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June 27, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


243 comments so far - add yours!

Morning Java: Beau knows loneliness

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

PHILADELPHIA — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The NHL Entry Draft is tonight and tomorrow here on the wrong side of the commonwealth, and I’m here along with our hockey beat guys, Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe, to cover it for you. On my end, I’ll have Saturday and Sunday columns.

The Penguins hold the No. 22 overall pick in this draft, and man, they’d better make it count. That’s because this will be their only pick out of the first 122 choices. Their next pick is in the fourth round, 123rd overall.

Get the sense the draft wasn’t terribly important to Ray Shero?

Well, just wait, because it’s easy to get the same early sense with Jim Rutherford. He’s openly stating he might trade that first-rounder, and he’s also suggesting he won’t be adding picks, either.

Hey, why attend the draft at all, right?

My hope for the evening, at least as far as the draft is concerned, is that the Penguins’ scouts take a forward. No, really, a forward. If they can remember how, that is. Or if they’ve got any clue how to do it. Because recent history would suggest they don’t. Their only forwards of note over the eight drafts under Shero have been Jordan Staal, Beau Bennett, Dustin Jeffrey and … um … wait, I know there was one more … oh, yeah, no one.

Some of that, of course, was because of the plan to take defensemen, then parlay them into trade pieces, something that Shero did exactly once as GM, by the way, with Joe Morrow.

It’s time to add some forwards into the organization, preferably of the skilled variety. Can never have enough of that trait, and can’t keep counting on outside acquisitions to make up for it.

That said, experts are really down on this class, by Rossi.

Here’s the NHL Entry Draft 2014 official page on NHL.com.

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

>> Gregory Polanco is good. Travis Sawchik reports on how the kid mashed the Mets at a packed PNC Park, and yes that’s packed on a Thursday night. Fireworks weren’t all that did it, either. It was Faith Night, a wonderful initiative by the team in which church groups buy up tickets in big numbers and participate in a postgame religious discussion with Clint Hurdle and a few players. It’s getting bigger each summer, too. Very neat.

Gerrit Cole learns his lesson, by Sawchik.

Elsewhere, Jameson Taillon talks elbow rehab with Rob Biertempfel in Bradenton:

Here’s Mets news from ESPN New York.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

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

>> The U.S. ‘are’ through!

And in this case, the ‘are’ plural verb is as applicable as the ‘through,’ because the World Cup context is that the Americans advanced to the round of 16 despite a 1-0 loss to Germany in which they looked dead tired except for Jermaine Jones, DaMarcus Beasley and a fresh Omar Gonzalez, pictured above after the match.

Here are the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

>> Pitt’s Lamar Patterson is a second-round NBA pick, taken by Milwaukee but then promptly traded to Atlanta. This is Jamie Dixon’s second pick in as many years, joining Steven Adams, no small feat considering the NBA’s draft is only two rounds.

Lamar will have to work for everything he gets at the pro level, but that’ll be no different than his collegiate career. He’s a quality, smart player. It’s good to see him getting the chance.

Here’s a terrific collection of Lamar highlights from the ACC Network:

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

June 26, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


135 comments so far - add yours!

Final: Germany 1, U.S. 0, World Cup, group stage

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to kickoff …

Match: United States (1-0-1) vs. Germany (1-0-1), FIFA World Cup, group stage

Time: 12:01 p.m.

Site: Arena Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

TV, radio: ESPN (national), SiriusXM

Here’s the official live summary.

Here’s the official World Cup 2014 page and the official U.S. Soccer page.

June 25, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


191 comments so far - add yours!

Morning Java: Getting away from our game

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Thursday column goes all Xs and Os over the Penguins’ coaching hire.

Here’s Mike Johnston’s reply to my Q about a pack-mentality strategy:

And here’s Rick Tocchet on same:

The news coverage, by beat man Rob Rossi.

Tocchet’s addition is covered by Josh Yohe.

Blogginess from the scene: As with any major news story, there’s so much more I’d like to squeeze into the column than space allows. The one description I left out that I’d really wanted to include was regarding Johnston’s demeanor. He comes across as anything but a yeller and screamer. That will have some fearing Dan Bylsma 2.0 in that regard, but that would be premature. A real test of a coach’s resolve isn’t what they say or how they say it. It’s what they do. … As much as anything, I appreciated hearing about the approach to the regular season as basically being a tuneup for playoffs. Don’t mistake that to mean not taking the games seriously. What it means, as Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle both told me in pointed terms last month, is that kids like Simon Despres will play. Even if it means a loss in December. … Truth be told, now that this is all done, I’d been communicating with Tocchet for a while. One thing he told me during the search that you might like hearing: ‘I really welcome the opportunity to work with Sidney Crosby more than anything. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve watched him and thought that I could help him.’ … Another NHL team that changed from a wide-open, stretch-pass offense to a pack mentality in midseason this past year was Winnipeg. And to great effect. Paul Maurice immediately installed a thought process that one should be able to see all five Jets on the TV screen more often than not. … I wouldn’t be surprised to find Jacques Martin working from the booth above, as he often did this past season. That would be one enormously experienced set of eyes to have upstairs. … Best wishes to Tony Granato and Todd Reirden, both good men who worked tirelessly. … Really hoping Johnston gets sole say in the final assistant hire. He ducked a question to that effect yesterday. A head coach should be able to pick at least one man he knows he trusts. … If you read the tea leaves of everything I was told yesterday about strategy, you are most absolutely not trading Paul Martin. He sounds tailored for this. … It will be interesting to watch all concerned and how they conduct themselves this weekend in Philly, as well as beyond. It’s an intriguing dynamic, to say the least.

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

>> David Price shows the Pirates why he’s such a hot commodity. Rob Biertempfel reports on the series finale from St. Petersburg.

Starling Marte passes concussion tests, by Biertempfel.

Scouting the Mets, by Biertempfel.

Here’s Rays news from the Tampa Tribune.

Here’s Mets news from ESPN New York.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

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

>> U.S. vs. Germany with a whole lot on the line?

Yes, please! And with a game thread on top!

Here are the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m.

>> I’m headed out to Philadelphia tonight to cover the NHL Entry Draft that takes place tomorrow and Saturday. There will be columns from each day.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

June 25, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


5 comments so far - add yours!

TribLIVE Radio podcast: Your calls, my thoughts on Johnston

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

My weekly TribLIVE Radio show began with your calls on the Penguins’ new coach, Mike Johnston, as well as my own thoughts on that.

Here’s video of that segment:

Trib soccer writer Matt Grubba checked in to talk World Cup, too, and one of the Pirates was the target of our weekly installment from Suckmeter.

Thanks for calling, emailing and listening!

June 25, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


103 comments so far - add yours!

Penguins hire Mike Johnston

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

The Penguins have hired Mike Johnston to be their new head coach, Rob Rossi reports. The team will hold a press conference at Consol Energy Center at 12:30 p.m. to introduce him.

Here’s Johnston’s official page on the Portland Winterhawks site.

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

I’ll have a column off this, obviously, but this also will be Topic A on my TribLIVE Radio show today, 2-3 p.m. Call me at 412-320-7925. Feel free to email sportstalk@tribweb.com if you can’t call, but I’d rather hear from you.

My initial thoughts on this hire will be shared on the show. I could share what I think at this very second, but I’d much rather attend the press conference and gather more information first. That’s always fairest.

June 25, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


408 comments so far - add yours!

Final: Rays 5, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (39-38) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (31-48)

Time: 12:10 p.m.

Site: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.

TV, Radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog. Rob Biertempfel is on the scene for the Trib.

June 24, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


141 comments so far - add yours!

Morning Java: The soccer show

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show today — 2-3 p.m. — will open with your calls, and the topics, as always, are up to you. Call me at 412-320-7925. Feel free to email sportstalk@tribweb.com if you can’t call. But I’d rather hear from you.

At 2:30, I’ll be joined by Matt Grubba, the Trib’s Riverhounds beat writer, to talk World Cup, Hounds and other soccer. The man knows his stuff.

And at 2:45, we’ll have more wit and wisdom from our @SuckMeter.

To listen, just click the link up top. If you’re mobile, try the iPhone version or the Android version of the TribLIVE Radio app. Both are free and insultingly easy to use.

>> Sidney Crosby wins his second Hart Trophy, by W.G. Ramirez in Las Vegas.

Here’s the complete list of award winners and all-star and all-rookie teams.

A junior coach? The Penguins are talking to a junior coach? Beat man Rob Rossi has that, and I shared my views on the junior coach in the the Tuesday chat.

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

>> Jeff Locke steps up again for the Pirates to set down the Rays. Rob Biertempfel reports from St. Petersburg.

Jose Tabata gets the boot, by Biertempfel.

Gerrit Cole is almost back, by Biertempfel.

Time for the Pirates to hit the gas, by columnist Joe Starkey.

Ken Griffey Jr. loves Cutch, by Biertempfel. And here’s some of that on video:

Here’s Rays news from the Tampa Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

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

>> Here are the official World Cup 2014 page and the U.S. Soccer page.

>> Would love if you could check out the radio show this afternoon. And thank you, as always, for reading.

June 24, 2014
by Dejan Kovacevic


2 comments so far - add yours!

Crosby wins second Hart Trophy

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Sidney Crosby just won his second Hart Trophy, in addition to collecting the Ted Lindsay Award as the players’ player and, of course, the Art Ross Trophy for his scoring title. W.G. Ramirez reports from Las Vegas.

Here’s Mark Messier announcing the Hart, then Sid’s acceptance speech:

Here’s the complete list of award winners and all-star and all-rookie teams.

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

 
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