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Morning Java: All or nothing

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> My weekly TribLIVE Radio show featured a half-hour of your calls, rapid-fire and mostly raging against the Penguins. The first dozen minutes of that are on that video up there, along with my crushing post-it notes into a nearby trash can.

Thanks to all who called and emailed, and especially to my guest Nick Cotsonika, national hockey writer for Yahoo! Sports.


>> It’s Mario’s move, writes columnist Joe Starkey.

Dan Bylsma is good as gone, but ownership is undecided on Ray Shero. Beat man Rob Rossi is all over this.

The Penguins must get younger, by Josh Yohe.

I’m not going to go on or pile on with the topic of firings. I wrote a column before Game 7 and another after Game 7 that spoke clearly to the topic of both men. But I will reiterate, based on the above reporting, that the Penguins’ various problems are of a singular thread. I can’t imagine a scenario in which they’re properly addressed without piecemeal change.

To get blunt, if Shero stays, it’s going to take a whole lot more than dumping a couple of scouts for things to change.

Check this out …

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 2.12.49 AM

That’s in eight drafts. Eight!

That’s a systemic failure that sinks to the absolute foundation of the franchise, especially when considering that Dustin Jeffrey and Luca Caputi are now officially NHL busts. With the Penguins themselves having all but thrown in the towel on Simon Despres — who had himself a big night in Rhode Island last night but otherwise is an afterthought — that’s three total players from eight total drafts!

Three players!

Regardless of how things play out this week, let that serve as a powerful lesson of how even grave organizational deficiencies can be whitewashed by success at the top level. If not forever.

In the other bracket, the Canadiens beat down the Bruins in their Game 7 last night, by the Montreal Gazette.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, our Chipped Ice blog and our photo gallery by Chaz Palla and Chris Horner.

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

Here are highlights from the NHL’s YouTube channel.

>> Jose Tabata, Starling Marte and Francisco Liriano overcome the House of Horrors, by Travis Sawchik in Milwaukee.

Gerrit Cole embraces change, by Sawchik.

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

Here’s Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here are official game highlights on

>> It doesn’t count toward the league standings, but Collins John and the Riverhounds did finally get a W, this in a U.S. Open Cup game against the MLS New York Red Bulls’ developmental team. Matt Grubba reports from Highmark Stadium.

Far more important for the Hounds is Saturday against Rochester. If they don’t get off the schneid here soon, this season will start taking the shape of a disaster.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., then write a hockey column off the Penguins’ getaway availability at Consol.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

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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.

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