Penguins crush Caps; Steelers select QB in 4th; Nova shines again

Sidney Crosby smiling

Sidney Crosby has two goals, two assists and a plus-4 rating in the series against the Capitals

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Jonathan Bombulie writes that Sidney Crosby has the upper hand in the marquee matchup with Alex Ovechkin.

Malkin fends off Carlson

Evgeni Malkin fends off John Carlson

The Penguins roughed up the Capitals for a Game 2 victory, writes Bombulie.

Matt Cullen shorty

Matt Cullen celebrates his short-handed goal against the Capitals

My column centers on how the Penguins are winning despite defying playoff convention.

The Capitals are stuck in a deep hole as the series returns to Pittsburgh, writes Bombulie.

Carl Hagelin v Caps

Carl Hagelin’s return allowed for the return of the Penguins’ HBK line

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie writes that Carl Hagelin returned despite not participating in the morning skate.

Jake Guentzel vs Caps Game 2

Jake Guentzel matched a team high with three points, including his seventh playoff goal

PLUS/MINUS (+/-): Bill West breaks down Penguins-Capitals Game 2

ON THE DRAFT

GM Kevin Colbert says ‘not many surprises’ as Steelers branch out in Day 3 of draft, writes Joe Rutter.

https://twitter.com/Vol_Football/status/858374916395204608

The Steelers selected QB Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round, writes Rutter.

Joshua Dobbs Pro Day

Former Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs will compete with Landry Jones and Zach Mettenberger

In the Steelers draft notebook, Chris Adamski writes that Dobbs adds to the backup QB competition.

No surprise, writes Chris Adamski, that the Steelers took another corner in the fifth round.

Even Colin Holba was stunned that the Steelers selected a long snapper, writes Chris Harlan.

Harlan also has the story on the linebacker that went with the final pick.

Harlan has draft capsules for each Steelers selection in rounds 4-7.

And Rutter reports on the WPIAL products the Steelers signed as undrafted free agents.

ON THE DIAMOND

Ivan Nova v Marlins

Ivan Nova needed only 95 pitches in a complete-game shutout of the Marlins

Ivan Nova was brilliant again, as the Pirates blanked the Marlins, writes Rob Biertempfel.

The Pirates placed David Freese on the DL and called up Danny Ortiz, writes Biertempfel.

Biertempfel has the scouting report for Sunday’s game against the Marlins.

Steelers win NFL Draft by selecting Pitt’s Conner; Pens ready for Game 2

James Conner Pro Day 2

https://twitter.com/BeauWTAE/status/858165696538267648

TAKE 5: My five thoughts on the Steelers winning the second day of the NFL Draft.

The Steelers won the NFL Draft Friday night when they selected Pitt star James Conner in the third round, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Juju Smith-Schuster

Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, on USC wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster: ‘If you had to say what he excels at, I’d say his ability to catch the ball in combative situations, 50-50 balls as we call them, he usually comes down with them’

In the second round, the Steelers selected USC wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, writes Chris Adamski.

Cameron Sutton

Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake, on cornerback Cameron Sutton: ‘The more versatile he is, the quicker he can get on the field’

In the third round, the Steelers addressed their secondary by taking Tennessee cornerback Cameron Sutton, writes Joe Rutter.

T.J. Watt with Art Rooney II

Steelers first-round pick T.J. Watt with team president Art Rooney II

Steelers top pick T.J. Watt overcame injuries to follow his brothers to the NFL, writes Joe Rutter.

Chris Godwin

Penn State’s Chris Godwin was chosen in the third round by the Buccaneers

Tampa Bay grabbed Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin, writes Jerry DiPaola.

ON THE ICE

Ian Cole 2

Penguins defenseman Ian Cole blocked eight shots in Game 1, the same number as the Capitals

My column on how the Game 1 victory was worth the
bruise
for Penguins defenseman Ian Cole.

Bonino beats Holtby 2

Penguins center Nick Bonino beat Capitals goalie Braden Holtby for the winner in Game 1

Penguins’ Bonino meets close friend Shattenkirk in playoffs for first times, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Conor Sheary 2

Penguins winger Conor Sheary: ‘If you’re giving up goals and not scoring any, it doesn’t look good on your part’

Jonathan Bombulie writes that Conor Sheary is trying to shake out of his playoff slump.

Carl Hagelin

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on Carl Hagelin: ‘Regardless of what line you put him on, he brings that element of speed, his ability to stretch the ice. His pursuit game forces turnovers all the time, and we create a lot of offense off if it’

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie writes that lineup decisions are near as Carl Hagelin is close to returning.

Fleury save vs Caps

Marc-Andre Fleury’s save percentage (.943) in Game 1 represented his best mark in a road win since his 35-save shutout of the New York Rangers on May 5, 2014

Three Periods: Bill West gives an inside look into the Penguins-Capitals series.

The Capitals are not in panic mode after their Game 1 loss, writes David Driver.

ON THE DIAMOND

Jameson Taillon at Marlins

Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon (2-0) gave up a run on five hits, walked two and struck out four

The Pirates cruised in a blowout of the Marlins, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Pens top Caps in Game 1; Steelers select T.J. Watt

Bonino beats Holtby

Nick Bonino beats Capitals goalie Braden Holtby for the winning goal in Game 1

Nick Bonino’s tiebreaking goal helped the Penguins escape the Capitals comeback in Game 1, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Bombulie writes that the beat goes on for Sidney Crosby and the Caps.

Hornqvist celebrates Crosby goal v Caps

Patric Hornqvist assisted on both of Sidney Crosby’s goals in the second period

My column focuses on how Patric Hornqvist helped the Penguins set the tone against the Capitals and Sidney Crosby regain his scoring touch.

Fleury overhead v  Caps

Fleury overhead v Caps 2

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on furious final minutes: ‘I think it’s just competing, trying to rise up to the challenge and keep the team in the game. Saving that lead, when you can do it, is a good feeling’

Fleury’s scrambling saves during late scrum secured the Penguins victory, writes Bombulie.

Guentzel in goal

Marc-Andre Fleury delivered in goal, with some help from teammates like Jake Guentzel

PLUS/MINUS (+/-): Bill West breaks down Game 1 of Penguins-Capitals

Check out Trib photographer Chaz Palla’s Game 1 photo gallery.

ON THE CLOCK

https://twitter.com/steelers/status/857811644201787392

The Steelers draft Wisconsin outside linebacker T.J. Watt with first-round pick, writes Joe Rutter. Of course, Rutter wrote back in early March that Watt could be a good fit for the Steelers.

KEVIN GORMAN’S TAKE FIVE: Five thoughts on the Steelers selecting T.J. Watt.

Live from Steelers HQ: Chris Adamski writes that the Steelers got their man in T.J. Watt.

T.J. Watt

Chris Adamski has a Steelers draft profile on Wisconsin outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

The Indianapolis Colts selected New Castle native Malik Hooker, writes Jerry DiPaola.

ON THE DIAMOND

Gerrit Cole watches from dugout

The Pirates have scored a combined four runs in the past four starts by Gerrit Cole (above) and Ivan Nova

The last-place Pirates brace for a road trip, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Chris Adamski has the scouting report for the Pirates game at the Marlins on Friday.

For Bucs, a Gift; For Pens, a rival; For Steelers, a pick

Gift Ngoepe hugs Cutch

Gift Ngoepe hugs Andrew McCutchen after the Pirates beat the Cubs

https://twitter.com/C_AdamskiTrib/status/857396327700934658

Gift Ngoepe got the call-up, becoming the first African-born player in the major leagues, writes Rob Biertempfel and Jerry DiPaola.

The Pirates built an early lead against Jon Lester and hung on to beat the Cubs, writes Chris Adamski.

Sending our birthday wishes…

…and our deepest condolences

ON THE ICE

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Jonathan Bombulie writes that the Penguins’ slow starts could be killers against the Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin against Leafs

The Washington Capitals have never advanced past the second round with star Alex Ovechkin

My column asks the big question: Are the Capitals chokers or just cursed?

Evgeni Malkin celebrates goal v Isles

Evgeni Malkin leads NHL playoff scorers with 11 points

Jonathan Bombulie takes a look at six players not named Crosby or Ovechkin who could tip the series.

Stanley Cup scouting report: How the Penguins and Capitals stack up, featuring videos, graphics and statistical comparisons.

Carl Hagelin’s speed is a welcome sight at Penguins practice, writes Bill West.

And an update on “Carl”

Patric Hornqvist

Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Patric Hornqvist: ‘He conveniently will fall on your goalie many times’

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie and Bill West write that Patric Hornqvist holds a special place in Capitals coach’s memory.

From Washington: The Capitals look to speed things up against the Penguins, writes David Driver.

ON THE CLOCK

Guess that depends on how your mock draft goes, Joe.

Steelers beat writer Joe Rutter’s analysis: If pass-rushers are gone, expect Steelers to pick ‘Bama cornerback.

Marlon Humphrey

Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey could be the Steelers’ top choice

Rutter and Chris Adamski rank the top players at each position and break down their mock draft picks for the Steelers.

On the Steel Mill blog, Adamski has compiled a running tally of players who visited the Steelers.

Nathan Peterman 3

Quarterback Nathan Peterman could be the first Pitt player selected in the NFL Draft

Up to six Pitt players could be chosen over the three-day NFL Draft, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Pens try to clinch vs. CBJ, but Bucs swept by Cards

John Tortorella 2

Columbus coach John Tortorella got the Blue Jackets back into their first-round series against the Penguins…

Mike Sullivan

… so it’s up to Penguins coach Mike Sullivan to clinch in Game 5

My column on the chess match between the series coaches: It’s your move, Sully.

Rowney Cullen celebrate

Carter Rowney and Matt Cullen celebrate with Tom Kuhnhackl after his Game 4 goal

Matt Cullen’s line doing things the ‘right way’ for the Penguins, writes Bill West.

Fleury overhead v CBJ

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has faced 143 shots in four playoff games against Columbus

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury amusing Penguins amid flurry of shots, writes Bill West.

Sidney Crosby v CBJ

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby isn’t interested in the series returning to Columbus

In the Penguins notebook, West writes that Sidney Crosby says the clincher is the ‘most difficult game.’

Jack Johnson

Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson has been among the best blue-line scoring threats in playoff history

In Three Periods, Jonathan Bombulie breaks down the Penguins and Blue Jackets in Game 5.

ON THE PIRATES

Gerrit Cole Dexter Fowler

Gerrit Cole surrendered a solo home run to Dexter Fowler in the third inning of a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals

Fowler’s homers were enough for the Cardinals to sweep the Pirates, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Josh Harrison HBP

Josh Harrison was hit by pitches in his final two plate appearances at Chicago and first two at St. Louis

In the Pirates notebook, Biertempfel writes that Josh Harrison is ‘still recovering’ from four straight plunks</a

ON CAMPUS

Kevin Stallings 5

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke on Kevin Stallings: ‘I’m excited about working with him’

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke says the basketball program has ‘ways to go,’ but pledges her support for Kevin Stallings.

Pens lose to Blue Jackets; Farewell, Mr. Rooney; Marte suspended

William Karlsson goal overhead

Columbus’ William Karlsson and Matt Calvert celebrates the Blue Jackets’ early third-period goal

The Penguins started slow again and fell to Columbus in Game 4, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Bombulie writes that the Penguins’ momentum was squashed by the second intermission in the Game 4 loss.

Boone Jenner celebrates Game 4 goal

Boone Jenner celebrates his third-period goal against the Penguins in Columbus’ 5-4 victory in Game 4

My column on how the Blue Jackets got to enjoy the sound of victory.

PLUS/MINUS (+/-): Bill West breaks down the Penguins’ Game 4 loss to Columbus.

Carter Rowney Game 4 CBJ

The Penguins’ Carter Rowney fights past Gabriel Carlsson for the puck

Check out Chaz Palla’s photo gallery from Game 4.

Nick Bonino wins Game 4 faceoff

Nick Bonino wins a faceoff in Game 4 against Columbus

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie writes that Nick Bonino says his face is feeling ‘all right.’

FAREWELL, MR. ROONEY

President Obama leaves St. Paul Cathedral

President Obama leaves St. Paul Cathedral after funeral service for Steelers chairman Dan Rooney

https://twitter.com/C_AdamskiTrib/status/854376355244511235

From Obama to Tagliabue, dignitaries say goodbye to Dan Rooney, writes Chris Adamski.

Dan Rooney at SVC

The late Steelers chairman Dan Rooney watching training camp practice at St. Vincent College

Dan Rooney’s death signals a ‘changing of the guard,’ writes Chris Togneri.

ON THE PIRATES

Starling Marte hits walk-off HR v Braves

Starling Marte hits a walkoff home run in the 10th inning against the Braves

MLB suspended Starling Marte for 80 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Andrew McCutchen is back in centerfield and regained his swagger in the Pirates’ loss to the Cardinals, writes Biertempfel.

Biertempfel’s scouting report for Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals.

ON CAMPUS

ppg paints arena

PPG Paints Arena to host NCAA hockey, wrestling and volleyball championships, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Guentzel stars for Pens as they go for sweep

Guentzel celebrates Game 3 GW

Penguins rookie winger Jake Guentzel celebrates his game-winning goal against Columbus on Sunday

Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel embraces high stakes, gritty play, writes Bill West.

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, a resurgent Marc-Andre Fleury has no time for nostalgia, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Rust scores on CBJ

Penguins winger Bryan Rust pushes the puck off the stick of Columbus forward Brandon Saad

My column on how the fourth win is the toughest to clinch a series.

Daley and Maatta

Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley are 1-2 on the Penguins’ ice-time chart, each averaging around 22 minutes in the playoffs

Penguins defensemen Trevor Daley and Olli Maatta hit the ground running in returning from injuries, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Zach Werenski

Zach Werenski celebrated his first-period goal against the Penguins in Game 3…

… but a puck to the face has knocked him out of the playoffs

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie writes that Columbus lost top defenseman Zach Werenski for the rest of the playoffs.

Brandon Dubinsky game-tying goal in Game 3

Brandon Dubinsky scored the tying goal in Game 3 but his line allowed three goals

In Three Periods, Bill West writes about the Brandon Dubinsky line getting mixed results.

Crosby pulls Jenner off Malkin

A Chaz Palla photo gallery from the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime victory in Game 3.

ON THE STEELERS

Dan Rooney scoreboard

Funeral service for Rooney: ‘We’re going to give Dan a tremendous sendoff,’ writes Jerry DiPaola.

Steelers fans visit Heinz Field for Rooney

Randall Collins of the North Side sheds a tear after visiting the Champions Club at Heinz Field for the public viewing of the late Steelers chairman Dan Rooney

Scores visited Heinz Field to pay respects to Dan Rooney, writes Chris Adamski and Jerry DiPaola.

ON THE PIRATES

Ivan Nova pitches eight strong innings but Bucs lose to Cardinals, writes Rob Biertempfel.

In the Pirates notebook, Biertempfel writes that Gregory Polanco is ‘happy to be healthy’ and drives in the lone run in the loss.

ON PITT

Troy Simons 3

Troy Simons averaged an NJCAA-best 26.3 points a game this past season at Polk State College

https://twitter.com/KarimArdalan/status/854082866497503233

Junior-college transfer Troy Simons, a former Pitt commit, signs with New Mexico, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Sid & The Kids shine as Penguins take 2-0 lead

Overhead ice shot

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Jonathan Bombulie writes that the Penguins ‘just play’ as the Columbus series starts to turn ugly.

Crosby scores v CBJ

Crosby celebrates v CBJ

Sidney Crosby scores and celebrates against Columbus in Game 2 of their first-round series

‘Sid & The Kids’ line tallies two goals as Penguins take a 2-0 series lead over Columbus, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Jake Guentzel goal vs CBJ

Rookie winger Jake Guentzel got his first NHL playoffs assist and goal against Columbus in Game 2

My column is on how Jake Guentzel’s goal turned the tide for the Penguins

The Penguins eagerly plugged Trevor Daley and Olli Maatta into a heavy defensive rotation, writes Bill West.

Carter Rowney hit on Dubinsky

Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky drew a minus for his play in Game 2

PLUS-MINUS (+/-): Bill West breaks down the Penguins’ Game 2 win over Columbus.

West also writes that the Penguins’ young players are reaping the benefits of having roots in the city.

ON THE STEELERS

Art Rooney statue with flowers

A bouquet of flowers was placed in the hands of the Art Rooney statue outside Heinz Field in tribute to the passing of Steelers chairman Dan Rooney

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney remembered fondly by his beloved North Side, writes Joe Rutter.

Remembering Rooney: A gentleman to the end, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Steelers radio analyst Tunch Ilkin: Rooney was a man of humility, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Dan Rooney with Patricia 2

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney with wife, Patricia, in April 2015

Bishop David Zubik: Rooney was a ‘quintessential Pittsburgher.’

Rooney’s legacy transcends the Steelers organization, writes Tory Parrish.

Trib Editorial: Rooney was ambassador to the world

ON THE DIAMOND

Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison v Cubs

Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole celebrates a sixth inning-ending out with Josh Harrison

The Pirates held off the Cubs to snap a four-game skid, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Ray Searage with Tyler Glasnow

After a rough first outing for Tyler Glasnow, Ray Searage simplified his approach

Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage aims to keep Tyler Glasnow focused, writes Biertempfel.

Biertempfel’s scouting report for Saturday’s game at the Cubs.

BLUE-GOLD GAME

Pitt players hungry to impress coaches in Blue-Gold game, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Pitt hires former standout Keith Gavin as wrestling coach, writes DiPaola.

Farewell, Mr. Rooney

DANIEL MILTON ROONEY, 1932-2017

Dan Rooney walks off field

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney dies at age 84

Dan Rooney smiling

Dan Rooney with Patricia

Dan Rooney with wife Patricia

Steelers president Art Rooney II, on his father: ‘He gave his heart and soul to the Steelers’

Joe Greene with Dan Rooney 2

Steelers legend Joe Greene hugs Steelers chairman Dan Rooney after his No. 75 jersey was retired

My column on how the Rooney Rule and Dan Rooney’s rule will be the Steelers chairman’s legacy.

Art and Dan Rooney chalkboard

Dan Rooney with his father, Steelers owner Art Rooney (The Chief), after the club drafted Terry Bradshaw

Upgruv’s Rob Rossi writes that there was Dan Rooney … and then there was everybody else.

Rozelle presents trophy to Rooney and Noll

Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle presents the Lombardi Trophy to Dan Rooney and Chuck Noll after Super Bowl X

Dan Rooney was lauded by fellow NFL owners as one of the league’s most important figures, writes Chris Adamski.

Ambassador Rooney

U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney at the ambassador’s residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin

Dan Rooney’s death sparked reaction from both inside the NFL and out, writes Jerry DiPaola.

Game 1 against Columbus deja vu for Penguins

Penguins fans before CBJ Game 1

Check out the Trib photo gallery from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs

On the Chipped Ice A.M. edition, Jonathan Bombulie writes that, at first glance, the Penguins look like they can survive Kris Letang’s absence.

Nick Bonino goal v CBJ in Game 1

Nick Bonino once again came through with a playoff goal for the Penguins

The Penguins took a page from their 2009, ’16 Stanley Cup champions to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their NHL first-round playoff series at PPG Paints Arena, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Marc-Andre Fleury vs CBJ Game 1

A last-minute replacement in goal, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 16 shots in the first period

My column on how Marc-Andre Fleury was a fantastic fill-in as the last-minute replacement in goal.

Evgeni Malkin CBJ Game 1

After missing 13 regular-season games, Evgeni Malkin assisted on the Penguins’ first two goals against Columbus

Evgeni Malkin made an immediate impact in his return to the playoffs after a long injury absence, writes Bill West.

Kessel celebrates goal vs CBJ Game 1

Phil Kessel put six shots on goal, scoring a on wicked wrist shot in the second period

PLUS-MINUS (+/-): West breaks down the Penguins’ Game 1 win over Columbus

ON THE NORTH SHORE

Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto high five

Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto high five after scoring in the Reds’ four-run fifth inning

The Pirates went quietly, as the Reds finished off a sweep, writes Chris Adamski.

Hurdle to the mound

When it comes to his bullpen, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle believes in ‘human analytics’

In the Pirates notebook, Adamski writes that manager Clint Hurdle talks about bullpen usage.

A scouting report for today’s game at Boston.

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

Senquez Golson 2

Senquez Golson was detained when TSA agents found a Glock .45 handgun and 23 rounds of ammunition in his bag

Steelers cornerback Senquez Golson was detained at an Alabama airport for a gun, writes Joe Rutter.

Maybe this next story explains Golson’s mindset…

The Steelers hosted two cornerbacks for pre-draft visits, writes Rutter.

tom Modrak

Tom Modrak worked for the BLESTO scouting service before joining the Steelers as a full-time pro scout in 1978. During two decades with the Steelers, Modrak also served as the team’s director of pro scouting and oversaw the college personnel department for nine seasons

Former Steelers executive Tom Modrak died at age 74, writes Rutter.