>> The Wednesday column off Game 1 loves how cool and composed the Penguins look when they’re not chasing a bunch of children all over the rink.
Here’s our full coverage, led by beat man Rob Rossi, along with Josh Yohe and Kevin Gorman. And I should remind more often that our team also includes many talented people more behind the scenes, such as night editor Mike Palm for his design of that front page you see up there, as well as photographer Chris Horner for the great capture of Pascal Dupuis’ shorty.
It’s very much a team effort at the Trib, and we’re proud of that.
And here’s a sampling of some quick conversations I had in the Penguins’ room afterward, beginning with the player I felt was their best on this night: Chris Kunitz …
And Tomas Vokoun …
And old Iron Jaw himself …
Really fun night at Consol. And a good vibe in the room. I particularly liked this line from Dupuis: “We’re going to enjoy this. That’s one thing I don’t think we did against the Islanders, enjoy our victories enough.”
>> If you missed it, this was the TribLIVE Radio show podcast featuring the Penguins’ Brenden Morrow and Yohe. The opening rant on Canada going 20 years without a Cup was caught on video …
There will also be an opening rant on Canada’s neverending Cup drought, a visit from Trib hockey writer Josh Yohe and, of course, the local Twitter treasure @suckmeter offering the Suck of the Week.
To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. One click, and we’re on. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or Android, we’ve got the upgraded TribLIVE Radio app. Also free and easy and everything else.
>> The Trib will have all hands on deck for Game 1, as well as the full second round. The coverage opens this morning with — what else? — the Matt Cooke effect.
Here’s what some of the athletes had to say yesterday, including Cooke …
>> If you’re interested in the opposing perspective, there’s the biggest paper in Canada’s capital, the Ottawa Citizen, and the unfortunately far better known tabloid, the Ottawa Sun.
>> Meanwhile, another of the Sun chain in Ontario, produced this front page for today to illustrate the Maple Leafs blowing a three-goal lead in Game 7 in Boston …
Don’t get me wrong. The headline is fair and accurate. In fact, the Toronto Star, the more mainstream paper, also used ‘choked’ in its main headline.
But what gets you is that those headlines don’t come close to the vitriol that’ll spill over up there. Toronto’s as vicious a place as any in North America toward its own team. And yet they wonder why so few great players have chosen to play there for a very, very long time now despite unlimited cash to spend.
>> Stopped over at PNC Park yesterday and spent a little time with Travis Snider …
Also talked with a few other guys while there, and I can share a bit: Jose Tabata sounds highly encouraged by driving the ball to center-right. His smile is back, but I don’t think he’ll be pleased until right field is fully his job again. … Clint Barmes told me he’s still a little frustrated at lapses at his old lunging habits, but he also — correctly — pointed out, “I’m miles ahead of where I was at this time last year.” … Neil Walker’s back is doing great. No, that’s not what had him on the DL, but it’s a far more important issue in the longer term. … I asked Clint Hurdle if Jordy Mercer can ever be an everyday major-league defensive shortstop, and he wouldn’t answer it other than a we’ll-see. Asked it again, this time focusing based solely on what he’s seen to date, and he still wouldn’t answer it. Do with that what you will.
UPDATE 4:11 p.m.: Couple things from my time in the clubhouse this afternoon, highlighted by Jason Grilli hurriedly putting on his civvies and leaving PNC Park. I was right there by him, but this looked serious. Wasn’t about to interrupt. Clint Hurdle said there was nothing he could share at the moment and wasn’t sure if Grilli would be back tonight.
Here’s wishing Grilli well.
4:40: Video of my talk today with Snider about a bunch of things, including his status as an everyday/bench guy, the nature of his swing and more …
>> I don’t care how much this sounds like company-man talk, but our Rob Biertempfel had at least as good a weekend in New York as his subject matter. Much good stuff– real detailed, ask-questions-to-learn-more type of reporting — to be found with his byline.
The joint venture between WPXI and Trib Total Media into sports TV continues tonight at 11:35 p.m. with the latest episode of The Final Word.
The discussion will be built on a rotation of WPXI and Trib personalities, but also will be heavy on contributions from you. Each week, we take comments from viewers through videos you submit on The Final Word’s Facebook page, as well as comments to The Final World’s Twitter account. Our topics this week are led by the upcoming Penguins-Senators series, obviously, but we’ll also have Steelers and Pirates in store.
We have WPXI’s live online stream for Pittsburgh’s many out-of-town sports fans, as well as video podcasts available on both outlets’ Web sites.
WPXI contributors are Alby Oxenreiter and Bill Phillips. The Trib is represented by myself and Rob Rossi.