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Morning Java: Why not tight end?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column from Game 2 of the Rangers series focuses on … ugh, it’s just impossible to focus on a subject no one can pinpoint. But yeah, this is about Sidney Crosby. In a good way.

Here’s some of what Jussi Jokinen told me afterward when I asked how he suddenly found his shooting touch when it mattered after a rather rough night in that regard:

The game story looks ahead to tonight’s Game 3, as well, by beat man Rob Rossi.

Kris Letang’s big night, by Chris Adamski.

The Rangers remain powerless, by Jason Mackey.

News and notes, by Adamski and Mackey.

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

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Daily News.

Here’s the Jokinen goal, with Jussi mic’d up, from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

Blogginess from the scene: I don’t cover the Rangers, so I don’t write for a New York audience, so I don’t watch the games the same way their reporters do. That’s natural. I’m paying far more attention to the Pittsburgh side, good or bad. That said, that’s one tired team over there. All those 50/50 puck battles I described their defensemen as winning in Game 1, those went to Pittsburgh. Snap. Just like that. Give the Penguins credit, but acknowledge the broader scene. … Marc-Andre Fleury told me his best save was the early one on Rick Nash, third shot of the game, pad save, point blank. Can’t argue that, but he had a few good ones. … Didn’t like Dan Bylsma scratching Tanner Glass. Still don’t. Not because Brian Gibbons was inserted. Thought that should have happened for Game 1. But rather, because Craig Adams is the obvious better choice to sit. Whatever. It worked, and the coach deserves the credit. … Paul Martin’s brilliance and Kris Letang’s rushes weren’t coincidental. Martin allows that to happen. … Sorry, but Matt Niskanen should never sit when the first-team power play is on the ice. … In particular, the Rangers’ shutdown pair of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh looked fantastically spent. And they’ve got to log the big minutes again tonight. What choice does Alain Vigneault have? … Quote of the night came from Vigneault when asked about his team being tired: ‘Did my goaltender look tired?’ Touche, as they say in Vigneault’s home province. Henrik Lundqvist stood tall. … Beau Bennett needs to be stronger on the stick. Still carries the puck like it’s CCHA hockey at times. … Brandon Sutter cleaned up on 9 of 13 draws, Marcel Goc 7 of 9. Both figures are superb. … Really good crowd. I get tired of hearing about empty seats in the lower bowl. If you come to the games, you’d know there’s a ton of standing room in the concourse with direct visibility. People eat and drink up there while still watching. … Those referees were brutal, both Eric Furlatt and Wes McCauley. And yes, both ways, as always is the case with bad officiating. They had no concept of how to identify embellishment by either team.

>> The Pirates lost out on a sweep of the Blue Jays. Rob Biertempfel reports from PNC Park on Edinson Volquez’s first rough start.

You know, there’s perception, and there’s reality: The Pirates’ much-maligned offense has a .314 on-base percentage that’s seventh of the National League’s 15 teams. Just a hair above average. And they rank 10th with 118 runs, the only number that actually counts.

What’s the problem again?

Oh, yeah. Starting pitching. Only the miserable Diamondbacks have been worse.

Say what you will about the Pirates not bringing back A.J. Burnett, who now has a 2.06 ERA in seven starts for Philadelphia despite pitching through hernia pain. But the fact is, the one starter Neal Huntington added in the offseason – Volquez – was the Pirates’ very best before Sunday’s hiccup against Toronto. Volquez is 28, a decade younger than Burnett

But hey, don’t let me stop the narratives.

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

Here’s Blue Jays news from the Toronto Star.

Here’s Giants news from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

>> Our daily NFL draft preview today looks at the defensive linemen, by Alan Robinson. And a separate piece looks at Pitt’s Aaron Donald, by Jerry DiPaola.

If you’ve missed any of these, by the way, I’ll be collecting them all for a special Wednesday blog entry.

Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert will meet with the media today to reveal absolutely nothing about how the Steelers will approach the NFL draft later this week, but hey, that shouldn’t stop us from speculating, right?

Here’s a fun name to toss out there: Eric Ebron.

Take a look for yourself:

No, he’s not the wide receiver or corner most – myself included – are expected, but never underestimate the Steelers’ passion for the tight end position. Nor how much they undoubtedly love the 6-foot-4, 250-pound, hyper-athletic, sure-handed junior out of North Carolina. Ebron’s a beast and would be a sensational bookend for Heath Miller now and, at just 21, an heir apparent down the road.

And remember, Ebron lit up Pitt at Heinz Field last November, right under the Steelers’ noses, for three catches and 73 yards.

Just sayin’.

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

>> If you missed WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word late last night, the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers all took turns as topics for our panel.

>> 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. Ghost says:

    Looking forward to the Wednesday column… Ebron sounds pretty intriguing… Still wish we had A.J. back. True enough about Volquez, but never can have enough good pitching. Especially our team, the way they are constructed.

  2. Dennis G says:

    Where is Jeff Karstens? Has he retired?

  3. bpn8pitt says:

    Read this, thought about it for 20 minutes. And have decided to avoid the Volquez conversation for now. I imagine as I read this throughout my day its gonna be entertaining.

    FWIW, the staff looks like it has missed Martin. And maybe before he was put on the DL his poor condition meaning injury can be attributed to the rotations struggled. Chew on that while you watch Stewart struggle at the plate or watch Sanchez throw the ball, and think about 2015.

    I like Ebron, too. Just don’t think he’s the blocker the Steelers usually seek at that position. Heard they are in on some late rd, smaller school types.

    Good for you Flower.

  4. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    From what I’ve heard, Ebron can’t block any better than me.
    There’s no way he’s the Steelers #1 pick.
    No way….

  5. JoeyBats says:

    BUCCOS — Down on the Farm
    (We’ll try to keep you apprised of how some of the top prospects are doing; …..this week the position players. Games played through May 4).

    RF — Gregory “the Great” Polanco — Triple A – Indy – Bats : L
    .378/ .434 / .595 … HR 4, RBI 25… G 28 , AB 111, R 22, H 42, K 22, BB 6, SB…6
    .
    .
    1B/OF – Andrew Lambo – Triple A – Indy – Bats: L
    .344 / .430/ .570 … HR 2, RBI 19… G 26, AB 93, R 18, H 32, K 22, BB 13, SB 3
    .
    .
    3B – Stetson Allie – Double A – Altoona – Bats: R
    .239 / .374 / .523 …HR 6, RBI 18, ….G 26, AB 88, R 16, H 21, K 29, BB 17, SB 2
    .
    .
    SS – Alan Hanson – Double A – Altoona – Bats: S
    .259/ .304/ .389 … HR 1 RBI 8,… G 26, AB 108, R 17, H 28, K 22, BB 6, SB 7
    .
    .
    OF – Josh Bell – Single A – Bradenton – Bats: S
    .274 / .313 / .425…. HR 2, RBI 13…. G 28, AB 106, R 9, H 29, K 20, BB 6, SB…3
    .
    .
    3B -Wyatt Mathisen – Single A – West Virginia – Bats: R
    .263 / .318 / .343….. HR 2 RBI 11,… G 29, AB 99, R 8, H 26, K 13, BB 8, SB 1
    .
    .
    C – Reese McGuire – Single A – West Virginia – Bats : L
    .230 / .273 / .279 …..HR 0, RBI 8 ,…. G 16 , AB 61, R 7, H 14, K 8, BB 3, SB 0
    .
    .
    OF – Austin Meadows –XXXXXXXXX – Bats: L (Injured…rehabbing)
    .
    .

  6. radio wave says:

    Great stuff.

  7. bpn8pitt says:

    What I don’t like? Heard Ravens are all about Ebron.

  8. Wild Bill says:

    Had late dinner guests last night, so didn’t turn the Pens game on until literally ten seconds before Letang scored. Whether it was Ranger fatigue involved or not, the Pens played really well in the part of the game I saw. And they had to, because as DK says, Lundquist was ready to steal that game. Crazy good – but I bet he can’t do it two nights in a row like that.

    We’re on a good roll right now, do it again tonight and the Pens will have really turned a corner.

  9. Pucknutz says:

    Led by Sid we finally see the team that we always knew was there !
    Sure the Rangers PP sucked (Pens PK might have had sumpin to do w/that), the NY gas tank may have the warning light on and if not for Lundquist the score might have been 8-0, but….
    really nice to see the “real” Pens. :)

  10. tdb1977 says:

    Cain isn’t pitching for the Giants tonight. Saw yesterday that he has a cut finger on his pitching hand and he has landed on the DL. According to the probable pitching report on the Pirates website, both teams have yet to announce a started. Going to be the Giants TBA vs Pirates TBA. Here is hoping that our TBA is just a little bit better then theirs!

  11. Jandy says:

    +++

  12. JAL says:

    JAL’s Rose Of Washington Square Morning Links

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgE_thDgT5o

    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: Indianapolis Providing Depth For the Pirates

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/first-pitch-indianapolis-providing-depth-for-the-pirates.html

    Prospect Watch: JaCoby Jones Homers Again, Jason Creasy Pitches a Gem

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/prospect-watch-jacoby-jones-homers-again-jason-creasy-pitches-a-gem.html

    The Pirates Won’t Need a Regular Fifth Starter Until May 24th

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/05/the-pirates-wont-need-a-regular-fifth-starter-until-may-24th.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates fall to the Blue Jays in a Sunday afternoon drubbing, 7-2

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/5/4/5681460/pirates-fall-to-the-blue-jays-in-a-sunday-afternoon-drubbing-7-2

    7 Rumbunter

    Just What Pittsburgh Pirates Need, Red Hot San Francisco Giants

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/05/04/just-pittsburgh-pirates-need-red-hot-san-francisco-giants/

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Don’t Need Gregory Polanco…….yet.

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/05/04/pittsburgh-pirates-dont-need-gregory-polanco-yet/

    8 Green Weenie

    Jays Bash Bucs 7-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/05/jays-bash-bucs-7-2.html

    9 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Colby Rasmus grand slam prevents Pirates sweep

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2014/05/04/pittsburgh-pirates-colby-rasmus-grand-slam-prevents-pirates-sweep/

    10 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Solving the starting pitching problem

    http://isportsweb.com/2014/05/04/pittsburgh-pirates-5/

  13. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates Giants Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140505_SF@PIT/giants-pirates-preview

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs’ rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Cardinals

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/27242037-573/cubs-rally-falls-short-in-5-4-loss-to-cardinals.html#.U2dqD0C8Bs4

    13 Beaver County Times

    No comeback for Pirates this time

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/no-comeback-for-pirates-this-time/article_e8cef1a6-7424-521b-8106-fbe43291fa32.html

    14 Pirates Site

    Pirates unable to post third straight rally

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_05_04_tormlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    NOTEBOOK: Hurdle, Sofield ejected for arguing strike call

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140504&content_id=74290212&notebook_id=74308674&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    15 Toronto Star

    Dustin McGowan gives shaky bullpen break in win over Bucs: Griffin

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/2014/05/04/dustin_mcgowan_gives_shaky_bullpen_break_in_win_over_bucs_griffin.html

    16 Reds Reporter

    BREAKING: Jay Bruce Needs Knee Surgery, Out 3-4 Weeks

    http://www.redreporter.com/2014/5/4/5682010/breaking-jay-bruce-reds-knee-surgery

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Good Brewers road trip turns bad with deflating 10th inning

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/late-walk-double-helps-reds-defeat-brewers-b99261996z1-257878901.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals salvage a win on Molina’s hit

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-salvage-a-win-on-molina-s-hit/article_4d10c262-819f-5bd3-9141-d4cf8827f078.html

    19 Fangraphs

    Expanding the Edges of the Strike Zone

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/expanding-the-edges-of-the-strike-zone/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23480

  14. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Defensive end might not be a wise first-round investment for Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/5/4/5680114/2014-nfl-draft-steelers

    Draft pick odds column shows how diverse the selection pool is for the 15th pick

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014-nfl-draft/2014/5/4/5680104/steelers-odds-draft-pick-2014

    Soccer(football)

    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    The impact of possession in football

    https://www.bsports.com/statsinsights/football/possession-football

    23 BBC Football

    Cardiff City’s turbulent season: Where did it all go wrong?

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27259055

    Premier League and Football League: Ups and downs

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26657763

    24 World Soccer

    David Moyes has gone but the underlying problems at Manchester United remain

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/columnists/brian-glanville/manchester-united-david-moyes

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens vs. Rangers Game 2 Recap: Complete effort for Pittsburgh carries the day

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2014/5/4/5682114/pens-vs-rangers-game-2-recap-henrik-lundqvist-saves

  15. Wild Bill says:

    A big break for the Bucs.

  16. Wild Bill says:

    Anybody else out there sick of the NFL draft?? The one that hasn’t happened yet? Almost couldn’t care who the Steelers draft at this point – when I know more about Johnny Football than I do about ten year vets, something’s seriously twisted.

    They should have done this a month ago.

  17. JAL says:

    Is there a bigger waste of time anywhere than mock drafts?

  18. Dom says:

    I heard that Ebron was not a credible blocker. If true, I’d think the Steelers would have less interest in him but he’d still be a possibility in my mind.

    If CB Dennard, CB Gilbert, and WR Evans are all gone Ebron is the next option in line.

  19. Dom says:

    Antiquing?

  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    Prospect lists?

  21. Jandy says:

    Bold reamings?

  22. Dom says:

    I have the same sentiments as you except it’s towards the Buccos and not the draft.

    I’m starting to think we were just a one year wonder.

    I had enough of them not obtaining free agents and enough of the league being such a joke.

  23. Deb says:

    Sid is clearly battling thru serious injury. NBC flashed a video of a fan getting Sid to sign a sweater and he couldn’t use his left arm at all. Fan helped Sid take cap off pen and everything. This, plus his trip to trainers room instead of meeting media should worry Pens fans.

  24. Dom says:

    I had no idea he had so many legal troubles.

    Maybe he’ll get his life on track after four or so years in prison.

  25. Jandy says:

    I didn’t either. Alcoholism is nasty, and it’s hard to beat. I wish him luck.

  26. Dom says:

    Some say he’s the biggest bust of all time in any sport. Anyone agree?

    I remember the experts saying that he was a reach at #1.

    I still feel Ryan leaf would be the winner of that prize.

    Come to think of it, Leaf’s in prison too. I wonder if the fact that they’re both being ridiculed by the media has an effect on their lives.

  27. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said Pucks,

    I think that was the most complete game the Pens have put together all season.

    Good read/react support defensively and offensively. Tape to tape passes as a result.

    They were playing as 5 man units instead of individually.

    Cleared the puck from in front on Fluery as well as I’ve seen this year.

    Effort was there, won a lot of 50/50 pucks. All around solid effort. Ok, the Rangers are tired, still liked Pens speed and focus.

    Sid didn’t score but looked like his best game of the playoffs. Had jump in his legs, changed speed and was able to beat D 1-1 a few times.

    Because of past performances, tough to trust they will stay this way. Gotta keep this up. Rangers should be even more tired tonight. Pens, keep playing like you did Sunday and keep the pressure on the Rangers.

    Let’s go Pens!!!!

  28. DJ says:

    “Blogginess from the scene” captures every thought I had about last night’s game, including Bennett needing to be stronger on the puck (and more toughness generally), Adams sitting instead of Glass, Martin’s near flawless play and Sutter/Goc as faceoff beasts.

    Also loved what Gibby brought last night, particularly the PK.

  29. bpn8pitt says:

    +1

  30. Dom says:

    Maybe there isn’t a correlation.

    There have been other big time busts that are not have trouble with the law.

    For Example, Health Shuler had a horrendous career and he is a representative in Congress!

    JaMarcus Russell had issues beforehand but to my knowledge he’s been issue free. He had a failed comeback last year.

    Tony Mandarich owns his own business, nowadays. He did steroids but I don’t think he ever had any legal troubles.

  31. theplanisworking says:

    Random thoughts while waking up ……..

    NFL Draft, before the draft……… Yawn! Just like “prospect lists”, total snoozer. But, since many lap this stuff up, it won’t go away. (Shoutout to AW for that ‘prospect list’ gold.)

    Pens? A good, consistent effort last night. Where is this on a regular basis? Must the Pens be in sever desperation mode to turn this gear ‘on’??
    And, I have speculated for over a week that Sid looked hurt. That would explain a few things.

    Bucs? This team is not last year’s for sure. The pitching and defense has taken a huge step back, and the offense won’t win many games. As for AJ, he might or might not make a difference. The main thing last year was……….. even if he didn’t win, most games he gave 6-7 solid innings, kept the Pirates in the game (even with no run support), and helped save the bullpen. I know, dead horse alert………

    Lost in all the Man United stuff, is how much blame do the owners share? The Glazers are reviled in Old Trafford, even when the team wins. Just a wonderment……..

    Go Pens, and Bucs tonight !!
    2 wins would be very nice.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Prospect List’ was a good one by AW.

    But the reaction to a poorly rated ‘prospect list’ can be pretty funny.
    And everyone seems to love a highly rated ‘prospect list’.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    From the home office in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia – here are the Top 10 reasons Sidney Crosby blew off the media last night. Here we go …

    10. Had to catch the end of Mad Men
    9. Had a very important phone call from Don Cherry
    8. Promised to pick up Ryan Vogelsong from the airport
    7. Sunday Night Euchre League
    6. Couldn’t bare the thought of one more question from Ron Cook
    5. Getting an early start on Cinco de Mayo
    4. Posing for his milk carton photo
    3. Drinks with V. Stiviano
    2. Forgot to sign up for Obamacare

    … and the number one reason Sidney Crosby blew off the media last night,

    1. Two words – Bad Fish

  34. BillyBaduka says:

    Agreed Dom.

    I doubt he’ll be there at 15. I think the Giants take him at 12 if available. They are really thin at TE.

  35. GAWTS2009 says:

    Now they just need to remain! but god time to finally see them.

  36. GAWTS2009 says:

    Missed that do you have any links?

  37. 21sthebest says:

    Prospect lists, mock drafts, etc. It’s just marketing.

  38. bpn8pitt says:

    I think Philly is hanging around so far, 1.5 back?

    But if they fade, AJ surely gets that fixed and is put on the shelf. So that could end up being irrelevant during the stretch.

  39. 21sthebest says:

    Heading out to shoot “Mr. October” cover for Sports Illustrated?

  40. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++

  41. JohninOshkosh says:

    1997, I think, Baseball Prospectus had the Pirates number one with their minor league organization. Sixteen years later they had a winning season.

  42. theplanisworking says:

    Yep, Chad Hermansen could ‘walk on water’ …………. but couldn’t hit the curve.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    I checked Madison Square Garden’s website. Thursday – WNBA, Friday – Billy Joel. So they were going to have to play back to back somewhere unless they wanted to wait for Saturday for Game 4.

  44. Dom says:

    Either him or Aaron Donald would be a good pick for the G-men.

  45. theplanisworking says:

    NHL injury reports? ;)

  46. 21sthebest says:

    bp, why wouldn’t A.J. wait until after the season is over? For one, he has incentives in his contract based on games started. But regardless, why not wait anyways.

  47. 21sthebest says:

    John, here’s what Baseball America had for Andy Laroche.

    Ranked Baseball America #19 prospect after the 2005 season
    Ranked Baseball America #19 prospect after the 2006 season
    Ranked Baseball America #31 prospect after the 2007 season

  48. JohninOshkosh says:

    Plus. New York market with a featured national game tonight. Chicago market with an exclusive one tomorrow night.

    At least the don’t have to worry about the Knicks.

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! Good stuff.

    As for the NFL draft. No streets in Green Bay named after Tony Mandarich yet.

  50. Nate83 says:

    Since I don’t get to see a lot of Penguin games during the regular season it has been nice seeing every Penguin playoff game in it’s entirety. I’ve been able to come away with some observations so following are my quick hits about the Penguins. Some of which may be wrong and I won’t debate them because many of you know much more about hockey then myself so if anybody responds I will welcome the chance to learn from those who follow the sport closer then myself.

    * Brandon Sutter is the our most well rounded, consistent, responsible forward/center. I’m never worried when he has the puck. He rarely if ever puts the team in a bad position. He is skilled enough to play on the first or second line but his games fits perfect with a third line and he has no ego about it.

    * Olli Matta sees the game differently and has a very high Hockey IQ. Smart and talented player that rarely does the wrong thing on the ice.

    * Letang doesn’t know how to make the safe simple play consistently and never will. It’s not in his DNA to not try and make the highlight reel play. He cost the team consistent offensive pressure with too many turnovers/icing and often waste entire shifts for the forwards out their with him because they are scrambling to make up for mistakes.

    * This is the deepest Penguins team as far as having good blue collar contributions since the Stanley Cup year. They are getting contributions from players like Vitale, Bennett, Gibbons, Stempniak and Goc.

    * The Penguins for the most part have been very decisive and aggressive with their fore checking, which is causing the other team to come through the neutral zone like a deer that knows it’s hunting season instead of Bugs Bunny messing with Elmer Fudd. When playing well they are controlling the pace of play and that is a very good thing.

    * The Rangers will be more fearless coming up the ice in the next games. They can’t afford not to. There will either be a lot of high speed collisions tonight. It will lead to scoring chances for one of the two teams.

    * The Penguins have been helping out MAF better in the playoffs this year and it’s an entire team effort. It will need to continue to happen if they have any chance to win a Stanley Cup.

    * Adams, Neal, Kunitz, Letang and Crosby all have to clean up their games. They have been sloppy with the puck at times and a good offensive team will take advantage of it.

    I guess it wasn’t that quick.

  51. Nate83 says:

    Maybe not. Cain is wildly inconsistent he sometimes implodes early in games and gives up a ton of hits and runs.

  52. NMR says:

    This Pirate staff was never going to be a group who can live on strike outs. Just aren’t those types of pitchers.

    This staff is built to rely on defense, and that’s where the biggest failure has been during this 2014 season. Big league teams make you pay when you give them extra outs, and that has happened far too often.

  53. bpn8pitt says:

    From my understanding it can be managed with injections.

    But what I read said it can be very painful and if not taken care of, eventually grow larger and be life threatening.

    We’ll see I guess. The way he’s pitching, I wish our entire rotation had a hernia.

  54. Lad 9 says:

    Ad nauseum coverage of the NBA?

  55. Jandy says:

    +++++

  56. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree. Walks were an issue this weekend too.

    If Locke is pitching tonight I find this very interesting. Cause if he does walk a lot of guys tonight its on him. SF is the worst in the NL at drawing them.

  57. bpn8pitt says:

    Scratch that, SD is. Sorry.

  58. Lad 9 says:

    I saw you took an unbold reaming last night Jandy. :) If I read you right, I think the point you were trying to make was not that negative comments are not welcome – it is the repetition of the same ones (positive AND negative) over and over again. I am the same – I don’t mind someone ripping the home team if it is justified and it really has been lately. Just try to come at it from a different angle every once in a while. There are many thoughtful posters out there that do a great job of explaining what they see. It is just way too easy though, to throw out an 8 word definitive pronouncement, and then react like you have been scalded with boiling water when someone questions it…..

  59. bradthedad says:

    Kudos to Hurdle for getting run. Volquez most definitely getting squeezed. Gotta get those low strikes. IMO they were taking the low strike away in Liriano’s last start too. If V and L could the zone that AJ routinely got, there would be no problem.

  60. Lad 9 says:

    Think of Ebron like this though. He becomes in effect your third receiver, lines up out of the slot, and he could potentially dominate the middle of the field on both short and intermediate routes. As far as blocking, the Steelers always carry three tight ends, and the third one usually has mitts that use 10W40 as a hand lotion (see Matt Spaeth). There is your blocker – you would use Ebron to attack the fleld differently and give Ben a big target.

    This would require the Steelers to move off their paradigm of a typical tight end, but the NFL is changing, and that protoype may be a dinosaur in a few years. Look at Jimmy Graham, who is really a WR in sheep’s clothing. That seems to work pretty well for the Saints. I saw Ebron play against Pitt, and he would make a huge difference for the Steelers. I would rather have him than Beckham from LSU, who may or may not be the real deal. Just a thought….

  61. Baywatch says:

    I thought it was just me in the first inning with Volquez yesterday! I mean usually ROOT’s all over the close pitches with their little box that shows where the pitch came in, but they let his first two close ones go by, and Walk not offering much. I know they’re professionals and all but that’s gotta be unsettling when Edinson has come over here and done due diligence to change his career by keeping the ball low, and BAM … the ump won’t give him any low strikes.

    Brad, is your avatar of my hero, Ward Cleaver?

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    I knew it. It’s been the umpires all along. Good Lord.

  63. Baywatch says:

    Didn’t know for sure if it would be appropriate for y’all to reply here on this, but me and Mrs. Bay are going to be at PNC this coming weekend for the Cards series … What’s your favorite ballpark food in there? Now for me, I gotta factor price into “favorite.” Last time up, our budget was so tight it was the little pizza place out behind The Notch where you could get a slice of pie for $3! :-)

  64. Baywatch says:

    LOL! No, Milo, just yesterday and ANYTIME Davidson is behind the plate!

  65. JohnS says:

    The defense has been the biggest problem I have seen. There have been errors and also bad plays that don’t show up as errors. Snider’s dive against St. Louis. Earlier Pedro plays a rundown against the Brewers rather than take the easy third out at first. Again no error but runs that lead to a loss. They really need to tighten everything up.

    I wonder what management thinks of Tony Sanchez and his D. He was drafted mainly as a efensive catcher. Yikes. I am amazed at how much he moves around and stabs his mitt at the ball. You watch Martin and ther quality catchers and they are very quiet behind the plate with only subtle movements. Seems like a lot to learn in a year and that is without looking at his throwing.

  66. Sarah says:

    Good points Nate!

    I would add that Martin has done a world of good settling Letang. I dunno what Bylsma will do when Orpik comes back, but I hope he just replaces Scuderi. Though we all know THAT won’t happen.

    It’s amazing how good Sutter looks when he has actual NHL talent on his wings. Having said that, the trade-talk at the deadline seemed to jump start him also.

    Incredible how replacing slowness w speed (Gibbons for Glass) perks up the forecheck.

    Can’t agree w DK on Glass. The guy is now dead last in the NHL for Corsi. That is tough to do. Adams, much as he is mostly useless, is playing a little better. Will they both sit? Of course not. Cos Bylsma.

    Crosby is a mystery. I would have bet money he has a significant physical issue…..then he does that. So what was it? Mental? That isn’t like him either. Total mystery.

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    I got ya Bay. I was there yesterday and from my seats I couldn’t tell high or low. As far as food goes the pizza is the best bargain. The Chickie & Pete’s fries are great. I think they’re $9.50 but there’s plenty there for you & Mrs. Bay to share. I suggest trying out some of the places outside the ballpark too. Rivertowne is reasonable.

  68. Baywatch says:

    Thanks, Milo. And I really appreciate the Rivertowne suggestion, and any more suggestions y’all might have in that proximity as we’re staying downtown and will be walking to the games Friday, Saturday and Sunday night – Yep, Sunday on ESPN!

  69. tdb1977 says:

    That’s one of the places that my wife and I go to for dinner if we are going to a game. Also enjoy Manny’s and the pulled pork sandwich that is offered there.

  70. Mike Adams says:

    Craig Adams sit??? Surely you jest. You know what will freeze over before HCDB EVER sits Adams. Adams is Bylsma 15 years ago, and he scares Bylsma.

  71. Baywatch says:

    Cool! I see Rivertowne is close to Bettis’ place. We ate there once/had a few Iron Citys and enjoyed it. Forgot about that.

  72. Nate83 says:

    Is there any evidence of this? I’ve heard it said many time by many people but haven’t heard a source. What if it’s just sour grapes from two or three players that may be getting scratched instead of Adams? I think he should sit but I also could feasible see the reasoning for him not sitting is his tenure with the penguins and his long history of playoff hockey. The GM chose to keep this guy during the off season. That may also have something to do with it.

  73. Sarah says:

    Dunno Nate. Tenure should not trump talent.

    DK made some obscure reference that the coaches are “afraid” of certain players which I took to mean Adams.

    Bottom line , we have several better options, but we don’t use them.
    Same on D. See Scuderi playing while Despres is in WBS.

    Bylsma does not ice his best players.

    That’s the long and short of it IMO.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’ve opened a Redbeards downtown on 6th (same street as the Clemente Bridge). Same side of the street as DK’s Starbucks. 10% off food with your ticket stub. Market Square is also an option. The Oyster House is my favorite. My dad used to take me there as a kid. There’s also a Primanti’s.

  75. bpn8pitt says:

    +1

    Mercer. 2 on, 2 out, down by three and you are 1 for your last 26. Two strikes, you have to protect the plate.

    Yeah, it was the umpires fault yesterday…

  76. Baywatch says:

    Cool! Dropping all these into my folder! Those fries look nice at Redbeard’s … and maybe Mrs. Bay will let me get a little messed up on that Miller Lite Draft special since I’m not driving! :-) And boy, you can find out about anything on the Internet … Chickie & Pete’s behind sections 129-131, “Pop’s Plaza!” That looks pretty good, too, with that Crab Seasoning!

  77. Jandy says:

    Primanti’s is coming to Altoona this October or November :)

  78. Jandy says:

    ” If I read you right, I think the point you were trying to make was not that negative comments are not welcome – it is the repetition of the same ones (positive AND negative) over and over again. ”

    Zactly, Lad! And I even was nice with Mr. Steelag about it.

    I also pushed back a little against the Boss…just had to ;)

  79. Dom says:

    When you said, “Mrs. Bay,” my first reaction was that you were dating Jason Bay’s wife.

  80. Baywatch says:

    She got NOTHIN’ on the real Mrs. Bay! :-)

  81. bradthedad says:

    Good catch. It is.

  82. bradthedad says:

    Ahh, Milo…it was a big enough deal that your base coach and manager got run for it. Something was going on.

  83. Nastynate82 says:

    Alexandre Daigle is one that rarely gets mentioned as a huge bust. I like how he said “no one remembers who went second.” It was Chris Pronger haha.

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    It was just nice to see an old fashioned argument for a change.

  85. Rico says:

    While I acknowledge that the Rangers are surely tired thanks to a brutal schedule (that they could have partially avoided btw if they had taken care of business vs the Flyers), nothing is gonna make me care about that fact. If it were the other way around and the Pens were overextended, do you think for one minute that the NY media and fans would be spending precious time worrying about our exhaustion? Of course not. They’d be talking about the Pens crying and whining, even if just one fan on one obscure blog mentioned it, and they’d be trumpeting every victory as if they were the greatest team in the history of the world. Also, as last night’s game shows, no matter what the guys skating around are doing, if Henry the Great is playing stone wall, then the NYR will always be in the game. (And as their own coach said, if that guy isn’t tired, then nobody should be.) So here’s hoping the Pens keep the petal to the metal and their collective skates on NY’s throats, and soon the Rangers can settle down for a nice, extended summertime nap.

  86. Can someone tell me why the Steelers GM Colbert told reporters today that he was glad that Mike Adams was a Steeler after what just happened?

  87. scapper says:

    Ever since I saw that line (“…afraid of some players…”) in the chat, I’ve been wondering about it but mostly from a journalistic standpoint. It was just a chat, but I’d still like to have seen some sort of attribution, even if a rather vague “according to some players.”

    I can’t imagine that sort of line would fly in an actual column without some sort of attribution, yet it’s tossed out there in the chat and next thing you know, it becomes some sort of given that people keep mentioning. I’d be more comfortable knowing where that came from. Other coaches? The trainer? Shero? Three players? Is it just DK’s take on things? Was it something gleaned from a lot of off-the-record talks all journalists do and should have?

    And if the answer is, “Well, it was only in the chat,” my question to that is, “But it was done on the Trib’s site.”

    I’m not upset by it at all, just curious. Perhaps that’s the reality of the new journalism with chats and blogs and Twitter.

  88. bradthedad says:

    I’m with you on that one. I just hope ‘the replay experiment’ doesn’t obsolete them.

  89. Sarah says:

    And what did it mean really?
    Like physically afraid??
    Really?

  90. Nate83 says:

    I wasn’t saying I think it should trump talent. I was saying we don’t have any evidence besides that obscure reference that coaches are afraid of certain players. I know sources can’t be named in situations like this but it’s impossible to know the context without knowing the source. Like I said it could be sour grapes. It could be not trusting the other options in playoff style hockey. Adams has been bad but he still is skating around hitting people. Isn’t Despres considered a soft player?

    It also could be the coach afraid of GM. They chose to keep Adams the aren’t stuck with him at the end of a contract. Possible much more politics involved then any of us could know. Same with Scuderi. Wasn’t his contract 3 years?

  91. Sarah says:

    The how could he play like that last night?

  92. Jandy says:

    Awwww Dom, there you go, being cute again :)

  93. Jandy says:

    pffffttt!!!

    ;)

  94. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sooo, Lad, how does Bylsma bashing fit into this? Methinks there is a little bit of depends on who’s doing the repeats going on, positive or negative.

  95. Sarah says:

    Despres? No, not soft at all. he and Borts are really the 2 most physical D we have.
    He’s just in Bylsma’s doghouse for some reason.

    I can understand not trusting other options, up to a point. But we had the division sewed up early, all those other options, Despres, Borts, Megna, Vitale, Gibbons, Sill, should have been tested EXTENSively to give them experience and know if they could be trusted in the playoffs.

    Bylsma never did that.

    He just loves Adams.
    Or is afraid of him.

    Whatever, the guy will NEVER be scratched, which is a shame.
    And don’t think that doesn’t affect the rest of the locker room.

  96. scapper says:

    I think “love” as a player seems more valid than “afraid.” I remember years ago Shero laughing and saying, “I think I’d have to fight Dan Bylsma if I asked him to sit Craig Adams.”

  97. Naterosboro says:

    I will offer this as a reason why Craig Adams continues to dress…

    he’s one of the team’s most experienced penalty killers.

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with you guys on the defense being a big problem. The whole ground ball/shifts philosophy is built on good defense. AJ leaving didn’t mess that up.

  99. Jandy says:

    I didn’t say a word about DB

    :blink:

  100. Jandy says:

    Truth!

  101. Dom says:

    He has no plans on releasing him.

    If he said he was ashamed Adams was a Steeler, it would look hypocritical if he didn’t cut him.

  102. scapper says:

    I don’t have an issue with him playing or not. I just have an issue with the whole “He’s a afraid of Adams” thing that seems to taken for granted when we have no idea where that comes from, or if Adams was even the player(s) DK was refering to.

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wasn’t talking about you, Jandy. I was talking to Lad about his take on what’s happening on the blog.

    :blink:

  104. Jandy says:

    Try some mascara, AW, it helps you blink sexier ;)

  105. Nate83 says:

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying but just to look at it from another angle it is possible that with all the injuries they just wanted to get as much continuity as possible with the players they thought would be part of playoff roster. The team wasn’t able to play with a lot of their pieces and parts throughout the season any time spent at the end of the years skating together was valuable.

  106. Jandy says:

    scapper, I’m not taking sides in this, but I remember that Dejan did reference something about DB being intimidated by some of the players. I can’t say for sure who he was talking about.
    It would be nice if he would clarify, though :)

  107. Out of 15 MLB teams, the Pirates are 14th in starters’ era, whereas last year, the Bucs’ starters were 4th in era, and only Gerrit Cole among the starters is below 4 in era so far this season, and you wonder why the Pirates are doing as badly at this point as they have been, since they are 8-9 at home and only 4-10 on the road.

  108. Arriba Wilver says:

    Smh

  109. Jandy says:

    LOL!

  110. Naterosboro says:

    absolutely, and I think that’s why DK said what he said above. Starting pitching and defense have been well below par. Those were two big reasons for 94 wins last season. The players that performed last season, that are being counted on to do so again this season, so far haven’t.

    Time is on their side tho. There’s still plenty of games left to sort things out.

    That said, they need to do so sooner rather than later.

  111. Mike A. says:

    …and finished every swing one-handed.

  112. Lad 9 says:

    I just think that belaboring a point, any point, doesn’t further a discussion. That is just my way – I know a lot of people whose debate style is to hammer one point. I just don’t think it is constructive. For example, I just read a book by David Halberstam. Well respected author, there were a lot of facts in there that I didn’t know, and I learned a lot. However, I will never read another one of his books. The reason is that he said the same things over and over, to the point where he probably added a hundred unneccessary pages to what could have been a great book.

    I tend to say something and get out, and if it is relevant and correct, maybe someone will respond or remember it. Just my preference. I someone wants to bash, bash away. Just don’t be a one-trick pony.

  113. Naterosboro says:

    true statement.

    Adams seems to have become a bit of a scapegoat for the ills of the Penguins. If the Penguins aren’t winning games or playing well, I can guarantee the play of Craig Adams is not the reason.

    Same is true for the reverse (if they are playing well and winning, it’s not because of Craig Adams).

    He’s a small role player that plays minimal minutes. If the game is won & lost in these minutes, then others are not doing their jobs.

  114. Sarah says:

    Do you think Adams is a good PKer?

  115. Sarah says:

    He plays prime minutes.
    He is on the 1PK and he is out there in the last minutes of tied or 1goal games.

    He plays important minutes that win or lose games.

  116. Sarah says:

    Experienced and Good being two rather different things.

  117. hockeymonster says:

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2014-05-04-rangers-penguins

    Am i reading this right? Goc had 20% of his starts in ozone and had a CF of 85.6% ??? I say we get his TOI up a bit…

  118. Jandy says:

    I don’t follow all those Corsi numbers, but my eye test likes Goc and I have no problem with increasing his ice time. Who do you sit?

  119. hockeymonster says:

    I would put him out there with geno and real deal for draws. Then have jussi jump on for him. Definitely in NZ where Goc can win the draw and scoot off for jussi. Goc-sutter-BB/stempy sounds intriguing too. Sutter can take strong side draws as long as Joey V keeps it going.

  120. Jandy says:

    I’m liking the Goc signing more and more. Hope we can keep him a while.

  121. Jandy says:

    Pssst…bpn, you forgot to squeal on me (to NMR) ;)

  122. hockeymonster says:

    He’s close to jammin one home off the pads. He’s bought property on center lane dr.

  123. bigchinook says:

    Glass and Adams together are killing the team. Nice move to sit Glass and inject some speed and tenacity with Gibbons. Adams happened to play one of his better games of the playoffs last night, coincidence with Glass out?

  124. Naterosboro says:

    Penguins penalty kill was 5th in the NHL during the regular season (85%). Right now, it’s 10th in the playoffs at 80% (28/35).

    I do not think Craig Adams is the sole reason for this.

    Just as I don’t think it was Craig Adams’ play that had them as 5th best in the NHL for the season.

    Again, if games are won/lost because of Adams, others are not performing to the level needed to win a Stanley Cup.

  125. Sarah says:

    He is the last person who should be out there protecting late leads. He is awful 5 on 5.
    The only reason he has playing time is because Bylsma has a crush on him.

    Of course he’s not the ONLY reason anything happens.
    That doesn’t change the fact that he is one of the NHLs worst 4 on 5 or 5 on 5, and that there are several much better options.

  126. Sarah says:

    We’ll I’d be happy if JJ never went near Geno.
    Perfectly happy w him w Sutter, Stemp, BB…..anybody.

  127. Naterosboro says:

    And yet, the Pens were one of the better regular season teams, winning their division and finishing #2 in the East. Now they’re in the ECSemis with a good opportunity to advance to the ECFinals.

    All while Adams plays valuable minutes.

    Maybe he does mean more to this team than I thought….

 
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