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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: Seventh heaven?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday column wonders what, if anything, will change for the Penguins with a Game 7 victory tonight. Other than the obvious, of course.

The Game 7 history of the Penguins is no point of pride, by beat men Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe.

Here’s a breakdown of that history.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin strikingly showed up at the podium yesterday afternoon — Crosby hates podiums, and Malkin just hates media sessions of any kind — and tried to give off a jovial feel. Jason Mackey was at Consol.

Here’s some of that session:

Rob Scuderi talks trust, by Yohe.

Deadline pickups Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak hope to leave a mark, by Chris Adamski.

The Rangers have their own Game 7 history. Denis Gorman guarantees it.

Henrik Lundqvist squirts his way to a fine, by Yohe.

And in the other bracket, the Canadiens force a Game 7, by the Montreal Gazette.

Here’s Habs-Bs highlights from the NHL’s YouTube channel:

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

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

>> Gerrit Cole could take another step toward ace status tonight in Milwaukee. Kevin Gorman reports. Quality line from Neal Huntington in this piece: ‘There are some guys in this league when they get sent out there, you expect to win. Gerrit certainly has that potential.’

Here’s what WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word panel had to say about the series:

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

Here’s Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez are out, but Ryan Braun is coming back.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Kevin Colbert went one-on-one with our Mark Kaboly on his TribLIVE Radio show yesterday. Some good stuff about the Steelers’ draft in here.

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

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

>> Our weekly chat will come at 1 p.m. right here on the blog. Once you see the post go up, which should be around 11 a.m., feel free to submit entries. All topics welcome.

>> You know where I’ll be tonight. 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. Mizery says:

    I can’t wait for the game tonight. Hate to sound like a downer but is anyone else expecting a lackluster effort in the first period and then watching the pens try to play catch up the rest of the game? I hope I’m pleasantly surprised but I don’t have the confidence I used to that this team will come to play.

    I love the Steelers draft. I wanted a cornerback too, but wouldn’t necessarily trade in one of their picks for what was left on the board. The one guy I wanted was Cornerback Pierre Desir, but I like what Archer brings to the Steelers offense.

    What happened to the Riverhounds? I was all excited for their rise to dominance, and all they have been able to do is rise to defeat.

  2. theplanisworking says:

    Well, tonight, something has to happen for the first time in history.

    1) Will the Penguins win a home game 7 after losing a road game 6?


    2) Will the Rangers win a playoff series against the Penguins?

    Neither has happened before in history.

    That this series is even in a 7th game, when the Rangers were so dead tired after playing 5 games in 7 nights, is ridiculous.

    What does Biz always say?
    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

    With the 2 best players in the world, and the world’s best coach, this should be a piece of cake, right?


    Go Pens.

  3. David says:

    Thanks for writing today’s “air brush” column about the Pens. You put down in words everything I’ve said to my friends since last year’s loss to the Bruins. Keep telling the truth and hopefully the team will listen!

  4. David says:

    Sad, to hope the Pens lose a game 7! But I agree, changes must come & watching them get embarrassed against Habs/B’s would be brutal. Changes should have been made last year!

  5. Thundercrack says:

    To me it doesn’t matter if Brandon Saad and John Gibson are from the Pittsburgh area, California or Russia. Just find & draft the best talent.

    The writer of the headline for the sports section has it: Lose, and changes might be in store.


  6. Thundercrack says:

    “The biggest thing is not letting him know that. He’s got to keep working. He’s got to keep developing his stuff.”

    it’s almost like Gerrit was ready for the big leagues and got so much better when he got here. It was fascinating to see but it was also, ‘Gerrit, don’t let it get to your head.’

    Tony Sanchez on Gerrit Cole. Ha! Hey TS how about you getting better in the big leagues

  7. JAL says:

    JAL’s Busted Bicycle 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

    First Pitch: Could the Pirates Be Sellers This July?

    Prospect Watch: Gregory Polanco Hits His Fifth Homer

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates MiLB recap: 5/12/14

    Book review: Jason Grilli’s hilariously narcissistic ‘Just My Game’

    7 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation Spot Shouldn’t Be A Gift

    8 Green Weenie

    5/12: McCarthy, Kiki, Wright, Suhr, Comorosky, No-Hit, Evan Meek, Strand-A-Rama…

    9 Rant Sports

    Fantasy Baseball: Is Charlie Morton Worth Adding Immediately?

    10 Pirates 101

    How Pittsburgh Pirates are Performing for Fantasy Baseball Owners

  8. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Beaver County Times

    Pirates start slow climb with strong homestand

    12 Yahoo Sports

    Pirates-Brewers Preview–mlb.html

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Cubs bring their bats for Cardinals in 17-5 trouncing

    14 New York Times

    Who’s on Third? In Baseball’s Shifting Defenses, Maybe Nobody

    15 Pirates Site

    Bucs being patient with Polanco, despite pressure

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Behind Reds’ Brayan Pena’s win-or-lose smiles

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers counting on Ryan Braun

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards’ homecoming ruined by Cubs, 17-5

    19 Fangraphs

    Baseball’s Most and Least Homerable Pitches

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Analytical Master or Leader of Men?

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Injuries slowed down Stephon Tuitt early in 2013

    Peter King: “it’s hard not to like what Pittsburgh did” in the draft

    Lawrence Timmons is among the oldest starting defenders on the 2014 Steelers


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Does pay follow performance in the English Premier League, or vice versa?

    23 BBC Football

    Manchester City: Pellegrini’s side ‘deserve Premier League title’

    Pepe Mel: West Bromwich Albion part company with manager

    24 World Soccer

    Atalanta fans throw bananas and possibly a knife at Milan players


    25 Pensburgh

    Your Incomprehensive, Half-Assed Rangers/Penguins Game 7 Guide

    Quick hitters: Do or die, Pascal Dupuis, Sid on the PP and more

  10. Jandy says:

    Hope, but expect.

  11. Jandy says:

    Oh My. Dejan’s quotes at the end of his column kinda reinforce what you say about the Penguins’ ownership:

    “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.

    This isn’t good enough. Not with this core. Not with this market’s passion for hockey, all the money that’s poured into it, all the reasonable expectations of excellence.

    The most glorious of Game 7s won’t change that. ”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

  12. Jandy says:

    EYE am NOT holding my breath.

  13. bpn8pitt says:

    I like Archer too, just not in the 3rd rd. Quick for sure, but little. Durability is a concern. The other thing I was thinking about is, he’s probably not a guy who can make a tackle on special teams. So he’s pretty 1 dimensional.

    When gets loose, great. But I thought the same thing about Chris Rainey. Yeah, he had off the field problems but didn’t do much on it either.

    Hope your Pens win.

  14. Wild Bill says:

    Oh boy, just read that Wandy is going to pitch Thusdays game. Braun is going to almost drown in a pool of his own drool.

  15. Jandy says:


  16. radio wave says:

    Welcome to the cup is half empty blog.

  17. Wild Bill says:

    The Pens brass can work to control the message all they want, but message this: a lifelong hockey nut like me watched about five minutes of the last game, and likely won’t watch much of tonight’s, if I can’t see a better compete level.

  18. mcpitt88 says:

    I worked with Desir while he was going to Lindenwood… Very hard worker but not a big guy as far as corners go

  19. radio wave says:

    Will a fight break out tonight? No not the Pens, thePirates in a must win series.

  20. Jandy says:

    That’s ok, I’ll just fill mine up with some Cap’n ‘n Coke ;)

  21. Karen22 says:

    Double ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!! But Braun drowning in anything is OK by me!

  22. Karen22 says:

    A glass of red wine is perfection to moi – and you never even fill the glass to the halfway point! ;)

  23. Jandy says:

    haha! +++++

  24. Jandy says:

    Good call, Karen, I had one last night. May have another tonight!

  25. Karen22 says:

    No idea which Pens team will show up tonight. No expectations, as they’ve disappointed me to the point of almost not caring in these playoffs. Friends are coming over to watch with us, so I’ll be on my best behavior. Duct tape will be on the menu. Changes? They need to happen regardless of what happens.

    Go Pens…or some of you need to GO.

  26. Karen22 says:

    I may have a few…before the game so I’m pickled and won’t care one whit!

  27. AL says:

    I can’t believe I actually rooted for P.K. Subban last night. Please forgive me!
    Isn’t it amazing what a little sweat equity will do for you when you’re the undersized team? Good for them.
    Don’t think the big bad Bruins were expecting to go to game 7.

  28. bpn8pitt says:

    Oh my

  29. Graig Fravel says:

    I agree with almost all of your columns. I love your writing and love communicating with you on twitter. I do think this one was a little harsh, though. Maybe it is my perspective as a Cleveland fan that I’m thinking of here, but I’m grateful to have a team that’s in this position this deep into the season. I have my quibbles with the team and how it’s run, namely that they gave the money to Letang that belongs to Niskanen(that was your most salient point), and their steadfast refusal to adjust the way they play. Honestly, it’s so simple. Just shoot the damn puck! Deflections off of the other team’s skates and shin guards count the same as the 66 goal against the North Stars.

    That said, I feel pretty good overall about Tuesday night. I view it as win-win. We win, we move on. Despite what you wrote, that is always a good thing. Again, I would give an awful lot to see my Browns win a wild-card game, or for my Indians to make the ALCS again. Playing playoff games that matter is something that Pittsburghers, with 9 titles between the Steelers and Pens, should never take for granted. It could all end quickly, making you the laughingstock of the league like my Browns and Cavs are currently. It’s not always fun rooting for a team like that, much less going without a title of any kind for half a century.

    If we lose, I’m pretty sure that 66, Ron Burkle and the top brass won’t stand for the status quo. Changes will be made, and that will be a good thing. Even if changes aren’t made(option number three?), I still get to cheer for a team that will play postseason games that matter for the forseeable future. That’s pretty great, considering they are the only professional favorite team of mine that can say that.

    Now, if we lose badly, will I be upset and disappointed? Sure. However, tomorrow’s another day, not to borrow a phrase from Scarlett O’ Hara. I’ve been a Penguins fan since 1986, and they have rarely left me disappointed and in despair like my Cleveland teams. I am still optimistic for the future, and the now. Do I think they’ll win the Cup? Probably not. However, we still have a shot, and that is worth a lot more than most Pittsburgh fans realize.

  30. Jandy says:


  31. likeabugonarug says:

    Was thinking the same thing.


  32. DJ says:

    Some of your best work the past two days, DK. Ticked all the boxes.

    • A Rico Fata mention. Commented to sons at Game 5 that Gibbons was reincarnation of Fata. Spectacular speed yet no finish. That said, love and support Gibbons even when he fails because of honest effort. Yes, effort.

    • “. . . in a league that’s increasingly stressing moving in packs and possessing the puck.”

    Yes, moving in packs. Precisely what we did so well in Game 4 and then promptly abandoned in Games 5 & 6.

    • “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!”

    Yes, how about that concept? Said last spring would sacrifice 2-3 wins per season because of rookie mistakes if content in the knowledge the player was learning, growing and refining his skills. Instead, Dan seems consumed by a “fastest coach to ‘X’ wins” mentality. Really, who cares? All about the playoffs.

    When every press conference is met with deep breaths, interminable pauses and trite responses — signaling the weight of the world is on the coach’s shoulders to the point of paralysis — it’s time for a change. This needs to be that year.

    Here’s hoping they bring their best tonight and bury the Rangers.

  33. kr70 says:

    liked DK’s list this A.M. needs 1 more,,,,No Grit.

  34. Pucknutz says:

    “Go Pens…or some of you need to GO”

    You got that right ! LOL

  35. Dom says:

    He’s 6’1″. That’s good size to me.

  36. BillyBaduka says:

    Agreed on finding the best talent.

    I don’t think the point about Saad and Gibson is the Pens should take local guys. I think the point is that the drafting philosophy has left the organization without much if any forward depth and there is no heir apparent goalie either.

    Trading young D for forwards is a good strategy but it shouldn’t be the only or even primary way that forwards are acquired. For any one that has a concern about Fleury, Gibson would be nice to have.

    Saad and Gibson being local reinforces the flaws in Pens drafts because the Pens would have more exposure to them than other teams and still passed for a puck moving D to be traded later.

    Another problem with the young D for F method, the forwards that are acquired are more expensive than home grown call ups. They are often older and slower too.

  37. Jandy says:


  38. Jandy says:

    Hey Dom, Dom! Guess what day it is??!!??

  39. DJ says:

    Not seeing any comeback against Lundqvist if we get down more than a goal tonight.

    MUST get the lead early and make the Rangers play from behind.

  40. BillyBaduka says:

    Well said Untamed William.

  41. dcpinpgh says:

    Dear NHL

    Let me get this straight, if one take a hard wooden object and purposely hit someone in the head with it(on 2 different occasions), that’s cool.

    If you take water and play squirt gun at the same persons head, that is worthy of a fine??



    I hear there is a sensitivity training going on in Miami. Maybe buy Henrik Lundqvist and Shawn Thornton a ticket to get reeducated. We cannot have random skate by squirting, think of the children the children…

  42. DJ says:

    Last year there was a little debate on this blog about Subban v. Letang.

    Notice that no one raises the topic anymore.

  43. So . . . . . Dejan wants the Penguins to lose so that heads roll in the Management at Consol. Nice!

    Isn’t this the same Dejan who wrote 1-2 years ago that Ray Shero was hands down the best General Manager of all the sports in Pittsburgh? Now Dejan wants him fired and the house cleaned.

    The arguments presented in this column have more holes than swiss cheese, starting with criticism for not drafting Saad and Gibson. Ridiculous!

    Last year Ray Shero was brilliant for bringing in “Captains” and more grit in Crankshaft, Brendan Morrow, and Iginla. Now he is being criticized for that. Last year Shero was wise for drafting all those defensemen, because they would be excellent trade-chips to get the forwards Pens would eventually need. Now Shero is foolish for trading Joe Morrow for “10 weeks of captain Brendan Morrow.”

    Also enjoyed the daily shot at Beau Bennett. Like clockwork.

    5 goals in 13 games for the Penguins last season is exactly the same rate of goal scoring that Iginla has in scoring 30 goals in 78 games for the Bruins this season——.385 goals per game. And Iginla had a higher rate of assists (.462) last season for the Pens than he has this year (.397) for the Bruins. I guess the Bruins have mismanaged Jarome Iginla just as badly as Bylsma did last year.

    I won’t even go to the striking similarity of harangues against the Pirates Front Office from 2 years ago by our same intrepid reporter/columnist. The same BMTIB Dejan now kisses up to. That Bob Nutting is a wonderful owner! Certainly better than the owners of the Pens, Mario and Birkle, who are silent with media reporters.

    The Penguins should lose! That will certainly make you popular with the typical “Negative Nellies” who populate these pages. Wonder if they are calling for Julian’s head in Boston, where the underdog Canadians have stretched the all-of-a-sudden mighty Bruins to Game #7? Shut them out last night!!

    The Penguins should lose!

    Enjoy your 5 minutes of fame for saying that (not worth 15 minutes). Although I hate the inconsistencies of the Penguin players’ play, especially by those who are “1 & 2 Best in the World” (you know, maybe they’re not. Maybe Claude Giroux really is after all——or maybe the Chicago boys are better), I choose to root for the Pens to win tonight!

    Come on Sid! Come on Kuny! Come on Geno! Come on Tanger! (By the way, Niskaten was NOT better than Kris Letang when that contract was signed. And it remains to be seen if Niskaten will be better NEXT season.) Come on Nealer! Come on Flower! Come on Beau Bennett!

    Let’s Go Pens!!!

  44. DJ says:

    Well, last year you said Polanco needed to “bake” in the minors until 2015.

    Some perspectives change, don’t they?

  45. Jandy says:

    What a difference a few months or a year makes, eh? Circumstances change.

  46. NMR says:

    Link 6. Just wow.

  47. Jandy says:

    haha, love this post!

  48. chethejet1 says:

    Ray and Dan should be concerned but they aren’t. Both probably know win the game and no one goes anywhere. Mario and Ron must think that winning the SC is still achievable. Both will get over losing to the Broons. Not sure Mario will be happy with Montreal going to the SC through Pittsburgh with EX Pens running the show. I suspect all involved need the win to justify their way of doing things. Not sure what that is except giving LT contracts to declining players.

  49. Jandy says:

    totally agree with you DJ….I’m seriously afraid to watch, but like a trainwreck, I won’t be able to help myself!

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hopefully, the Pens ownership is not ill advised enough to let columnists, bloggers and sports talk shows make their decisions for them

    Because once that starts, organizations go into the toilet. And despite what I read here, I look around the league and realize the Pens are far from the NHL bathroom right now.

  51. DJ says:

    To be fair, on John Gibson in particular, I don’t think the Pens were thinking goalie priority in the 2011 NHL Draft only two years removed from a Cup.

    Passing on Brandon Saad for Joe Morrow is a different story.

  52. Jandy says:

    Nope, some things just play out on the ice. Actions speak louder than words.

    I will give credit to Letang, tho, for working hard and coming back after having a stroke.

  53. Sarah says:

    There are more and more hints around now that the message or Brand-controlling brass are pulling more strings than they should.
    And that doesn’t mean Mario, it goes up to Morehouse the CEo…..the brand is entertaining sell out hockey in a kid friendly (sterile) arena….marketing, baby.

    Rossi hinted as much and Madden came out and said yesterday a recently re-signed star would have been traded but that the brass felt he was highly ” marketable” and therefore should stay. That would be Letang I presume. Unless he meant Adams, which I doubt.

    Anyway, if THAT is in any way the case (brand preservation and marketing over building the best team ) then Peeps we are seriously f-cked and the problems are much deeper than canning Byslma or Shero can fix.

    The more I think about it the more it makes a lot of sense.


  54. DJ says:

    I get the feeling you are afraid of change.

    Sometimes it’s needed.

  55. Jandy says:

    That can’t be true, Sarah, cuz if it is then Plan has a point, right?

  56. Thundercrack says:

    Why all the hints? Why don’t people report what exactly is going on?

  57. Sarah says:

    Actually the opposite can be true. See CBJ . Once they stopped letting branding idiots control the team and Davidson took over, they have a much clearer identity as a team. And are doing very well with loads of popularity,
    Can anyone even say what the Penguins’s identity is?

    The same way you know what Bruins Hockey means?

    I can’t.

    They need to decide what kind of team they are, what kind of hockey they want to play and then go get the players to do that, and eff marketing. And maybe lose some names along the way (Letang, Neal….)

    The Bruins got rid of Thornton and Kessel because they didn’t fit Bruins hockey. That takes “brass” all right, as in balls.

  58. JT says:

    DK — loved the column. I had the same thoughts yesterday. Would ownership really put the blinders on if happen to win tonight? As a fan, this is what we live for and definitely want to win. But it’s also tough knowing one win could mean more of the same. To me its simple, we have the core to win a championship but the supporting cast is weak. Time for a big shakeup, keep 87 and 71 and start “new” with the supporting cast and a new coach.

    Bylsma is a better coach than he gets credit for but he also has a stubbornness. The comment about Scuderi playing his best hockey put it over the top for me. Besides that, Therrien’s bad a$$ mentality eventually was falling on deaf ears. I think the same thing is happening with Bylsma and he’s lost the ability to motivate. Hockey coaches have a short shelf life for a reason.

  59. DJ says:

    Need bodies in front of Lundqvist. A HUGE component to getting him off his game.

    Fleury has had so much “practice” with opposing players in or near the crease — because we never move anyone out — that I’m actually more confident in HIS ability to deal with them.

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    Isn’t Braun out for the series?

  61. Sarah says:

    Erm, what? I generally agree with Plan. But that perhaps he thinks it’s about Mario and I’m not entirely sure that is the case…..

  62. Sarah says:

    Lack of something.
    I dunno, if they lose I guess we’ll hear all about it.
    The thing with Letang actually rings true….he had some kind if hissyfit during negotiations last year, and I wondered if that’s when they were about to trade him, then the suits stepped in. Who knows.

  63. Sarah says:

    Coaches have a 2-3 year shelf life.
    We should just alternate between Therrian and Bylsma…..

  64. Jandy says:

    Holy crap!

  65. 21sthebest says:

    Did somebody say red wine?

  66. Sarah says:

    Actually I believe that I responded to a question trading them straight-up.
    I said NO.
    I’d give more than Letang to get PK.

    He is everything the Pens are missing.

  67. hockeymonster says:


  68. SeanAY says:

    Wait…so MARKETING is the reason the Pens are under-performing?

    I have an incredibly hard time believing that.

  69. Jandy says:

    ShhhHhhh! ;X

  70. Jandy says:

    LOL! Come on over, 21, I’ll share mine ;)

  71. Jandy says:

    He thinks the idea with the Pens is “sales” and not “win”. Seem she might be right.

  72. Jandy says:

    Seems he…darmn typos! Grrrr!

  73. Sarah says:

    No I think the hints are that high level brass like the CEO are influencing personnel decisions.

  74. Jandy says:

    Not quite in that direct context. What I’m getting from this is that bad decisions were made because of the marketing concept.

  75. Jandy says:

    yeah…what Sarah said!

  76. Sarah says:

    Speaking of marketing instead of just playing good hockey,

    Wins have a way of marketing themselves.

    How about trying that?

  77. Jandy says:

    You can fire the coach, you can’t fire the team…

  78. Dom says:

    Wow. Just a little over 360 days till the 2015 NFL draft.

    It seems like last weekend when we were watching this year’s draft. Time sure flies by, huh?

    Since we passed on a CB, I want start the campaign here today for the Steelers to draft CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu from Oregon.

    If Mr. Ekpre-Olomu could have very well have gone in the first round of this year’s draft had he not have chosen to go back to college for one more year.

    The Ducks Secondary coach called Ifo the greatest player he has ever coached.

    He also was named first-team All-Pac-12 for the second year and earned the first-team all-America status from ESPN. He was also a second-team all-America.

    Ifo in 2015!

  79. DJ says:

    Actually, Scuderi has played some of HIS best hockey this year in two playoff games.

    Of course, it’s all about where that player’s bar has been set. Scuds’ bar is the lowest limbo height.

  80. Jandy says:

    but … WHO? We have Kunie, who sometimes does that…hell even The Hobbit isn’t afraid to do it…b but he gets shoved around to easily.

  81. Sarah says:

    I think that is a big part of it.

  82. SeanAY says:

    I mean, if that’s the implication…then I don’t know why Plan didn’t just say that yesterday, instead of just making insinuations. I would have been a lot less hostile towards his argument if he had, you know, stated it clearly and provided some back-up for it.

  83. Jandy says:

    hey Dom, Dom! Guess what day it is??!!?

  84. JT says:

    Touching on earlier posts — Neal needs to go. Beyond becoming invisible in the playoffs, he has major issues off the ice. They aren’t known to the general public but, trust me, its bad.

    Also, I feel that the points DK raised in the column are very fair. Look, passing Saad and Gibson in the draft are specific examples but more importantly, the quality of talent we acquire through the draft is poor. You don’t need to draft at the top to get quality players. It’s about more than the first round. Drafting all those D men as trade chips is one thing. It’s quite another to NOT trade them and also NOT play them. With the exception of Maatta playing this year… guys like Despres, Harrington, Dumoulin, and Pouliot need to play on this team. Heck, all four of them combined cost about as much as one Scuderi right now. If we take advantage of their entry level contracts, we free up cap space for the forwards. We need to use these players one way or another. Don’t tell me that they are too young or not ready. Look around the league. First round picks are playing early. So if at least two of them truly aren’t good enough to play right now, then it’s not a good drafting philosophy.

  85. Jandy says:

    Indeed, looks like it…but…I dunno where you found your info Sarah, seems like maybe he had the gut feeling, but couldn’t get his keys on any info…dunno.
    But I’ll agree with you, if this IS the case, this franchise is in deep doo doo.

  86. JT says:


    Very good point.

  87. SeanAY says:

    OK, all this said…why is everyone bagging on the Penguins’ marketing staff now?

    Like, I’m pretty sure the Marketing director that came up with their pregame presentation wasn’t the one that allegedly maybe was rumored to scuttle the Letang deal. Or something.

    I guess “real” winning organizations like the Bruins don’t waste any time or effort on in-arena presentation.

  88. Jandy says:

    Yeah..we had a couple goalies in the system who were looking good at the time…
    Sure would love to have Saad now…

  89. DJ says:

    Kuni, Neal, Stemp, Bennett.

    Take your pick.

  90. Jandy says:

    Dunno SeanAy, it might be he had more of a gut instinct, and couldn’t put his finger on any information.

  91. Dom says:

    The 168th anniversary of the day the US declared war on Mexico???

  92. JT says:


    How about every other day?

    Day 1 – DB – “Don’t worry about the loss guys, have the day off”

    Day 2 – MT – “You guys are too SOFF!”. Repeat.

  93. Jandy says:

    Neal???? Ahahahahahaha! Lazy? he’s become a perimeter player like Ovie.

    Bennett gets knocked on his ass or off his game too easily.

    Stempie, OK…sounds good…Kunie too, both are ok.

  94. 21sthebest says:

    Sounds like Braun might come off of the DL today.

  95. Jandy says:

    Awww Dom, you’re so cute! :)

    It’s your favorite day of the week!

  96. Thundercrack says:

    Yesterday I asked if he thought the Pens’ ownership put making $$$ and sell out streaks ahead of winning the Cup. He could not – would not – give a simple YES or NO answer.

  97. Jandy says:

    Ya’ll badger him to distraction. :)

  98. 21sthebest says:

    ” gut instinct”

    You mean a hunch?

  99. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, it points out that their drafting has stunk. But does the fact these two players out of all that are eligible for the draft are local kids…and got private tours of the Consol really matter?

    Wouldn’t some people think that is ‘yinzer thinking’?

    {percentage dropping}

  100. Sarah says:

    I think those organizations don’t put it front and center like the Pens do. And if it is true that “branding” or marketability was behind the disastrous Letang deal, then we are screwed.

    I’ll ask again – does anyone even know what Penguins Hockey is?

    The way you know what Bruins hockey is? they traded stars cos they knew what kind of hockey they wanted to play and what players they needed tondo so.

  101. hockeymonster says:

    Groat, in DK’s defense i think his entire column revolved around the concept of the pens winning tonight and moving on in some form. Seeking improvements isn’t the same as rooting for failure. Some of us have pin pointed flaws with our roster and drafting philosophies for quite some time now, including previous seasons. So none of us should be surprised that we have room for improvement, especially in a cap era where you can’t have it all.

    And if DK’s tone shifted its probably cuz he’s heard players reference “effort”, “focus”, and “lack of patience” as problems for far too long. At some point even the suits will start to notice and asking questions. Being outscored 8-2 in 2 consecutive games with chance to seal spot in ECF has to raise questions about tactics. And when our PP makes NYR PP look dangerous that can’t sit well with 66.

    That said, we can make it all go away with a great start and lots of focus and discipline for 60 minutes of Pittsburgh Hockey. Sid, PM & Co. know what that means…

  102. Dom says:

    Oh, I know what you’re getting at…

    Today is the birthday of Bruins killer PK Subban.

    Happy 25th PK!

  103. Sarah says:

    My fave was :

    LOtta guys PRETEND to care.


  104. BillyBaduka says:

    Nobody is rooting for them to lose. Please lose that piece of your otherwise well argued position.

    You and I don’t agree on this topic, probably never will.

    But we can agree on one thing – LET’S GO PENS!

  105. Sarah says:

    Actually their drafting of PMD has been good.
    Too bad they won’t use them and give huge contracts to aging relics like Scuderi who can’t play the system instead.

  106. JT says:

    I think the point was that they want us to believe everything is peachy 100% of the time. That despite losing games 5 and 6 with little effort, the marketing department will find a way to spin it as a positive. I know that is sort of THEIR JOB to build the brand. But it’s tiring to hear the PR guys, the coach, the owner, the players, everyone say everything is fine all the time. I’m guessing Bylsma isn’t even allowed to give a post game interview that questions his team. We just want honesty and candidness. Could be wrong, that’s just my opinion :-).

  107. SeanAY says:


    The question, “Does anyone even know what Penguins Hockey is?” is probably in no way, in any manner, associated with in-arena and on-ice promotion.

    Likewise, in-arena marketing and promotion during games has absolutely ZERO to do with the hockey operations.

    I ask this question honestly and without snark: do people really not understand the difference between those things?

  108. Sarah says:

    Toewes over Staal sounds tasty also….

  109. DJ says:

    Why should we trust you, a faceless snowman?

    Hey, wait a minute.

  110. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy, you should go back and read my exchange and questions to him on yesterday’s thread.
    If asking a simple yes-or-no question is considered dadgering, then there is no hope for this blog.

  111. Jandy says:


  112. bpn8pitt says:

    If I had to take a guess, I think tonights game is a one-sided affair. Either the Pens come out strong, take a commanding lead and never look back. Or the nightmare scenario, where they come out flat and Consol goes silent. Betting on the first…

  113. JT says:

    Exactly my point Sarah!

    Thunder – No it doesn’t matter. I think the whole point was a broader sense of drafting concerns. But again I think it was just showing that we’re missing on draft picks..even when they are right under our noses!

  114. Jandy says:

    Just for you, Dom :* :* :*

  115. Thundercrack says:

    I can’t wait until it comes out at the end of the season that the Pens’ marketing department had to sign off on invoices for ski lifts! Or was that golf carts? Now I’m confused

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s not good. Although, with his luck against us I can’t blame him.

  117. Arriba Wilver says:


  118. 21sthebest says:

    Gomez might hear about his suspension today and could be out 3 games.

  119. JT says:

    Lol. You don’t need to trust me. But a friend of a friend was dating a certain ex roommate of Nealer’s. So i’m going off of word of mouth and take it with a grain of salt…but this person also knew exactly what was going on with Ryan Malone before it became public…

  120. Sarah says:

    Well I think that was the whole point, Sean.

    That in fact marketing and promotions IS in fact affecting Operations.

    At least that has been the hints tossed about by Rossi, Madden, and I suppose DK too.

    Completely agree they should be separate. The GM and. Coaching staff decide the style of hockey and players needed, then try to get them.
    Marketing/promotions build off that.

    The hints are, it is not working quite that way here.

    If they kept Letang cos of his good looks and hair for ex, that’s exhibit A for We’re Pooched.

  121. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe I’m also including some stuff I read on twitter…from DK

  122. Dom says:

    Today is also Stephen Colbert’s birthday.

    He turns 50 years young today.

  123. Jandy says:

    Yeah, and look where ol’ MT has Montreal now…

  124. DJ says:

    Well stated, HM.

  125. Thundercrack says:

    First wine and now lunch.

    21, you need to get with the program. Set your hair on fire!!

  126. Sarah says:

    Ok quit pissing around then and say you feel you have good info that he has a serious drinking problem, and maybe drugs too (taking the Malone ex).

    How would this explain his going to shite in playoffs every year?
    No good drugs on the playoff circuit?

  127. DJ says:

    Bodies plus quick hands — all of ‘em.

  128. Nate83 says:

    Yes that is a wonderful Minor league recap :)

    Seriously I don’t know what to make of that review of Grilli’s book. I’m sure he isn’t the only athlete that has a high opinion of himself. Obviously it was a very slanted review that picked parts and pieces out fo the book to support the theme of the review.

  129. Jandy says:

    Indeed Sarah did, she even apologized to me when she said it! :)

  130. Bizrow says:


  131. Jandy says:

    they have that…it they’re willing to take the punishment to be there…

  132. Sarah says:

    Right where MT had us in 2008.

    He’s got his own shelf life too. Tho it seems he has softened a good bit since he was here,which is good. My only objection to MT was I thought he was too tough on the players esp in the press. No need to humiliate your guys.

    Anyway I sure like the way he has them playing, though I doubt they can win a second game in Boston.

    But a MT v DB ECF would be,….interesting….


  133. Sarah says:

    I know Jandster!

    I love Tangers bedroom eyes, but that’s about all LOL!

  134. hockeymonster says:

    He pass the “smelling salts” to adams and sid. :)

  135. hockeymonster says:

    And maybe tell BB to cut back :)

  136. JT says:

    It doesn’t :-)

    I just don’t want him on the team period. The fact that hes a shlub in the playoffs only increases that fact.

  137. Sarah says:

    Oh, I think they start fast, win the game and pull Dan n Rays arses out the fire yet again.
    Then we get mulched in the ECF.

    Everyone calls this progress and is brought back and the merry go round begins again next year!
    With Nisky gone, and Orpik extended, and Despres traded for a 40 year old slow defenseman.

  138. Jandy says:

    TC I’ll read it. But yeah…I understand your point. Seriously.

    Yinz make me key-tied many times with the prodding and questioning. But, I love all the input yinz give and the fun times on this here blog. I’m STILL learning more than I ever thought I would. Thanks to all you fellow loonies.

    Now, can we have wine WITH lunch???

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope, for Plan’s sake, that Daq doesn’t see that.


  140. hockeymonster says:

    Thanks Mr. Eerie Snowman

  141. buggee says:

    No Dejan, I have no idea where you’ll be tonight! Winging your way to Milwaulkee? Spending time on the South Side for some priceless new angles on the draft picks? hmmm, what else could be going on tonight…

    Oh yeah, there’s that Cup thingie.

    SQUIRT IT into that Cup thingie. Why? Because it’s the Cup. Please note the sarcasm tinged with jovialty.

    RAISE IT and put Cole’s name on it. Embroidered please. iron-on just wont cut it.

  142. Sarah says:

    Well then quit pissing around and say what you’ve got.
    Not drinking, not drugs, what ? sexual assault ?

  143. Jandy says:

    Who’s gonna toss the coin?? ;)

  144. Jandy says:


  145. buggee says:

    mother’s day?

  146. Jandy says:

    Let me guess, he’s gay?????

  147. Jandy says:

    Dom??? DOM????

  148. Jandy says:

    Yes indeed. And the bigger point here is….MT LEARNED going forward…did DB???

  149. Jandy says:

    LOL! I have to admit, I was sure he’d come further along than he has…not that he’s terrible. But ….
    I hate the AMOUNT of the contract.

  150. Jandy says:

    Bottom line … I hope we find SOME way to keep Niskie.

  151. JT says:

    The pens PR won’t let me say!

    No really, if word gets out, he’ll have no trade value. It sounds far fetched but I’ll let you know the moment he gets traded (if he gets traded). Sorry, I’m going to have to piss around on this one. Please dont hate me.

  152. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think either of them would light up.

  153. DJ says:


    No, Pittsburgh.

  154. Jandy says:

    JT…seriously…if YOU know…you think MORE people don’t know?


  155. Dom says:

    Is Lemieux really keeping the profits for himself???

  156. Jandy says:

    “either of them”

    Oh my!


  157. Sarah says:

    DB still thinks we’re a grinding team, so, no.

  158. Jandy says:


  159. Jandy says:

    Oh my, now look what you started, TC!

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    Whether this is true or not, we’ve gone from ” trust me” to a friend of a friend was dating an ex roommate. Kinda like my second cousin twice removed told my half sister that a guy she knew told her that a guy he knew who used to be friends with an ex-girlfriend of X told him . . .

  161. Sarah says:

    Put him on wing.
    And I’m not even kidding.

  162. Jandy says:

    Zactly the point I was making…lol

    We agree Sarah!

  163. Jandy says:


    The good ol’ days, they said…


  164. Jandy says:

    Yup, Tanger and Engo both make better wingers. Agreed.

  165. NMR says:

    Oh absolutely. I take anything that guy writes with a grain of salt.

    But man, Grilli sure seems like a piece of work.

  166. DJ says:

    Like that Sid and Geno were at the podium yesterday. Time to step up, under the bright lights and face a little music.

    As long as it’s not AC/DC — uggh!

  167. hockeymonster says:

    So while we’re looking for reasons for last 2 losses is anyone even willing to acknowledge that loss of Brooksie may be taking it’s toll? I mean after all his job was only to defend and shutdown literally the best players on the planet while playing 20+ minutes and being a plus player .

  168. JT says:

    Okay, so I’m a terrible person. All the more reason to not go starting rumors. But I believe its true and I wanted to express how he’s not someone we should keep on this team. Take it for what its worth, no need to criticize me.

  169. Sarah says:

    To be clear, I would not disbelieve the drinking angle, it has hurt many athletes, and in the pressure of the playoffs with little time to recover between games, the only thing you should be drinking is Gatorade.
    Really alcohol should be off limits, and if Neal is a heavy drinker it would explain his sluggish performances.

    They’re playing every other night for up to 2 months. You cannot keep up w caloric need.
    Most players lose a lot of weight, I once was talking to Ref Terry Greggson and he said even the refs lose weight, it is that physically demanding.
    I’ve gone to hockey camps where it was 4-5 hours per day on ice, and I can tell you, you cannot eat and drink enough to catch up at the end of the day. Can’t imagine doing that for weeks on end,…

    So if Neal is drinking (never mind drugs) that would explain a lot. Gotta stay on the wagon in the playoff grind.

  170. Jandy says:


  171. Sarah says:

    Nope. In fact the loss of. Orpik facilitated the joining of Letang w. Martin and the reduction of Scuds minutes.
    An overall positive IMO, esp for Tangers performance.

    Sorry HM!! I know you love the guy!

    Don’t worry, he will playing here for years!

  172. DJ says:

    blog /bläg/: Breeding ground for vicious rumors. See Twitter.

  173. Jandy says:

    Just for you! :)

  174. Dom says:

    Sorry. I didnt see your posts up here.

  175. 21sthebest says:

    I wonder if these hints would be happening if they were cruising through the playoffs.

  176. Jandy says:

    If he is drinking like that, he shouldn’t be in the NHL.
    That’s sheer stupidity. Good way to do yourself in.

  177. buggee says:

    howdy howdy Jandy! I do hope you absolutely LUVED your day Sunday!

    From Mama Buggee (MB): “howdy boyo, whats up with yinz?”
    Me: “Livin’ the dream MB. Happy Mom-moe’s Day-oh!”
    MB: “Ho-frikkin-hum. Another one. Big deal.”
    Me: “Howzat gardenia I sent you?”
    MB: “It’s nice. I’d rather you sent along something else. Something more fun.”
    Me: “Really? Like what?”
    MB: “How about a carton of Marlboros, a fifth of JW Blue and a night with Kris Letang!”
    Me: sputtering…

  178. Jandy says:

    And JT, just for the record, I’m not saying you’re a bad person.

    Just that to hint and not put out there what you are insisting is a bad thing, isn’t cool.

  179. hockeymonster says:

    I’d love to see him out there against Kreider…just sayin…

    PM and Tanger have been great but lets face it…bortuzzo’s 13 minutes per game VS Brooksies presense is a downgrade. But Bortuzzo does get his shot…lets see what he makes of it.

  180. DJ says:

    OK, now I need to leave.

    Let’s bring one home tonight.

  181. Jandy says:

    Dom, you’re incredibly adorable.

    Today is YOUR favorite day of the week…CHAT DAY!

  182. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!! Get on it, buggeeee!! The lil wifelet has spoken!!!!!

  183. Jandy says:

    LOL! I love me some AC/DC sorry…

  184. JT says:

    Thank you Sarah. Good analysis.

  185. DJ says:

    It’s a non-issue, HM. Living in the present.

    Probably an MCL or ACL for Brooks.

  186. Jandy says:

    JT, you do know Sarah is a goalie, right?

  187. SeanAY says:

    I missed the part where any of them were hinting that the 30-year-old that programs the video/light show during pregame is giving input on what players to keep for marketing purposes.

  188. 21sthebest says:

    I remember last year when he was mic’d up during the All Star Game practice and they played it on Inside Pirates Baseball. I also remember thinking that this one was bizarre guy and that he was annoying for the most part.

  189. NMR says:

    Makes me think back to a comment last year from DK about a certain player being an absolute jerk, despite his public perception or something like that.

    Seems to fit the bill.

  190. JohninOshkosh says:

    All 4 quarterfinal series have gone to at least 6 games. No one is cruising through the playoffs. I guess the 8 out of 30 teams actually still playing hockey have meddling marketing departments.

  191. Sarah says:

    That’s cos no one said that

  192. Jandy says:


  193. 21sthebest says:

    I kind of have what is possibly an unfair opinion when journalists make comments like that. Maybe the player just isn’t being cooperative with their interview requests or they ask dickish questions. Or maybe the journalist is being a jerk to them. Not saying that’s the case with Dejan at all but I just take it was a grain of salt.

  194. Sarah says:

    And JT also for the record, some off ice issues with Neal would explain a lot.

  195. Sarah says:

    Oh I’d love to see somebody lay out a lot of people, starting w Staal.
    Not gonna happa, sadly.

    And Martin’s minutes have gone up to a degree that I dunno is sustainable.

  196. bpn8pitt says:

    The Refs ! :)

  197. Thundercrack says:

    Grilli is one of my favorite players. And I appreciate what he’s gone through to still be in the majors and become a good closer. And to me he seems to be a good guy.

    If he is quirky, weird, and is a bad author —it doesn’t change my opinion.

  198. Jandy says:

    Oh I am definitely concerned about Martin.

  199. Jandy says:

    LOL! Good one, bpn

  200. bpn8pitt says:

    Tough luck, about Jose Fernandez. Nasty stuff.

  201. hockeymonster says:

    Hence the phrase “just sayin” :)

    But its clear now that the criticism he’s taken this year has been totally unjustified.

  202. NMR says:

    Did you read the exceprts from his book? I don’t think anyone is knocking the guy for being wierd, quirky, or a bad writer.

  203. Jandy says:

    those darn elbows!

  204. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve come to this conclusion about tonight. Whatever happens tonight will be good. If they win and move on – good. If they lose and blow it up – good. It’s anything in between that worries me.

  205. tdb1977 says:

    Wandy is only posting a 10.38 ERA down in Altoona. He is CLEARLY ready to return to the major league roster.

  206. Jandy says:


  207. Sarah says:

    Yup, been saying variations of that since the CBJ series….

  208. SeanAY says:

    Yeah, you can always color me skeptical of “insider information” in the comments sections of blogs.

    I deal with it on a daily basis around here. Nine times out of 10, it’s complete bunk.

    But that doesn’t make the damage to the public perception any less bad.

  209. SeanAY says:

    Then why did you assert that?

    May 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM


    The question, “Does anyone even know what Penguins Hockey is?” is probably in no way, in any manner, associated with in-arena and on-ice promotion.

    Likewise, in-arena marketing and promotion during games has absolutely ZERO to do with the hockey operations.

    May 13, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Well I think that was the whole point, Sean.

    That in fact marketing and promotions IS in fact affecting Operations.

    At least that has been the hints tossed about by Rossi, Madden, and I suppose DK too.

    Completely agree they should be separate. The GM and. Coaching staff decide the style of hockey and players needed, then try to get them.
    Marketing/promotions build off that.

  210. SeanAY says:

    All of that stemming, of course, from the posted article about the in-game presentation during pregame, to which you stated that “Speaking of marketing instead of just playing good hockey”

  211. AL says:

    In reading all of today’s banter about how bad the Pens are and how much change is needed all I can say is enough already!
    IMO…..DK’s column should have appeared AFTER game 7; not the day of.
    Today is not the day to bitch and complain….the players, coaches, and management read this stuff too. Do you want this on the players’ minds as they take the ice tonight? They need support not criticism.
    Time to be the 6th player.

  212. Jandy says:

    I’m not so sure the players read this stuff.

  213. Sarah says:

    I think reading blogs is probably the last thing players do, esp on a day like today…..

  214. Jandy says:


  215. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, I read some of them yesterday.

  216. Jandy says:

    From the Pens’ website:

    Defenseman Brooks Orpik was the only player absent from the team’s morning skate.

    The Pens did not do any line/rush work. Maybe a trick up their sleeve?

    The power plays remain the same.
    PP1: Malkin and Niskanen up top. Crosby, Neal and Kunitz down low.
    PP2: Letang and Martin up top. Jokinen, Stempniak and Sutter down low.

  217. NMR says:

    The guy literally compared himself to Jesus Christ after stepping on a rusty nail.

  218. CWalton_67 says:

    The column today was spot on.

  219. NMR says:

    Haha, well done.

  220. Jandy says:

    hey, long time no see :)

  221. NMR says:

    Yeah buddy, so disappointed. Fernandez and Timmy Lincecum have been the only two guys since Pedro that I just plain have fun watching throw a baseball.

  222. Milo Hamilton says:

    34th pitcher to have Tommy John since February 18th. In Fernandez’s 36 major league starts, he reached 100 pitches only 11 times. Yep. keep babying those arms. Seems to be working.

  223. hockeymonster says:

    So im sure we’ve figured this out by now but Kreider is the guy we can’t let beat us. Hope that Tanger, PM and nisky are out there against him as much as possible. If bortuzzo is out there against him he needs to finish his check on him and proceed to the bench. Same with Maatta and Piece.

    And NYR came out in game 5 and pinched all over the place when they had the puck in our dzone. Our wingers need to be prepared to crash the boards up high and hit the dmen when they pinch. Know that’s what they want to do and be prepared to make them pay a price for pinching so that our center can swoop up to clear the puck out of zone.

    And can we please not have all 3 forwards caught deep? If we’re attacking on the rush, the player who pulls up inside blue to make a play is the F3. If we’re cycling, the player who takes puck out of corner then passes, shoots or cycles puck back into corner is the F3. If we do have players caught deep and get the puck back to the point WE MUST make sure someone is assigned to shadow puck in high slot as it goes back to point so that dmen have a passing option at Center Point or can shoot for a re-direct.

    If you’re in that spot or any of those situations, congratulations! You are the F3 who needs to backtrack like a beast so our dmen can hold the line Maximus Decimas Meridius style.

  224. hockeymonster says:

    Clearly why we took him off the 1st PP. ;)

  225. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Penguins are practicing their 5 on 3 power play. I’ll just let you all have at this one.

  226. hockeymonster says:

    With 5 LH forwards?

  227. 21sthebest says:

    36 major league and minor league TJ surgeries since mid February.

  228. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Rangers aren’t skating so they can’t practice their 3 on 5 penalty kill. Advantage – Pens ! ;)

  229. CWalton_67 says:

    Hiya Jandy. Hope you are well.

  230. 21sthebest says:


  231. 21sthebest says:

    The +++ was @ TC.

  232. Thundercrack says:

    I think a little more goes into it than just babying the arms.
    MLB Network just had a round table discussion (hosted by Costas). I only saw the last 15 minutes.

    And I wonder if MLB will now consider raising the mound.

  233. 21sthebest says:

    At least he didn’t compare himself to Limas Sweed!

  234. Nate83 says:

    Come on NMR. Who hasn’t done that. You are being unrealistic to expect a person not to compare themselves to Jesus Christ :)

    I enjoyed his pedastal placement of himself next to Pujols. Unfortunately I can see Grilli sitting by his phone 5 years after retirement waiting for a call from the HOF saying he made it in on the first ballot.

  235. Jandy says:

    I’ll be better if he Pens play well tonight :)

  236. Thundercrack says:

    Sounds like Grilli is weird and quirky –to say the least. And isn’t a good author.

    But I still like him and cheer for him.

  237. Naterosboro says:

    Personally I think Wandy’s better days are well behind him, but performance in rehab starts (other than not reaggravating injury) shouldn’t matter for return to the big league club.

  238. NMR says:

    He threw 173 big league innings two years after pitching to high schoolers.

    There’s no way one can say he was babied.

  239. Jandy says:

    lol same ol’ ALex.

  240. Naterosboro says:

    Tuesday talkings…

    * I do not think the Penguins would keep a player strictly for marketing purposes. I think they signed Letang long term because they believe in his abilities as a top quality NHL defenseman. I believe in them too.

    * Not sure why Dan Bylsma plays this guy from Wilkes-Barre. Last name Letang. Wait…

    * Marc-Andre Fleury has 2 goals to work with tonight. More than that given up and I don’t see the Pens being able to bring home the win.

    * If they do win tonight, and move to the ECFinal, I don’t think you’ll see big changes. Why would you? Maybe a new coach (as voices can get stale in the locker room), but certainly not a new GM. Is it that crazy of a notion to keep people in place that have this team in the ECFinal for the 2nd year in a row (again, if they win)?

    * Sidney Crosby has to be the best player on the ice tonight. He needs to come up with a multiple point game too.

    * If James Neal wants to get rid of his reputation in Pittsburgh, 2+ goals tonight would go a long way to starting that process.

    * With all of these personnel decisions gone wrong, the HC not playing the correct guys, and a team that has no interest or desire in winning a Stanley Cup, here they are with a chance to advance to the ECFinal. Are we sure we’re talking about the same team?

    * Montreal just pushed Boston to a Game 7. Don’t expect any major changes up in Beantown if they lose, however. They’re just interested in keeping the status-quo, country club together.

    * After winning 6 straight, the LA Kings have now lost 3 straight, and trail the Ducks 3 games to 2. Major changes in LA if they lose? Don’t bet on it….

    * Does anyone see how ridiculous that line of thinking is? This is the NHL Playoffs. Other teams are good, and deserve to be there. If they lose, it’s not exactly like they lost to Gordon Bombay and the District 5 Peewee Hockey Team. Hank and the Rangers are a worthy opponent.

    Let’s go Pens! Bring home the Game 7 win tonight! Pirates, pound those alchys in Milwuakee! 2 of 3 baby! It’ll either be a joyous occasion or alotta spilt Iron City tears tonight around 10-11pm….


  241. Naterosboro says:

    No King Felix?

    And maybe its the 100mph fastball, or the fact that the Pirates may have a real live ace on their staff, but I’m really enjoying Gerrit Cole.

    I think we’ve touched on this before, but it just looks effortless. With a guy like Aroldis Chapman, it seems like there’s a lot going on that produces that flame. With Gerrit, he’s tight & compact and straight at home plate.

    Here’s to Gerrit and 15 Milwaukee scalps tonight!

  242. 21sthebest says:

    More and more research points to what these guys were throwing in the way of curveballs and sliders before puberty, and playing baseball practically year round.

  243. Andrew says:

    I am sorry I must be missing something but DK’s column is utterly incoherent, I read it last night then again at my desk and it did not get better.

    He starts with an unexplained and undefined premise then does some circular reasoning that least troublesome outcome for underachievement is further underachievement, because change is need but then goes on to list a series of transgressions many of which are unchangeable at this point. WHAT?

    Further his list of issues contains several self refuting statements and others are a little loose on actual facts.

    I thought the Penguins were going to play a hockey game tonight, I now know it is actually the modern Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.

  244. NMR says:

    To me, watching Gerrit Cole pitch is like watching a 7-footer win the dunk contest.

    Fernandez makes the ball do things that shouldn’t be legal, and something about him is just plain fun to watch.

  245. bpn8pitt says:

    Agreed with what a lot of you said, Nate.

    I dont think tonights game is close. If it is, I give the edge to the Rangers, specifically to Lundquist…Pens needs a strong start, with no dumb penalties.

  246. NMR says:

    But they don’t give or take away runs for style points, and I’m more than thrilled to have Gerrit Cole as a Pirate.

  247. Nastynate82 says:

    While I think there are many good points in this article, I think it’s a little narrow in view to associate ALL of the failure on the Penguins instead of how the opponent contributes to those losses.
    As a Ranger fan (a pilgrim in an unholy land) I find it odd that the fan base and media readily ignores what the opponent does that succeeds. I keep thinking of last year when Rask played outstanding yet the only thing trumpeted out of Pittsburgh was “Pens lost, Bruins didn’t win.” I don’t think that’s very accurate, and is kind of off base to give the opponent almost no credit.
    Your larger point still stands however. If the Pens lose, it may be time to lift the curtain and expose some of the dry rot that seems to have infiltrated their farm system and is showing with the big club.

  248. Andrew says:

    NHL coaches have a short shelf life because many NHL GMs/front office equate success with playoff success, one of the most volatile and chance driven environments.


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

  250. Nastynate82 says:

    Of course it’s better to just grind their arms into ground sirloin like they did forever. In which case if a pitcher got hurt, you basically never heard from him again.

  251. Nastynate82 says:

    My favorite baseball clip from last year, other then Cueto, was Fernandez snagging Tulo’s line drive last year and their interplay afterwards. Quite funny

  252. Johnny Rosboro’s Son,

    Good insight. Good unbiased evaluation. Too much common sense.

  253. Andrew says:

    James Neal is a cocaine addict. Got it, thanks.

  254. Nastynate82 says:

    Thank you been saying this all along. Pens fans are spoiled and don’t seem to realize there are other teams out there who could beat them. Gasp!

  255. Rangers did not practice or skate today.

    Every Penguin spent time on ice today at the morning skate, then gathered for game strategy and conferences afterward with Penguin coaching staff.

    Don’t the Rangers know how necessary it is for them to be on ice today? Must be the fault/lack of understanding of the Ranger coaching staff.

  256. hockeymonster says:

    I don’t agree with every detail he wrote but overall i think he means that there’s room for improvement even if we win 5-0 tonight. Apparently 66 & Co. don’t disagree.

    BTW…Your post at 1:04 cracked me up.

  257. BillyBaduka says:


  258. cmat0829 says:

    How many days until the starting pitchers put together a string of outings worthy of a win? How many days until the Pirates defense puts in a series of clean games? Those are two questions much more pressing to the Pirates record in 2014 than the one about Polanco. Not even sure Polanco is in the top 5 in terms of factors in the Pirates W/L record in 2014…. and again, I can’t wait for this kid to play in PNC Park…. I’m ok with the Pirates logic for Super2 but frustrated by the long wait….

  259. Jandy says:

    This is interesting…from the chat:
    Dejan, why are you so negative all the time? Your article about Game 7 tonight really ticked me off (I’m not even a huge hockey fan). It’s almost like you are telling Pens fans not to care about a Game 7! There is a fine line between winning and losing in sports, and it isn’t easy. Every team has flaws and that won’t change EVER. Instead of reading your controversy laden, negative Nancy crap, I will actually watch the game and enjoy/root for the team. You’ve done this with other sports too (Pirates especially). It’s annoying…I can’t wait until the Pens win the Stanley cup and you eat your words. Cheer up and write something interesting

    Dejan’s answer:
    Dejan Kovacevic: Enjoy the game, George.

    All I can tell you is that I never approach any topic with a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ mindset. I just write what’s there. And I’ll put just as much passion and work into writing about a ‘positive’ topic, always, as longtime readers would attest.

    Moreover, if the Penguins win tonight or go on to win the Cup, that changes nothing that was in today’s piece. The entire POINT of it was that nothing changes about those areas with a W. They’ll all still need to be addressed

  260. Naje says:

    Rangers loose…

    Penguins tight… as if some day-of-game skate and coaching sessions are going to remedy what ills which they’ve displayed in this series.

  261. Naje says:

    Take a good long look at the way Jose throws… a similar delivery (talking arm/elbow angle and torque) as Mark Prior had with the Cubs… so much elbow torque…such pinpoint accuracy with his fastball… but look at the elbow and the stress put on the elbow in both Fernandez and Prior’s delivery…

    When I watched Fernandez highlights last night and this morning, it’s as if you could see the TJ surgery coming. A lot of torque he put on that ligament.

  262. SeanAY says:

    I thought it was a great article in that it incited this thought:

    Is it better for the Pens to win tonight, or lose?

    I mean, the answer should be simple, but it makes you think.

    THAT’S a good column.

  263. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    66 needs to get his skates on tonight. I’d say he’s got 5-6 minutes of PP work in him…

  264. Mr. Davenport,

    Yesterday someone here lauded the Rangers for practicing and criticized the Penguin Coaches for timidly not holding/demanding a practice before Game #7.

    I’m just trying the shoe on the other foot.

  265. 5-6 minutes should be good for 3 goals!!

  266. Thanks, Sean. That’s a nice note, man.

  267. SeanAY says:

    Clip it!

  268. Jandy says:

    H*ll yeah!

  269. hockeymonster says:

    He would be the 2nd RH shot i’ve been pleading for :)

  270. Sigh. The Penguins are paying the price for “staying the course” and not making the changes they should have as an organization at the end of last season’s playoff run. Let’s be honest here, last season’s playoff run was probably the Penguins best chance to contend for a Stanley Cup with this core intact. Everyone was healthy, Shero went for broke at the deadline, and the lineup had all the makings of a contender. Yet, the Penguins came up short.

    I’ve never been a big supporter of Dan Bylsma, that’s no secret, but seeing him come out after being dismantled by the Boston Bruins and pledge tacit support of Marc-Andre Fleury (while saying nothing of his replacement who allowed the team to escape a first-round embarrassment at the hands of the Islanders) was a clear sign that something was not quite right with the head coach’s perception. As I understand it, Mario Lemieux was ready for a different approach behind the bench, but it was Shero who pleaded the case for retaining Bylsma. To wit, Dan Bylsma was given a two-year extension.

    I think Shero has certainly developed some faults (his target fixation has become an Achilles’s Heel), but his actions have been with a single goal: to get this core back to the Stanley Cup. The confluence of events which brought this organization the two best players on the planet and an All-Star supporting core may not be seen again in our lifetimes. When you have that kind of talent in your lineup, in their prime, your imperative is not to the future, but to right now.

    If I fault Shero for anything, it’s for standing behind Dan Bylsma longer than he should have: Bylsma has clearly been allowed to remain on the shelf past his expiration date. He should have been released after last season’s failed playoff run, when he had the best lineup with the best chance to win it all. This year’s challenger lacks the depth and the design of a Stanley Cup contender, yet Bylsma continues to drive to the beat of the very same drum.

    Regardless of what happens tonight, regardless of how the Penguins fare should they continue on, changes are coming: the opening night roster in the fall will no doubt look different than it does now. The Penguins’ best chances are arguably behind them and, with limited assets to improve and so many holes to fill, the expectations for next season have to be adjusted accordingly. Behind the bench, Dan Bylsma has already burnt out. The only question is how much the organization will let him fade away.

  271. 21sthebest says:

    Maybe Austin will ask him to play.

  272. Karen22 says:

    I ALWAYS say “red wine!”

  273. Karen22 says:

    That’s sooo depressing, Sarah!

    Jandy…me, too (re: Nisky).

  274. Karen22 says:

    LOL! Crazy, eh?!

  275. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Ok get 66 some skates and sacrifice a chicken or something at Consol. There is some bad playoff mojo in that building that needs exorcised…

    The power of hockey compels you… the power of hockey compels you (As Henrik’s head does circles on his shoulders, ala Linda Blair)

    Let’s go Pens

  276. Karen22 says:

    Hey, who needs him? We have Jaff Decker!!

  277. Nate83 says:

    They would just play him on the wrong wing just like Iginla. One way or another they would find a way to screw it up :)

    A lot of talent on this team. Excuses need to stop tonight. It doesn’t matter who the last 3 guys dressed are, who plays with who or what player plays the point on the power play. The Penguins are the more talented team. If they play like it they will win no matter who is on the ice and no matter what type of offense they are running.

  278. NMR says:

    After reading some of these reactions, I owe DK a big apology for the period of Fall 2012 to Summer 2013. Not pretty, and neither were mine.


    Sensative Baseball Fan

  279. NMR says:

    Worth 50 at-bats due to name alone, Karen.

  280. NMR says:

    LAUDED! ;)

  281. So . . . .

    You would have suggested Dan Bylsma say that Marc-Andre Fleury was a stiff and not his goaltender anymore.
    Good thing he did not do that since Tomas Volkun went down before camp! How many games did Fleury win in the regular season: 39, second in the whole League?

    And it’s amazing that you know what Mario was thinking about Bylsma, when Dejan himself complained in his column today that Mario and Birkle refuse to talk and are silent about team issues. Apparently Mario won’t talk to the media but he will talk to you. Could I borrow your ouiji board?

    It’s OK that we disagree about Bylsma and Shero, but deal with facts, not imagination.

  282. NMR says:

    Definitely made me reevaluate some of my own criticize of DK in the past, Jandy. Sometimes it’s good to have a mirror.

  283. NMR says:

    Well that sentence was mostly gibberish, but I think you get the point.

  284. Wide Receiver Nate,

    Mario skates wherever he wants!!!!!!!!

  285. Andrew says:

    It is an opinion column, and in my opinion is wasn’t very good. The best remedy for underachievement is achievement. As I said before I have trouble following the points that were attempting to be made to support the presented opinion.

    Doesn’t mean I cannot not handle reality, it is an opinion column, and I don’t claim to be some “true fan,” just someone with a different interpretation of the information.

  286. National Mart of Records,

    My vocab Guru!

  287. Nate83 says:

    As he should. I was just joking to make the point that all the excuses have to stop. Just like the Pirates collapse I and II at the end of the day it falls on the players to play to their capabilities.

    The 2011 and definatley the 2012 Pirates where better then their last 60 games. The 2010-2013 Penguins are better then what they have shown and the number one reason I see for that is lack of focus and drive from the players. It’s not the GM or the coach or bad match ups or bad luck. They just haven’t played to their capabilities.

  288. SeanAY says:

    DK Today in the Chat:

    “I’ll repeat from the Monday column: Ownership is ticked.

    I’ll also repeat: I’m not guessing or speculating about that.”

    Um, I’m going to take the inference that they told him, too.

  289. SeanAY says:

    My reactions specifically, or others in general?

    Also, screw RatDog for playing 40 minutes from my house while I’ll be 1,000 miles away on my honeymoon.

    Thought you’d appreciate the last nugget.

  290. theplanisworking says:

    Very true.
    No one is openly rooting for the Pens to lose.
    Keep in Mind, Groat is the poster that says that anyone who criticizes Bylsma is a HATER!

    It will be an interesting offseason no matter the outcome of tonight’s game. If the Pens lose, it will be an all-time choke job………. up 3-1 on a clearly inferior team, who played 5 games in 7 nights. Ridiculous that this series isn’t over by now.

  291. Jim S. says:

    The mood here makes me glad I missed the whole day up until now – although my day has not been any better. Stuck at O’Hare, as they literally shut the whole place down for the last 4 hours due to smoke in a control tower miles away. Airports can be so frustrating. If they don’t get it resolved soon, this can mess up much of the country just because of the sheer volume of traffic routed through this place. Ugh!

    As for the Pens, the team with more talent should win Game 7 on it’s home ice. In fact, there’s no excuse not to. I am trying to focus on the game and that alone tonight. I believe DK’s article was very good, and a win doesn’t mean lollipops and sunshine lie ahead for this franchise. But, for now, a win tonight is where I would like to start. We can sort out the rest tomorrow. It starts with the guys who get paid the most and have the biggest numbers on their sweaters.

  292. NMR says:

    Ha, just about everyone BUT yours, Sean.

    I’m partial to Phil bands over Bobby bands, but you can’t beat a show in your backyard! I’m going to see Trey in Cleveland next weekend, but missing DelFest for it.

  293. NMR says:

    Pirate fan-like response to DK’s column from the Pens faithful.

  294. Jim S. says:

    Mitch “Not everyone can get those last 3 outs” Williams strikes again.

  295. Enjoy Game 7, Groat. And whatever happens, please, keep on imagining that there are no problems with the Penguins.

  296. pattonbb says:


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