Jerry Micco's chat transcript: 05.08.13

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Jerry Micco:

Hello everyone and welcome to the weekly all-sports chat. I'll be back in 15 minutes to officially start things off, but in the meantime feel free to vote in our quick poll and submit early questions. I'm thinking there may be a few Pens questions coming. See you soon!

12:02

Comment From Chunkles

Jerry, you always say if the fans pay for a ticket they have the right to boo as much as cheer. BUT, last night when Sid got hit with that puck and those NY Islander fans cheered, CLASSLESS JERKS! Even though Sid is the face of the NHL, I don't care who the player is, you don't cheer when someone gets hurt. What a bunch of morons!

12:03

Jerry Micco:

I stand by my assertion that if you pay your way in, you have a right to boo. What I mean by that is, you have a right to boo a performance whether it be a visiting or a home team player, or play. Injuries? Out of the question. You never know how serious an injury can be.

12:03

Comment From David Volek

I led off your chat last week saying Islanders in 7, maybe I should have said Islanders in 6. The Penguins are playing like an assembled All Star team that can't match the team play and grit of the Islanders. What does Blysma have to do?

12:05

Jerry Micco:

My guess is the first thing he'll do is start Vokoun in goal, since he's owned the Isles this year. Second, I think he needs to move Iginla to the RW on Crosby's line. He looks lost on the left side. Third, he may want to play his fourth line more. Jokinen had 7:30 of ice time last night. Roll 4 lines, it's the playoffs. And if he wants more punch there, put Kennedy or Bennett on that line and put Glass on the bench for a game. Other than that, things should be just peachy.

12:05

Comment From Andrew

Jerry, your thoughts on the Burnett vs. Hernandez matchup this afternoon?

12:06

Jerry Micco:

Should be a hum-dinger. Felix Hernandez is an amazing player and he shut the Pirates out the last time he faced them, though he didn't finish the game. And Burnett is still the best starting pitcher the Pirates have. Should be a good one, and it's great weather for seeing a ballgame this afternoon in Pittsburgh.

12:06

Comment From Zack

Time to bench Fleury?

12:07

Jerry Micco:

Maybe to give him a day off, but if Vokoun plays really well, then maybe until he cools off. Fleury hasn't had a lot of help this series, but he's let in some soft goals, too. Maybe a game or two off might help him. But I still can't get out of my head that he did win a Cup for this team in goal. So he gets major points for that.

12:07

Comment From Joe L.

Hi Jerry, Your thoughts on Vokoun or Fleury in game 5? I love Fleury but I think Bylsma has to go with Vokoun. Maybe he can calm the waters so to speak. I think you play him the rest of the series as well.

12:08

Jerry Micco:

See above. I think he'll start Vokoun in game 5 and then see how that goes. If the Pens win that game 6-5, then you may see Fleury back in Game 6.

12:08

Comment From Guest

Pirate starting rotation after July 4th will be?

12:09

Jerry Micco:

Burnett, Rodriguez, Liriano, Morton, Locke. Gerrit Cole has a bit more work to to in Indianapolis. But he'll he on the express to Pittsburgh if he is ready.

12:09

Comment From #66

Obviously, the organization needs to move in another direction at Goaltender, but I blame Disco Dan for not having his club ready to play. If he gets eliminated in the first round again should I fire him?

12:10

Jerry Micco:

Well, since it's mostly Ron Burkle's money, you might want to check with him, too. But I don't see the Pens dealing Fleury if only because he's still great in the regular season and good goalies are hard to find. Second, if the Pens go out in round 1 this year, I think Bylsma is likely gone. It's the way the NHL works.

12:10

Comment From Joe L.

Whats up with the officiating? Tic tac calls in the first...nothing called in the 3rd. Does the league tell these guys to call the game the same through out?

12:11

Jerry Micco:

I've seen it called differently in every game, so I guess it's on what they see and how they see it. And by every game, I'm watching other games besides Pens-Isles. Inconsistency is amazing.

12:11

Comment From The Chief

Jerry, I am sure you will get many "Flower " comments today, but do you believe that is the only reason the Isles are taking it to the Pens?

12:13

Jerry Micco:

Nope. He's not the only reason they are in this pickle, though we tend to forget that it's 2-2. The Isles have made the Pens look slow. They are having trouble getting to pucks first and that are having real problems controlling the puck in the Islanders end. Add to that they are trying to get fancy with clearing passes and you get a variety of reasons why they aren't playing well. It's not all Fleury, but he owns his share of the blame.

12:13

Comment From praveen

How could Bylsma not pull Fleury after the 3rd goal? He looked off balance on the 2nd, and on the 3rd he made not just one, but two blunders. He failed to cover up the puck which led to it going behind him, and then the second blunder was not positioning himself to guard the net. His body language looked awful. Not only did Bylsma cost us the game by keeping him in, he probably harmed Fleury's confidence more by actually leaving him in there.

12:14

Jerry Micco:

It always looks like a sign of panic when you pull a goalie mid-game with the score tied. I could see if it was 3-0 or worse, but it wasn't. Sends a terrible message to the players. I agree Fleury wasn't sharp last night, but the Pens blew two leads in that game and couldn't capitalize on growing the lead when they had the chance.

12:14

Comment From praveen

Crosby has been great in the series, but he has tailed off badly in each game on faceoffs and in this game he was bad for most of the game on faceoffs. Also his line was bad defensively.

12:16

Jerry Micco:

Usually, the Crosby line because of Dupuis, is good defensively. But the Islanders are fast and the matchup advantage they have at home, allows them to put Tavares blazing fast line out against Crosby's or the second line, neither of which can really keep up. When you play at home, it gives you huge advantages, the biggest perhaps being the last line change. They won't have that for 2 of the last 3 (if needed) games.

12:16

Comment From praveen

Bylsma is a terrible playoff coach. With the roster he had, 3 consecutive(Hopefully not 4) playoff series losses is unacceptable. Every year, there is an excuse - hot goalie, hot forward, blah blah. Each team that beat the pens did not win a series after that. So let's not give too much credit to the other teams other than the fact that they do get credit for working hard.

12:18

Jerry Micco:

Bylsma has a Stanley Cup, but arguably, that team was coached most of the season by Therrien. However, they were not playing well before Bylsma, so you do give him credit for the Cup run. Can't take that away. At the same time, he owns all the first-round losses, too. And that, ultimately, will be where he's judged.

12:18

Comment From Phil

Ryan Clark's comments about the Pats have me seething. This isn't the Jets. Joey Porter calling out the Colts is one thing. Clark not being able to control his selfish ESPN designs is another. I'm fine with visitng the Ravens locker room but all these incidents add up to something that the Steelers should get away from.

12:19

Jerry Micco:

Ryan Clark, by doing what he did, is looking out for Ryan Clark. He needs a career after football and you don't get those jobs being vanilla. And frankly, these guys can be cut at any time, so they have to take their shots when they get them. I don't think it helps the team what he said, but again, you still have to play the game. Nothing is decided by someone's comments.

12:20

Comment From El Guapo

Cutch looks back on track, what's wrong with Pedro? Bench him today?

12:21

Jerry Micco:

Hey, if Pedro's going to be their eventual clean-up hitter, he's got to face guys like King Felix. Don't bench him, make him hit his way out of it. You can't take his bat out of the lineup, in my opinion.

12:21

Comment From Guest

If James McDonald is out of the starting rotation after July 4th what happens to him?

12:22

Jerry Micco:

Bullpen. He's out of options. Or, extended DL.

12:22

Comment From praveen

Tomlin and Bylsma: Early great success. But growing pains indicating that they are not the know it alls they thnk they are and they should try to learn from their mistakes(in the case of Bylsma, it's playoffs related). They keep making the same mistakes in the last few years. I wonder if that early success made them overconfident of their abilities. Byslma and Tomlin have solid systems, but I would like to see some major adjustments.

12:24

Jerry Micco:

The difference is, the Penguins added all-star players to the roster and usually do that every year. And they have two of the best players in the game, and have for years now. Tomlin has neither, and in the NFL, you can't go out and get all-stars to play for you late in the season. Both men have won championships, but like in any profession, you have to keep adjusting your game or the other teams will sprint past you.

12:24

Comment From The Chief

Jerry, speed kills and while Shero has assembled an All Star team with his deadline adds the team got noticeably slower. Your thoughts.

12:24

Jerry Micco:

Older and slower. And it's showing up some now.

12:24

Comment From praveen

Every Islander forward had 10 min or more of ice time. Why gdoes Bylsma dress Glass if he is not going ot use him. Why punish young players that much in the game when you can always replace them after the game. When they had the lead in Games 2 , 3 and 4, Bylsma could have just made it simple for the young players and use the simple assignments to give the bigger stars a rest. as it is Letang, Crosby's line, Malkin's line were on the ice for some goals given up in recent games. Let the young players learn from their mistakes since everyone is making them on the team.

12:26

Jerry Micco:

I say amen to much of that. I think you need to roll 4 solid lines out there and with their depth, the Pens should be able to do that. If you have a Jokinen as the 4th-line center, you have tremendous depth. If you want more scoring, put Bennett or Kennedy in for Glass. Adams is a good PK, so I'd leave him in. But roll that fourth line out there for more than 7 minutes a game. A must in the playoffs, I believe.

12:26

Comment From Joe L.

What are the chances the pens deploy some type of neutral zone trap? These Isles are so fast, and have little resistance through the middle. Speed and turnovers are killing them.

12:28

Jerry Micco:

You're going to have to re-teach an entire team, in a day, to play that system. You live and die by your system. I think if they are just more careful with clearing passes and are more sharp and active in the offensive zone, a lot of what the Isles do is rendered useless. If Malkin just bangs that puck off the boards last night instead of trying to force it past Tavares, it's the safe, smart play. He didn't, and we saw what happened.

12:28

Comment From Bobby Nystrom

Pens Locker room was tight last night after the loss, signs that this team is under too much pressure to win it all?

12:29

Jerry Micco:

Of course they are under pressure to win a Cup. Everyone who covers the sport, the fan base, and the front office as well as the entire team, knows they were put together like this for a Cup run. And when you're a No. 1 being heavily challenged and outplayed by a No. 8, it is a very sobering moment.

12:29

Comment From The Chief

Jerry, you surprised that the NHL did basically nothing as far as suspensions following the WWE event known as Canadians -Senators game 3 ?

12:31

Jerry Micco:

Sometimes it's a garage league. That was so bush the other night, and I blame both teams for that. I guess you can't suspend guys for fighting, but nonetheless, it reeked of "old time hockey" in that the only thing missing were the benches clearing. Thank goodness for that.

12:31

Comment From Guest

How has Geno not learned to keep his emotions in check? After awhile you would think he would learn not to take stupid penalties.

12:33

Jerry Micco:

You are who you are. Geno is a great player, but he is going to take dumb penalties and he's occasionally going to turn it over trying to make a great play. But when he does make a great play, and he had a couple early last night and throughout this series, it makes you wonder what he'd be like if he didn't do the other stuff.

12:33

Comment From Dave

Who on the team can get thru to Malkin who has been taking stupid penalties and not protecting the puck? He seems to have regresssed in the palyoffs

12:33

Jerry Micco:

I think Sid is the one guy he'd really listen to. But that's a guess on my part.

12:33

Comment From Ken

Jerry, the PFT show is doing a fun Mt. Rushmore for every NFL team which of course leads to---Art Sr.,Dan, Mean Joe and--the fourth is the toughest--Chuck (over Lambert and Bradshaw barely), I guess. What do you think?

12:34

Jerry Micco:

I'd say Noll, but man you are right. A very tough choice.

12:34

Comment From Wild Bill

Hello Jerry, when I watch the Pens lately I think of the old saying, "Too many chiefs, and not enough Indians". I think that Shero might have done one trade too many. Your thoughts?

12:36

Jerry Micco:

The one trade too many was maybe Jokinen, but he was a great pickup. I'm not sure Morrow was a necessary trade, and to me, he hasn't brought much so far this series. Sometime when you assemble so many stars in one place, it is tougher for them to take a back-seat role. But for some reason, I still think that their star power will get them through this series. I'd not bet the house on it, but I still like their chances.

12:36

Comment From Doug Oster

Maybe This Flower you refer to isn't getting enough water. Could that be the problem?

12:36

Jerry Micco:

Or, too much dirt was thrown on top of him.

12:36

Comment From Guest

Fill in the blank: This time next week we will be talking about the Pens _____.

12:37

Jerry Micco:

Having to play Ottawa and how its crazy owner is trying to get Matt Cooke indicted for an accidental play.

12:37

Comment From yinzer in va

Jerry, Fluery comments aside, it seems the Pens are beating themselves more than the Islanders beating them. Leaky defense, not enough hitting like in game 1, and they don't seem to be change strategy to counter the Isles.

12:39

Jerry Micco:

I agree on the final point, but I'll give the Isles credit. They know how to attack the Penguins and are using their speed and physical presence to the max in this series. As one player told Dave Molinari for his story in today's PG, "We saw last year's series (vs. Philly)." You want to get the Pens into a back and forth game if you can. Especially if you have young guys who can score like the Isles have.

12:39

Comment From Guest

Who do you like in the 5th Major this week?

12:40

Jerry Micco:

If he's putting well, how about Keegan Bradley? And I think Phil will play well this week. At least I hope so. Be fun to watch him on the weekend contending.

12:40

Comment From Joe L.

If the Pens do get bounced and Disco is ultimately fired, do you see any major players (geno, tanger, flower) being moved as well?

12:42

Jerry Micco:

Well, Letang and Malkin have one more year left on their deals. The Pens can see where the negotiations take them with those two, and you may have to move one to get under the cap, which shrinks for next season. I can't see some of the trade guys coming back (Morrow, Murray) but maybe they try to keep Iginla. A lot of guys like Adams come due, too, at the end of the year. Have to gauge how important they are in the overall scheme. In short, I look for a coaching change and some big player movement.

12:42

Comment From yinzer in va

Jerry, Regardless of who plays tomorrow, if the Pens don't win, it will be the Isles in 6. I certainly hope I'd be wrong about that, but it feels like a repeat of the 2012 playoffs. Just a different team.

12:43

Jerry Micco:

There are some similarities, and they are striking. The Pens, in my opinion, have to win Game 5. I don't see them winning two in a row against the Islanders, especially back-to-back games, which is what we have over the weekend.

12:43

Comment From JamesinNYC

Especially if you want to wear down the younger team by being more physical...have to roll line.

12:44

Jerry Micco:

It's the only way to play in the playoffs. Simon Despres was benched in the second period of Game 3. What good did that do? I know Orpik solves that problem, but it probably wore thin the defense. Last night, fourth line guys played very little 5 on 5. I think you have to roll all 4 lines.

12:44

Comment From DormontyDawson

Jerry: I hate to say this, but: If given the choice of taking a hit to deliver a good pass versus tossing the puck like a hot potato to avoid a hit, Kris Letang will usually choose the latter. Am I incorrect?

12:46

Jerry Micco:

I've seen Letang get drilled pretty hard making a good pass. And he's a lot more physical than people give him credit for. I don't think he shies away from hits, though I don't know anyone who sits there just to get hit.

12:46

Comment From praveen

In your poll as to who should start, I see Fleury at 10%. Is Fleury voting in this poll?

12:47

Jerry Micco:

I said on Twitter last night, that I was going to ask this poll question and wondered if Fleury would get 10 percent of the vote. He's got a bit to go.

12:47

B????????????????

I think we should look to trade Pedro and make a big play for Headley...thoughts?

12:49

Jerry Micco:

I think they'd regret trading Pedro Alvarez. Not saying they should not listen to any overtures, but Pedro did hit 30 HRs last year and drive in 85. I'd not give up on him yet.

12:49

Comment From Oggie Olgerthorpe

I say Game 5 you start your 4th line full of goons and go after Kyle Okposo when the puck is dropped.

12:49

Jerry Micco:

Well, all that does is put the Isles on the power play. Nothing more.

12:49

Comment From praveen

On a lighter note, I am getting a kick out of the michel "i am not soff" Therrien - Paul "Bugeyed Walrus" McLean press conferences.

12:50

Jerry Micco:

Therrien was just the best at those. I found, and Tweeted it out last night, the video from his meltdown when he was here. Classic. I actually liked Therrien and thought he did a very good job here. The players, though, tired of his act.

12:50

Comment From Wild Bill

Will Jay Bell be in trouble already if Alvarez actually gets worse this year?

12:52

Jerry Micco:

I think maybe Pedro will be in trouble if he gets worse. Bell has only had a few months to work with him. Patience is still in order, I believe.

12:52

Comment From praveen

The only thing worse than being a Pens fan in recent playoff years is to be a Canucks fan. What a soft team.

12:52

Jerry Micco:

The Sharks put a pounding on them. Talk about a team that will make big changes. Vancouver will do that this offseason.

12:52

Comment From praveen

Steelers are going to remain in cap hell if they keep doing things half way. If you are going to be businesslike in cutting Harrison, why not ask Troy to take a paycut? With such a deep draft, they should have let Sanders go and used the 3rd rounder on another WR since plenty were available.

12:55

Jerry Micco:

There were plenty of WRs available, but I'm not sure how many of them were better than Sanders. And it seems like they want to try to make a deal with him. That said, I think they should be going to as many guys as they can to ask for cuts. You don't want to re-do Polamalu or Clark because it just shoves cap money into later years. The rebuilding, whether they call it that or not, will take a couple of years.

12:55

Comment From Phil

Another reason for us to ignore the NBA. Have you tried watching these playoffs with everybody in the arena wearing the same colored shirt? It's really distrating somehow.

12:55

Jerry Micco:

Ever been to a Steelers game? I watch it some. My Golden State Warriors did it again, upsetting a higher-seeded team in round 1.

12:55

Comment From The Chief

Call me crazy, but I see this series similar to '91 when the Devils took a heavily favored Penguins' team to seven games. The Pens won the series and breezed to the cup. Your thoughts.

12:57

Jerry Micco:

I've said this before that if they can get past Round 1, the Pens would have a path to the Cup. I think their bugaboo is Round 1. Especially if Ottawa is their next opponent. I like that match up for them better that I do the Islanders. The team in the East to watch is Washington. They look very good.

12:57

Comment From praveen

Is Landry Jones an instant bust? Or do you like the pick. I have no confidence in that pick being either good for the short term or long term.

12:58

Jerry Micco:

I'm not a big fan of the pick because I think they could have gotten him a round or two later. I think he's a bit of a project, but that's fine because Ben's going to be around for a few more years. He's got the size and the arm, but I wonder if he has the intangibles that make a great NFL QB.

12:58

Comment From Joe L.

Do we see TK or Vitale or both playing at some point to keep up with the Islanders speed?

12:59

Jerry Micco:

I don't think you'll see Adams and/or Jokinen benched to make room for Vitale. What would be interesting to me: Use Jokinen on the third line, and give Morrow a game off for Vitale. Then make Kennedy, Vitale and Adams your third line.

12:59

Comment From praveen

I disagree with the trades being too many. Last year, not many trades, and that team still choked against Philly.

1:00

Jerry Micco:

But that's why they made all these trades, because they were so lousy against Philly. And I said I thought they made one too many. I'd have not gone all out to get Morrow.

1:00

Comment From Wild Bill

Sorry - I wasn't thinking of Jokinen, I was thinking of Iginla.

1:01

Comment From praveen

Morrow seems better forechecking in the offensive zone than playing good defense in the defensive zone. Iginla at this stage has to be viewed as specialist for offense and PPs. He is not a great 5 on 5 regular shift player all game long anymore.

1:02

Jerry Micco:

Especially when he's on his off-wing and being made to play there. One of my early thoughts was to put him on the RW of Crosby's line and move Dupuis to Malkin's line.

1:02

Comment From The Chief

Wit about a month and a half before the ballots are counted, what Pirates, if any do you see on the All Star Team?

1:03

Jerry Micco:

McCutchen; Marte if he keeps this up. He led off with a double today and scored the only run of the game thus far. Maybe Grilli. I think the surest bet is McCutchen.

1:03

Comment From Ken

Since the Isanders have been kind of irrelevant both in the NYC region and here, we forgot about the classless fans. Just as bad as Philly, maybe worse at the end of last night's game. I don't like exposing children to obscene getures, mostly.

1:04

Jerry Micco:

Did you see the young kids behind the penalty box, or somewhere along the glass. I'm no prude, but watching a young kid flip the bird multiple times to the other team is a bit much, I thought. But hey, doesn't matter about the fans. The Pens had better concentrate on the grown-ups on skates with sticks in their hands.

1:06

Jerry Micco:

OK folks, I need to get to some other stuff. Great questions today, and I really appreciate you spending this time with me. I'll be back next Wednesday at noon for more of your questions and opinions. Have a great week everyone and we'll all be watching how this Pens-Isles series turns out. See you next week! Follow me on Twitter: @PG_JerryMicco

penguins


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