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(Pittsburgh Magazine)   So what happened to the Pittsburgh Penguins? After blowing a 3-1 series lead, their problems might run deeper. RIP Corporate Penguins 2009-2014   (pittsburghmagazine.com) divider line 65
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1264 clicks; posted to Sports » on 15 May 2014 at 10:45 AM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-15 09:42:37 AM  
So is this today's hockey thread seeing as how there are no games tonight?  If so it should be a good one.  This needs to be required reading for all Pittsburgh fans, or at least those who refuse to believe/understand the rest of us when we tell them that we don't like their team.  But will they listen, we shall see, we shall see...

The comments at TFA are pretty amusing too.  Many of the rose colored glasses, everything is great, nothing to worry about fans are complaining that blocked shots are a silly stat & shouldn't mean anything.  Perhaps so but they're completely missing the point that a blocked shot is literally a player laying down his body to sacrifice for the team.  In a tactical sense it may not do a whole lot on that one particular play, but on a strategic level it plainly shows that a player is willing to sacrifice himself (somewhat) for the team.  When you have an entire team full of guys like that it feeds upon itself & grows to something bigger than the sum of the individual parts.  The Penguins though seemed to be standing around with an incredulous sneer on their face & giving off the impression of "Eww, you want ME to lie down on that ice in front of a puck? Don't think so....".  It may not be a reason why they aren't moving on this year, but it certainly is an indication of a far larger problem.  Time will tell who was listening & who still looks at the ice/team sacrifice as "Eww..."
 
2014-05-15 10:05:53 AM  
assets.diylol.com
 
2014-05-15 10:09:24 AM  
Sometimes teams just lose. Do people call for every team that loses in the quarter finals of the playoffs to be broken up and rebuilt?
 
2014-05-15 10:19:14 AM  
I don't care why it happened. It is hilarious whatever the reason to see overrated smugness knocked down several pegs.
 
2014-05-15 10:25:09 AM  

Lost Thought 00: Sometimes teams just lose. Do people call for every team that loses in the quarter finals of the playoffs to be broken up and rebuilt?


Have you read some of the responses after the Bruins loss?
 
2014-05-15 10:40:37 AM  
Someone seems bitter.
 
2014-05-15 10:50:58 AM  

Lost Thought 00: Sometimes teams just lose. Do people call for every team that loses in the quarter finals of the playoffs to be broken up and rebuilt?


Depends on the sport.  Baseball, not at all.  Football, sometimes.  Hockey, sometimes.  Basketball, ALL THE TIME.

It's weird.
 
2014-05-15 10:51:16 AM  

Lost Thought 00: Sometimes teams just lose. Do people call for every team that loses in the quarter finals of the playoffs to be broken up and rebuilt?


Its happened for the last few years in a row. They need to do something to get back in to and win the Cup. I saw the rumors of Keenan coming in to coach the Pens.

/not a pens fan

//go blackhawks
 
2014-05-15 10:51:52 AM  
Bylsma's great at getting scrubs to play hard and win regular season games.  Shero's great at, well, adding scrubs to the roster.

I think they both will go, and I think Bylsma should stay.
 
2014-05-15 10:53:08 AM  
Why do people always accuse the losing team of not trying hard enough?

Maybe it just looked like they were being out worked because they were out played?

I also like how the author sees that his blocked shot stat is bullshiat based on total shots attempted, but still goes with the narrative.
 
2014-05-15 10:55:35 AM  

Recoil Therapy: This needs to be required reading for all Pittsburgh fans, or at least those who refuse to believe/understand the rest of us when we tell them that we don't like their team.


Oh no, you dont like the Penguins. Whatever can I do to make you a huge Penguins fan? Please tell me! Otherwise I shall need a fainting couch post hast.
 
2014-05-15 11:05:20 AM  

MugzyBrown: Why do people always accuse the losing team of not trying hard enough?


That part really drives me crazy, whenever a team loses a playoff game, someone is always questioning their effort or "battle level".  It's such an easy and baseless comment that ignores the fact that there's another team out there.

When the Rangers lost Game 3, despite having a million scoring chances and limiting the Pens to 15 shots on goal, message boards and Twitter were loaded with fans ripping their lack of effort, when a goal at any point in the first 35 minutes would have either given them the lead or pulled them even.  The puck didn't happen to go in that night.

The same goes for the Penguins in Game 7.  They had TONS of chances to tie the game, good ones, and Lundqvist stopped them all.  Obviously I have no reason to defend the Penguins because I hate their guts, but I absolutely hate it when people default to blaming the effort of a team that loses.
 
2014-05-15 11:05:35 AM  
Bring Torts to Pittsburgh or Boston.

I like him, but I don't like either Pittsburgh or Boston.

It would be an interesting experiment.
 
2014-05-15 11:05:36 AM  

Dafatone: Bylsma's great at getting scrubs to play hard and win regular season games.  Shero's great at, well, adding scrubs to the roster.

I think they both will go, and I think Bylsma should stay.


I agree. I also think that Keenan coming would be something close to a disaster. Another one and done year (coach-wise) and not a long term solution.

/flyers fan
 
2014-05-15 11:08:54 AM  

MugzyBrown: Why do people always accuse the losing team of not trying hard enough?

Maybe it just looked like they were being out worked because they were out played?


Lundqvist did an excellent job at stopping shots; Fleury essentially collapsed after game four. The Pens made some bonehead plays and didn't seem to play with any real sense of urgency during games 5 & 6. I do think that not having Orpik available weakened their defense, but if you can't score you're not going to win.

Well, whatever: my evening have freed up a bit more now.
 
2014-05-15 11:09:11 AM  

Dafatone: Bylsma's great at getting scrubs to play hard and win regular season games.  Shero's great at, well, adding scrubs to the roster.

I think they both will go, and I think Bylsma should stay.


Agree 100%
 
2014-05-15 11:10:31 AM  
Meh to this article.

Pens lost a lot of puck battles and got "outworked," by the hockey definition of outworked.  But it's the first year I've really seen that, despite them losing previously.  I don't think it's a lack of motivation.

And jesus christ, who cares about James Neal?  Niskanen alone is a lot better than Goligoski.

Wow.  Reading further.  "Someone pointed out that the two teams blocked the same percentage of shots.  But Kunitz didn't block enough.  So it didn't count!"
 
2014-05-15 11:12:19 AM  
Torts has lost his edge.  He can't coach anymore
 
2014-05-15 11:14:57 AM  

WhiskeySticks: Bring Torts to Pittsburgh

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-05-15 11:17:02 AM  

mikaloyd: Dafatone: Bylsma's great at getting scrubs to play hard and win regular season games.  Shero's great at, well, adding scrubs to the roster.

I think they both will go, and I think Bylsma should stay.

Agree 100%


From a public policy perspective, we need the Pens to play 5 post season games a year (or something) to pay for the new arena.
 
2014-05-15 11:17:47 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: MugzyBrown: Why do people always accuse the losing team of not trying hard enough?

Maybe it just looked like they were being out worked because they were out played?

Lundqvist did an excellent job at stopping shots; Fleury essentially collapsed after game four. The Pens made some bonehead plays and didn't seem to play with any real sense of urgency during games 5 & 6. I do think that not having Orpik available weakened their defense, but if you can't score you're not going to win.

Well, whatever: my evening have freed up a bit more now.


I would suggest that there may be some correlation between the team in front of him playing like shiat and Fleury's "collapse" after Game 4.
 
2014-05-15 11:18:34 AM  
i240.photobucket.com
 
2014-05-15 11:19:01 AM  

Lost Thought 00: Sometimes teams just lose. Do people call for every team that loses in the quarter finals of the playoffs to be broken up and rebuilt?


The Cup year was the aberration under Bylsma. Like Boudreau at Washington, he can get the team a high seed and into the playoffs but just can't coach them past that point.

Even the US Olympic Hockey team took on Bylsma's persona - winning in the preliminaries then turtling offensively in the medal round when it really counted.

These results are not the hallmark of a great coach (good maybe, but not great):

2014 - Loss in Conference Semis, led series 3-1, embarrassing loss
2013 - Swept in Conference Finals, barely showed up to skate, embarrassing loss
2012 - Loss in First Round, led several games by three goals before losing them, really embarrassing loss
2011 - Loss in First Round to eight seed, again after leading series 3-1, embarrassing loss
2010 - Loss in Conference Semis, Halak stole the series in seven for the Habs, not embarrassing
2009 - Won Stanley Cup in seven versus Detroit, not embarrassing

I thought Washington underachieved tremendously under Boudreau but Bylsma has made an art form out of it, especially considering the rosters he has had available in the playoffs.

I don't understand how the Pens pulled the trigger so quickly on Therrien in the regular season after just having played in the Cup finals but won't cut Bylsma lose for even worse results.
 
2014-05-15 11:20:42 AM  

SigmaAlgebra: I would suggest that there may be some correlation between the team in front of him playing like shiat and Fleury's "collapse" after Game 4.


As hard as I usually am on Fleury, he was not the problem in the Rangers series, much to my pleasant surprise.
 
2014-05-15 11:27:13 AM  

SigmaAlgebra: I would suggest that there may be some correlation between the team in front of him playing like shiat and Fleury's "collapse" after Game 4.


"Collapse", was, of course to be taken in the relative sense of the word. To go from back-to-back shut outs to three straight losses is collapsish.
 
2014-05-15 11:30:25 AM  

slykens1: SigmaAlgebra: I would suggest that there may be some correlation between the team in front of him playing like shiat and Fleury's "collapse" after Game 4.

As hard as I usually am on Fleury, he was not the problem in the Rangers series, much to my pleasant surprise.


This. I'm a Rangers fan and, more often than not this series, I thought "Oh shiat, Good Fleury showed up tonight."
 
2014-05-15 11:35:56 AM  
I do agree with the article re:James Neal. He has become totally one dimensional on offense, and he takes way too many dumb penalties. He is a role player without Malkin creating space and feeding him the puck. I would have him on the trade block this off season.
 
2014-05-15 11:37:55 AM  

WhiskeySticks: Bring Torts to Pittsburgh or Boston.


Nah, bring Torts to DC.

I'm a Caps fan, but the idea of Torts coaching Ovie is too good to pass up, even if it means teh team will implode even faster than normal.
 
2014-05-15 11:53:48 AM  

Dafatone: Bylsma's great at getting scrubs to play hard and win regular season games.  Shero's great at, well, adding scrubs to the roster.

I think they both will go, and I think Bylsma should stay.


As a Caps fan, I'd like to mention that we currently have a coaching vacancy, Mr. Bylsma.  I'm sure something can be worked out to your satisfaction.
 
2014-05-15 11:54:48 AM  

LucklessWonder: Nah, bring Torts to DC.


No way.  He's good at taking a lower-tier team and getting them to play over their heads, but he's not good at long-term success.
 
2014-05-15 12:13:06 PM  
Crosby's work ethic in the series was poor. Laughing about an offsides during a game 7? If he lost an edge and fell across the line offsides, I could excuse laughing as "oh, that looked stupid, right?" But drifting across the line like he wasn't paying attention isn't worth laughing at in a game that could end your season. But it wasn't just that. If it was anyone other than Crosby doing the crap he did, that guy would've been watching games from the press box.
 
2014-05-15 12:17:03 PM  

Galloping Galoshes: As a Caps fan, I'd like to mention that we currently have a coaching vacancy, Mr. Bylsma.  I'm sure something can be worked out to your satisfaction.


Please, take him. Be advised, however, that your club will have the same ceiling it did under Boudreau.
 
2014-05-15 12:22:10 PM  
Five straight seasons eliminated by a lower seed. How can he not be fired? He should have been gone after the humiliating lack of discipline they showed in 2012 against the Flyers after being anointed as Cup champions before the playoffs even started
 
kab
2014-05-15 12:30:48 PM  
Torts needs to coach the Islanders.

And yeah, in many cases a loss is the result of one team letting the other win due to a lack of effort. See the Bruins game 7, and compare that to the Hawks / Wild game 6, for example. In one of those games, both teams played hard.
 
2014-05-15 12:38:54 PM  
Mike Babock will be the next Pittsburgh coach.  snicker all you want, get all ragey,  whatever. It may take a year of Martin as interim if they can't get the deal done but it's gonna happen.
 
2014-05-15 01:12:41 PM  

jack_o_the_hills: Mike Babock will be the next Pittsburgh coach


I've heard talk that Babcock should be the coach of team X or Y.  Is he done with Detroit?
 
2014-05-15 01:25:33 PM  
You know what happened to them submitter?  They once linked to a page with auto-loading audio on it.

Once.
 
2014-05-15 01:40:15 PM  

GavinTheAlmighty: jack_o_the_hills: Mike Babock will be the next Pittsburgh coach

I've heard talk that Babcock should be the coach of team X or Y.  Is he done with Detroit?


Babcock's contract is coming up after next year.  His agent might be floating trial balloons to get a couple extra bucks out of the Wings.  Babcock is pretty popular with the fans.  I don't hear too much complaining about him.  I hear more griping about the GM Holland and how he needs to bring some enforcers in.
 
2014-05-15 01:48:19 PM  
As a Pens fan I can say I watched those last two games angry as hell.  NY came out pants on fire and were hungry for plays.  The last period of game 7 said it all to me though.  NY littereally sat back on defense and just rode it out with a regular season effort, because they could.  All the shots taken were half hearted and Malkin seemed to be the only one with any urgency.  I have to applaud Lundqvist, he played a world class series and dumping water on Crosby was almost poetic.

I will look forward to the NY v Montreal series, both those teams are playing with passion and should put on a show.
 
2014-05-15 02:01:40 PM  
I'm honestly surprised by the amount of Pens fans who want Bylsma to stay.  Slykens1 laid out the case I would use against him - under Bylsma, teams tend to underperform and especially the Penguins tend to embarrass themselves in the process.  There's clearly no accountability for Crosby to put away the childish behavior and act like a captain.  If there's no accountability for your captain there's no accountability for anyone, which explains why they fall apart under pressure.

As a Flyers fan I hope Bylsma stays in Pittsburgh as long as possible.  Just please, please keep him away from Team USA because I want them to do well.
 
2014-05-15 02:08:53 PM  
Three or four good players can get a team to the playoff.  To get past the second round, you need 3 lines that can score and four lines that make few mistakes.  The Pens have two lines that can score, one if Malkin and Crosby are on the ice together.  After than, what do the Pens really have?  The lack of depth isn't Bylsma's fault; that falls on Shero.  How many of his draft picks from the last 5 years are playing in the NHL?  One?  That means he built his team from free agents and trades.  That is fine but free agents are expensive.  So Shero ends up either over spending populating lines 3 and 4 or getting substandard players.
 
2014-05-15 02:11:19 PM  

AdmirableSnackbar: I'm honestly surprised by the amount of Pens fans who want Bylsma to stay.  Slykens1 laid out the case I would use against him - under Bylsma, teams tend to underperform and especially the Penguins tend to embarrass themselves in the process.  There's clearly no accountability for Crosby to put away the childish behavior and act like a captain.  If there's no accountability for your captain there's no accountability for anyone, which explains why they fall apart under pressure.

As a Flyers fan I hope Bylsma stays in Pittsburgh as long as possible.  Just please, please keep him away from Team USA because I want them to do well.


Could it be that Blysma can't stand up to Crosby because Crosby is Lemioux's project?
 
2014-05-15 02:12:13 PM  

Muta: GavinTheAlmighty: jack_o_the_hills: Mike Babock will be the next Pittsburgh coach

I've heard talk that Babcock should be the coach of team X or Y.  Is he done with Detroit?

Babcock's contract is coming up after next year.  His agent might be floating trial balloons to get a couple extra bucks out of the Wings.  Babcock is pretty popular with the fans.  I don't hear too much complaining about him.  I hear more griping about the GM Holland and how he needs to bring some enforcers in.


Babcock is darn near a god in Michigan. Nobody wants him to leave (well maybe some of the hot head idiots)

He has done more with less and more with more. I don't blame him for jiggling the hook a little to get more cash. That's a smart move, and I hope he gets it. As long as he stays put.

I have no problems with Holland either. He's been a pivotal part of all out recent cups and keeping the team competitive while we rebuild on the fly.
 
2014-05-15 02:18:58 PM  
The 2014 NHL Playoffs: great postseason, or greatest postseason? >.>
 
2014-05-15 02:24:06 PM  

Muta: AdmirableSnackbar: I'm honestly surprised by the amount of Pens fans who want Bylsma to stay.  Slykens1 laid out the case I would use against him - under Bylsma, teams tend to underperform and especially the Penguins tend to embarrass themselves in the process.  There's clearly no accountability for Crosby to put away the childish behavior and act like a captain.  If there's no accountability for your captain there's no accountability for anyone, which explains why they fall apart under pressure.

As a Flyers fan I hope Bylsma stays in Pittsburgh as long as possible.  Just please, please keep him away from Team USA because I want them to do well.

Could it be that Blysma can't stand up to Crosby because Crosby is Lemioux's project?


If that were the case, Bylsma is about three years too late in telling Lemieux to stay the fark out of it and that Bylsma is the coach and he'll coach his players as he sees fit.  Seeing as that hasn't happened that means that either a) Bylsma is caving to the detriment of the team, making him a weak coach, or b) your scenario isn't the case and Bylsma is just a weak coach who is too scared to demand more from the alleged "best player in the league".
 
2014-05-15 02:26:33 PM  

whipbambucket: Babcock is darn near a god in Michigan. Nobody wants him to leave (well maybe some of the hot head idiots)

He has done more with less and more with more. I don't blame him for jiggling the hook a little to get more cash. That's a smart move, and I hope he gets it. As long as he stays put.


Oh very true.  The Wings are 2 D-men and some experience away from being a serious play off team.  The core is in place.  The Wings might be simply grateful to make the playoffs again next year but after that they should be a force.  The future looks good for the Wings.  Pittsburgh have some serious soul searching to do.  The only advantage they have is being in the Metro Division where they get to pad their standings with a lot of record against Florida, the Islanders, NJ and Washington.
 
2014-05-15 02:38:23 PM  

Muta: AdmirableSnackbar: I'm honestly surprised by the amount of Pens fans who want Bylsma to stay.  Slykens1 laid out the case I would use against him - under Bylsma, teams tend to underperform and especially the Penguins tend to embarrass themselves in the process.  There's clearly no accountability for Crosby to put away the childish behavior and act like a captain.  If there's no accountability for your captain there's no accountability for anyone, which explains why they fall apart under pressure.

As a Flyers fan I hope Bylsma stays in Pittsburgh as long as possible.  Just please, please keep him away from Team USA because I want them to do well.

Could it be that Blysma can't stand up to Crosby because Crosby is Lemioux's project?


Well, Lemieux did start the first country club back in the 90's when he forced Bowman out because Scotty was making the team practice too hard. It would be fitting if his protege was the one brought the country club attitude back into the locker room.
 
2014-05-15 02:40:31 PM  
slykens1:

I don't understand how the Pens pulled the trigger so quickly on Therrien in the regular season after just having played in the Cup finals but won't cut Bylsma lose for even worse results.

There always seems to be some sort of excuse for Bylsma.  Too many injuries, too many players in the Olympics, etc etc.  Mind you it's not just Bylsma, Shero should also be in the crosshairs.  The Pens have two of the most talented centers in the entire NHL and yet they are constantly surrounded by inferior talent.  Kunitz and Dupuis play their asses off but Crosby should have someone like Kopitar or Kessel on his wing(not them specifically, but a similar level of talent).  I know people will scream knee jerk but honestly their needs to be a major change in philosophy in Pittsburgh and it starts with the coach and GM.
 
2014-05-15 02:51:51 PM  

Muta: Three or four good players can get a team to the playoff.  To get past the second round, you need 3 lines that can score and four lines that make few mistakes.  The Pens have two lines that can score, one if Malkin and Crosby are on the ice together.  After than, what do the Pens really have?  The lack of depth isn't Bylsma's fault; that falls on Shero.  How many of his draft picks from the last 5 years are playing in the NHL?  One?  That means he built his team from free agents and trades.  That is fine but free agents are expensive.  So Shero ends up either over spending populating lines 3 and 4 or getting substandard players.


Take a look at last year's final roster. Tell me there's not enough talent there to even win one game against the Bruins.
 
2014-05-15 03:17:06 PM  
As a Penguins fan, here are my thoughts:

1. Shero needs to go.  Yes, he pulled some amazing deadline deals... that lead no where.For every Iginla and Guerin, there is a Ponikarovsky and Kovalev.  He is also horrid at drafting and development.  Outside of Mattaa (who definitely hit a wall late in the season and, in hindsight, probably should've spent the year in juniors for his own benefit), next to none of his picks have come through the system and been good.  Most of the ones playing in the NHL now were either traded somewhere else to develop or started in the NHL their first season rather than developing in the minors/juniorsr/college.  In addition, TFA states another great reason for him to go: he's gutted the team of any "heart" players.  For as big of an ass that Cooke was, he never held back (often to the team's detriment).  Neither did Talbot, Armstrong, Roberts, Guerin, Staal.  They may not have been the most talented or graceful players on the ice, but they were the ones that would dive head first into an empty pool it they thought it would get the puck.

2. (gonna take heat for this, but) Bylsma needs to stay.  He is the winningest coach in the franchise history.  He did wonders this year with a massively injury depleted roster.  If it were easy to win in the playoffs, everyone would do it.  If (big if) the players aren't responding to him, then the players are the ones that need to go.  Besides, who are you going to replace him with?  Torts?  HA!  He's shown that he can't handle a soft/skill team.  He is a fiasco when trying to coach talent.  Disco Dan may not be the "Bill Cowher" fire and brimstone coach that Pittsburgh wants on the ice, but what he does have is one of the most insane game-planning minds ever.  His film study, preparation, and game-planning is second to none.  His biggest failure as a coach?  In-game adjustments.  If what happens on the ice isn't something that the team prepared for, he has a tough time adjusting.  Kind of like a supervillian with a "master plan".  When that plan goes sideways, he doesn't adjust well and that's where the players get frustrated with him.  "Coach, putting Geno at the centre point to bomb shots all PP isn't working.  They are reading it every time, and coming back short handed."  ... Dan: "um, ok, then we'll let Geno bomb shots from the left centre point.  They'll never see that coming..."   In addition, the system that Bylsma preaches is high tempo, give it everything, move, move , move... and most of those style players have been let go by Shero, hamstringing him.

3. Orpik, Martin, Letang: 2 of the 3 need to be traded/bought out.  Preferably, if we can find takers for Martin, we should be able to get very good return for him.  Both he and Orpik are starting the backside of their careers.  Trade them to get returns while they are at top value.  Letang, I know he had his health problems, but he either needs to go, or to be "Brent Burns'd" and moved to forward.  As beneficial as his ability to step up and join the rush, he consistently gets caught up ice giving up counter attacks.  His defense in our own zone is very porous once opponents have established position in the O-zone and set up shop.  Same with Orpik.  They are both serviceable in transition play, but cleaning up their own zone has been a nightmare.

4. Neal: ugh... 40 goals is nice, but he really is bad.  He is Ovechkin junior, without the (legal) hits.  All he does is wander around hoping for one-timers.  His tantrums when someone actually plays defense on him (and subsequent stupid penalties) kill the team.  The worst part is that his attitude rubs off on Malkin and starts him doing the same thing.  If there is anyway to get rid of him (even if it is the waiver wire), I think it's worth exploring.  His vet value to the Pens is negative.

5. MAF: I don't see MAF as a problem for the team.  He is a good goalie.  Not olympic great, but not horrid.  MAF's biggest problems are an extrememly offensive minded team in front of him and his propensity to go for a stroll mid-game.

6. Brian Gibbons and Beau Bennett have the skill to become quality 2-way players if they are given the opportunity.  Especially Gibbons.  Part of the house cleaning that needs to happen better be to give them room on the pens.
 
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