So, the Penguins are done. The end was almost merciful, given that they only scored two goals over four games and the offense showed no signs of breaking out anytime soon against the Bruins. Jaromir Jagr has the chance to win another cup, which would be only his third since joining the league in 1990. The Stanley Cup Final will feature two Original Six teams for the first time in quite a while. With the way they played, the Penguins never had any chance of being there.
Many disagree with me, but I say that has little to do with their coach. Dan Bylsma has been among the league’s best every season since taking over the reins in 2009. Some will say that is because of the talent he’s coaching and that may play a role here. But, remember we’re talking about professional hockey players. How important is coaching anyway? The Penguins were lazy in this series. How many times did we have to see Sidney Crosby try to split the Bruin defense – only to lose the puck. At some point, he should have figured that move wouldn’t work. We saw a Penguins team that wouldn’t crash the net, not even down 1-0 in the waning moments of Game 4. I have no idea if that’s a coaching failure, or if the team just didn’t execute. I do know they played well all season and that needs to be accounted for when making a coaching decision.
I tweeted after the game that only Sidney Crosby is safe and that’s because he’s still the best player in the world. But GM Ray Shero has tough decisions to make with the rest of the team, including Evgeni Malkin. How about the goaltending situation? I say Marc-Andre Fleury is safe, one because I think he’s a good goaltender, and two, because no better option exists, either within the Penguins’ system or outside of it.
- Could Dan Bylsma be new Rangers’ coaching candidate? (newsday.com)
- Report: Mario Lemieux may want Bylsma out (prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com)