) that are worth anywhere from $150 to $1000 each, Olympic Pins, old bottles, a couple coolers worth some bucks, tins, crates, etc, etc. I even bought Coca Cola curtains for my kitchen :)
    That’s why I’m a Coke person lol

  155. GAWTS2009 says:

    ++++++

  156. Jandy says:

    Kings and Sharks, and Flyers and Rangers are two on my radar :)

  157. Karen22 says:

    I can’t stand the Ryan Frauds, but their pitching right now is why they are where they are. And our pitching in April, 2013 (that then continued through all of last season) is why we ended where we ended – and why we’re in the cellar this April. Pitching pitching pitching. Get that back on track, and the one-run losses convert to wins, just like in 2013.

  158. Karen22 says:

    True – doesn’t mean it will continue all season (hope it doesn’t), but it did for the Pirates last year.

  159. Jim S. says:

    The point of Morosi’s article seemed to be that this is sustainable because they are playing well.

    Well … duh, of course they are playing well. The question is can their entire pitching staff all continue to have great years together?

    Another question is, can they continue to win just about every close game?

    Right now, they look like a very good team to me. Everything is pretty much going well.

  160. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jameis Winston has been arrested for shoplifting crab legs from a Publix. No word on if Mike Leake has yet reached out to Winston.

  161. Karen22 says:

    That is a reply to NMR. Why don’t these posts follow the person to whom we’re replying?

  162. NMR says:

    And apparently they could teach Morosi a thing or two.

  163. Karen22 says:

    Easy to be “playing well” when “playing well” means winning. LOL! And they’re mostly winning because their pitching has been lights out.

  164. Andrew says:

    I have them ranked 7th 27.4 Shot against even strength, little known fact the full seasons that Bylsma has been coaching the Penguins have been ranked 6th, 9th, 5th, but fell to 16th last year, in shots against. I blame last year on the loss of Staal and needing to adjust to the fact that Sutter was not the same type of player.

    Definitely been better at minding the neutral zone, and more varied in their forecheck and neutral zone approach this year, I do not think the 1-3-1 is the base system but they have worked it in at times.

  165. Nate83 says:

    And it wasn’t even projected to be a top half of the league bullpen. They will regress. I’m not sure how much. Maybe they are better then preseason projections but they will not be a top 5 bullpen at the end of the year. I would be much more worried about being 6 games behind the Cards at this point then 9.5 behind the Brewers. We are only 3 games behind the Cards right now.

    Just to put the Brewers crazy start in perspective every team in the league except the A’s and the Braves would be 4 games behind the Brewers right now and the A’s would be 3 games behind. So don’t allow the 9.5 games to sound overwhelming. The Brewers will come back down to earth. As long as the Pirates keep the Cards within their sight they will know that they are not out of it.

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brooks Orpik is the only player missing from Pens practice this morning.

  167. Nate83 says:

    Karen you are correct the Pirates bullpen was really good all of last year. However they did drop off the second half of the year. They did not keep up the insane start they had over the first 60-70 games. It should also be noted the Pirates went into the season thinking their bullpen was a strength. The Brewers did not.

  168. Personally, I don’t think they should ever use them. I understand why they do and that reasoning is sound, but as frail as some of them are, it’s too much injury risk.

    Besides, if our position players are such good baserunners, imagine what the pitchers must be like.

  169. Wild Bill says:

    Also appreciated the F3 column – and the later discussion here. What strikes me about this subject is that the concept of F3 is hardly new for the Pens. These defensive responsibilities didn’t just arise a couple days ago. They should be ingrained in the team’s system of play by now. When it doesn’t happen sufficiently, the people failing to do so should feel consequences.

    Berube had a problem with this with Lecavalier on his top line. He dumped him down to the third line to get his attention, and it seemed to work. There has to be a mentality that Job One is to protect our own net and then see about scoring ourselves. As HM mentioned above, some of Jokinen’s work in this area has been really lacking. Neal’s too, in prior games. It bothers me that we are at the 2nd round of the playoffs and still working on this defensive responsibility stuff.

  170. Nate83 says:

    It’s a lot to ask the entire pitching staff to continue to have above career average years and in some cases career years. At the beginning of the year I thought they where a 80-85 win team now I think they could be 85-90 win team. Not much they can do to add players during the year when injuries start unless they get a salary dump type like Adam Dunn.

  171. theplanisworking says:

    Didn’t the NCAA just pass a rule that athletes can have unlimited food?
    Maybe poor Jameis got confused ………

  172. Naterosboro says:

    To add to that, just saw this on twitter: ‏@penguins 17m

    Brandon Sutter is present and skating at #Pens practice. pic.twitter.com/WtjmtRLYAY

  173. Naterosboro says:

    To add to that….

    @MolinariPG 14m

    Vitale’s presence is a bit of a surprise. He looked to be in serious pain after a knee-to-knee collision in Game 6 against Columbus.

  174. Wild Bill says:

    Fla. State is going to regret standing by him down the road. Some in the university offices might already.

  175. Milo Hamilton says:

    All good news. I’m rooting for about 6 overtimes tonight.

  176. Wild Bill says:

    Amen, Milo. This is exactly what the Flyers people were grousing about even before the series started – that if it went seven, there’d be three games in four nights.

  177. NMR says:

    Wonder which investigation will get more attention by the local PD?

  178. 21sthebest says:

    Can’t wait for the outcry again that college athletes need some spending money.

  179. Pucknutz says:

    Yea DK good F3 column.
    Even though I had a general understanding of the F3 concept your explanation was very informative.
    Most times hard to see a lot of this stuff on TV but if you know what should be happening it makes it a bit easier.
    More people like the X and Os than you might think esp when well explained.

  180. Wild Bill says:

    Good one, Plan!

  181. theplanisworking says:

    He helped bring them a National Championship.
    Doesn’t that trump all?

  182. Milo Hamilton says:

    The NHL awards the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship & dedication to hockey. Jaromir Jagr is a finalist. For what ? Persevering through age 42 ?

  183. NMR says:

    Thanks for the reply, Jim. I suppose we’ll have to settle on two reasonable, but completely opposite opinions.

  184. Wild Bill says:

    Yes, and for still being useful while doing so.

  185. hockeymonster says:

    Good stuff. And yes, i’ve been biting my tongue about the 1-3-1 part.

  186. Wild Bill says:

    At least temporarily it did, that’s certain.

  187. hockeymonster says:

    I think phillthy and their fans get a bad wrap…

  188. Milo Hamilton says:

    Those Sutters are tough. Except for Rich Sutter. I hold a very long grudge.

  189. Nate83 says:

    Pirates batting above .250. Don’t blink it’s a small list.

    T. Sanchez
    Cole
    Cutch
    Stewart
    Tabata

    Ouch!!!! Better days have to be ahead…….I hope.

  190. Wild Bill says:

    If the Pirates get rained out again, maybe the two games can be made up after He Who Shall Not Be Named joins the team.

  191. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, just googled inestimable….and wow, thanks! You sure you know what it means? :)

  192. Milo Hamilton says:

    Seems like in Tallahassee, crab legs have more rights than a female student at Florida State. And people wonder why women are reluctant to come forward,

  193. NMR says:

    Good post, Jim.

    I think we would all agree that they won’t continue playing this well, and I think most realize that lack of depth will hurt them at some point.

    What’ll be interesting to watch is whether or not they spin out of control when it happens. Lack of depth certainly explained the START of the Pirates two collapses, but it never came close to explaining the depth of them.

    With the lead the Brewers are building, they could certainly find themselves in a position where not-choking-at-a-historic-pace is good enough to coast into the playoffs.

  194. Wild Bill says:

    This is the only thing that can stop Philly fans from booing.

  195. NMR says:

    +1

    And I sincerely hope none of the locals are ignorant enough to claim that this shoplifting arrest proves they treat football players equally.

  196. Andrew says:

    I’ll be happy with 3 overtimes, if you want to beat the Flyers keep the game 5v5, their 3 goals last night took their total to 6, good enough for 2nd to last just ahead of the Red Wings.

  197. Jandy says:

    Last line says it all lol

  198. Andrew says:

    3 OTs and a couple brawls with suspensions.

  199. Sarah says:

    Yah that would be brutal….

  200. Milo Hamilton says:

    They need to fly back down to Florida, land, then come back & pretend April never happened. Friday is Opening Day against Toronto !

  201. Sarah says:

    Good lord, really? Wow.

  202. Sarah says:

    I like Miller but his best days seem behind him.
    He was out his mind in the last Olympics. Unfortunately Crosby owns him.

  203. Jandy says:

    I sure do, HM… ;)

  204. Sarah says:

    To be clear, they built up some great stats in the awful Metro division.
    But the nbrs are better.

    I would guess that post Olympics, and Playoffs, they look a good bit worse…? Haven’t crunched.

  205. hockeymonster says:

    Well from your vocabulary to…….

  206. Jandy says:

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    But he’d still be a good back-up/mentor, as Johnson was to Fleury

  207. hockeymonster says:

    But they did so with the baby pens roster. No point in judging based on post olympic break since seeding’s were pretty much set. IMO.

  208. scapper says:

    I think the last two certainly fit him perfectly.

  209. Jandy says:

    Ahhh I like the last part…

  210. Naterosboro says:

    Now this…

    Brooks Orpik still finds a way to get on the ice at Pens practice, even if he’s feeling a little cut out…

    @penguins 3m

    Brooks Orpik may not be present at today’s #Pens practice, but cardboard Brooks Orpik is. pic.twitter.com/OWctprOKFT

  211. bpn8pitt says:

    Lol. Nate, I thought you were one of those “BA doesnt matter” guys?

  212. bpn8pitt says:

    People were writing off the Braves SP when they had all those guys go down. They had a historic April of success.

    Baseball, man. Crazy.

  213. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  214. Wild Bill says:

    About the next playoff round – in the East, the Habs and Broons will surely start ahead of our series. They’ve been sitting around scratching for a few days now. Then the Pens and ??? the nest day. Thing is, I don’t thing the Boston/Montreal series would start as soon as tomorrow, so we’d be looking at Saturday, maybe.

  215. Wild Bill says:

    Jandy typo disease strikes again.

  216. Sarah says:

    Good lord what a total delta bravo

  217. chethejet1 says:

    The difference is that the Penn state players were not involved with the Sandusky crimes. In Vandy’s case they were. Thus there a direct responsibility for the head coach not to be involved with the alleged victim or meet with her a a conflict of interest.

  218. Jandy says:

    LOL you got it bad ;)

  219. NMR says:

    Amen, buddy.

  220. Naterosboro says:

    At least Braun started giving his teammates black eyes, instead of just pooping on our Pirates…

  221. theplanisworking says:

    Pretty sad day for ‘sports’ when instead of being able to focus solely on the upcoming games, the blog the past 2 days had :

    Donald Sterling fiasco,
    Jameis Winston fiasco, and
    the Franklin/PSU fiasco.

    Not criticizing any posters at all, but sometimes one wonders whether or not this is a sports blog, or the police blotter.

    That being said, 8 days until the NFL draft.

  222. NMR says:

    Stinks.

  223. Sarah says:

    BOS MTL starts Thurs 7:30

  224. Dom says:

    I think the Steelers will draft CB Darqueze Dennard

  225. Jim S. says:

    You said that more succinctly than I did, chet.

  226. Nate83 says:

    I probably don’t put as much stock in it as many others but I still think it’s an important stat. Generally speaking teams with higher batting averages score more runs.

  227. Jim S. says:

    I nominate this for POTD, Milo.

  228. Nate83 says:

    Well if they had money they wouldn’t have to steal crab legs :)

    Something tells me some still would.

  229. bpn8pitt says:

    Starting to think they gonna trade down, myself. Maybe swap ones with someone at the back, pickup a late 2 or 3 and 4. Their kinda in that spot were a QB falling gets scooped up by someone else. Might be a nice position to be in.

  230. Jim S. says:

    .500 the rest of the way might be enough to get a Wild Card.

    Barring unforeseen catastrophic injuries, and if Ryan Braun stops swinging a bat on the dugout steps, they look like a playoff team.

  231. bpn8pitt says:

    Me too. Its one of those things that overrated until you dont have it.

  232. Jim S. says:

    Come to think of it, this would be a good time to discuss that Detroit bullpen.

  233. Jandy says:

    Priceless Dom, thanks!

  234. Dom says:

    If CBs Dennard or Gilbert or WR Evans is available one of them will be the selection. If not, they might be interested in an offer to trade back.

  235. Jim S. says:

    Do you like him, Dom? You seem to always have the pulse on the Steelers moves.

    Personally, I would prefer a CB to a WR. I know we need a WR, but I want the defense fixed.

  236. Bizrow says:

    Anyone know if the PBC and Balty have similar days off coming up? From what I see with the weather, this whole week might be a washout

  237. Wild Bill says:

    Really? Thanks Sarah. Didn’t think their tv partners would want to start up the next night after 3 “game sevens”.

  238. 21sthebest says:

    For tomorrow in Baltimore, I’m seeing just morning showers. They’re planning on playing tomorrow as well as tonight. Maybe two tomorrow if necessary.

  239. Jim S. says:

    I like the idea of getting an extra early round pick for moving back just a bit. This team is not currently deep with depth, to steal a line from someone years ago.

  240. Jim S. says:

    Well, I think we both hope he is clean of any wrongdoing.

  241. 21sthebest says:

    Yup. If they were given money, they’d eventually want more.

  242. theplanisworking says:

    If Aaron Donald is available at #15, it might pose an interesting choice for the Stillerz.

  243. bpn8pitt says:

    I think all three will be gone.

    We may end up seeing a real surprise like a middle LB, DE?

    Id be all over Donald but I think hes gone too.

    Its why I think a trade is a real possibilty if nothing is there, and one of those QBs falls that somebody wants.

    I do not want them to reach on a WR they could get later. Hardest position to translate from college to NFL, IMO.

  244. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Here is what is going to happen with the bucs…Pitching will get on track and offense will improve (because let’s be honest it’s about as bad as it could possibly be at this point). Early runs translate into pitchers being more aggressive and sticking to their gameplans…Aside from a few innings that have gotten aways from them, the starters have thrown well, and it deosn’t seem like they’ve been doing it with a lead (or much of one) very often so far this month. Lets wait and see if the bucs can start putting up that early run like they did so many times last year before we all lose our minds….after that awful series in LA last year no one knew who was going to step up and pitch well. Morton comes out tonight and throws a gem.

  245. GAWTS2009 says:

    I knew I liked you Jandy!

  246. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jerry Crasnick on Polanco, “Nevertheless, the team can delay his salary arbitration and free agency by a year by holding off long enough on a promotion.”

    ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    I think I get it now. When DK said people discussing the Polanco issue didn’t know what they were talking about, he was actually talking about his sainted media brethren.

  247. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is why Pepsi is better:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B02DGmkqDDU Crawford

  248. Jandy says:

    From the Pens’ website:

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Email

    Comment

    Print

    Penguins forwards Brandon Sutter and Joe Vitale participated in practice on Wednesday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center.

    Both Sutter and Vitale left Pittsburgh’s 4-3 series clinching win against Columbus in Game 6 Monday night at Nationwide Arena in the third period. Neither player returned in the game and no update was given on their status following the contest.

    Per team policy, head coach Dan Bylsma wouldn’t elaborate on any specifics regarding the two players, but both were glad to be on the ice.

    “I’m happy with the way it’s gone the last two days,” Sutter said. “I’m feeling pretty good and it shouldn’t be a problem going forward.”

    Sutter did return to the Penguins bench late in the third period, but “wasn’t able to play,” according Bylsma.

    Vitale was hurt after he collided knee-to-knee with Blake Comeau. Both players remained on the ice and required the assistance of athletic trainers to get to the locker room.

    “It was a good, I feel good, feel strong,” Vitale said. “It was a scare what happened. I’m taking it one day at a time. I woke today and felt great, felt good enough to skate and felt good out there.”

  249. Jandy says:

    wth? where did all that come from?

  250. Jandy says:

    Sorry, not in MY book Oshie.but I can see why YOU think so ;)

  251. theplanisworking says:

    Your hump day camel. ;)

  252. Arriba Wilver says:

    Let me add a plus 100. ;-)

  253. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just watched NBC Sports Online mock running of the last 20 Derby winners.

    They had Monarchos beating Barbaro for the Roses. Interesting.

    The Kentucky Derby draw is at 5:00 ET today on NBCSN.

    Just to wet your appetite here is Affirmed’s 1978 Kentucky Derby victory on route to his Triple Crown.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65V3xFLPNLA Affirmed

    Last horse to win the Triple Crown, some 36 years ago.

  254. Jim S. says:

    That’s just bad.

  255. Jandy says:

    I wondered where the heck you were, AW :)

  256. Jim S. says:

    I think they’ll avoid him like the plague in Rd 1. Seems like that is what they do in those situations.

  257. JohninOshkosh says:

    Alydar was in 8th with 3/8 of a mile to go by the way!

  258. Milo Hamilton says:

    Affirmed & Alydar should be buried a half a length apart.

  259. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++

  260. NMR says:

    You sure Crasnick isn’t just making an assumption on the likelihood of the team paying a star during his fourth time through arb? …coughHUNTERPENCEcough…

    It would be funny if it weren’t true.

  261. JohninOshkosh says:

    …and because it might be sloppy at the Downs this Saturday, here is the classic Seinfeld bit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0umYspP3_4 Mudda

  262. Milo Hamilton says:

    Now you’ve gone & got me all fired up.

  263. NMR says:

    For the sake of humanity, sure. I don’t think there are words for a guy who tries to get a rape victim to help recuit after the fact.

    But for the sake of PSU? They deserve what they get.

  264. The Pirates game has been rained out again. There’ll be hopefully a doubleheader at 4:05 tomorrow. That’s the latest. Now let’s see who can win game 7 of the hockey playoffs tonight in NYC.

  265. TJA says:

    I see Bucs/O’s play 2 tomorrow. As a kid I used to love double headers…loved going to them at the ball yard. I couldn’t get enough baseball. Does anyone know when MLB officially stopped scheduling them? What year was it? I was just wondering.

  266. Jim S. says:

    I think Aaron Donald is going to be a very good pro.

    But, I can’t figure out if I would still think that if he was from another city and played for another college team.

  267. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree Milo. We’re well beyond extending the free agency.

  268. Bizrow says:

    So the Bucs can bring up a 26th man for the games tomorrow, wonder who it will be? Lurch just got sent down, right? So I don’t think he will be available

  269. theplanisworking says:

    Polan………… never mind.

  270. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  271. The Greg Hallaman Show says:

    I’m still not seeing Neptune Beach, FL on the roll call!

    GH

  272. Dom says:

    What does that mean?

  273. Jim S. says:

    If I were to set the Joey Bats weekend HR line at 1.5, would you go over or under?

    Looks like maybe Cole-Liriano-Volquez for the Bucs.

    Assuming we get a split in Baltimore, because that is usually what happens in double headers, I would like to see a nice sweep of the BJays.

  274. theplanisworking says:

    I will take the over at 1.5

    Of course, I took the over at Little Big Horn also…….

  275. The Greg Hallaman Show says:

    There’s an entire post that acknowledges where “followers” are located. It asked for posts of new places not yet listed…GH

  276. Sarah says:

    Well who knows!
    But a brutal schedule for NYR PHL esp if they have to start Fri!!! Crazy.

  277. Sarah says:

    Holy cripes that is good news.
    I would have bet money Vitale was out for a long while. Looked awful.

    Great news.
    Here’s hoping Bylsma actually keeps playing Vitale, but I bet when Gibbons is back, he sits.
    Cos Gladams.

  278. Dom says:

    Oh, Gotcha.

  279. Dom says:

    Oprah in discussion to buy the Clippers.

  280. Jim S. says:

    I’m thinking 2, myself.

  281. hockeymonster says:

    Outside the box suggestion for Sid:

    How bout trying some extra curve on your blade? Just a touch perhaps?!?! Practice time is available. Try out some curves…see if it helps you elevate and pick corners. Hands are good enough to still do what you do on your backhand. Cant hurt.

  282. NMR says:

    He’s not even real.

  283. Jim S. says:

    I read Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is also interested. Of course, he served jail time for pleading guilty to domestic violence and harassment charges two years ago, and supposedly regularly bets 6-figure amounts on NBA games. But, why would those things hold him back?

  284. hockeymonster says:

    Her couch cushions must be getting uncomfortable :)

  285. Jim S. says:

    You mean like Kaiser Soze not real?

    Or, better than everyone not real?

  286. Jim S. says:

    The story I read said she had potential partners. I thought she could just write a check.

  287. Jim S. says:

    Jandy:

    Do you have something to say to Dom? :-)

  288. NMR says:

    Hologram Tupac not real.

  289. Jim S. says:

    The Mike Leake one, that is.

  290. theplanisworking says:

    Well, Pirates rained out.
    Pens don’t play.

    And, my hometown newspaper published a horrific crime today……….. a plastic windmill was stolen from an apartment in the housing projects. Valued at $1.50. My day is now complete.

    Have a great day, gang,

  291. JAL,

    Excellent article by YOU that I read on Rumbunter today {#7 in above list}. You explained Super Two exceedingly well.

    My only disagreement with you is your disdain for Super Two. The Players Association suggested it back when, and it was “Top 17%” as negotiated by PA until this season, when it was re-negotiated to Top 22%.

    The Players wanted it; the Players got it———they will NEVER give it back. What they truly want is Arbitration after Year #2, not #3. I would like the Designated Hitter to go away, but it’s not worth discussing because it will never happen. Your “clean” Arbitration only after last three years/negotiations will never happen.

    When was the last time the Players Association gave something back?! The 12th of Never!!!

  292. Bizrow says:

    Hey, I’m retired, I don’t work on… Er, what day is it ???

    Sorry, Neptune Beach is added, that takes us to 470 :-)

  293. Bizrow says:

    All three guys on trial for the stabbing of Mike Adams were found not guilty for almost all counts

  294. JAL says:

    Groat thanks, no problem with disagreement. Would never write anything if I couldn’t take disagreement. I know they won’t give it back. I wrote the players want want 2. My problem is the 22% does not benefit all players so move it 2 or keep it at 3 and eliminate super 2.

  295. BillyBaduka says:

    +

  296. BillyBaduka says:

    ?

    Not sure what you’re saying HM. Are you saying I need education on hockey or commenting on the choppy, incomplete sentences with poor grammar?

  297. hockeymonster says:

    “folks seem to enjoy and want to learn more on the strategies and tactics employed.”

    Was responding to that part fictitiously

  298. hockeymonster says:

    oops…facetiously

  299. Jandy says:

    Dom, there you go being cute again ;)

    (Sorry Jim I got busy and just saw this post this morning)

  300. Jandy says:

    Welcome to the Lunatic Asylum, Greg :)

  301. Dom says:

    I wasn’t trying to be funny. I didn’t know what he meant by roll call.

  302. Jandy says:

    Seriously Dom, I know that. But you’re still the cutest blogger here :)

  303. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks man!

    Wish I wouldn’t have asked the question.

    Regretted after I posted it.

    Jandy mentioned you this morning which prompted me to come back and check this.

  304. Jandy says:

    That Jandy, she sure is a name dropper ;)

 
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