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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Steelers bigger, stronger, faster

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

NEW YORK — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column from Game 6 really tiptoes around what Game 7 could mean for Pittsburgh’s hockey club.

The game story, by beat man Rob Rossi, attempts to locate the captain.

Where there’s a will, the Rangers are finding a way, by Josh Yohe.

Henrik Lundqvist stands tallest, by Denis Gorman.

News and notes, by Yohe.

Here’s Marcel Goc celebrating a goal he didn’t score, from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

Blogginess from the scene: In addition to having another rotten game, Sidney Crosby didn’t exactly acquit himself well in terms of behavior. Here’s video of a spear to Dominic Moore’s bad area. That’s lousy. And it’s a shame, independently, that the NHL has reduced this act to almost nothing in terms of punishment. Like I wrote the other day in relation to Milan Lucic, everyone knows they can do it. … As for the game itself, there just really, truly isn’t much to add from the column. I could parse over line changes, matchups, who might play, who might not, and none of it matters in the slightest if the team plays without passion. … It was intelligent to have Matt Niskanen back on the top power play. There. … It also was nuts that he was ever not on it. … Hang on, let me see if I can think of something else before we hit the road here. … (long pause) … Nope. That’s it.

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

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

>> The Pirates had a pretty painful loss of their own. Rob Biertempfel reports from PNC Park. That Chris Horner pic up there is of Yadi Molina starting a game-ending double play for St. Louis after the Pirates had the bases loaded with nobody out, down a run.

Don Draper was there, too, by Bob Cohn.

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

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Steelers’ draft came with a surprising element in that they waited until the fifth round to address their most glaring need at cornerback, but the rest shaped up as no surprise at all. And no, not just because the Trib’s football writers, Alan Robinson and Mark Kaboly, amazingly predicted five of the nine picks in Thursday morning’s mock draft.

In a way, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert went all raw in addressing what the Steelers were missing most: Being the Steelers.

More than anything in these back-to-back 8-8 seasons, what they lacked was the physical capability to make plays on defense. Meaning speed, size and strength. To me, the defining moment of the season came in London when Adrian Peterson just destroyed pretty much all 11 guys on the field with that 60-yard touchdown run.

In case you’ve forgotten …

It was humiliation on an international stage. It was 0-4. It was one man beating a franchise through speed and brute strength. It was as low a moment as anyone could picture for the Steelers in the Tomlin era.

So in that sense alone, no, it shouldn’t surprise that Ryan Shazier was taken first to fill inside linebacker, that exact spot that Peterson and others exploited all last fall against overmatched Vince Williams and out-of-position Troy Polamalu. It shouldn’t surprise that Dri Archer was added as the fastest player in the draft for an extra burst to the offense that, really, had only Antonio Brown providing that. It shouldn’t surprise that Stephon Tuitt was added at defensive end to seal the outside running lanes that an older Brett Keisel had been leaving open. And it most definitely shouldn’t surprise that mammoth Daniel McCullers — 6-7, 350 — was added as a longer-term project at nose tackle. Casey Hampton was missed last season so much more than anyone wanted to admit, plugging that middle.

Warren Sapp called the Steelers ‘old, slow and done’ a couple years ago, and Pittsburgh understandably snapped back. He was right then. He won’t be anymore.

That’s not to suggest this is a perfect draft. I’ll repeat that I’d have loved to see corner addressed by something much more than a fifth-rounder, Shaquille Richardson, with some serious red flags. That was irresponsible and, to an extent, delusional about what’s currently in house. I also wouldn’t have minded seeing greater priority put on getting Ben Roethlisberger another weapon than fourth-round receiver Martavis Bryant.

But overall, I can’t quibble with the mindset that clearly went into this draft, nor its execution in that regard.

Looking beyond the draft this morning is beat man Alan Robinson.

Five reasons to love or loathe this class, by Robinson.

A report card, by Mark Kaboly.

Terry Hanratty, one of a kind, a column by Joe Starkey.

And it you missed it, my Friday column looked at Shazier and the urgency to get it right.

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

Here’s the official NFL Draft Tracker, set to the Steelers tab for you. All of their picks are there at a glance, with tons of accompanying info and video.

>> Here’s how to subscribe to the various versions of the Trib, including the e-Trib edition.

>> I’ll check in with Ken Laird on TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. on yet another Turnpike ride.

>> 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.


  1. Andrew says:

    But what happens if the Penguins win game seven?

  2. J Walter Weatherman says:

    The past 5 years of the Penguins may one day be looked at as one of the biggest disappointments in Pittsburgh sports history. When you look at the relative weakness of the Eastern Conference, there’s no excuse for those rosters to not have made the SC Finals in at least 2 of the seasons since they last won the Cup. Who really knows how much of the blame Shero, Blysma, and Crosby share with this era of disappointment, but they all deserve the criticism they are receiving.

    I said this in the game blog, but I can’t recall a team so easy for a fan base to criticize. They come across as a bunch of underachieving superstars, who fall flat when the going gets tough. Not the type of team that endears itself to an overwhelmingly blue collar fan base.

  3. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Then we have the same discussions during the Bruins series.

  4. theplanisworking says:


  5. theplanisworking says:


    first, loved the column. You present a rational, logical discussion of the problems at hand. Your points are mostly spot on. But, in all seriousness, do you really think that LeMieux/Burkle will find the courage to act?

    “I’m told ownership is fed up. They’re furious.”
    Really? Where was this fury last year when Boston completely embarrassed the team, and they showed no leadership or composure? Are they furious because the sellout streak is in danger, or because they really want to win?

    If game 7 is lost, I foresee a lot of silence, some mealy-mouthed excuses, and no changes in regards to coach/GM. I foresee Mario saying that the players need to be more accountable, and ‘discussions’ were held with the coach/GM to that end. Then, Shero can continue to mangle the cap, and give extensions to undeserving players, and the circle of life can continue for a couple more years.

    After all, don’t you understand how tough it is to win the Cup? Don’t you understand how well Bylsma does getting his teams to the playoffs? Just pay no attention to the constant losses to inferior teams, pay no attention to the players having horrible efforts, pay n attention to the coaches refusing to match lines, or make the correct sustitutions. Just pay attention to all those regular season points, and the $$$ that results from sellouts.

  6. DJ says:

    We’ve forgotten where the center of the ice is.

    How many times do we come straight down Broadway only to pass to Seventh Avenue or Avenue of the Americas?

  7. DJ says:

    To address some points, posted this on game thread:

    “No one is getting rid of Crosby or Malkin.

    Everyone/everything else needs to be on table.

    Need playoff-type complementary players: effort, heart, tough, smart.

    No ECF, Dan must go.

    Hoping for miracle Tuesday night.”

  8. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Martavis Bryant is a beast. Projected 2nd rounder and one of the top WR in the draft. Big, physical and fast. Just what they needed. Steal of the draft-write it down….if they actually use him, unlike Wheaton last year.

    Dri Archer…..graduated from my high school. Perhaps the 1st from there drafted that high for football (usually a baseball school).

  9. wvstarship says:

    Tough words in your new column DK, but they ring hollow to me.

    Aren’t you the guy who just 4 short days ago referred to the Rangers as “wretched”?

    And what about this quote: “These Rangers aren’t worth a return trip to the Garden.”

    I’m sure if the Pens manage to pull out game 7 you’ll be slobbering all over them again , so spare us the fake indignation.

  10. hockeymonster says:

    Sure would be nice to have a steady physical presence against a player like kreider. Maybe orpik isn’t so bad after all…eh?

  11. DJ says:

    Really miss Billy Guerin.

    Leadership, maturity, attitude-setter.

  12. Have the Pens lost their nerve or what? And as for the Pirates, well, they always lose this way anymore: the bases loaded, nobody out, bottom of the 9th, someone strikes out or pops it up, then the next batter doubles up since nobody can get a clutch hit. Why? Have you all got any ideas? Good night!

  13. DJ says:

    Yeah, DK, this is all YOUR fault!

    Where do these people come from?

    WV + starship . . . hmmm.

  14. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, the Pirates battled back, and showed some effort.
    The Pens showed zero!!

    I do not criticize effort.
    I do criticize coaches/players that quit.

  15. Steelag70 says:

    I read something today where a scout was told by Clemson coaches that Bryant actually plays faster than Sammy Watkins…I agree..he is a beast! I loved the Archer pick too..another weapon to the offense and return teams…

  16. DJ says:

    As we’ve seen, THEIR plan is not working.

  17. wvstarship says:

    At no time did I say or imply it was his fault! If fact, I don’t see where you got that idea at all.

    But your post does prove a point: Your first instinct was to insult my home in the same way the Pittsburgh media like to trash other cities and their teams. Maybe there’s something in your water or air that makes you that way.

    Or maybe you’re just a yinzer being a yinzer.

  18. joe walsh says:

    walter, i couldnt have said it any better if i tried. underachieving superstars for sure

  19. theplanisworking says:

    Now THAT is funny ! :D

  20. DJ says:

    Trashing by media? Fake indignation? Slobbering all over the Pens? Really?

    Yes, I can see you’ve kept yourself fully updated.

  21. DJ says:

    . . . and sorry about that starship reference.

    [pause while takes hand out of cookie jar]

    . . . well okay, and WV as well.

    [slinks away while hangs head in shame]

  22. Mizery says:

    We all care more about the Penguins than the Penguins do.

    Pirates pitching is just not coming around yet.

    My two thoughts watching the games today.

  23. Kiki Berkey says:

    I love what the Steelers did in the draft. Although CB & TE depth are big needs. We’ll see how the season goes. I’m optimistic. I thought the Pirates were going to come back and win that game. So close. I really wished Davis took at least one pitch. I mean. You have to after they walk Barmes on 4 pitches! I repeat. Walk Barmes on 4 pitches! Pirates are proving to be resilient. They’ll be fine. IMO. The Pens can’t change their lack of effort the last 2 games. They can for Game 7. They better. No excuse. My advice? Come out hard and fast. Get in Lundqvist face. Shoot the puck every chance you get. Look at the goal the Pens scored tonight as a reason. I’m optimistic they’ll play good. This group doesn’t have a choice.

  24. Kiki Berkey says:

    It worked for Games 2 through 4. Then, they got comfortable & turned the switch off.

  25. MikeVee says:

    I’m baffled how the finger points to 87 when I know every true fan out there has witnessed the last 12 games. I’ve said pretty much the same thing for past 4 seasons. Sid’s job is to put points on the board and control the game with his offensive skill. He was beatin to a pulp by Brandon Dubinsky last series and by Staal and Moore this series. EVERY team knows that if you take him off his game, you defeat the Pens. This goes for Malkin as well, but lets keep in mind Sid is facing the top pairing in addition to taking the brunt of the abuse. This has nothing to do with Sid’s toughness but more of being a bit more hesitant to physically engage than he would have pre-concussion. You now have a hesitant and frustrated star. This problem and the Pens timidness could have been eliminated by playing a playoff roster. Why is Adams in instead of Glass or Engelland, preferably both. What happened to the gritty in your face Bortuzzo? If you go after a star then the Pens should be pounding the culprit and going after their stars. Orpik has the only hit that mattered against an opponents key player when he nailed Brad Richards. Tonight Kunitz needed to step in on the Crosby abuse. I mean it’s so bad even Pierre McGuire has commented on this. Do we really want Kunitz being our “muscle”? This series should have been over in Pittsburgh days ago but the passive Pens have absolutely no heart or team pride and a coach that just doesn’t know how to prepare a team. We can hope all we want that Sid turns into Lucic with 10 times more offensive skill but it won’t happen. What will happen is the captain will wind up getting hurt and the ship will go down. We will then be hoping they can make the playoffs. The only way this team can win is with a super aggressive forecheck and forcing turnovers and giving the stars room to make plays. It’s not hard but this roster can’t do it consistently. Right now the Rags think they can win and they know they can push the Pens around and take cheap shots on the stars and that includes running over Fleury (again, no response). I expect the same Tuesday night and IF the Pens win, I look forward to the Bruins, that should really be a nightmare.

  26. Plays faster than Watkins? Because of better route-running? Smarter? More athletic laterally?

  27. Read this twice. Didn’t make much sense either time, but I’ll give it a go.

    Nothing changed about my intonation related to the Penguins or the Rangers in the span you describe. The Rangers themselves described their play through and including Game 4 in richly negative terms. What I wrote criticizing them was scarcely opinion. And in this piece, I describe them again as being nothing special right there in the third paragraph.

    The Rangers weren’t worth a return trip to the Garden. That’s now more obvious than ever.

    And if you think I either slobber over something or that what I write isn’t genuine, I’ve got a good idea for you: Don’t read. Ever. Because why would you?

  28. Baywatch says:

    So long, Pittsburgh! Got to stay downtown this time around for our Cardinals series, and it was nothing short of magical for us! Already can’t wait to return! Guess we’ll do Texas and MLB.TV again for another couple years.

  29. OldSoldier21 says:

    Mario Lemi

  30. OldSoldier21 says:

    66 & 68 managed to win 2 cups during their time together. They did that in consecutive seasons. The current dynamic duo managed to go 1 & 1 in their two consecutive cup runs. Winning the Stanley

  31. OldSoldier21 says:

    As I was trying to say, winning the cup is hard. If the savior and the 68 could not get to the finals 3 times, why are we so surprised this group is having difficulty in their time together?

    In the garage league, things like this happen. The rules for the cup seem to be enforced differently. Head hunting, like Staal has shown us — is just “good old school hockey” according to the talking heads, and apparently the league officials. It seems to me that “tough guys” are supposed to win this test, not super stars…… Until the Pens get some muscle and coarse grit to go with the skill, they will not succeed.

  32. Tom P. says:

    Glad you had a good time. Thanks for bringing home 2 out of three wins.

  33. cherokee23 says:

    Good post!

  34. Thundercrack says:

    This is a funny space. The Pirates get criticized for not spending enough money and the Penguins seemed to get criticized for generating a lot of money.

    It’s almost a shame that this has become such a big part of sports and discussions about sports. Not the wins & losses.

  35. Thundercrack says:

    Excellent article DK – especially for someone like me who really follows the Pens by just reading the papers and listening to the talk shows (and reading posts here). I usually turn the games on just to check the score.
    Your article told me all I need to know, especially this golden line:

    For crying out loud, the Rangers’ Rick Nash, who can skate with eggs in his pocket and not crack one for weeks, actually hit someone in this game!

  36. JAL says:

    JAL’s Bike Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Week In Review: Polanco Offer, Roster Moves, Prospect Reports, 2014 Draft

    Prospect Watch: Locke Has a Great Start; Hanson, Jones, and Rojas Homer

    Prospect Reports: Breaking Down Nick Kingham’s Stuff Against Akron

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates fail to bring home tying run in 9th, lose 6-5

    Postgame: Bucs fall just one hit short in 6-5 loss

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington Responds to Barry Larkin Comments

    Pirates Lose In Familiar Fashion, Rough Road Ahead

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Leave Bases Full, No Outs In Ninth To Lose 6-5 Heartbreaker

    5/11: Rip, Kravitz Walk-Off Granny, The Great One, 11 In A Row, Frankie Debuts, Great Pitching, More….

    9 Rant Sports

    Vance Worley Could Help Pittsburgh Pirates At Some Point in 2014

    10 Pirates 101

    A Recap of the Last Time the Pittsburgh Pirates Hosted ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball

  37. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Johnstown Tribune Democrat

    Cardinals stave off Pirates late rally bid

    12 CBS Sports

    Cardinals 6 Pirates 5

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Doubts about Cubs’ offense high after sweep in Atlanta

    14 Lindy’s sports

    Pirates still unsure of Grilli’s return date

    15 Pirates Site

    After frustrating first, Bucs’ rallies wiped out

    Notebook: Cutch good to go for finale against Cardinals

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Through my Lens: Ted Kremer’s spirit is infectious

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers lineup gets thinner as injuries mount

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards pull off miracle escape

    19 Fangraphs

    The Royals Bunt to Not Win, Succeed

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

  38. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers draft review: ‘Can’t act, can’t sing. Can dance a little.’

    Steelers 2014 Draft: The best pick, the worst pick and the most surprising pick


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    The FA Commission’s B Teams plan – should the focus be elsewhere?

    23 BBC Football

    Premier League: Garth Crooks’s Team of the Season

    Liverpool: Premier League near-miss offers hope for the future

    24 World Soccer

    The only people who might not enjoy the World Cup? The fans


    25 Pensburgh

    Monday Pens Points: Game 7 It Is

  39. JoeyBats says:

    BUCCOS — Down on the Farm
    (We’ll keep you apprised of how some of the top prospects are doing; …..this week pitchers. Games played through May 11)
    P – Jeff Locke – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws: L
    W- 1, L – 2, ERA 4.50…..G 6, IP 32, H 35, ER 16, K 32, BB 8, HR 4, BAA .271, WHIP 1.42
    P- Vin Mazzaro – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws : R
    W- 1, L – 0, 2 Save…. ERA 0.00…..G 7, IP 10.2, H 3, ER 0, K 8, BB 3, HR 0, BAA .091, WHIP 0.56
    P- Casey Sadler – Triple A – Indianapolis – Throws: R
    W- 3, L – 1, ERA 2.56…..G 5, IP 31.2, H 29, ER 9, K 21, BB 6, HR 1, BAA .252, WHIP 1.11
    P – Nick Kingham – Double A – Altoona – Throws: R
    W- 1, L – 3, ERA 3.41…..G 7 IP 37, H 39, ER 14, K 31, BB 17, HR 0, BAA .271, WHIP 1.51
    P – Joely Rodriguez – Double A –Altoona – Throws : L
    W- 1, L – 3, ERA 5.22…..G 6, IP 29.1, H 38, ER 17, K 10, BB 8, HR 2, BAA .317, WHIP 1.57
    P – Tyler Glasnow – Single A – Bradenton – Throws R
    W- 0, L – 3, ERA 3.71…..G 4, IP 17, H 8, ER 7, K 15, BB 15, HR 0, BAA .140, WHIP 1.35
    P – Luis Heredia – Single A – West Virginia – Throws : R …..ON THE DL
    W- 0, L – 1, ERA 7.20…..G 2, IP 5, H 6, ER 4, K 3, BB 2, HR 0, BAA .286, WHIP 1.60

  40. Pucknutz says:

    “two of the least passionate postseason performances in franchise history”

    Absolutely inexcusable.
    I am usually one of the “glass half full” type of guys….no longer.
    Clean house. Sid and Geno not untouchable. Start all over.
    They have lost my “passion”. Not even gonna watch game 7.

  41. Jandy says:

    Ha! Those cookies were moldy anyway…or was that space dust I saw??? Uranus…

  42. Jandy says:

    If they lose game 7, I do believe that will be the straw that broke the camel’s back. No more woop, woop. I do believe the chit will hit the fan.

  43. Jandy says:

    Even if they WIN Game 7, the chit will hit the fan.

  44. bpn8pitt says:

    If you go back and look at the Steelers last two draft classes, I’m really surprised at the optimism for this one. As some of your colleagues said last night Dejan, the Steelers are no longer adding depth as much as their fixing mistakes from recent misses in the draft. I’m still unsure about guys from 2012 and 2013. Highly doubt some of these guys stepping in right away.

    Watched more of the Pirate game than Pens, but if you are writing tickets out of town, start with James Neal. Commits way too many penalties.

  45. Jandy says:


  46. Jandy says:


  47. Jandy says:

    I cannot believe the difference in Neal. Last season, he was very good. This season….ugh…it’s like an alien took over his body and is trying to make him the biggest buffoon on the ice.

  48. DJ says:

    Before Game 6 said would welcome the return of physicality of Game 4. Not stupid play, just heavy forechecking, toughness on puck and battling for every 50/50 puck as we saw in that game.

    Every series is different and you need adjustments. Recall Game 1 of the Bruins series last spring. We came out in first 10-12 minutes and hit everything that moved, many senseless and with no effect. Bruins weather storm and win going away.

    But once you get a sense of what has worked or will work in a series, how about sticking with it? For more than one game or even more than one period. Like the style we played in Game 4 where we pummeled the Rangers when they were still weary, had controlled breakouts with great spacing and puck support, had Nisky and Martin running the PP. Why tinker with that?

    Someone needs to step up in Game 7 and set the tone. On OUR ice and in OUR building. To borrow from DK’s recent column, we need EFFORT from everyone, something grossly lacking the last 2 games.

  49. Jandy says:

    Finally someone else who sees that Sid isn’t the problem. He isn’t even a big part of it. This team has no heart or passion. It’s playing poorly as a team. That isn’t on Sid. Not saying he’s blameless, but man, he can’t do it all himself.

  50. Wild Bill says:

    Agree on much of what you write about the Steelers, bpn. Maybe they’ll be good players, maybe not. At the same time, I’ve felt that way about most Steeler draftees for a long time. The last one I really thought was guaranteed to be good was Polamalu. Even with Ben, I wasn’t sure how he’d turn out. So you draft for potential and develop as best you can, I guess.

  51. DJ says:

    Commented after Game 5 where I watched Neal circle at our blue line the entire night while our D-men and his linemates struggled with Rangers’ heavy forecheck in our D-zone.

    Maybe he’s pouting because they took Geno off his line. Whatever the reason, don’t really care. No reason for taking the entire game off if you’re a professional.

    He’s far from alone.

  52. Wild Bill says:

    With the teams playing the Pens, the strategy will always be defensively: try to take away Crosby and Malkin from being a factor, and take your chances with the rest. Relentless forechecking is also a key, but it is key for every team.

    If the Pens do the forechecking on Tuesday, the Pens will win. If not, the Pens will be done. The more smartly aggressive team wins, period.

  53. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said Walt, particularly the last paragraph.

  54. Jandy says:


    Agreed, DJ, but man, it’s so disappointing.

  55. The Czar says:

    When will we see some young arms get a shot in the rotation? That ninth inning loss was painful.
    Only gripe for Steelers draft was waiting so long to snag a CB. Why not draft more than one as well?
    As for the Penguins, seems like they don’t have that killer instinct to finish a series. Where are the superstars?!? Its been too quiet again this postseason.

  56. JAL says:

    Mazzaro is in the majors, pitched in last night’s game

  57. Wild Bill says:

    Feeling the same way, Nutzie. Can hardly stand to watch, and an organizational retool is in order.

  58. radio wave says:

    I didn’t read these types of things when it was pens up 3-1. Not Jandy in particular, but the blog overall. I am shocked at the turn of events.

  59. DJ says:

    Let’s not forget Sid and Geno have won one Cup. We can do it again but we need to reassess every component. There is a formula / style for the playoffs and we need to recapture it.

    In the meantime, let’s just win the next one by remembering what HAS worked in this series and what HAS NOT worked in this series and have everyone committed to the plan.

  60. radio wave says:

    Glad you had fun. I can’t believe they couldn’t tie it the bases loaded none out.

  61. SeanAY says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure why the streak of sell outs keeps coming up as a negative.

    In fact, I think it’s kind of dumb.

  62. radio wave says:

    Plus plus plus plus

  63. SeanAY says:

    I agree that the Pens have been terribly underachieving…but I still have a hard time with the assertion that they should have made the Cup finals AT LEAST four times since 2008.

    Even if they had played with passion every round, which they surely have not…I mean, the other guys are on scholarship, too.

  64. BillyBaduka says:

    I understand where you’re at Pucks.

  65. Jandy says:

    I’m happy for you, radio, that you can take joy in the Rangers turning the tables on the Pens. No one else, tho! ;)

  66. Jandy says:

    I think what the general thought process is, is what is also touted when the Bucs had their long losing streak. Hold out on the tickets, etc, and ownership will have to change things so the team can win. Seriously, I think that’s all there is to it.

    Not saying it’s right or wrong, or good or bad, just simple as that.

    How goes it SeanAY?

  67. Robert says:

    I’m might be in the minority, but it’s time to let Neal be the villain and play with Crosby & Kunitz. He has the size & tenacity to deal punishment (and not talking knees to the head of defenseless players). He’s good at finding space to get shots, and he battles down low. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Anyone who can toss Blake Wheeler like a puppet can make more room for 87, even if he has to get overaggressive to do it. It’s the NHL playoffs. They won’t call anything.

  68. Jandy says:

    Puckers, I was so angry last night, I didn’t even yell at the television. Now THAT’S bad!

  69. Jandy says:

    hey, I’m all for trying anything, but the way Neal has been playing lately (perimeter, kinda like Ovechkin), I doubt he’d do the dirty work. But…go for it, can’t hurt, right?

  70. Wild Bill says:

    This is an interesting idea.

  71. DJ says:

    I’d move Neal up as well. Anything to motivate him and jump start that line.

    But he needs to play smart. He’s got a bullseye on his rear with the refs

  72. Pucknutz says:

    Felt that way in game 5…..figured I would give em another chance….NO more.
    Shut it off last night after Sid takes a penalty end of 2nd.

  73. chethejet1 says:

    I have been posting and saying if the Pens had a Chris Neil, this crap wouldn’t happen. Shero and maybe Mario are responsible for Crosby being mugged out there. Bylsma has to go as he quite frankly is “liked” by the players and that is a bad thing for a coach in professional position. Players tuned him out two years ago, and Shero brings him back…. On just that issue both have to go ASAP. Shero fights for Bylsma and not Crosby? Package deal in Washington where incompetence is rewarded at the highest of levels.

  74. 21sthebest says:

    Safe travels Bay!

  75. AL says:

    Maybe we should bring in that Bar Rescue guy John what’s his face?
    I’m sure he knows a good coaching mixologist, power play mixologist, even strength mixologist and motivational mixologist.
    His methods seem to work.

  76. theplanisworking says:

    The only thing dumb, is calling another person’s opinion dumb.

    The question one must ask is this…….. is this ownership group more concerned with the sellout streak, or winning the Cup? I would say that the lack of chamges after last year’s Bruin series showed that winning the Cup was not the top priority. Having a coach that plays ‘exciting’ hockey in the regular season, which makes $$$ by putting butts in seats seems to be top priority.

    If you think that is dumb, I have nothing for you, I guess.

  77. Robert says:

    And I’d play Malkin w/ Jokinen & Bennett. It has been productive before. And Stempniak has been nearly invisible. Megna would be an upgrade there, in my opinion.

  78. SeanAY says:

    Then I guess it’s just odd to me that we are talking about holding out on a team that has committed the ghastly sin of not playing to potential by not going to the Cup finals as often as some would like.

    Gosh, is 2004 so long ago? Have we forgotten the names Brian Holzinger? Richard Lintner?

    Man, we are SPOILED. Got too much too fast, and we didn’t have to earn it.

  79. They talk about how the Rangers have shown more passion and grit due partly to the death of St. Louis’ mother, but that still doesn’t excuse the Pens’ corresponding lack of the above and their seeming lack of ability to win at home.

  80. SeanAY says:

    If someone doesn’t have any solid backing for an opinion, I think it’s fair to call it out as foolish, yes.

    We all know what opinions are like, and we are all entitled to one.

    I just don’t understand why you and others bring up the sell out streak as some fantastic failing, either on the part of the Pens or by the fans for not holding the team “accountable” or something.

  81. Robert says:

    DJ’s “bullseye” point is fair.

  82. Thundercrack says:

    I am not as high on Bryan Morris now as I was in ST and early in the season

  83. AL says:

    chet…..not sure I agree with you that it’s bad for a coached to be liked. I think “likeable” coaches like Bob Johnson, Tony Dungy and Jim Leyland were all liked but they also won a Stanley Cup, a Super Bowl and a World Series.

  84. DJ says:

    You won’t see Megna in Game 7 because Scuderi is still playing.

  85. Jandy says:

    Yes, we ARE spoiled. But I’m thinking some of these current players are, too!

  86. theplanisworking says:

    When someone has to resort to calling another person’s opinion foolish, that speaks volumes about that person. Consider yourself spoken for.

    The sellout streak isn’t some failing. Never said that. I have repeatedly questioned this ownership’s commitment to winning the Cup…………. versus the sellout streak. Year after year, all we hear about is winning the Cup…….. yet the personnel changes needed to do just that never materialize. Therefore, it is very fair to ask what is more important, the sellout streak, or actually winning……… which would guarantee the sellout streak would go on longer.

    Talk is cheap. This organization needs to show its mettle tomorrow night. We have been fed the Cup talk, now lets see if they can deliver. If they can’t, changes need to be made. If those changes aren’t made, we all will see that the Cup talk was worthless, and the sellout streak was the real goal.

    Whether or not you agree with that, or understand that, it isn’t foolish, or dumb. I don’t notice others calling your opinions dumb. Show some class.

  87. Jandy says:



  88. Robert says:

    Bryan Morris is the difference between having great “stuff” and being a great pitcher. Like in realty, great pitching is about location, location, location… He misses far too often.

  89. Jandy says:

    there’s no excuse for those rosters to not have made the SC Finals in at least 2 of the seasons since they last won the Cup.

    I believe he said 2….

  90. theplanisworking says:

    Contrast the Penguins quitting last night versus the Pirate loss. (BAY, YOU BLEW IT!!!) ;)

    The Pirates at least battled back to almost win the game. They didn’t quit. Yeah, they blew it in the 9th, but when a team has Jordy Mercer up in a crucial situation, that will happen.

    Since I jokingly said the Pirates need to win 2/3 the rest of the year, they have done just that. If, (and that is a huge if) the pitching comes around, this team can succeed. The effort is there……….. gone are the days when the Pirates sleptwalked through games.

    Effort, I can’t criticize.
    Quitting, I can.

    Penguins, are you listening?

  91. DJ says:

    My hope this year is modest. Just want to see Pens get to ECF.

    Have no delusions of making the SC Finals, particularly if we play Bruins.

  92. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t imagine that Mario went into the locker room last night after the game, sat down next to Crosby and said “Don’t worry about the game, our sellout streak will still be intact”.

    I can see Mario be concerned with winning and making money – – not just on making money/sellout streak.

    “Year after year, all we hear about is winning the Cup…….. yet the personnel changes needed to do just that never materialize.”

    Except for this year haven’t the Pens been very active at and around the trade deadline? And haven’t they’ve brought in some big name stars?

  93. Jandy says:

    Sadly, I can’t see that happening, DJ

  94. I would certainly hope that the Pens are listening, since they’ll have all day today to gather their forces, lick their wounds, and get ready to take it to the Rangers tomorrow.

  95. JimmyS says:

    But do you remember the 66 & 68 losing to a completely inferior Islanders team? Once again the toughest trophy to win in all of the sports… Lord Stanley’s Cup…

  96. I would certainly hope that the Pens, dreading what could happen if they met the Bruins in round 3, won’t just give it up this time.

  97. 21sthebest says:

    “When someone has to resort to calling another person’s opinion foolish, that speaks volumes about that person. ”

    And so does resorting to calling another person a liar.

  98. Arriba Wilver says:


  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good post, Walt.

  100. And as for the Steelers now being bigger and stronger following this season’s draft, I would just hope that they’ll live up to that when training camp opens again in August, and then the season begins anew in September.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    Limas Sweed II.

    Write it down.

  102. hockeymonster says:

    Flower has been carrying us but he hasn’t matched lundqvists sharpness last 2 games. 2nd and 3rd GA last night was prime example. Need him to eat up those pucks.

    But with that said Disco clearly changed the forecheck and it wasn’t geared to our teams strengths. What happened to cloggin up the NZ and transitioning after creating a turnover? We’re giving up the middle again by committing 2 or 3 forwards to forecheck and pressuring opposing D even when they have established possession. This strategy didn’t necessarily lead to us giving up odd man rushes cuz our d did a decent job with gap control. But it did give NYR a chance to re-tilt the ice other way and cycle themselves instead of giving us a chance to turn puck over in NZ and transition quickly. Even when we lost game 1 we were doing this well.

    “Established Possession” is key phrase. When opposing D have the puck on their stick we can’t just push ahead all the time and think that won’t get us burned. They know what they’re doing too and I’m pretty sure Coach AV and his staff gets paid too. Maybe sticking with formula that’s been working since game 5 against columbus is good idea?

    And in case you haven’t noticed our D has looked much more pedestrian last couple games as well. Everyone from PM to tanger to nisky have been forced to defend without much backtrack support cuz our forwards are caught deep. Sid and geno’s line in particular got caught with 3 forwards beneath goal line far too often and NYR had some of their best chances and rushes with our big boys on the ice. Point of the cycle is so that F3 player and responsibilities rotate based on us moving puck down low than to point or into slot. Seemed like we were just winging it on the cycle with no defined F3 recognition. And to make it worse it seemed like team focus dissipated once it become 3-1. I know when we’re trying to comeback we’ll take chances, but so many seem to be unnecessary and low percentage.

    Overall, only time we should be committing F2 on forecheck is when we get speed and numbers thru NZ with close support breakouts. This way when we chip the puck in or dump it cross corner, we can turn a 50/50 puck into an advantage cuz of speed and numbers entering ozone with speed and support. Last 2 games our forecheck is getting picked apart simpy cuz we’re committing multiple forecheckers regardless of situation or what percentages say. Its almost like we expect NYR dmen to give up and just hand us the puck just cuz we being aggressive. Doesn’t work that way. We need to be aggressive in a much more calculated way.

    Disco, why? We had it under control. Is it really necessary to go for every inside straight draw? Almost like we’ve been coached by 2 different coaches this series.

  103. AL says:

    Hopefully, the “St. Louis effect” will be sufficiently worn off by Tuesday and the Rangers will revert back to the uninspired group as before. They can’t keep playing on adrenaline forever.

  104. Jandy says:

    “Almost like we’ve been coached by 2 different coaches this series.”

    Maybe we have.

  105. Sarah says:

    Sorry man, but the last thing Brooks has been last couple years is especially physical. I mean where it counts in front of the net and winning puck battles. He can still lay the wood occasionally.

  106. NMR says:

    , said a thousand different baseball fans about a dozen different players. Every single year.

    Someday people will put two and two together.

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    Paragraphs are your friend, Mike.

  108. NMR says:

    Yup, and for as good as that stuff supposedly is, the guy still doesn’t have a single pitch that misses bats.

  109. Jim S. says:

    I hope you and I are wrong, Arriba. But, I have that same fear. I’ll reserve judgment for now, but I didn’t like that pick much.

  110. hockeymonster says:

    I didn’t even bring up the PP…

  111. Jandy says:

    it’s endless. HM :(

  112. Jim S. says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, Bay! I love getting back home when I can.

  113. Thundercrack says:

    What exactly are the two and two we should have been putting together?

    And I do agree with your comment about not having a pitch that misses bats.

  114. Thundercrack says:

    I got a comment above in moderation…and I’m not sure why.

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    They were “liked,” but at least in Leyland’s case, there was a line, and he would turn over tables and get in players’ faces when necessary. Don’t see that in Disco. Although, even he was no post-season wizard.

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    It’s been hinky again the last couple of days. Like posts going places you weren’t putting them.

  117. Jandy says:

    hinky, I like that term lol

  118. Sarah says:

    Neal is a floater and a leech for Malkin, and so is JJ, only JJ is better and finding the puck and scoring cos he can actually skate.
    Makes no sense to have two floaters on the same line…..who’s going to do the dirty work and get them the puck? Well, Geno tries….which is the last thing he should be doing.
    Poor personnel management, again.

    We pay Neal elite money to find space and score with his lethal shot. He does it fine reg season, but not in playoffs.
    He’s something like 11 goals in 40 or so playoff games for the Pens.

    If you take away the single hat trick v OTT last yr, it looks even worse.

  119. Sarah says:

    Anyway, the nickname Lazy should tell us all we need to know.

  120. hockeymonster says:

    Following up on Rossi’s post:

    Too bad no one suggested we trade for Chris Stewart. Sid sure could use the Beef on his wing…eh?

  121. SeanAY says:


    I don’t doubt that, either. Watching that game last night was highly frustrating. They’re just…passive.

    I couldn’t even tell you anything that James Neal did last night. For a 40-goal guy last year, he’s pretty ghostly right now.

  122. Probably a moderate post.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    Just “trolling for trouble.”


  124. theplanisworking says:

    First I heard of it, Jandy, was in The Fugitive. Sam says ‘hinky’ is a word with no meaning, and he doesn’t understand it. Says it should mean ‘weird’, ‘goofy’.

    Like this blog. ;)

  125. Jim S. says:

    * Pens – Ugh! I actually turned the game off to watch the Bucs because I couldn’t take it – especially after the debacle on Friday. Do you really want your season to end in embarrassment again, Sid and Geno? I know this is radical thinking, but if they go down in flames again, part of my rebuilding thoughts would be to consider moving Geno. He would still bring a hefty return, and as much as I would not want to see him go I think it has to be considered. They have to do something because what they are doing is not working. And changing coaches won’t be enough, I don’t think.

    * Steelers Draft – I don’t know what to think. I like some of these guys, but the secondary is so scary. I’ve said it before, but I think this is about a 4 win team if it didn’t have an elite QB. I hope this draft produces some future stars and gets this ship pointed back in the right direction.

    * Pirates – When the homestand started, I was thinking 6-3 would be satisfactory vs. a hot (at that time) Toronto team, a red hot SF team, and the Cardinals and their pitching. We came away 6-3, but it was a strange 6-3. They won 2 games vs. Toronto that they probably should not have, lost a game vs. SF they definitely should not have, eked out a couple of close ones vs. SF, and then again vs. St. Louis, then lost a heartbreaker last night.

    I like that they don’t quit, but at some point a starter has to leave the game after 6 or 7 innings with the lead. They can’t keep spotting teams 3 and 4 runs most nights and expect to get on a roll. The starting pitching has been bad, bad, bad. I know it wasn’t all Charlie’s fault last night, but he, Liriano, Volquez and Wandy have all imploded just about every time they’ve faced any adversity this season. There seems to be a big killer inning against us most nights. That has to stop. I’m looking for a 4-2 week in NYC and Milw.

  126. Sarah says:

    Most likely they switch to JM s system when they get the lead.
    Which for the last two games, they have not had.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope I’m wrong, too. ;-)

  128. hockeymonster says:

    Just seems like NZ structure and forecheck is different last 2 games.

  129. Baywatch says:

    After Morris wild-pitched them to a 6-3 lead, it’s the first time we left a Pirates game early (largely because of our 4 am wake up call).We walked across the bridge and heard all the positive roar as they got to within 6-4, then pulled into the cheap pizza shop beside the Renaissance on 6th Street to watch the rest. I’m with you, Wave. Bases loaded, no out? I was particularly disappointed that Davis, who has shown INCREDIBLE plate patience, went after the wild Rosenthal’s first pitch.

  130. chethejet1 says:

    In professional sports, coaches who are “liked” generally are not feared and seen as instrumental in team success. One can respect a coach, fear a coach, hate a coach, but not be buddy buddy with him. Players can like their coach, but the coaching and liking a player is not the job description. Players playing for coaches who they like have more to do with ability of the coach. I am sure guys like hurdle, but know he is mostly business when it comes down to it.

  131. Scott says:

    You are totally right about the sellout streak, Sean.

    The one thing DK’s column today should do is end, once and for all, the preposterous narrative that Mario doesn’t care about winning. Nobody who has watched Mario over the years and seen how competitive the man is would ever make such an accusation. This is a guy who couldn’t even enjoy a hobby (golf) without entering pro celebrity tournaments to challenge himself. I have never seen a more competitive human being in my life. It’s really hard to take someone seriously when they advance such a narrative.

    I’m pumped for Game 7, because I see it as a no-lose situation. Either the Pens advance to the conference final, or we finally get the house-cleaning that is probably one year overdue.

  132. SeanAY says:


    As far as I can tell, your opinion is that Pens’ leadership is somehow more worried about putting butts in seats than winning a championship, and you point to the team not being shaken up somehow as proof of that.

    My question is, why do you keep bringing up “people showing up to games” as the reason the Pens don’t make any changes, unless you are also implying that people should stop showing up to games until changes are made?

  133. Jim S. says:

    Oh, and I forgot to add … Polanco hits a grand salami if he is available to pinch hit for Ike in the 9th inning. No doubt about it.

    Just trying to add a little levity. :-)

  134. Jim S. says:

    “Farm house, out house, hen house …”

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    Can’t wait to read the posts next April criticizing Torts or Trotz.

  136. SeanAY says:


    If they blow Game 7, and subsequently a 3-1 series lead to an inferior team – including being outscored 8-2 (!) in Games 5 and 6, when this series should have been OVER – then I totally support a shake-up. No excuse for it not to happen then.

  137. Baywatch says:

    Thanks, 21! You’re the best! :-)

  138. pattonbb says:

    Absolutely agree, AW. I’ve watched this kid play from the moment he arrived in Clemson. Underachieving and immature are a couple good descriptions. He declared for the Draft because he was losing his job.

    Hope he proves us wrong.

  139. Jandy says:

    Not me, sweetie…but those claws away, AW.

    I seriously don’t remember hearing that term, and I like it!

  140. Jandy says:

    errr put those claws away…darn jandy typos lol

  141. Thundercrack says:

    Glad you enjoyed your trip into Pittsburgh, Bay. Come back soon!

    And I am the best!

  142. Jandy says:

    Thanks, guys :)

  143. Jandy says:

    lol hinky stuff :P

  144. Jandy says:

    I’ll criticize Torts even if he ISN’T coaching LOL

  145. Jim S. says:

    So hard to take that loss after the way they were hammering Rosenthal. They let him wriggle off the hook.

    Even CBarmes took a walk. I could not believe when our most patient hitter got up with the bases loaded, 0 outs, the closer clearly on the ropes and unable to find the plate, and he gets a fastball that appeared to be above the strike zone to me, and he swings at it. You absolutely cannot swing there unless you get a grooved fastball.

    Or, am I mistaken about the location of that pitch? I couldn’t bring myself to watch it a 2nd time, but on first glance it appeared to be high and tight to me. That was frustrating. And, then Jordy put the ball in one of the few places where the Cards could actually get a DP.

  146. Jim S. says:

    I think there is a 0% chance he ever coaches this team.

  147. theplanisworking says:

    On some farms, the hen house is the out house……………….. ;)

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, I’m hoping for Torts. Exactly the coach this blog needs.

    His players won’t play like pussies and his ass clown histrionics will fire up grown, wealthy men.

    Just what they need, apparently.

  149. theplanisworking says:

    Polanco needs to work on hitting grand slams in Indy. ;)

  150. Jandy says:

    SeanAy, I’m with you on the passive. It blows my mind away. You’d think they’d have more pride, but no, it seems the just don’t care. Really is sad to watch…

  151. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, no ,no, I was joking EYE was just “trolling for trouble,” which your boye accused me of last night.

    Definitely wasn’t accusing you of trolling for trouble, Jandy.

  152. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Bryant can’t be Limas Sweed II because (first of all) he’s not Limas Sweed and (second of all) he’s not a 2nd round draft pick, he’s a 4th rounder.
    Let these guys write their own destiny!
    Write it down…..

  153. Jandy says:


  154. Reading says:

    Golden opportunity missed by the Pirates last night. Cards were reeling falling below .500, two straight losses after blowing leads, Matheny coming unglued. A national TV walk off would have been awesome. For the want of a base hit, fly ball, suicide squeeze….

  155. Like TC, I don’t watch the games, just check the scores and this blog during hockey games, but it seems to me as someone outside looking in, that DB may be the one who doesn’t understand how to put a team away.

    I realize the onus falls on the players, and I enjoyed DK’s column where he didn’t mince any words about any of them or DB, but it seeems like he had an Olympic medal in his pocket and couldn’t win another big game and they finished out of the medals.

    His SC championship was for what, grabbing a team with one-third of the season left and getting them hot? Even Therrien said he thought they would make the playoffs, which was a stretch at the time. I realize you have to do something to keep a team motivated through 16 wins, many with your back to the wall, what is he not doing now?

    Seems to me DB, while a great guy, is not a great coach. But I don’t know hockey. I don’t even pretend to.

  156. Jandy says:

    I hope so Jim, I hope Oshie doesn’t get this wish….sheesh! ;)

  157. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, Trotz would coach this team, due to his Shero connections.
    Trots, hard to see him coaching again after being fired in back-to-back seasons. But with the NHL, you never know.

  158. Scott says:

    I have to disagree with this one, Jandy. Sid isn’t the biggest problem, but he is indeed a big part of it. The Boston series last year – THAT was an example of a total team failure. What we’re seeing against the Rangers is not the same thing. Lots of guys on this team are playing great hockey. Sid isn’t one of them. And he needs to be.

    Look at the way Malkin decided that he’d had enough and started dominating. When have you seen that fire from Sid recently? He’s loafing at times, he refuses to shoot, he keeps attempting ridiculous cross-ice passes that have no chance of getting through. And as the captain, some of the team’s lack of effort reflects directly on him.

    We can’t keep making excuses for his lack of scoring. Another point or two from Sid here and there, and this series would have been over in 5 games. One goal in 12 playoff games is unacceptable from the guy who’s supposed to be your MVP – I don’t care who he’s playing against.

    I’ll keep rooting for him, but if this team loses game 7, it will be the darkest moment of Sid’s playoff career in my view, because it will be the first time that he personally failed to show up for the playoffs.

  159. Jandy says:

    It’s all good, AW, I thought you were just razzin, me.

    I don’t have any ‘boyes’, AW…that’s Monster Mash.

  160. He’s in a bit of a slump. Just what he needed. Adversity. Now, they can call him up with full conscience at the end of June-if he gets his angles right and hones his baserunning skills and turns all those triples in the inside-the-parkers.

  161. Dom says:

    All in all I like the Steelers draft.

    At first I was disgusted when they passed on Dennard but from what I heard and read, his ceiling was only so high. Some projected him to just be a #2. With the 15th pick in the draft, you would want someone of a higher caliber than that. Shazier might be more of a risk but he can warrant a higher reward.

    In the second round I wanted us to obtain either a CB or a WR but Stephon Tuitt the best player available. Some feel he could have gone in the first. He was really the only option.

    I didn’t like and still do not like the third round selection of Dri Archer. Nothing against Archer personally but I still feel we could have knocked out our biggest need with a CB. Pierre Desir, Walt Aikens, and Jaylen Watkins were still available and one of them should have been our pick. I don’t know who they think will start once when Ike is done after this season and if 29 year old William Gay continues to slide. Archer would be a great addition to have on third downs, though. Tomlin must love those fast guys.

    The best pick of the draft for me might be NT Daniel McCullers. He was both a literal and figurative steal with the last pick in the sixth round. I saw mock drafts that had him going in the second round. At 350+ Lbs he should warrant a double team, something McClendon wasn’t able to do allowing the LBers can blitz. The only issue with him is that at 6-7 he might not be able to get low enough like most NTs would.

    All in all I would give the draft a B.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Uhhhhh . . . OK.

    Put it this way, Daq. He looks good physically, but will be a bust. Happy?

    Or, he’s a personnel guy’s dream, but a coach’s nightmare.


    And I hope I’m wrong. Just a hunch.

  163. Jandy says:

    All good stuff, Scott. I guess I can empathize with Sid, but that shouldn’t excuse him.
    He’s not playing good hockey right now to be sure…but I still feel the issues this team has are a bigger part of the entire problem than he is.

    But yeah…there are times I’d like to stuff my size 9 wides….well, you know ;)

  164. theplanisworking says:

    Polanco should get in touch with PRNW, so he avoids being kept down due to not running out an infield fly rule popout.

    I would hate to think he wouldn’t be called up until September because of that. ;)

  165. Thundercrack says:

    Lucky, we’re in a group!!!


  166. theplanisworking says:

    Errrrrrrr, should be Torts.
    Although, his coaching style gives people the trots…….

  167. Jandy says:

    Pot stirrer :P


  168. SeanAY says:

    Yeah, and it will prove that Lemieux and Burkle don’t care if fans show up to games or not because…accountability?

  169. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, you have a boye. ;-)

  170. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy, I don’t think we’ve picked a name yet. (we just realized we’re in a group).
    But we’ll consider your suggestion. :-)

  171. Jandy says:

    Pot stirrer! :P


  172. Jim S. says:

    I don’t see it. Not after some of the things he has said about our organization.

  173. Jandy says:

    I have some friends, not a boye tho, that’s strictly Monster Mash :D

  174. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The guy hasn’t even stepped out on a mini camp field yet.
    How could you have a hunch?

  175. Jim S. says:

    Did I read correctly that Jim Tressel is now the President of Youngstown State University, after being rejected for the same position at Akron? Does anyone else find this bizarre?

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    Are you guys the same guy posting under two names?

  177. Jandy says:

    LOL good one TC. Not what I meant, but I am honored you are considering my suggestion :)

  178. Jandy says:

    Pot stirrer! :P


  179. Jim S. says:

    Now, that’s funny, plan! It is true that Polanco has not yet shown and ability to hit grand slams.

  180. Jim S. says:

    They say most things are best done in moderation, TC. I don’t know if that is true here. ;-)

  181. And now, the Pirates will need to prove this week that they can do as well on the road as they have at home, since they’re now 12-11 at PNC but only 4-10 away from home.

  182. theplanisworking says:

    Happy 88th birthday to Yogi Berra.

    Other notables:

    Katherine Hepburn,
    Billy Squier,
    Florence Nightengale,
    Emilio Estevez,
    Steve Winwood,
    and Jim Furyk.

    Sadly, no hot babe sportscasters/sideline reporters listed today. :(

  183. theplanisworking says:


  184. You figured us out.

    TC and the Pot Stirrers, that’s our group.

    And we’re all the same people, playing all the same songs. Our biggest hit is Fire Everyone! It went platinum.


  185. Patrick(RI) says:

    +1 Dead on.

  186. Not if you’ve been to Youngstown.

  187. Jim S. says:

    Billy Squier made the list. Tee hee hee! :-)

  188. theplanisworking says:

    Especially since the Ray Isaac incident at that school on his watch 20 years ago. And the Ohio State stuff.

    I believe that YSU wanted him for fundraising purposes. They certainly didn’t hire him for his character.

  189. Jim S. says:


  190. SeanAY says:


  191. Jandy says:

    LOL you admit, it, kudos for that

  192. Jim S. says:

    He’s not actually named Limas Sweed. You got me there.

  193. NMR says:

    Spring Training.

  194. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, our next CD will be called “Groups be attackin’ ” It will include rap

  195. Arriba Wilver says:


  196. Jandy says:

    Rap sucks!

    (yes, I said it! lol)

  197. NMR says:

    I don’t think your observations are incorrect, Jim.

    Just seemed like both those guys got too defensive when they should’ve been looking for something to drive. I honestly think at times players step outside themselves in order to “just” hit a sac fly or “just” move the runners over and that is enough to set them up for failure.

  198. Jim S. says:

    just read some of the comments from last night’s thread.

    Wow, not much love for Jordy. I know he did not come through at the end, but he was kind of one of the few reasons they even had a chance in that game with a 2 run HR and a double. And, he did have a pretty good homestand with some key hits. Maybe he’s finding his way with the bat a little bit.

  199. hockeymonster says:

    Oh ya…another interesting tidbit was during 1st period interview with Pierre, Disco said we have to watch for NYR springing rushes with stretch passes up ice past our forecheck…


    So we knew what to watch for but still did little to address it. Just sayin…

    Did i mention PP is abysmal?

  200. I think I’m going to say something here that I have never said before:
    . . . . . I was disappointed in Dejan’s column.

    If . . . If . . . If . . .

    The column seemed to be “Playing to the masses” here, especially here on the blog, rather than evaluating a series that is 3-3.

    What expert analysis did Dejan, whom I consider an expert on hockey, give us other than his daily diatribe against Beau Bennett and his daily love of Matt Niskaten? We did get a first with his reference to Sidney Crosby as a “crybaby” or “baby”——I can’t remember which. OK, we know that Dejan doesn’t like Bylsma, but there’s plenty of time to “ride him out of town” if——IF——Pens lose tomorrow night.

    Right now Penguins are 3—3. Low hanging fruit to write about “what if they lose.” Playing to masses. It’s 3—3! 3 wins and 3 losses. Win the next one and win the series! That’s the fact, Jack! I want an expert to tell me how to reverse the last two efforts and how to win Game 7. NOT play populist and do the easy “IF they lose” chant!

    I am disappointed.

  201. Arriba Wilver says:

    And you guys probably lip-sync, too.

    Beats the group I’m in—The Troublemakers.

  202. Thundercrack says:

    You’re right. I fell into the trap…and read all of the positive reports on him.

  203. I like Jim Tressel and I want him to succeed.

    If mistakes in life eliminated a person from ever doing anything profitable for others in life again, our country would be bankrupt.

  204. Jandy says:

    very SIMILAR groups….I’m betting ya both have tons of fun :)

  205. Jim S. says:

    I should have been more clear. I don’t really have anything against Jim Tressel getting another head coaching job. But, I don’t see why he has the qualifications necessary to become a university president – unless head football coach makes you qualified to lead a university.

  206. Arriba Wilver says:

    Listening to people who have seen him play in college, including someone whose opinion I trust.

    How could I have a hunch? I have lots of hunches based on very little info. Don’t you? I don’t think his career will be influenced by my hunch, so what’s the problem?

  207. Jim S. says:

    I have an interview for The Incorrigibles later today.

  208. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, Davis looked like he knew he had just blown a golden opportunity when he was walking back to the dugout. It was as though he couldn’t believe what he had just done.

  209. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had a hunch Pearce wouldn’t make it as a full time player for the Bucs after listening to a different guy whose opinion I trusted. But I only remember my hunches that turn out to be right.


  210. He was more than a Head Coach when he was at Youngstown State for those years.

    He was an educator, he was an ambassador for the school, he helped build up an academic institution and show (at that time) that football was part of a growing process toward the “adult” world, not the most important program the school offered. Few of his players entertained pro football dreams. He sold the school and he sold being citizens of life over just being football players.

    Sounds like someone who loves the institution and can present the best side of it to others . . . prospective students, prospective professors, prospective donors.

  211. Jim S. says:

    You obviously know more about him than I do. Just didn’t seem like the normal path to me.

    I wish him well.

  212. Just walked the bases loaded.

    If Rosenthal was EVER going to groove a pitch to get a strike, it was that first pitch. AND it was right down the middle! Ike Davis just choked on it.

    If Ike had swung at a pitch out of the strike zone, I would agree with you. But it was RIGHT THERE!

  213. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think you and me, Groat, are the last of the Bylsma supporters. Or, the rest of them have retreated to Forty Fort.

    Sure, lose Tuesday and let the slings and arrows of outrageous columnizing fly.

    Right now, that stuff is the grist of blog and talk show mills.

  214. Dom says:

    Would be nice if Sid scored.

  215. Arriba Wilver says:


  216. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree with you on that Toronto series Jim. St Louis felt the same. They won two games, but had to overcome a rough start.

    In one way, this is a fun group to watch because as long as they dont get blown out, you feel they can battle and get back in it.

    But on the other hand, with these starters not working deep into games its starting to wear on that bullpen.

    Pedro driving me nuts right now. Take away those two errors and thats a W yesterday. Morton’s line was a little deceiving.

  217. hockeymonster says:

    ++++ agreed.

    Scroll up for answers to your last few sentences.

  218. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hunch—“a feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts.”

  219. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    The only two sane guys left! (Although I’m not sure about me.)

    Hey Oshkosh b’Gosh, I took you up on your announcement about “free comic day” and got 3 free for 3 purchases I made. I like DC Comics (and hated everything else in the free boxes) so I got 3 of the “Countdown” series [#51. #45. #38] Know anything about that series?

  220. If Clint Hurdle had tried a suicide squeeze with the bases loaded and nobody out, he would be hanging from the Roberto Clemente bridge right now!!!!

    And you might be beside him for suggesting it.

  221. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe Paul George could take Sidney Crosby fishing.

  222. I was referring more to the school and the town in my comment, Jim. I like Tressel. Spent too much time at the other 2 for my own liking. The school was many years ago and many changes ago.

  223. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah. To me a suicide squeeze is a play you only try when you already have a lead.

  224. 3 of those 4 runs against Charlie Morton in the 1st inning last night were unearned because of Pedro’s error at 3rd. I’m a BIG believer in defense——defense wins games, giving extra outs loses games——so the error was disheartening.

    However, my frustration with Charlie Morton was that the error was early in the inning, and Morton gave up 2 straight base hits with runners in scoring position and 2 outs. The runs did not score on the error: Morton gave up the hits. He has got to punch the lower lineup hitters out there and help the team recover from Pedro’s early miscue.

  225. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s why this little streak they’re on is fools gold. The starting pitching still stinks (and for some reason they’re putting Wandy back into the mix) & they’re not catching the ball.

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    My thoughts exactly.

    Weird, too, you could see the difference in his face (non-verbal communication) between this outing and his last one. He was a bulldog in his previous one. He looked tentative after the Pedro error.

  227. Sidney Crosby = Roy Hibbard? Both play center.

    Nice dexterity and knowledge of pro basketball, Milo.

    There’s hope.

  228. Arriba Wilver says:

    There’s a big middle ground between Bylsma supporters and Bylsma is the root of all evil. Hard to support him right now. But he isn’t responsible for the closing of the New Jersey bridge to New York.

    Like I said, hard, if not impossible, to be a Bylsma supporter right now. What makes you guys supporters?

    (And I don’t exclude the Olympics)

  229. Naterosboro says:

    Monday Musings…

    * I don’t have a good feeling about Game 7. It’s feeling like Montreal in 2010, when Halak got hot for Games 6 & 7 and shut them down. Here’s hoping they can turn the King into a peasant Tuesday night.

    * I asked this question awhile ago, and I’ll ask it again…how many Stanley Cups did the Penguins win with Mario & Jaromir? How many SCFinals did they get to with those guys?

    * Who would take a roster that went to the ECFinals and make drastic changes to it? This notion that somehow there should’ve been a huge shakeup after last years sweep to Boston is…odd….

    * At least some are finally starting to see what I’ve been saying about James Neal. ANd I don’t even care about his “questionable” playing style. For one who scores goals, it seems as if James forgets to do so come post season. His playoff scoring record is horrible.

    * Sidney Crosby better look himself in the mirror and be the best player (by far) on the ice Tuesday. If the Penguins are to win, he’ll have to be.

    * If they go out to the Rangers in 7 games, I’d support a coaching change. I also would understand why they would keep the head coach. And no, it has nothing to do with a sellout streak IMO…

    * The Pirates had a nice 6-3 homestand, but they travel to Milwaukee aka their House of Horrors. This could be a turning point series for this club. Taking 2 of 3 in a place that has caused this club fits could be a huge confidence boost.

    * Charlie Morton has hit the most batters in the majors.

    * The Pirates have made 11 errors behind Charlie Morton. That is the most by any team for 1 pitcher.

    * I’m Ok with the Steelers draft. I’m still not happy they didn’t go with Dennard as their 1st pick, but I do like Shaquille Richardson for a 5th round value.

    * Daniel McCullers could be Casey Hampton’s replacement. He could also not make it out of training camp. Their most intriguing pick of the draft.

    * I’ve gotten mixed reviews on Martavais Bryant. There’s some saying he was the reason Watkins was allowed so much space. But then why does he fall so far in the draft? Their 2nd most intriguing pick. For the record, I think he will be a more productive player than Limas Sweed.

    Have a good day all! ;-)

  230. Jandy says:

    I’m with AW on this one…I’ve always liked DB, but right now, what reason is there to support him?

  231. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree Dom. Would have preferred Desir over Archer.

    People wonder about Manziel holding up, Archer is a little guy himself.

  232. Milo Hamilton says:

    Beginning in 2010, the Pens have been the higher seed in every series they’ve played. With that comes home ice “advantage”. They have won three series and lost four. They’ve morphed into Pitt basketball.

  233. Charlie Morton gave up only one lousy earned run but the Pirates still lost because they played poorly last night and didn’t come through at the plate when they should have. And that’s why I agree that the little streak the Bucs have been on lately is fools’ gold unless they can somehow prove otherwise, and I’m not so sure if they can this week since they never seem to do very well in Milwaukee, which is next on the schedule, although there’s always hope that they can pull off a few miracles like they did at home this past week.

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    More productive player than Limas Sweed?

    Really going out on a limb there, Nate, aren’t you? ;-)

  235. hockeymonster says:

    He’s made strides by changing the system but his feel for the game in real time sometimes comes into question. At least for me. We’ve finally moved past disco stretch offense but defensively he can’t decide if he wants to use the system and patience that’s worked. Or if he wants to play his aggressive style.

    I’m really biting my tongue today…there’s so much i want to get into. But i really think that interview he had during the 1st was pretty telling. He knows how NYR will counter our aggressive forecheck but never saw the kind of F2 and F3 recognition you need to deal with it.

    It’s always something…

  236. Arriba Wilver says:

    “However, my frustration with Charlie Morton was that the error was early in the inning, and Morton gave up 2 straight base hits with runners in scoring position and 2 outs. The runs did not score on the error: Morton gave up the hits. He has got to punch the lower lineup hitters out there and help the team recover from Pedro’s early miscue.”

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    Their all time playoff record at Consol is 6-9.

  238. hockeymonster says:

    Hey hey…easy when i’m not around to defend myself

  239. bpn8pitt says:

    One of the reasons I am intrigued by Bryant is he was blocked by Deandre Hopkins and Watkins in 2012.

    Im with you on McCullers too. Classic boom or bust.

    Everyone as talked about Manziel and what Cleveland did, but the Ravens D continues to get better with Mosley and Jernigan, both picked after the Shazier/Tuitt. How some of these picks in the AFC North pan out down the road is gonna be fascinating.

  240. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Comparing Steve Pierce to a 4th Round draft pick in the NFL draft?
    Pierce was taken twice in the MLB draft….Once in the 45th Round (!) and once in the 10th.
    I see no correlation there what so ever.

  241. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I didn’t say he’s not named Limas Sweed….I said he isn’t Limas Sweed.
    Would you like to dispute that?

  242. SeanAY says:


    Yes. “In at least two of the seasons since they last won the Cup.”

    That means they made the Finals in 2008 and 2009, AND should have gone to the Cup finals AT LEAST two other times.

    Hence, “four times since 2008.”

  243. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sorry, didn’t count this year. 9-12.

  244. Naterosboro says:

    Can I just add this…

    Morton was not facing the lower lineup hitters in that sequence.

    After Pedro’s error on Holliday’s grounder, he faced 4Allen Craig (single), 5Yadier Molina (single), 6Matt Adams (Sac Fly), 7John Jay (single), 8Mark Ellis (single) & then 9Shelby Miller for the final out of the inning.

    That’s the heart of the lineup right after the error.

    If you want to say he’s got to get Mark Ellis out in the 8 hole, Ok, but a lot of the damage was done prior to that.

    Also, in Charlie’s defense, the Pirates have made the most errors behind him in the majors (or at least NL). From a pitching standpoint, it hurts when your defense doesn’t make plays, and that can alter your approach to hitters. You can try to be “too fine”, wanting to generate more swings and misses, and get away from what makes you successful.

    I’m not saying that’s what happened, just simply trying to point out it’s not quite as simple as bear down, be a bulldog, and get those guys out!

    Baseball ain’t that simple.

    Baseball is hard.

  245. Thundercrack says:

    Pedro’s error was bad. But he’s also made some pretty fine plays during this homestand too.

  246. Jandy says:

    Which is why I believe he has lost the team.
    Which is why I believe Sid is having the post season he is having.

    ehhhh…frustrating! >:<

  247. Jim S. says:

    I believe I read that Pedro had his 7th and 8th throwing errors of the season last night already. I believe I also read that something like 18 is the season record. He might get there by the All Star Break. I love the improvements he is making at bat, which might be just now starting to really produce dividends. But, he absolutely has to stop making ridiculous throwing errors so often. I don’t think that 4 run 1st inning happens if Pedro can make a simple throw to 2b from about 50 feet.

  248. Scott says:

    Let’s hope he scores a hat trick tomorrow and makes it all right!

  249. hockeymonster says:

    That’s ok when you get outscored by boston at home in games 1 and 2 by a TD…you can airbrush out 3 W’s.

  250. NMR says:

    Thank you.

    It’s far easier for us to sit back in the lazy boy and say Charlie Morton has to strike those guys out. Unfortunately, Charlie Morton is not a strikeout pitcher. Never going to be. He’s gotta rely on his defenders making the routine plays, or else innings can snowball, as we’ve seen all too often this season.

    I’ve said it many times this year, but you’re seeing exactly how valuable outs, and especially EXTRA outs, are in Major League Baseball.

  251. NMR says:

    Absolutely, Jim. Pedro’s defense is costing them games this season, and I’m one of his biggest supporters.

  252. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Milo. I made the point earlier that it is rare for a Pirates starter to pitch a good game and actually leave with a lead this year.

    As for Wandy, what could go wrong? Flyball pitcher, with poor command and questionable stuff at the moment, pitching in a ballpark where flyballs land over the fence quite often. If the mere thought of that doesn’t make us all queasy, we have pretty strong stomachs.

    Thankfully, looks like no ARam.

  253. I like the system, I like his deployment of players, I like his support of Fleury and others, I like his penalty kill. I did like his power play all season, but not this “fancy passing” recently. I get the feeling he doesn’t like that either.

    It’s 3—3. Supposedly his best player and supposedly the best player in the world has 1 goal in his last 19 playoff games and is about a minus 20! And Bylsma has not thrown him under the bus! He’s actually moved his 2nd best center to Crosby’s wing to help him, which weakens Line #2 and Line #3.

    Don’t call for Barrabas until you see how Game #7 plays out!

  254. Jandy says:

    Okies I see what you’re saying, it’s just that your scenarios tags on 2 seasons.

    But, Mr. Weatherman was saying the basic roster should have made it to the finals twice since 2009…either way you look at it, this team has underachieved.

  255. Milo Hamilton says:

    More errors than homers. Legitimate shot at a 30/30 season.

  256. Naterosboro says:

    I saw Limas mentioned above, in regards to Bryant, so that’s why I threw that little tiddy in there.

    It’s funny. Limas is known for 2 things as a Steeler (other than being a non-productive 2nd round pick): dropping a wide-open, sure TD against Baltimore in the AFC Champ. game in ’08 & then leveling some guy like 3 plays later in the same game.

    I think Martavais Bryant can be better than that. ;-)

  257. Jandy says:

    I’ll take a goal and two assists, I’m not greedy!

  258. Great for Wandy to pitch in Milwaukee.

    You guys have been saying that Brewers were winning with mirrors and would fall to earth soon because of depth. What better place for Wandy to get turned around.

  259. 21sthebest says:

    That to me reads like Pedro isn’t to blame at all which I’m guessing isn’t what anyone means. Of course the runs did not score on the error but the error extended the inning. Morton did give up the hits but Pedro blew an out, maybe two.

  260. ” Morton gave up 2 straight base hits with runners in scoring position and 2 outs. The runs did not score on the error: Morton gave up the hits.”

    Last I looked, John Jay and Mark Ellis, he of .195 batting average, batted #7 and #8 and knocked in runs with 2 outs.

  261. Arriba Wilver says:

    I can be better than that, hence my comment. ;-)

    I can tell already, as the author of that Limas Sweed II comment, that if Bryant catches 5 passes as a Steeler I’m going to be lambasted by Daq. Luckily, I’m not sensitive.

  262. Jandy says:

    Groat I wish I had your optimism, friend!

  263. hockeymonster says:

    Ya i like the changes we’ve made this season too. Which is why it’s so infuriating to see him literally repeat mistakes from past post seasons. How many times to we need to be burned being overly aggressive before we learn??? I like our D corp as much as disco but they are not able to defend jail breaks with forwards caught deep and unavailable on back check.

    We’ve seen the formula that works. Make tweaks not changes based on stubborn and philosophical preferences. Switching up from a 1-2-2 to a 1-1-3 with rotating F1 forecheck would’ve been an excellent and appropriate tweak. Couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw anaheim totally stymie LA in NZ with this formation.

    It’s deja vu all over again….gettin dizzy…

  264. hockeymonster says:

    Easier for Flower to read plays when our dzone coverage drops down from NZ in a orderly fashion too.

  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bottom line is, in the first inning especially, he needs to shake it off. IMHO

  266. 21sthebest says:

    Well Ellis isn’t batting .000 and he hit a bleeder. That was unlucky, IMO.

  267. Jandy says:

    exactly, which is why I am finally upset with DB. Maybe Sid is too…

  268. 21sthebest says:

    It’s very disappointing to me because like I said countless times, his last two months of last season produced one of the lowest error rates among third baseman. I thought he had taken the next steps.

  269. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was kind of looking it as we’re going to lose anyway, so why not give Wandy a shot there.

    (Comes from 20 years of losing.)

  270. I’ve had this argument earlier in the year with Sarah——if Sid is not playing his best because of being upset with Bylsma, I don’t want Sid here any more!

    Any player who throws a game or plays less than his best doesn’t deserve my support!!

    I DO NOT think that is the case with Sid. His effort and production on faceoffs proves otherwise. However, he is the biggest “hole” in production for points on the team. And goals against get scored when he is on the ice.

  271. theplanisworking says:

    I have always questioned Pedro’s D. Yes he has a cannon for an arm, but it is a wild cannon. He makes a spectacular play, then commits 2 errors on simple plays. Frustrating.

    Sad part is, if he keeps hitting HR;’s, the Pirates will never be willing to re-sign him. You might be looking at the first 150K, 30 error guy who commands a 7-figure contract.

  272. NMR says:

    Exactly, which is what you invite to happen when you give a team extra outs.

  273. NMR says:

    Right again. Dare I say he has the yips?

  274. toochca says:


  275. hockeymonster says:

    Only thing Sid has me wondering about is why he doesn’t want to establish his shot. Teams are backing off and defending passing lanes when he has the puck. Its like watching a basketball game where defense backs off a shooter cuz they know he can’t shoot.

    Establish your shot early to sucker defense in, then you can set the table with all the trimmings.

  276. NMR says:

    File that away along with Ishikawa’s “professional at-bats” and Travis Snider’s hustle.

    Spring training, man. Sprint training.

  277. theplanisworking says:

    You are just picking on the poor Pens.
    Don’t you realize that being a higher seed means nothing?

    Yet not one single trip to the Cup finals, despite being a higher seed every single series. With the best 2 players in the world. And the best coach. The SJ Sharks of the Eastern Conference.

  278. cmat0829 says:

    My two cents from sunny Phoenix:

    1) The only thing more USELESS than the myriad of media-frenzy MOCK NFL DRAFTS are the insipid instant analysis, ‘grades for each team’ that fuels much of sports talk for this period after the draft. Let me save y’all some time: NO ONE KNOWS. And that includes all of us. There is no objective reason for anyone to believe any of the Steelers draftees will either be all Pros or huge busts. Zero.

    2) Pirates. Nice series win vs the Cards. I’m becoming more and more optimistic about this offense….less and less optimistic about the pitching. We are only 37 games in, plenty of time for this team to get it together, but it appears we may need to spend the unspent payroll on a starting pitching acquisition….that may be the absolute best place for Neil to put his money at this point. And no, it is not AJ Burnett that they need.

  279. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t understand why that’s the bottom line. Fielders are going to make errors and pitchers are not always going to pitch out of jams. Charlie didn’t make the pitches and Pedro didn’t make the throw. They both equally blew it to me.

  280. Patrick(ri) says:

    Along with the announcers who suggested it. It really did seem that Matheny was about to explode — loved it.

  281. I miss JRay and his synopsis and in-game comments, too. He really had some insight on Morris and actually had dinner with Morris and his agent after a game last year. Maybe he’d have some insight on his struggles, too.

  282. Jandy says:

    *sarcasm alert*


  283. Nate83 says:

    +++ Jim

    I noted that last night after some negative comments about Mercer after the game. I must have been right because nobody responded :) Or maybe they had been tired.

    He has been swinging a much better bat the last 5 or 6 games. It sounds as if he has put in some hard work between games and corrected a few things. I personally am not going to write the young man off after just 35 games. Could the team be better at shortstop??? Sure they can. They can be better at 4 or 5 positions. If I was to spend 12 million right now it would be on starting pitching not shortstop. My opinion could easily change over the next 20-30 games.

  284. Naterosboro says:

    The Penguins best and most productive player not being their best and most productive player IS a problem.

    Whether it’s because of injury, fatigue, timidness, general frustration, whatever.

    1G (from the guy who led the team in the reg. season) in 12 games just ain’t cuttin it………

    Let me also say, he is not the only one on this team that needs to be better. He is 1 of a few.

    But he is 1.

  285. Wandy has been horrid his whole career in Milwaukee if I remember right and I may not.

  286. Jandy says:

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t find it in me to say Sid is the main problem. He’s not even had any physical support when he’s been lambasted. Well, darn little. I agree he is part of the many problems this team has.

  287. Ike Davis has already hit 2 grand slams this season. He got anxious on national TV and blew it.

  288. Naterosboro says:

    I don’t think anyone is saying Sid is the main problem.

    But above it was said “I’m baffled how the finger points to 87 when I know every true fan out there has witnessed the last 12 games.” by Mike and then “Finally someone else who sees that Sid isn’t the problem. He isn’t even a big part of it.” by yourself.

    I would say your best and most productive player being nowhere near the best and most productive player would be a pretty big reason for struggling to win games.

    Is it all on Sid? You’re correct in stating it is not. Hockey is a team sport no doubt.

    But this is professional sports. Sidney Crosby is supposed to be (if not THE) 1 of the best players in the world, and is also captain of the team. If you lose to a supposed inferior opponent, while only scoring 1 goal, then you better be prepared to answer questions…

  289. Andrew says:

    Pitchers with velocity who lack command are the most overrated asset in baseball.

  290. Jandy says:

    You didn’t read the game thread last night. Sid was being lynched.

  291. Andrew says:

    You can certainly say the Penguins have underachieved, (2009-10, 2011-12 for sure), but four Cup Finals? This is not the 1980s or the 1990s, the NHL is flat. The talent pool is bigger than ever, there are 30 teams, and salary cap, an appeal to the mob is not a rational argument.

    Who is this core base of talent, Crosby, Malking, Letang, Fluery, Dupuis, Kunitz and Orpik? Crosby yes, but Dupuis and Kuntiz isn’t exactly the Cash Line. 10-15 players challenge Malkin for #2 spot, Letang may near the top 10-15 as an offensive defensemen, but he isn’t in the top 20-25 overall. And Fluery is pretty much league average. Where is the talent? Top 6-8 teams in the NHL can argue they have just as much talent, this isn’t the NBA were the best player plays over a 1/6 of the available minutes.

    Even if they were demonstrably more talented, randomness and chance don’t even out over 4 to 7 games.

  292. Nate83 says:

    I’m on the fence. I think at the end of the day the players have to step up and not make careless mistakes. Too many players are making plays without purpose. Almost just going through the motions at times. There has to be some accountability for that.

    I know that should also fall on the coaches to motivate but without knowing what conversations the coaching staff has had with the players and GM I have no way of knowing who is to blame. Maybe Bylsma has asked for a certain type of player and hasn’t gotten it. I’m neither for or against keeping him. I only caution that if they get rid of him and keep the same players the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

    The Penguins have a lot of talented pieces but I’m not sure they fit together all that well. It’s a problem that Sutter and Stempniak have been the most consistent players during the playoffs on a team with all this talent.

  293. Reading says:

    Just think Cutch flying towards home, all runners in motion. Mercer dropping a perfect bunt. No DP. Tying run scores. Dude blows his first save. Next guy up base hit, walk off win. Crowd goes wild. Hurdle praised for gutsy move.

  294. tdb1977 says:

    Don’t look now, but the guy that we shouldn’t be to concerned about, yeah, the one down at AAA, hit another HR today. The same guy, who I saw people wearing jersey’s off at the Pirates game last night. Saw a few Indianapolis Indians jersey, and a couple of Pirate jersey’s as well.

  295. Baywatch says:

    I ‘BOUT to convince Mrs. Bay of how funny you are!! UP HERE, Everybody!! Back DOWN here! :-)

  296. Naterosboro says:

    You’re right, I did not read the game thread, I was just specifically speaking with comments I had seen on today’s thread.

    While I wouldn’t lynch the man, I would certainly be upset with his play so far in these playoffs.

    This team achieved the #2 seed in the EC with Sid being their best player & leading scorer.

    They will not win a SC if he is not playing well and not scoring.

    And that’s on Sidney.

  297. Jandy says:

    I didn’t say four, I said two.

    But hey, the way things are going…it could be 8 years and it would be the same ol’

    I said they were definitely underachievers.

  298. Best first baseman on the team right now. I still say, move Pedro across the diamond and make room for Brent Morel.


  299. Jandy says:

    The problem is, you can’t fire half the team, but you can fire a coach.


  300. Andrew says:

    Fluery hasn’t exactly carried them outside the two shut outs. His Sv% is below 90% in the other five of the last seven games. I actually didn’t view last night’s game as a terrible team performance, (as compared to game five) there was the normal ebb and flow during which the Rangers got better goal tending.

    How much of this forechecking difference is score effect? When you have to chase the game you have to be aggressive in the forecheck, you can run a passive 1-3-1 or 1-2-2 with the lead and get chances off of turnovers but not when you need goals.

    The Rangers are good team, were a better puck possession team than the Penguins throughout the season, they had an unsustainably low shooting percentage of 6.66% 5v5. They dominated the Flyers 5v5. The game four performance blinded some of this fact, when the teams are near in talent the little things matter all the more, ineffective power play, soft goals determine series.

    Spilt up, Malkin and Crosby, the goal is to win the game not have Crosby score goals, two solid scoring lines creates match up issues. Sutter is good but was not as good as his early playoff performance, starting James Neal in the D-zone is not a recipe for success.

  301. Jandy says:

    Groat, can YOU answer me that question: (from HM)

    May 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Only thing Sid has me wondering about is why he doesn’t want to establish his shot. Teams are backing off and defending passing lanes when he has the puck. Its like watching a basketball game where defense backs off a shooter cuz they know he can’t shoot.

    Establish your shot early to sucker defense in, then you can set the table with all the trimmings.

  302. Arriba Wilver says:


  303. NMR says:

    What’s his ERA again?

  304. Arriba Wilver says:

    Have a good day, Daq. Wasn’t comparing Pearce and Bryant at all.

    I have a hunch this discussion isn’t going anywhere.

    If you want to disclose what’s really bothering you, though, I’m all ears.

  305. Andrew says:

    I was interpreting Walter’s post like Sean, no argument with the underachieving, 2009-10, and 2011-12 were excellent teams, the last two years no so much. Paper tigers, a two line team that beat people on special teams.

    The Penguins lack of depth, were would the defense be without the emergence of Maatta. The only moves I have liked were the Stempniak and Goc trades, but those were corrections of the mistake of failing to address the depth earlier.

  306. Nate83 says:

    His (E)arning (R)ate in (A)rbitration is going way down. I think that it will dip a bunch around the middle of June. I have a hunch that will be the time in which he will get called up.

  307. Harry Klaus says:

    An Open Letter to The Pittsburgh Penguins Organization

    What is a Champion? With a huge Game 7 looming Tuesday evening, and in light of the current Pittsburgh Penguins team, organization and performance, I would like to revisit what I think the attributes of a true champion are, both as a team and as individuals. Perhaps some of this will resonate.

    I believe that to be a “champion” requires six major components – all of which must be present:
    1. Mindset – A champion always displays a “there is no way I will lose this game” mentality – regardless of injuries, circumstances or opponent. True champions don’t need to play “down” or “up” to opponents or in games – they have an unending passion to win, regardless of opponent or circumstances. Champions always display a winning mindset = PASSION.
    2. Desire – In order to display a championship mindset at all times, a true champion must have endless desire. A champion feels, tastes and (in a mental sense) becomes the desired outcome, becomes the winner, becomes the goal scorer, becomes the shot blocker – regardless of any outside factors or distractions. Champions have endless desire.
    3. Discipline – A champion knows that in order to play a championship style, they must be disciplined. Discipline must be displayed in practice, it must be displayed in style of play, it must be displayed in determination and grit, and it must be displayed in dealing with the adversity that is certain to come in each and every game. Champions are disciplined.
    4. Determination – Determination is different than desire, and a champion has both. Determination is a firmness of purpose, resoluteness that the desired outcome will be attained, regardless of personal cost. Champions desire greatness. There are times in every game and in every season when the opponent gains an edge, the puck bounces the wrong way, the crowd changes the tempo – determination will not permit a letdown, in fact it is a stimulus to a champion. Determination feeds resiliency. Champions display great determination, they are resilient.
    5. Grit – Grit is the display of perseverance for long-term goals, regardless of what obstacles may be come your way. To be a true champion, you need to learn to lose. You need to learn to hate losing, but you need to learn from losing. Losing needs to teach perseverance. Perseverance needs to translate into grit. An “I WILL NOT LOSE” attitude serves no purpose to a coach or player without the perseverance and “grit” to make it so. Champions show perseverance, champions have grit.
    6. Class – One of the definitions of the word “class” is “the best of its kind”. Enough said. Champions display class.

  308. Jandy says:

    It was, after all, unsustainable, right?

  309. Andrew says:

    I’m with Wilver on this one too. Blysma is a easy flash point.

  310. Jim S. says:

    Maybe he’s Zero Sum Gain Pedro. Or, Even Steven Pedro. When one thing gets better, a leak springs up somewhere else.

    I still love the guy, though. Looked great in those late ABs last night.

  311. Andrew says:

    Yes Morton is not a strikeout pitcher but he can help himself by walking less batters. Last year K%-BB% was 9.9%, this year 6.4%. And on the whole the team behind him as allowed hits at .277 BABIP rate which is low for a groundball pitcher.

  312. 32

    Oh, you didn’t mean RBI? ;)

    Vance Worley pitched 7 strong today. 6 hits, 2 ER 0 walks, 6 K’s. SSS ERA at 2.08

  313. Nate83 says:

    You do realize he is batting like .237 in May and that included a 4 for 5 game. I’m not intirely sure but pretty confident he wouldn’t bat much better then that in the majors during that same stretch.

    The offense has been more then good enough in May to win but what the heck it’s not our money. Let’s bring him up and see if a 22 year old can put an entire team on his shoulders and take them to the promise land. Maybe he can teach Pedro how to throw to first, get our starting pitchers past the 6th inning and whisper words of encouragment to Mercer before he goes up to bat. Maybe he can slide 30 ft forward in .2 seconds to catch all the singles to right field our relievers have been giving up.

  314. Jim S. says:

    The defense has been extremely porous behind Charlie all season, and that’s bad for a guy that forces the infield to get 2 outs many innings.

  315. Andrew says:

    Kyle Stark is just across the Allegheny.

  316. Dom says:

    Tomorrow could be Bylsma’s last game.

  317. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know if the hit batter, when it seemed like Peralta was struggling getting around on him, may have rattled Charlie just a bit. Then, the error compounded things.

    I think it is safe to say the Pedro error was extremely costly, but Charlie did not react well to it. Teammates need to pick one another up. That didn’t happen for either guy.

  318. pattonbb says:

    He wasn’t blocked by anyone. He’s an insanely gifted athlete, but his snaps were repeatedly cut due to on and off the field problems. If Charone Peak hadn’t blown out his acl, Bryant wouldn’t have seen half the balls Taj threw his way. By the end of the year he was losing playing time to a freshman.

    Bryant is a project. An absolute boom or bust pick. I hope he turns out to be the next Plax, minus the prison sentence.

  319. Dom says:

    The Browns release Vince Young to make room for the future Vince Young, Johnny Manziel:

  320. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know how he pitched there as a Rastro, but I recall him getting lit up big time last year early in the year.

  321. Jim S. says:

    Extra points for the Barrabas reference, Groat.

  322. NMR says:

    But hey, John Kruk says they need offense and beer is $9 at PNC Park, so let’s write an article about why last weekend was the perfect time to call up Polanco.


  323. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Nate. I think we all knew Jordy was a bit light defensively. But, he hit last year. He has not hit much this year, but he really perked up on this homestand. He had a huge double over the CF’s head in the first game of the Toronto series, if I am not mistaken. I think it was the game winner. There’s plenty of time for him to have a decent season with the bat, if he keeps heading in the right direction.

  324. Jim S. says:

    +++, Lucky.

  325. Jim S. says:

    Or, certainly only if at least one guy, any guy, on your team has shown any sort of proficiency bunting.

  326. Jim S. says:

    As for a suicide squeeze in the 9th …

    * I don’t like it with 0 outs because we had 2 cracks at a Sac Fly there.

    * There are only certain guys on any team I would trust with that play.

    * I don’t like bunting with the bases loaded because of the force play at any base.

  327. Nate83 says:

    Don’t bother the postion has been filled by me. I’m playing percussion but mostly cow bell because a group called the Incorrigibles would have to have a lot of cow bell.

  328. Jim S. says:

    Arriba said, in effect, he fears Bryant could become Limas Sweed II. I admitted to having the same fear.

    You said he can’t become Limas Sweed II “because (first of all) he’s not Limas Sweed and (second of all) he’s not a 2nd round pick, he’s a 4th rounder.”

    So, by that reasoning, no one can ever be compared to someone else since they are not, in fact, that person? I don’t even know where you are going with that. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    I have a concern that he may underachieve and be a bust – whether by 2nd or 4th round standards. I thought we had other needs at that point. I hope I’m wrong because I always want the Steelers to do well. It’s just an opinion I was stating, which is the point of a blog last time I checked.

  329. Thundercrack says:


  330. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey Groat:

    Sorry, demands, man.

    I’m not real familiar with that series. Not a DC man, myself. If I recall that series came out 5-6 years ago ? If it is the same thing, I can recall uneven reviews.

    DC has upped their game in the last few years, introducing the New 52 three years ago. My son likes the DC stuff a lot. Maybe someone else can clue you in.

    Glad you went to the store, though. Most of my friends from childhood have quit getting the physical media and just download the issues now. ( I feel like I am paraphrasing the last page of The Polar Express).

    I’m still old Skool, yo.

  331. Nate83 says:

    I personally don’t think the expectation could possible be as high for Bryant as they where for Sweed so in that regard I do not think they can be compared.

    I don’t expect much out of a 4th round receiver that probably ended up being something like the 15th wide receivers taken overall. Sweed was somebody everyone knew and expected to contribute. He fell way short of expectations. I don’t know what the equivalent would be for Bryant. Breaking both legs getting of the bus the first day of training camp and never putting on a Steelers uniform.

  332. hockeymonster says:

    Flower has definitely done his part. We had games this series where we only allowed 17-22 shots. Save percentage isn’t an accurate way to access flower and he’s waaay down the list when it comes to why we’re here. But i do agree that effort wasn’t primary issue last night. We lost our composure and focus when it was 3-1 in last part of 3rd. But overall i think it was scheme and philosophy that cost us the game last night.

    And we found ourselves down 2-0 cuz we were getting caught deep on forecheck with undisciplined F3 recognition. This left dmen on a island without back pressure. Go look at 2nd GA, our forwards are still trying to backcheck to help our D. There was a ton of separation between forwards and D which left scuderi on his own. He did a great job breaking up centering pass which should’ve been the end of the push on that rush. But our forwards never got back to help Piece defend that backhand shot from hagelin. Flower should’ve had it but the scheme had a part in leaving piece on a island.

    On 1st GA, I think i recall all 3 forwards caught below goal line but main problem was that letang went to retrieve puck with very little support and ended up falling and reacting late. And on 3rd GA i think flower mishandled the shot which led to an effort goal by brassard.

    And getting real deal going by moving geno back to center would’ve been a good move as a change up. But the PP needs sid n geno to be separated even more, so we can get 2 RH shots on PP for each unit. Not holding my breathe on this one. I think sid n geno have spoken so i’ve basically given up on this one. However predictability IS an issue with PP. 5v5 we should pick our spots to re-unite sid n geno, like after icings or TV TO’s.

    So to answer your question when it was 2-1 we had every opportunity to clog up the NZ and force NYR to skate thru a wall. Minor tweaks were called for. Not an overhaul of philosophy. It was clear from start of 1st that disco gave them orders to pressure and forecheck with 2 man waves all over the ice. But seems like F3 duties weren’t assigned. Being patient would’ve led to transition rushes and chances after creating turnovers in NZ. You know…like when we were winning in dominating fashion.

  333. Nate83 says:

    Wait a minute. Vince Young was still in the league? I guess that is only true if you consider the Browns a legitmate NFL team.

  334. Jim S. says:

    Can we get him and his goggles to Milwaukee by Thursday?

  335. Nate83 says:

    Darn right free Worley. Just think what Searage will be able to do with him once he gets his hands on him.

    In all seriousness I thought it was a good low risk move to pick him up. He showed some good promise 3 or 4 years ago. Pirates lose some pitching options after this year and you can never have too much depth.

  336. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes. Where have you been, Dom ?

  337. JandyGirl,

    Sorry for delay. I actually had to focus on work for a while.

    Sid is a perfect point guard in basketball, for he would rather pass and set someone else up than put the biscuit in the basket. And he possesses a great shot——great backhand.

    The best thing another team can do against Sid is make him one-dimensional. I think Sid does that to himself at times——when he’s stressed or tired or injured or freaked. He reverts to passing first, even forcing passes. I think he was focused so much on getting Geno off the schnied, passing to him every time down ice, that unintentionally he has become too predictable.

    If I were Dan Bylsma, I would: 1/ put Geno back at center between James Neil and Juicy Jussi, and 2/ tell Sid to shoot tonight every time he touched the puck across the blue line. I’d tell Kunitz to build a tent in front of the net and Gibbons that 100 MPH is too slow for him to be going.

    You hate to change things too much for a game #7, but I’d focus on getting Crosby back on his game for at least the first 30 minutes. Keeping Sid focused on O-fense might get his mind off the stupid retaliations that certainly appear to be distracting him.

  338. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just a reminder.

    Three days to premier of Godzilla.

    Raymond Burr’s best film, not counting Airplane 2.

  339. Vince Young was cut by the Pittsburgh Power before Brownies picked him up.

    {Dejan can tell you all about it}

  340. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, there are plenty of objective reasons. They may be wrong, but there are objective reasons.

    Read the portion of Malcolm Gladwell’s “What the Dog Saw” about college quarterbacks making it to the NFL.

  341. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and the 1 goal we got was cuz Nisky had the awareness to walk the line to the Center Point which opened up a chance and shooting lane for sutter. Lack of F3 support and recognition also led to us not being able to utilize the center point as a passing out for dmen. Center point and high slot re-direct plays have been a huge part of our offense lately. But for whatever reason last night was all about forwards pressuring with no discipline or recognition of percentages.


    {because NOW is never as important as 6 seasons from NOW}

  343. Arriba Wilver says:

    Let me try it this way, without letting Petey off the hook. Pedro isn’t in the position in that inning to make up for the error necessarily. The guy on the pitching mound is, though.

  344. Arriba Wilver says:

    And that makes him different from other Pirate pitchers how?


  345. Jim S. says:

    I thought Burr was good in Rear Window, too, Osh.

    Jimmy Stewart was great in that, as always. And, Grace Kelly? Oh my. Any old movie with her is worth watching over and over.

  346. Thundercrack says:

    Here is my post that has been in moderation since 8:41AM. {not sure why}

    I don’t imagine that Mario went into the locker room last night after the game, sat down next to Crosby and said “Don’t worry about the game, our sellout streak will still be intact”.

    I can see Mario be concerned with winning and making money – – not just on making money/sellout streak.

    “Year after year, all we hear about is winning the Cup…….. yet the personnel changes needed to do just that never materialize.”

    Except for this year haven’t the Pens been very active at and around the trade deadline? And haven’t they’ve brought in some big name stars?

  347. Jim S. says:

    He may end up starting a lot of games for this team, beginning pretty soon if Wandy gets rocked again this week and in his next start.

  348. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh my, indeed. Breathtaking. (And I ain’t talking about Perry Mason).

    I agree with every other word you said, too, Jim.

  349. Naterosboro says:

    “The guy on the pitching mound is, though.”

    So we’re holding Charlie responsible for not bailing out his teammate who was supposed to make a play for him?

    I say if he does, great. It is his job to get outs. But basically the only part he can control is throwing the ball in good locations to get batters to hit the ball to fielders (& strikeouts). It’s on the player to make the play. Pedro (& others) have really let Charlie down so far in this department.

    But I’m not going to hold that against the pitcher. I hope you wouldn’t either.

    Maybe Charlie can pick up his teammates better, I agree, but his teammates need to start making plays for him. He hasn’t pitched anywhere near as bad as his record says.

  350. I wonder if Grace Kelly’s skin was a soft as it looked. Ugh!

    However, I admire her for her brains!

  351. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know if any of them has a halfway decent record there.

  352. Jim S. says:

    Of course. Me, too.

    Her only flaw? Philly girl. ;-)

  353. Nate83 says:

    He doesn’t have the qualifications unless off course raising money is a qualification. He is well liked and respected (I know that sounds weird) in that part of Ohio. He will have no problem getting alumni to donate large sums of money.

  354. No wonder it was in moderation all this time!

    You said the name “Mario” and the words GREAT or MAGNIFICENT were not included anywhere.

    You’re lucky you got it through at all.

  355. Yet she had the wisdom to move away——far away!

  356. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate–I was only making a factual statement. It’s true, right?

    Not absolving the defense AT ALL. But, the balls I saw hit after that were line drives to the outfield or squibblers that fell in. I may be getting my games mixed up, but there was also one to the left of 2nd base that if Walker had made he would have been renamed Jack Wilson.

  357. I can sure see why.


    (Have to make up for the Drewly departed)

  358. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was kidding, Jim. Sort of. :)

    Of course, Rear Window is his best film. Film is in the cinematic Canon.

    But, it is proof what a masterful director can do with essentially a television caliber actor.

    In college my friends and I called it the Malcolm McDowell syndrome. Saw him in A Clockwork Orange under the directing guidance of the great Stanley Kubrick and were blown away by his performance. Rushed to rent and watch his other movies just to learn he stunk.

  359. Arriba Wilver says:


  360. Thundercrack says:

    Just trying to beat the moderator.

  361. Thundercrack says:

    You lost me at Jack Wilson.

    Out of my group!

  362. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Television caliber?”

    Lots of great actors on television these days, especially if you include cable and premium channels.

    On the other hand, there is David Caruso.


  363. JohninOshkosh says:

    That Syndrome theory was developed when The Fall Guy was a hit on television. Perhaps, theory does not pass the test of time.

  364. theplanisworking says:

    **You do realize coach and GM changes are personnel decisions also?
    **You do realize that Iginla was brought in last year and thoroughly misused?…………. to the tune of having a great year for Boston this year?
    **You do realize that the coach plays players that should sit, and sits players that should play?
    **You do realize that the coach does not match lines, leading to more problems?
    **You do realize that the GM has signed players he shouldn’t have?
    **You do realize that the GM hasn’t gotten gritty role players that would help out, especially come playoff time?

    –One cannot parrot about ‘winning the Cup’, when one doesn’t do what is necessary to win it?
    –One cannot allow lower seeded teams to ALWAYS oust the Pens, and have no consequences.
    –This year the Pens brought in some role players, no stars. I don’t think bylsma would know what to do with a star. (See Iginla, Jarome)

  365. Jim S. says:

    I’m not that much of a film buff, but I know enough to say Malcolm McDowell is no Roddy McDowell.

  366. Dom says:

    Right here.

  367. Arriba Wilver says:

    OK, you’ve convinced me, Plan.

    It’s all about the sellout streak.

  368. Thundercrack says:

    OK. I agree with some of your points.

    But do you really believe that Mario and Burkle care about $$$ and sell out streaks more than they do with winning?

  369. JohninOshkosh says:


    Oh, you know your flicks, Jim!

  370. “Barney Rubble . . . . what an actor!!”

  371. JohninOshkosh says:


  372. Arriba Wilver says:

    The thing is, Lee Majors couldn’t act, on television or the Big Screen. He couldn’t act. But he had a successful career and married Farrah Fawcett. He’s the one smiling. And I saw him on Big Valley and The Six Million Dollar Man. Dude couldn’t act.

    Raymond Burr, on the other hand, could. ;-)

  373. Besides, what’s Consol hold, 18,000? Weren’t those 3 games at PNC over the weekend sellouts or close to it? Who cares about some lame sellout streak? ;)

    Whoops. Can’t compare the 2 on this here blog.

  374. A Plan In The Making,

    Quite frequently I agree with you, but you state the above as if they are facts. They are just opinions.

    ——Did you know (fact) that Iginla’s 31 goals this season for Boston is the exact same rate per game as his 5 goals in 13 games for the Pens last season. Fact.
    ——Iginla was only the Pen’s 3rd best left wing last season. How was he misused? Did you want him on 3rd line?
    ——I disagree with your opinion that the coach plays players that should sit, and sits players that should play? Are you saying that by watching TV you know more about who should suit up than the 4 coaches at practice and behind the bench at games?

    You state your “Opinions” forcefully, but my confidence still rests on Dan Bylsma and his 3 assistants who make up the Coaching Staff.

  375. 21sthebest says:

    Don’t the Rooney’s have a sellout streak?

    Not sure about the Riverhounds.

  376. Boy, could he whip around that wheelchair!

  377. The Hound-dogs only have a losing streak.

  378. Jim S. says:

    M. Keaton

  379. Karen22 says:

    And my brother, who was born on Mother’s Day – May 12, 1957.


  380. Arriba Wilver says:

    The “equivalent” for Bryant in my book is he sucks. This ain’t rocket science. When it turns out he sucks, everybody can say, well, he was only a 4th round pick. Hoo-hah!

    Just saying he’s going to fail. I hope the young man proves me dead wrong, but the focus on Limas Sweed is really amusing. Not to mention trying to say there is no info to establish a “hunch.” Hilarious !

  381. theplanisworking says:

    being I am not Mario and Burkle, I can’t say for sure, obviously.
    However, being they employ a coach and GM that eschews a gritty style of play, for a ‘pretty’ style of play, and the composition of the team is NOT built for winning a Cup, even though they have the 2 best players in the world, I think you can see where the commitment to winning can be severely questioned. At least I hope you can, I don’t know.

    Tomorrow night will be very telling, and the changes/lack of changes afterwards will be even more telling.

  382. chethejet1 says:

    Raymond Burr’s best film, not counting Airplane 2.

    Coming out international event for Godzilla. I would have given Godzilla best supporting actor…or actress award. Not sure exactly what sex Godzilla is, but if I had to pick, female. Interesting read on Wiki. Godzilla was the Japanese rebuttal to using nuclear weapons. Ray never really did come out.

  383. chethejet1 says:

    I also think Della was wondering why Perry never made a move on her. Anyone ever meet anyone named Della.

  384. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve watched some old (well, they’re all old) recently, and I’ve been surprised that there were some clear indications, at least by 50’s early 60 ‘s moral rules, that there was definitely something more going on there.

  385. Arriba Wilver says:

    Old episodes*

  386. Thundercrack says:

    “The question one must ask is this…….. is this ownership group more concerned with the sellout streak, or winning the Cup? I would say that the lack of chamges after last year’s Bruin series showed that winning the Cup was not the top priority. Having a coach that plays ‘exciting’ hockey in the regular season, which makes $$$ by putting butts in seats seems to be top priority.”

    Plan, that is what you posted earlier this morning. So I think you believe in their minds winning the cup is secondary to making money. The Cup is not the top priority. I don’t know about Burkle but I don’t think Mario thinks that way.

  387. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Dook Fan:

    Most, if not all posters here state opinions as if they were facts. I don’t recall doing so, but am no more guilty of the practice than anyone else here. I do not understand your point on this matter.

    Iginla was on the wrong side last year. This is my exact point!!!! Iginla is a RIGHT winger! He was out of position last year! Coaches misused him! COME ON, MAN !!

    How do you explain the Adams/Bortuzzo/Despres sit/not sit goofiness?

    I understand the coaches SHOULD know which players to sit, which to dress, and where to play them. But the coaches aren’t perfect. They do make mistakes. This coaching staff makes many……. unneccessarily, I might add.

  388. Prounced “Gadjeera” by Masumi Kawata, who was shocked at the nomination.

  389. Naterosboro says:

    Yea, but it seems to me like we’re putting a negative on Charlie’s performance because he wasn’t able to overcome an error by his 3rd baseman, which I think is incorrect.

    It’s probably just the former pitcher in me, but I’ll never knock a guys performance for things he can’t fully control.

  390. Jim S. says:

    I see the Cavs fired Mike Brown …. again.

  391. 21sthebest says:

    “Most, if not all posters here state opinions as if they were facts. ”

    Which one is that? :-)

  392. Adams/Bortuzzo/Despres oh my!


    I know, stay of this discussion, right?

  393. JohninOshkosh says:

    Definitely a Cold War theme, like every other episode of The Twilight Zone.

    When I was a kid, my buddy and I made a Super 8mm film using a Godzilla model I had made. Arms and legs could not move. Used n scale train. First effort at acting and my buddy and I chewed some serious scenery.

    Still did a better job than Lee Majors. I just didn’t have his looks.

    Love Godzilla, though.

  394. Jim S. says:

    Remember when Lee Majors used to be on the Pitt football sidelines during the Johnny Majors (no relation) heyday? Or, was it Sherrell?

  395. theplanisworking says:

    “which makes $$$ by putting butts in seats SEEMS to be top priority.”

    I can’t state with certainty.
    But when an organization doesn’t make changes toward their goal, one can have an opinion that the sellouts and $$$ are the priority. If winning was the priority, changes would have been made after the Boston series. They weren’t.

  396. Jim S. says:

    I’m going to be in Minneapolis tomorrow/Wed on business, and we are going to catch the BoSox vs. Twins at Target Field. I was at a game there a few years ago, and like the stadium very much.

    It’s not PNC to see the Bucs, but its still MLB. Might have to duck out to a local watering hole, though, to catch at least one period of the Pens if it appears early on that they have shown up.

  397. theplanisworking says:

    Reverend, you are always welcome to any discussion.

    I was specifically asked about how the coaches don’t play the correct players. I responded. No one can explain the decisions to sit Despres for another players mistakes, or why he is a whipping boy for Bylsma.

    Besides, don’t the Pens have to worry about calling up Polanco?

  398. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t see end up marrying a rich guy from Monaca? ;-)

  399. Jim S. says:


  400. Naterosboro says:

    “**You do realize coach and GM changes are personnel decisions also?”

    Yes they are.

    “**You do realize that Iginla was brought in last year and thoroughly misused?…………. to the tune of having a great year for Boston this year?”

    Thoroughly misused? B/c he was played on the other wing? How do you know how Iginla would’ve performed had he played an entire season in Pittsburgh? And are you saying the other players in Boston had nothing to do with his good season, or it was just the coaching staff using him properly?

    “**You do realize that the coach plays players that should sit, and sits players that should play?”

    What evaluations are you basing this on? Other commenters here on the blog? Dejan? Do you do your own breakdown and analysis of games?

    “**You do realize that the coach does not match lines, leading to more problems?”

    Again, what are you basing this on? Something you’ve read? Heard? Here or somewhere else? I’ve never heard this. Can you elaborate?

    “**You do realize that the GM has signed players he shouldn’t have?”

    Can you name some of these players?

    “**You do realize that the GM hasn’t gotten gritty role players that would help out, especially come playoff time?”

    What gritty role player did Shero fail to bring in? Who are you thinking about?

    “–One cannot parrot about ‘winning the Cup’, when one doesn’t do what is necessary to win it?”

    In whose opinion? Are you saying the Penguins are not doing what’s necessary to win a cup? If so, can you elaborate? Is your elaboration going to be “play the players who should play and sit who should sit, and the GM should sign the gritty role players needed for the playoffs”?

    “–One cannot allow lower seeded teams to ALWAYS oust the Pens, and have no consequences.”

    Actually, I agree here. It may be time to take things in a new direction, for the sake of things getting stale.

    “–This year the Pens brought in some role players, no stars. I don’t think bylsma would know what to do with a star. (See Iginla, Jarome)”

    Bylsma has coached 1 of (if not the) biggest stars in the league since he’s been an NHL head coach. Not to mention another top 5/10 NHL player on the roster.

  401. Pascal Dupuis and James Neal were better RIGHT wingers than Jarome Iginla last year. He was 3rd best.

    Jarome Iginla still at left wing scored at the same rate for the Pens last year (5 goals/13 games) as he did at right wing this year for the Bruins in 82 games. [fact]

    Craig Adams is one of the more valuable forwards on the #1 Penalty Kill in the NHL.

    Simon Depres makes more mistakes than he makes good plays——and I was/am against trading him, for he will be good eventually.

    I personally would skate Robert Bortuzzo over Rob Scuderi. Yet Bortuzzo made a blatant mistake in last night’s game, so he is not the perfect option. I tend to think the coaching staff know more firsthand about who should be the 6th defenseman. If the Coaching Staff chooses a different 6th Defenseman than I would, I can live with that. We’re talking about the 6th Defenseman!

    My opinion is diametrically opposed to your opinion that this coaching staff makes many unnecessary mistakes.

  402. Yeah, but only because you and I were too young! Prince Ranier. (and too poor!)

  403. JohninOshkosh says:

    Better hope the Wild arn’t playing at same time like they were last night during Pens third period because you won’t find a TV on that has the Pens game going. :)

  404. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


    What type of pitch is usually thrown right after a 4 pitch walk?

    Groovy baby

  405. Sweet Jimmie,

    Have a Pepsi on me. Put it on my tab.

    Been to Minne. Never been to Target.

  406. Reading says:

    The walk to load the bases doomed the inning. The Pirates are Kings of the 1-2-3 double play. At least two this year that I can recall, probably more. As long as the bases weren’t loaded, I felt they’d at least tie the game. You hesitate to say he intentionally walked Barmes because that put the winning run on second, but that was their get out of jail free card.

  407. It’s Barmes’ fault!!!

  408. Thundercrack says:

    OK. You have the opinion that sellouts and $$$ are their priority.
    I do not have that opinion.

  409. Thundercrack says:

    Is snow in the forecast Jim?

  410. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Rony Cedeno was the only one who bunted with the bases loaded.

    And Clint sat his butt on the pine after that one.

  411. Hey Cracker!

    Tell Drew to get his butt back here!

    We need him. I need him!

  412. Sarah says:

    And another optional practice!
    Pens have made it through an entire series now without a single mandatory practice.
    While their PP is stinking up the joint.

  413. Because mandatory practices and giving up 4-5 hours of rest are just what the Penguin players need before playing their 95th game of the season.

    Let’s give them a good tongue lashing while we’re at it.

    Or bring in an old school Catholic Nun to slap their hands with a ruler.

    Can’t the same positive instruction be given at 3:30 before tomorrow night’s game——without disrupting a day of mental and physical rest?

  414. Arriba Wilver says:


  415. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well, Rev, you certainly have that over me—being welcome to any discussion. ;-)

  416. JT says:

    If you guys knew what I knew about Neal, it would explain a lot. I’m not about to be the one who makes it public…but its bad.

  417. Arriba Wilver says:

    Actually, as I was corrected one time, it was the idiot relative of the boss who made the famous line. Michael Keaton probably came up with it, though. ;-)

  418. JT says:

    If you guys knew what I knew about Neal, it would explain a lot. I’m not about to be the one who makes it public…but its bad.

  419. Arriba Wilver says:

    I saw that movie—Super 8.


  420. Andrew says:

    First goal, Letang lost a puck battle and fell below the goal line from there the D-zone coverage is shambolic. Both Malkin and Crosby appearing to be playing passing lanes, but fail to prevent the passes, shot from the slot, bad rebound which four Pens could have cleared but failed to.

    Second goal I see the breakdown occurring with the Borts pinch/Jokinen pass. Three forward deep is not ideal but they had four skaters deep, mistakes happen all the time it is the successions of mistakes that lead to goals, call this mistake (1). Jokinen could have reserved the puck or made a wider pass (2) which Hagelin tipped, and why is Borts aggressively pinching without the F3 high and Scuderi the only man back (3). From there Hagelin covers 110′ of ice as Scuderi covers about 82′, despite getting out-skated Scuderi prevents the centering pass, but cannot recover to better hinder the shooter. A lot could have gone different.

    We can debate systems all day but the bottom line is execute, which was severely lacking on 2nd goal. I have no issues with the 2-3 full pinch which the Penguins prefer, I see execution as the issue, the Penguins goaltending is not good enough to repeatedly cover breakdowns.

    Margins are so thin, if Fluey saves that back hand shot, or Goc elevates the puck 1 1/2″ more on SH chance its a different game.

    Agree of the PP, Crosby and Malkin are and have been redundant, both want to play the side wall. I find it somewhat odd that I see repeated complaints the supposed misuse of Iginla last year, but nothing about the what I think is misuse of Neal. The Pens got Neal because he scored at a high rate per given opportunities and would be a great fit with elite passing forward. Now in a crucial period he is playing with a checking center, being asked to shoulder a greater defensive load and seeing dwindling PP time. But you know he is lazy.

  421. Andrew says:

    A lot more than I wanted to write but there is no Pirates game.

  422. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It makes no sense to be ripping a guy apart that hasn’t even entered the building on the South Side (unless he did today).
    I don’t like the 3rd Round pick (because I thought they should’ve gone for a CB) but I’m not going to start calling him the next Stefan Logan.
    You guys better hope Bryant is a bust.
    If he’s not, I’ll bring it up to you for at least the next four years.

  423. JohninOshkosh says:

    Canadian Rosie Clooney!

    (Thanks, Milo).

  424. Sarah says:

    The way they are playing?

  425. theplanisworking says:

    Happy Birthday to Special K’s Brother !!!


  426. theplanisworking says:

    Sarah, this team needs the discipline and structure a practice would bring. They need to work on that PP, and just talking about it at 3:30 game day will not do.

    But hey, tee times readily available if they lose tomorrow.

  427. Arriba Wilver says:

    Frankly, Daq, I’d prefer you bringing it up to me for the next 4 years than being right.

    Still have that “hunch,” though.

    (Here’s a secret—hunches can be wrong.)

  428. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  429. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Wilver – The word “hunch” didn’t arrive till your third post.
    The original was….”Limas Sweed II.
    Write it down.”

    “Write it down” usually means a very sure thing, not a hunch.

  430. Arriba Wilver says:


    1. You challenged specifically my use of the term “hunch.” (I’m not going to count which one).

    2. Go back a little further in this Mini-thread and see what started it all. It was Ryan saying
    “Martavis Bryant is a beast. Projected 2nd rounder and one of the top WR in the draft. Big, physical and fast. Just what they needed. Steal of the draft-write it down….if they actually use him, unlike Wheaton last year.”

    THAT was what I was responding to, “steal of the draft-write it down.”

    But don’t let me interfere with your somewhat strange theme.

  431. JohninOshkosh says:

    Way to go Habs.

    One more period to force a game 7.

  432. Go ahead, back up your words. Nobody knows who “JT” is.

  433. Arriba Wilver says:

    I share your disdain, Lucky, for this type of anonymous totally ambiguous cheap shot.

  434. MikeVee says:

    I’ve been complaining about this for years and throughout the CBJ series. The wins against the Rags were against a flat team. Guess what coach made adjustments and here we go again

  435. DJ says:

    I saw him Neal live at Game 5. I commented after that game he must have been out until 2:00 a.m. in light of his play. I commented above @ 7:32 a.m. that he did not show up for Game 6.

    No one has really focused on Neal but if you watched both games, he was lost. Not “one bad night” lost but “something grossly wrong” lost .

    Based upon what I saw, I also said — for the first time — that I would trade him due to a lack of professionalism and maturity.

  436. Vette60 says:

    Those underachieving Broons. How could they dare let a lower seeded team beat them in a playoff game? Where we’re their stars? What a letdown.!

    We’ll, game 7 for the Pens and the Broons.

    Randy in RVA.

  437. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not questioning that, DJ, just the approach of JT.

  438. JohninOshkosh says:

    Zactly. Weren’t they the big, bad unbeatable team in the East ?

    Exact same position as the Pens: decisive game 7 on home ice.

  439. Andrew says:

    Boston is built for the playoff… accept when the lost after having a 3-0 lead.

    I love how the scrums are interpreted as message sending.

  440. DJ says:

    Understood, AW. Not going to speculate about explanations for what I’ve seen from Neal but also would not be surprised if something out of left field surfaced with him in particular.

    I don’t think Neal’s a very mature individual. It prompted, in part, my wish for Bill Guerin very early today. There’s a huge “leadership / settling influence” void on this team.

  441. Arriba Wilver says:

    I miss BG, too. One would hope one of our boys would have grown into that role by now, but haven’t seen any evidence of that.

    I assume that’s Bylsma’s fault. ;-)

  442. DJ says:

    Not Dan’s fault but he certainly has tools in his box to work with.

    How about TOI or PP shifts being tied to effort? Or being dropped down a line and moving someone up?

  443. Jandy says:

    What? Does he wiz in public urinals like Justin Bieber does???? Oh My!

  444. Jandy says:

    err make that public trash cans…for urinals…

  445. Jandy says:

    JT? WHy, that’s Justin Timberlake, right? ;)

  446. Jandy says:

    And this:
    “**You do realize that the coach plays players that should sit, and sits players that should play?”

    What evaluations are you basing this on? Other commenters here on the blog? Dejan? Do you do your own breakdown and analysis of games?
    It won’t change that legit young talents such as Simon Despres will seldom get a chance to prove themselves — or fail — in the all-important regular season. President’s Trophy or bust!

  447. Jandy says:

    “**You do realize that Iginla was brought in last year and thoroughly misused?…………. to the tune of having a great year for Boston this year?”

    Thoroughly misused? B/c he was played on the other wing? How do you know how Iginla would’ve performed had he played an entire season in Pittsburgh? And are you saying the other players in Boston had nothing to do with his good season, or it was just the coaching staff using him properly?

    Someone thinks differently:
    It won’t change future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla being moved to left wing to accommodate Neal.

    And here:
    ”?One cannot parrot about ‘winning the Cup’, when one doesn’t do what is necessary to win it?”

    “–In whose opinion? Are you saying the Penguins are not doing what’s necessary to win a cup? If so, can you elaborate? Is your elaboration going to be “play the players who should play and sit who should sit, and the GM should sign the gritty role players needed for the playoffs?
    It won’t change that Wilkes-Barre’s most promising forward is journeyman Harry Zolnierczyk. He’ll turn 27 before the next training camp.
    It won’t change that the Penguins’ hypersensitive brass, even on the hockey side, remains fixated on controlling the message and brand rather than improving it.

    And This:
    “**You do realize that the GM has signed players he shouldn’t have?”

    Can you name some of these players?
    It won’t change that Rob Scuderi, 35, is in the first of a four-year, $13.5 million contract. And no, he’s not eligible for the amnesty buyout.
    It won’t change that Matt Niskanen, their best defenseman in this series and all season, is good as gone this coming offseason in large part because Ray Shero last summer committed $58 million to Kris Letang. Niskanen is better than Letang

    “**You do realize that the coach plays players that should sit, and sits players that should play?”

    What evaluations are you basing this on? Other commenters here on the blog? Dejan? Do you do your own breakdown and analysis of games?
    It won’t change that legit young talents such as Simon Despres will seldom get a chance to prove themselves — or fail — in the all-important regular season. President’s Trophy or bust!

    “**You do realize that the GM hasn’t gotten gritty role players that would help out, especially come playoff time?”

    What gritty role player did Shero fail to bring in? Who are you thinking about?
    It won’t change that the only player to come to Crosby’s aid at any point in this postseason has been Kunitz, a 5-10 skill guy. All Deryk Engelland and Tanner Glass have been enforcing is no cutting in line for the press box nachos.

  448. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I don’t find a stranger theme at this point in time than….”Limas Sweed II – Write it down”…

  449. Naterosboro says:

    So essentially…everything you guys base your opinions on comes from Dejan’s writing?

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