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Jun. 10—A precarious Penguins future. Pathetic Pirates performances. Odious ownership.
Oh, and, of course, last week's edition of this column.
That's what has readers ravenous in this week's "U mad, bro?"
But that's pretty standard by now, isn't it?
We kick things off with a tweet about the Penguins from Wayne. He seems to think I may have been reading too much into Brian Burke's fervent defense of Tristan Jarry, the team's core three players and head coach Mike Sullivan.
That depends, Wayne. Am I selling the car to Jarry? And if so, is he just going to hand the keys to Josh Bailey so he can steal it during the test drive?
Russell is not feeling good about the future of the Penguins.
You know what, Russell? That's how I felt coming into this year following that disgrace which was the 2020 Montreal first-round series loss. I thought they were in danger of missing the postseason this year. I picked them to finish fourth and barely qualify.
Then they went out and won the division.
I'm throwing my hands up on this one. The regular season in hockey and the postseason are just different sports. Period. Look at how the Penguins keep flaming out in the playoffs and how the Canadiens keep overachieving. Success in one doesn't equate to success in the other or vice versa.
Until I'm proven otherwise, I'm going to believe the Penguins are going to be a good regular-season team and will make the playoffs, regardless of what the rest of the Eastern Conference looks like.
And, until I'm proven otherwise, I'm going to assume they are going to lose in the first round and 2017 was the end of legitimate Stanley Cup contention.
Roger didn't like the heat Mike Sullivan took in last week's "U mad, bro?"
"I know that Pens fans are upset about the early exit once again, but wanting to fire Sullivan for it is not a smart idea. Mike Sullivan really and truly had no viable options for goaltending. It had to be Jarry and he simply failed.
The ease of pucks going past him at times was frustrating, maddening and at times reminded of one Marc-Andre Fleury. He was famous for doing the very same thing years ago. When he was great, he was as impressive as could be. When he was horrible it was like watching an 8-year old playing for the first time.
I have no idea what will happen with Jarry or the goaltending in general. I have to believe that management may keep him. Many would like to see him go but then what options are out there, the cost of those options, how they would fit in, etc.
Mike Sullivan is a very strong coach. I cannot blame him for the goaltending talent or options he had available. It was a no-win all the way around."
You're right. Jarry's goaltending was poor and it was the biggest reason why the Penguins lost to the Islanders.
But what does Jarry have to do with the lack of goal scoring? The Pens won Game 2 scoring two goals, lost Game 4 scoring just one goal and lost Game 5 scoring two goals. In that Game 5 defeat, those two goals were the only output from 50 shots across more than four periods.
That has nothing to do with Jarry.
The Penguins postseason slide really started with a 6-3 Game 5 loss in the 2018 second-round defeat to the Washington Capitals. Since that game, the Penguins are averaging 2.12 goals per contest (34 goals in 16 games). That's not enough, and it is independent from goaltending.
And — to paraphrase Burke — "for God's sake!" We're still taking shots at Fleury around here?!
If Jarry winds up being half as good as Fleury ever was, consider yourself blessed, Roger.
Speaking of last week's "U mad, bro?" post, apparently it really touched a nerve. Todd wanted to follow up on one reader's point that the media isn't hard enough on Pirates owner Bob Nutting.
"Calling out Bob Nutting in each and every interview, is what's needed Mr. Benz. All media are talking heads!"
OK, Todd. If "calling him out in interviews" is all that matters, then you are going to be very disappointed. Because the guy almost never grants interviews to the general media.
And it's not about "calling him out" in interviews anyway. It's about calling out his ownership on the air or in print. Which, as I pointed out last week, is done frequently.
People like you seem to think the media can somehow "shame him" out of ownership.
That's just not gonna happen. If he could be shamed out of ownership, don't you think it would've happened by now?
I mean, having the Will Craig play and Ke'Bryan Hayes' non-homer homer within the span of two weeks should've been the final straw.
If that was possible.
Since I brought up Hayes missing first base on a homer, Brad wanted to touch on that topic before we wrap up.
"I know people will be all over Hayes for a baserunning blunder and poke fun at the Pirates in general because, well, it's been pretty commonplace.
However, in this case I think MLB is the party that looks ridiculous. And over recent years that's about as commonplace as the Pirates committing unusual blunders.
The whole challenge concept is very misused. How dumb is it that an opposing manager can challenge whether a player touched a base on a ball that left the yard because it was a HOME RUN?
Are we sure MLB ratings and attendance are dwindling mainly because of the length of games? Or could nonsense like that play a role?"
Brad, in general, you're not wrong to question how replay and the length of games are impacting baseball.
Now, is that going to stop me from pointing out how the Pirates have essentially become a parody of themselves?
Well, again, um, you aren't wrong to question how replay and length of games are impacting baseball.
And I'll leave it at that.
Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at email@example.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.