Penguins

Column: Revenge is a dish best served without a handshake from Tortorella

“You want to hit me? Fine, come and hit me,” Ian Cole was saying. “But you’ve got to understand, I don’t care.”

Sidney Crosby celebrates his power-play blast in the third period Thursday. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

“As much as you want to hit them, I don’t think … well, obviously it’s not working. Basically, all it does is tire you out.”

Scott Hartnell is 35. He can barely skate anymore. He can’t really play much, either. And heaven knows he’s never been accused of burning excess brain cells, certainly not once he steps inside Pittsburgh city limits. He once bit Kris Letang’s finger here. Just a month ago, he invested each shift in flagrantly charging random opponents, running up nine hits and probably a pint of blood.

And yet, it was this born-to-be-a-Flyer boor who somehow, with that quote up at the top there, most sweetly summarized this first-round Stanley Cup playoff series that finished Thursday night with the Penguins burying the Blue Jackets, 5-2, in Game 5 at PPG Paints Arena.

Seriously, no one said it better. Not before the series, not after, and definitely not during, including when Hartnell spoke those two truths a couple days ago in Columbus.

He figured it out way before his head coach did. Way before the front office that misguidedly picked up his six-year, $28.5 million contract in 2014 primarily so he could poke and prod at the Penguins, the Blue Jackets’ fantasy rival.

Way before it all came to pass, all through this series.

Let’s state this plainly, once and for all: These Penguins aren’t those Penguins.

“You want to hit me? Fine, come and hit me,” Ian Cole was telling me after this one was done. “But you’ve got to understand, I don’t care. Hit me all you want. I’ll take it. But I’m going to get the puck past you, and we’re going to do something with it.”

____________________

I hate diving. And no, I’m not picking on Nick Foligno yet again, if only because he was hurt and unable to play Game 5. I hate embellishment in hockey and any other sport, regardless of who does it.

So I wasn’t particularly wild about Evgeni Malkin dropping after this legitimately nasty cross-check to the arm in the second period moments after Bryan Rust banged home a rebound for a 3-0 lead:

The perpetrator there is fourth-line forward Josh Anderson. But he’s also the unwitting victim. Because what actually occurs is that Malkin, after having something hurt him so badly right before Rust’s goal that he bypassed the same rebound, flat-out goads Anderson into the penalty.

Malkin declined to do media interviews afterward, but the broader change to his game, even from earlier this past regular season, couldn’t be clearer.

Old Geno: Rip someone’s head off. Anyone’s.

This Geno: Turn ever-so-slightly to the right before the stick blow, then drop so that even an NHL referee can notice.

Old playoff Geno: Frustrated constantly by any and all shadowing nobodies like Sean Couturier.

This playoff Geno: Leading scorer in the NHL with 11 points, matched by zero penalty minutes.

____________________

The atmosphere at PPG for Games 1 and 2 was blown away by what was witnessed and heard in Columbus for Games 3 and 4.

Not so for Game 5, which opened thusly:

When the Blue Jackets clawed back within 3-2, though, more than a few throats in that crowd clenched. And when they appeared to tie early in the third period, it fell silent. Like, creepy silent. Like, pick-any-Game-7-from-the-past-decade silent.

But the goal was waved off for Alexander Wennberg’s blatant interference on Marc-Andre Fleury and, what’s more, Wennberg was sent to the box, the latter no longer being a requirement with that role. John Tortorella didn’t like it and, predictably, stomped and cussed like a traumatized two-year-old, even though there was no case: Sure, Scott Wilson had a stick on Wennberg, but Wennberg never altered the path of his blades, never made an attempt to avoid the goaltender.

And after the puck was fished out and Fleury took a casual chug from his water bottle, a crazy thing happened: The fans started chanting ‘Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry!’ in a clear attempt to … well, to clear his mind.

Old home crowd: Shrivel up at the tiniest trace of something awry.

New home crowd:

Don’t think for a second it doesn’t matter. There’s a really good reason this team, and in particular this player, are so much steadier in Pittsburgh.

As newcomer Ron Hainsey would put it, “These fans were unbelievable. We fed off them all night.”

____________________

The score was still a precarious 3-2, but the crowd carried on into the power play that followed.

Right until this:

 

That’s the face of Patric Hornqvist’s being crosschecked by David Savard into the pipe of the Columbus net. Those pipes consist of a 2 3/8-inches steel tube that’s probably as unforgiving as it sounds. To be sure, not many human jaws are capable of budging it.

To be equally sure, neither referee’s arm was raised.

But the temperature in the building, man, that hit the roof. Beginning with Hornqvist:

The door slam was only the start. He barked, slammed his right hand on the bench, stabbed his stick into the floor … and the crowd’s crescendo only built.

And here, my friends, is where the game turned.

Start with this: No one went after Savard. Because there’s nothing to be gained. He’s irrelevant in every way, and so is any direct retaliation against him.

“Why bother?” as one veteran put it. “What’ll that do?”

What followed was a strange, striking sight: The Penguins, individually about the ice and on the bench, looked worked up. They were wired. They wanted revenge in the worst way … but also in the best way.

“Oh, we wanted to score so bad there,” Justin Schultz would tell me. “All of us felt it out there. We felt like we could answer right there.”

Did they ever.

The first attempt came from Malkin at the right point, a bad-mood wide slap shot that was almost funny because of the force with which it boomed off the back boards and caromed around. He wasn’t just trying to score. He was trying to penetrate bodies and twine:

“Geno’s shot there … wow,” Crosby would observe.

The captain would out-wow that moments later, this on a tidy, controlled feed from Malkin and the most precise top-shelf, peanut-butter beauty of a one-timer one could ever hope to witness:

The place positively erupted with emotion, mostly anger, which often is the most potent of emotions.

Crosby himself stopped at the side of the net, faced the crowd, raised both arms and screamed at a decibel that might have rivaled all that was coming back his way.

“Great feeling,” he’d tell me. “For all of us.”

Old playoff Penguins: Don’t get pushed around, boys! Fill the box, same as the other guys!

New playoff Penguins: Stroll off with the series in five, go barbecue for the weekend.

____________________

Old playoff Penguins: Tuukka Rask is so awesome that we’ll pass around the perimeter and wait for the perfect shot until the Bruins sweep all four games.

New playoff Penguins: Of the three Vezina Trophy goaltenders we’ve beaten in the past five playoff rounds, Sergei Bobrovsky is by far the biggest fraud.

____________________

I asked Fleury, after 49 saves and an overall series showing so dominant that just about everyone with the Blue Jackets except for Tortorella pointed to him as the pivotal factor — “We just couldn’t beat him, no matter what we did,” Jack Johnson would say — if he felt like he were reclaiming his job.

“I want to feel like that every time I’m out there,” came the quick reply, accompanied by a telling nod. “All I can do is my best.”

His best on this night came against Johnson on a Columbus four-on-four:

Old playoff Fleury: Repeatedly slamming his forehead into a cement wall on Long Island, having lost his starting spot to Tomas Vokoun. Saw it myself. Won’t ever forget it.

New playoff Fleury: You’d better believe it’s his job. It might be his team right now. Touch him now, and you’ll get burned.

____________________

The de-emotionalizing of these Penguins began in earnest on the NHL Draft floor in 2014, when Jim Rutherford acquired from Nashville the “warrior” Hornqvist, as Crosby likes to call him, for the gifted but volatile James Neal. Hornqvist has all of the fire, maybe more, but he long ago harnessed it for hockey purposes.

I wrote it that very day, and I’ll repeat now: Hornqvist is everything the Penguins need to be. And now, it’s everything they’ve become, thanks further to Mike Sullivan’s just-play preachings, further yet to having raised the Stanley Cup last summer.

To be their best selves, they need to shrug off the kind of garbage the Blue Jackets pulled, particularly early in the series until Hartnell’s realization hit everyone else on that side. By the time Tortorella put Brandon Dubinsky back on a leash, the NHL suspended Matt Calvert and Hartnell was relegated to a healthy scratch, it was way too late for Columbus and its head-stuck-in-the-sand head coach.

Old Torts: Same as the new Torts, classless as ever in fleeing the ice to avoid the ceremonial handshake, one of hockey’s longest-standing and proudest traditions:

New Torts: Hey, the man can show himself out of the playoffs. He knows the route well.

____________________

This will happen to the next opponent that tries it, too.

Reciting anew the teachings of that noted Columbus philosopher, “well, obviously it’s not working.”

Don’t get me wrong. Someone might beat the Penguins in these playoffs, especially if the defense — meaning Sullivan’s desired five-man, all-in defense — doesn’t reset for the second round. But it’s going to take an opponent with similar skill, speed and class, and that small field just dwindled by one Thursday with the Blackhawks’ breathtaking sweep by the Predators.

What’s almost certain at this stage, and maybe never more than after this round, is that the Penguins are well beyond undoing themselves.

MATT SUNDAY GALLERY

Penguins vs. Blue Jackets, Game 5, PPG Paints Arena, April 20, 2017. – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

328 Comments

Join the discussion

328 comments on "Column: Revenge is a dish best served without a handshake from Tortorella"

Notify of:
Sort by:   Newest | Oldest | Most voted
mattmetz1
mattmetz1

“Peanut butter beauty of a one timer” 😂

MattA
MattA

Did anyone see Torts press conference after the game? As usual, he basically berated the reporters and tried to make them feel bad about asking questions and doing their job on behalf of the fan base that pays his salary. That kind of stuff drives me crazy. You don’t have to spout sunshine and rainbows, but treat people with respect.

Sudesh Prasad
Sudesh Prasad

Torts is the biggest POS chest-thumping, knuckle-dragging coach in the NHL. Never liked him, never will.

MK
MK

One of the takeaways from this column is a feeling I had this past winter seeing the championship game with the Patriots. Thinking of a coach like Sullivan who took the same nucleus and tweaked it in a way to take the instance of the Bruins debacle in 2013 and completely change the mindset of the team. I couldn’t believe I was seeing a Steelers defense getting picked apart the same way I saw countless times in the Cowher era. As a Pittsburgh sports fan, this is the great satisfaction in seeing the playoff runs of the past two years–a team able to change its mindset, get creative coaches in control, out of the same ways of losing. Sullivan is the true root of this team, and the guy you pull for the most. It is the rare instance of a coach clearly making a difference with the Xs and Os

maccreate
maccreate

31.2 K eyeballs, is that a record for a column?

Mike Hoffman
Mike Hoffman

That Ian Cole quote is gold. “You want to hit me? Fine, come and hit me,” Ian Cole was telling me after this one was done. “But you’ve got to understand, I don’t care. Hit me all you want. I’ll take it. But I’m going to get the puck past you, and we’re going to do something with it.”

BJDuer
BJDuer

I didn’t read the site as much as should have during the regular season, but the playoff coverage has been/is awesome. The use of gifs and video make DK’s perspective stronger. Great job.

tailor31415
tailor31415

did Fleury really slam his head repeatedly into a cement wall in 2013? sounds like something out of a movie!

wisertime
wisertime

no wonder fleury went to a sports shrink. slamming ones own head into a wall repeatably doesnt exude mental toughness. yikes

RockAye
RockAye

Wsh-Tor series just keeps doing what it needs to. Lovin’ it!

Del S. In Savannah GA
Del S. In Savannah GA

Last shot wins in Washington.

He Shoots He Scores
He Shoots He Scores

Ovi is down, a knee. We will see how serious it is.

He Shoots He Scores
He Shoots He Scores

He’s back, must of had a spare knee in the locker room

Del S. In Savannah GA
Del S. In Savannah GA

Doesn’t seem much of an atmosphere in the Verizon center for what is a pivotal game 5.

timberlandblues
timberlandblues

Honestly, as relieved as I am that the Pens won, they were fortunate to win that game. CBJ controlled the first 10 minutes of play (again) even though the Pens spoke ad nauseum before the game about having a better start. CBJ then completely dominated the second half of the 2nd period and looked like they would come back and win before the Bjorkstrand goal got waived off. The Pens were incredibly opportunistic in their scoring, but there’s not question CBJ outplayed them the last two games.

Kfromcal
Kfromcal

It’s like then SB with cowher ona band ref call. Cowher told team forget it and play on. Team did not get perplexed over bad call and won game. Same here ignore the physicality and play on.

Pat G
Pat G

What a terrific quote from Ian Cole. I like that man more and more everyday.

penscup1991
penscup1991

The team is a mirror of the coach. Previous coaching staff had melt downs. Current staff formulates plans to win. Sully is a leader worth following.

Del S. In Savannah GA
Del S. In Savannah GA

Johnson and Bylsma had meltdowns?

412LGP
412LGP

Not sure but i bet they shook hands!!! And considered CBUS a rival. So silly n`at.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

The melted after the handshake, but they froze after the milkshake, and they shook during the earthquake, and due to superstitions they only ate one corn flake, and then I got hurt when I stepped on the apple rake and the handle hit me and I got a head ache, while “sssssss,” said the snake.

MK
MK

Quick hypothesis about the home vs. away stats of MAF – could it possibly be that he has a hard time seeing the puck against other teams’ dark home jerseys? This could especially be the case when the puck is elevated and there is traffic in the crease.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

I am hypnotized by your hypothesize.

CPswimmer
CPswimmer

Best article I’ve read probably ever!

Goose
Goose

Great analysis on the mental shift of not taking the bait from the opponent.

ruster1
ruster1

The maturity of this team not to take retaliatory penalties is the difference..the Crosby / Dubinsky slew foot in game #2.. the obvious Malkin goading him into the cross check penalty.. if you look up close up to Hornqvist I dont believe his face ever made contact with the post.. but still should have gotten that obvious call. I think teams will think twice about trying to get a reaction from these Penguins who are laser focused to JUST PLAY and to JUST WIN!! Great insight DK.. is why i have subscribed for almost 2 years!!

Troy
Troy

DK, that section about Hornqvist got me so amped I wanted to just hit stuff. I didn’t get to see that moment, but the writing made me feel it.

CBJ was just outmatched all series. The Pens played far from their best and still handled business. I’m looking forward to round two. And the coverage along with it.

SmlyGrl
SmlyGrl

NO ONE covers hockey better than DK Pittsburgh Sports! Thank you!

David Say
David Say

CBJ fan here. I have to say that no one here in Cbus considers the Penguins to be a rival. They think of them more as the big brother that you want to be like when you grow up. No CBJ fans gave them a chance in this series. Not sure of the insecurity on the Pens side. If the CBJ aren’t a rival and are irrelevant, why spend the entire week talking about it?

Kfromcal
Kfromcal

The team with the most skill won the game. Lesser teams try other tactics to win when they are out skilled. Jackets playing the way they did this series will never earn them a Cup, no matter how much skill they have on team.

RockAye
RockAye

David,

It’s not targeted at CBJ fans. The NHL also tried to make D.C. a “rival” to the Penguins – which of course it is not because as we say it takes two. Posts on this site reflect more of our disdain for manufactured rivalries than the specific teams.

Capt.Blunderbuss
Capt.Blunderbuss

Detroit and Pittsburgh weren’t rivals in 2008, but geez, didn’t everyone talk about it for two weeks because they were playing each other in the Stanley Cup Finals? Sure, the NHL hype machine tries to create deep rivalries where they don’t exist, but there is a rivalry here even if it’s in its infancy. Columbus can’t be dismissed anymore as a backwater expansion club with fans who know nothing about hockey (though they do need a little help understanding penalties). This was talked about for a week because the Penguins are the defending champ, playing a team that is geographically close and had the fourth highest point total this season.

412LGP
412LGP

One more question? What did you as a CBJ fan talk about for the last week?

David Say
David Say

Of course we talked about the series. Just find it odd that DK is so concerned that CBJ might consider the Pens a rival.

LoufromOSU
LoufromOSU

David, I’m an Ohio State alum and fan and follow several of their sites. The CBJ fans on those sites certainly think the pens are a rival. Eye of the beholder I guess.

bilbobagins
bilbobagins

Great, young team. Bad, old (school) coach. You’ll never get there under him. He should be fired as early as today.

412LGP
412LGP

Let me ask you this. What team is a rivarly of the BJ’s? With Cbus in the league 16 years( not counting lock out year) and the East 4 years there has to be someone,right?

412LGP
412LGP

Umm because the two teams just played five games over ten days.

David Say
David Say

Honestly, because the CBJ have sucked for so long and just moved from the west, there is no real rival.

412LGP
412LGP

Remember a rival is someone competing for the same thing and that is what this series was about.

Del S. In Savannah GA
Del S. In Savannah GA

And because of their DB coach and a few idiot players.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Another silly thread. Let’s shake hands on it…

coachbenchristian
coachbenchristian

tortz is a clown, or a thug in a suit, or whatever (in my best teenage girls voice)

amishmafia
amishmafia

I was impressed by the play of Seth Jones. He’s a young D-man (only 23) with a seemingly bright future. He would fit the Pens style nicely. I can only guess how great he might become if he had Gonchar as his coach.

One Cool Cat
One Cool Cat

With the well earned mini break, hopefully Sheary can get his head straight. Get healthy soon Hags, and the other hurt Pens. Hello Linda! Welcome aboard Sean!

jrziskey
jrziskey

I think it’s silly for coaches to stand on the ice and shake hands with the players on skates (that moment should be for the players), so I think this has been blown out of proportion.

That being said, super classy move by the Columbus gm as relayed in the Insider column.

nightsky73144
nightsky73144

I get your point, and don’t even necessarily disagree. But, my perception was that it was tradition for coaches to follow at the end of the handshake line. But, other commenters are saying no; so, guess I’m wrong.

But Tortorella is still low-life, whiny, and a big baby – not a good look for an adult who’s supposed to be doing a professional job.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy
jrziskey
jrziskey

Not disagreeing with your take on Torts but I see more and more coaches skipping that and just shaking hands with the other coaches.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Holy God, the handshake that would never end. Someday they’ll make a movie about just this.

Let’s really discuss this in depth. The ramifications are so deeply interconnected with the psyche of the general public as well as casual observers.

I think it’s so important this handshaking. In fact, right now my hands are shaking as I type this. It’s hard to even concentrate because people all over the world are shaking hands for reasons that aren’t very clear.

But that’s the point, we should all shake hands, but only while wearing some sort of a gloves to prevent the spread of infection.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Yeah? You don’t like it? Oh, I’m sorry, let’s make up and shake hands…

edzo6687
edzo6687

Great column, DK. Thanks.

dadaevan
dadaevan

I can see the drool on Dejan’s chin as he writes this article. CLASSIC.

MT
MT

Archibald, Sestito and Gaunce all sent down to WBS

Del S. In Savannah GA
Del S. In Savannah GA

Probably to help them out in the playoffs.

MT
MT

Or maybe they know a player or two is ready to go for the next series 🙂

Rainmanoly
Rainmanoly

Any article that rips on Torts gets a million coffee cups from me.

You can be a big man and play with both power and skill. Imho, most coaches, at mite to high school, don’t know how to teach the big, powerful kids how to play the right way. Size and strength can be used, just like a smaller player uses agility and speed, to get open and create scoring chances. (I mean my goodness, look at Mario and Jags and Saad for that matter.) It’s very frustrating to watch. Being big doesn’t mean you have to go out and smoke everything that moves!

Basketball has camps for point guards, power forwards, centers…. Individualized skills and drills. Why don’t we see more of that in hockey? Is the price of ice to rare and expensive?

412LGP
412LGP

Cole’s quote is so gold it could be from GoodFellas.

B-rad
B-rad

Torts is such a pissant

412LGP
412LGP

I want the question, Did Torts shake hands? to replace, Is Murray healthy?

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Yes dammnit! First they shook hands and they french freakin’ kissed! This horse needs to be buried…

What you want is this handshake to be discussed instead of Murray being hurt? Why does that matter?

Fleury’s cage, Muzz hurt or not!

412LGP
412LGP

so you sayin that Murray is available?

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

He’s only available to shake hands, while wearing gloves and only his left hand is good to shake.

Paul
Paul

My memory could be completely failing me, but I don’t remember Bob Johnson in any handshake lines. I didn’t think coaches often joined the line.

Thought coaches shook hands with each other, and that was it.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Why in the living hell is this an issue?

Paul
Paul

DK highlighted it the article as an act in incivility. That’s why it’s being discussed.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

no, the word you’re looking for is… D I S G U S T!

412LGP
412LGP

I gotta laugh when you said hours ago it was a non issue but you can’t stop!!!

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

I think there is something seriously wrong with me…

SteelersNationVa
SteelersNationVa

Badger Bob didn’t lose in the playoffs with the Pens.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

He lost his mind contemplating the handshake line.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy
chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Dear god…

412LGP
412LGP

Sounds like something Torts would mutter when he knew he would have to shake hands…..

Paul
Paul

No, but winning coaches are allowed through the line, too, and I don’t recall that happening. My point is that I didn’t think it was odd for a coach to not go through the line, win or lose.

nightsky73144
nightsky73144

Now I want to look through old videos…

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

You’ll notice that Badger Bob had no hands, that’s why he never shook hands with anyone.

Paul
Paul

I”m curious, too. Like I said, it’s just what I remember. I could easily be wrong.

Paul
Paul

Looking at youtube (don’t read this chris–you seem to get angry reading about it), both Badger Bob and Bowman went through the line.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

It only looked like they were shaking hands, Badger Bob had hooks he was shaking, and he kept ripping things as his hooks shook…

And then Scotty Bowman thought Bob meant that he bought Shake ‘n Bake chicken, and asked if he could come over for dinner.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Badger Bob didn’t lose a series, but he lost his hands in the playoffs and couldn’t shake any hands.

And Sidney didn’t shake hands with Detroit because he was late. And then he wouldn’t hug his uncle but he would shake hands.

And then Chuck Noll didn’t shake Jerry Glanville’s hands, and who could blame him for that? But he wouldn’t shake Sam Wyche’s hands, either.

And then he had a milk shake just before the earthquake.

And then he listened to Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti which is pronounced ‘Shake Yer Booty’, and then someone said flake and Zappa wrote a song about Flakes on Sheik Yerbouti, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYXydkZCa9g

SteelersNationVa
SteelersNationVa

Badger Bob didn’t lose in the playoffs with the Pens.

Chopper412
Chopper412

Great column DK. Really captured the spirit of the thing.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Except for the handshake part…

He Shoots He Scores
He Shoots He Scores

On the crowd to quote DK : “Our sports teams are who we are. We set a bar that reflects each other. If they fail, we’ve failed. If we let them down, they’ll let us down.

Which is why neither happens”.

Be it the Steelers, Penguins or even the Pirates, the Pittsburgh fans are like no other, we kind of (lol) get invested in our teams. The world is a better place when they win. I’m sure Ron Hainsey never expected the fans out pouring for game 5. Especially after Sid’s goal. Just wait until we kick it up a notch for the next round.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Four down and some deserved time off for good behavior. We’re clearly better than the CBJ’s. We had better goal tending and the power play turned deadly. We were short of perfect, but better than adequate.

We do and will miss Letang, it was good to see him even in the neck-brace.

We had an unnerving tendency to start slow.

I can’t say enough good things about MAF. He might have been the key to the series. His net, no controversy.

How quiet was Malkin but yet he leads the point race. Man, when he gets it going and he hasn’t yet, when we see the dominant Malkin, look out! He has yet to take over a game, but he will.

Phil Kessel, Stanley Cup Champion, I’ll say no more.

Rusty the finisher, this kid! Guentzel, that kid!

Rest up and get ready.

RockAye
RockAye

Old Playoff Penguins: Down Letang, Maatta, Ehrhoff, Pouliot, lose opening round to the Rags.
New Playoff Penguins: Smash CBJ while missing Murray, Kunitz, Hagelin, Letang.

pensfan77
pensfan77

Torts is Columbus problem now, and not Pittsburgh.

SteelersNationVa
SteelersNationVa

Bet he no longer is the coach after next year when they underperform either in the regular season or lose in round 1. Torts will blame the refs, the ice, the players, the lighting, but never take responsibility that his system doesn’t win any more.

jaydogg1974
jaydogg1974

God do I hate that horn as the players take the ice, it’s so loud that it drowns out the actual crowd noise and actually masks how loud the crowd really is. I get it that they want the decibels as high as possible to create an illusion but it isn’t needed and it actually takes away from how loud the crowd really gets. Even in the clip in the article all you here is horn, you couldn’t hear the crowd at all. As a 20+ year season ticket holder I can tell that the crowd was loud by watching their reaction and having 1st hand experience of it but that clip did it no justice because of that damn horn.

PensPlus
PensPlus

Hah I was going to say, all that clip played was the horn. Kinda silly.

jsc133
jsc133

Totally agree,,keep it short and sweet!

JC
JC

As a season ticket holder and going to so many games, I don’t like a lot of the inhouse entertainment that is suppossed to get the fans going. I know you need some, I still like the old organ. There is nothing more annoying than iceburg with that stupid drum every other minute. I would rather have the crowd get into it more naturally than the drum and the horn, like we don’t know enough to cheer at the right time. It’s true, that horn at the beginning drowns everything out.

cclaspy
cclaspy

Like when the entire arena is shouting Lets GO Pens 5 minutes before the team takes the ice

JaimeM09
JaimeM09

Couldn’t agree more. I hate that drum. I always put that in the comments of the end of the year surveys. “Get rid of the horn and let the crowd start it.” It also kills the chants when they stop the drum. Oh, and can we get rid of Cotton Eye Joe too?

JC
JC

So sick of Cotton Eye Joe too! They just do the same old thing over and over, most of it isn’t really fun.

412LGP
412LGP

Torts is the definition of insanity.

Pittsburgh_Bill
Pittsburgh_Bill

Great observations DK.

Regardless of who they face in the 2nd and hopefully 3rd & 4rth rounds, they will need to shake off these slow 1st period starts or they will find themselves with a longer summer than they want.

WilliamMaloni
WilliamMaloni

Just as well written, chill generating, enjoyable column as I expected from you.

Thanks, DK, now bring on those…….?

Pittsburgh_Bill
Pittsburgh_Bill

DK Torts did shake hands with Mike Sullivan and the Pens coaches before heading to the dressing room.

GhostOfPedro
GhostOfPedro

Yeah Torts is a douche but I saw that too.

412LGP
412LGP

But wanted nothing to do with the rest of the team.

hmilhous68
hmilhous68

It’s the coaches choice, but 99 times out of 100, the losing coach exits stage left after shaking hands with the opposing coaching staff, not the team. I’m no fan of Torts, but if we’re going to go after him, we should go after the majority of coaches who have done & are currently doing the exact same thing. As stated, it’s a nonissue.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Pray with me people: Please God, let the handshake situation end before something bad happens. Amen.

Irwin_Fletcher
Irwin_Fletcher

Yeah I’m with you on this one. I’m no fan of his either, but he didn’t break tradition by not going through the handshake line.

hmilhous68
hmilhous68

*coach’s….apologies, I hate grammatical errors.

Phoebe
Phoebe

Agreed. I noticed after the Preds eliminated the Hawks last night that Coach Q & Co left the ice after shaking the hands of the Predators staff, but not the players. It is a little silly that the coaches can’t muster the sportsmanship to shake the opposing players’ hands because I’m sure it’s a lot harder on the actual players who played the game to do it, but they always do. A little lame, but I’m sure the Pens couldn’t care less about it.

towens1950
towens1950

Yes he did. Much ado about nothing !

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Absolutely. this is now a total non-issue.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

or so I thought… it just won’t go away.

MT
MT

Disagree, it’s poor sportsmanship.

towens1950
towens1950

You should recall when Chuck Noll refused a few other handshakes from head coaches. He kept his hands in his pockets as he left the field . And I loved it.

JaY_EsS
JaY_EsS

Mad respect to the Blue Jackets players, but Torts is a complete douche. Try winning and losing like a professional instead of acting like a piss baby piece of $h1t. The more he acts like a self-entitled, bully-minded jacka$$, the more I love watching him lose. I want to drink his tears. NUM NUM NUM NUM NUM. #tortstears #girlscoutsoftortorella

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Have a little class.

MT
MT

Don’t insult Girl Scouts

bigdaddy
bigdaddy

Somethings will NEVER change. Tortilla is Garbage and will ALWAYS be Garbage !!!!!!!!

edzo6687
edzo6687

I love tortillas.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

For dipping… or wrapping a spicy meat!

hess3560
hess3560

I realize Torts can be abrasive. However, he was rude, insulting and disrespectful with the media after the game. The man needs to learn how to be a good winner and a good loser.

SteelersNationVa
SteelersNationVa

he’s had lots of practice losing in the playoffs

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser. But really, how bad was it? How rude? Did he punch someone? Was he name calling? Did he throw a chair?

Here’s the presser: https://youtu.be/RQXU8bxpM8s

There was lot of silence early, leaning on his elbow, “you tell me…” type answers, praise for his guys, he didn’t look real happy, he refused to speak of the goalie interference, “don’t bait me…”, he said. He called us the Stanley Cup Champs.

Did you see something else that I didn’t. He seemed pretty composed, obviously unhappy, where is the rude, insulting and disrespectful?

Is there some footage of him being a jerk that I missed? Seriously.

towens1950
towens1950

I agree he was not happy but certainly not rude etc. This Torts obsession is what’s rude. Good reasonable post.

hess3560
hess3560

Thanks for sharing his media coverage but I watched it last night. I am entitled to my opinion as are you. He was rude and disrespectful. He acted like a 2 year old that didn’t get his way. Go Pens!

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

When and where? Are you saying you didn’t like his tone?

Zerocool6687
Zerocool6687

No doubt, this is the 1st time he has had any kind of success in a number of years and he acts like a petulant child. I know some love him for the sound bites but he really is a crappy person.

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Show me where he behaved in a petulant manor after this game, please. I don’t know where he said anything out of line…

CannaBus
CannaBus

He is amusing, like a clown or jester

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

I don’t wanna shake his hand, though.

BlkN'Gld
BlkN'Gld

This feels weird saying this because he is very loved, but Cullen seems to have lost all gas he might have had left. He has none of that burst we saw last postseason. Aside from the PK, Sadly I fear he has become useless. Anybody remember a time in this series where he dominated a single shift? I’m not talking Malkin type dominating, i’m simply talking about actually possessing the puck for more then a second? Remember that fourth line with Rowney wilson and Archibald? Buzzing! Energy! offensive zone time and cycling the puck! This is what the fourth line should be all about. Pull out Cullen, maybe let him rest a bit. Let 37 center a line of 34 and 23 and put 14 (when he gets back) with 13 and 72. Or 37 34 and 14 to manage kunitz minutes. Let them buzz!

chrisinindy
chrisinindy

Dad is forty years old, he could use some rest as could the balance of the team. Hagelin and Kunitz are possible returns waiting in the wings.

I’m hoping we get both back. Of course now there seems to be a general thought by some that Hagelin has regressed back into a walking boot. Most of that has been pretty unsubstantiated as usual.

But people do love a good rumor, especially when it comes to the secret squirrel style the Penguins like to use in regards to injury.

RockAye
RockAye

Blk I wouldn’t worry about Cullen. He had a starring role during the first few wins where it was him out there even without his linemates in the end to win faceoffs and clear the puck. It’s too bad his first big shot last night hit the post. Would have been a great start.

MT
MT

Actually, I did see him have a good push and great shot on goal last night. Bobs stopped it. He’ll be fine, especially with a few days rest.

slagpile66
slagpile66

Let’s not forget the new Dubinsky…still a douche. Was at the game and saw him, inside the last minute when game is over and everyone going through the motions, hit Dumolin with an extremely late hard check into the boards with an extra cross check for good measure.

LupeSanchez
LupeSanchez

One of your best Dejan

Crancast
Crancast

Enjoying read. But I will be THAT guy.

The Pens will not win the Cup playing this way. Show up for 30 min, run and gun with risky passes generating odd man rushes against, missing D assignments left and right. I saw a lot of the “Old Pens” this series, but it works great against a team lacking in skill and a goalie who struggles in the playoffs.

They can play the right way, I hope they find it. But it is easy to get roped into bad habits with a series that was so easy for them.

RockAye
RockAye

Cranc true they might not win based on what happened this series, BUT it was a nice warmup for them and they did play minus Murray, Hagelin, Kunitz, and Letang. A little time to rest and plan and maybe get some starters back and they’ll be fine right?

He Shoots He Scores
He Shoots He Scores

Sorry last years Caps were better, I think Columbus was our trap series because they have size and speed, the Caps Blue Line isn’t as good as the Bluejackets. Plus the Caps see Penguins in their sleep at night.

RockAye
RockAye

Plus regarding DC, how much will Alzner’s injury linger?

LukesWall
LukesWall

‘Fantasy rival’… haha. Well said DK!

wpDiscuz
To Top