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Pens GM shakes off playoff pressure

Jun 5, 2013, 8:48 PM EDT

raysherogetty Getty Images

Coming into a situation with players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury means that people are likely to expect big things from a general manager.

Still, hockey is a game with a lot more random luck than some other sports, making that pressure occasionally daunting. Penguins GM Ray Shero spoke with The National Post about dealing with annual Stanley Cup expectations, tough competition and other elements of his high-profile gig.

“It’s a deflection off a save, it’s a bounce,” Shero said. “We’ve experienced it in a positive way and a negative way, too. It changes quickly, you know? And everybody experiences it, and you go through it in every playoff series when you win, and you bring it back, and you say holy [expletive], we moved on. And every team that wins a Cup is lucky. You’ve got to be good, and you’ve got to be lucky.”

Shero acknowledged that the advantages of his roster, but noted that having high-end talent doesn’t automatically make it all easy.

“It’s nice to have young players and do this, but it’s about eventually winning, and this group did it in a relatively quick period, and people thought it might be easy,” Shero said. “But it’s not. Whether it’s through injury or other teams’ goaltending or poor play on our own part, or … [expletive] comes in. And with the salary cap, it’s pretty even. I don’t think you can take it for granted, and this is really hard. Which is good. This is a good position to be in, because you’ve got a chance. I mean, it’s not bad. You try to take advantage of it, but we’re respectful of the teams in the league.”

Even if teams like the Boston Bruins want to play up that “David vs. Goliath” vibe.

  1. titansbro - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Luck? Lol, so when you don’t win the cup it’s because you weren’t lucky? Sounds like preliminary excuse making to me.

  2. madtolive5 - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Maybe the bs have got lucky this playoffs but not this series….

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    It does take a certain amount of luck to win a cup however he’s deflecting away from the fact that he’s failed at building a championship calibre roster this year, after the playoffs last year it was pretty obvious that the Penguins were lacking on defense and starting goaltending yet his biggest moves were swapping one center for another one and getting two aging forwards, no additions in their own zone whatsoever. Perhaps Ray is getting nervous that Mario will realize 2009 is getting further in the rear view mirror?

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      “no additions in their own zone whatsoever” – they aquired Murray from SJ, otherwise I fully agree.
      If it works what they do, it’s because they are so good; if not, they are only unlucky. How I hate this underlying arrogance.

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        I’d take Murray on my D pairings any day too.

  4. esracerx46 - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    As much as I dislike Shero, (mainly because the media thinks he’s the best ever) I don’t put this on him. His defense is good enough to get by. The problem is when the Pens don’t have the puck the only guys attempting to play defense are the defenseman. I place this years and last years implosion on 2 guys. Bylsma and Crosby. They should be leading this team. Crosby by example, and Bylsma in the locker room. Bylsma might be saying and doing the right things, and that’s where Crosby needs to step up and help his coach out…not let Boston get under your skin in game 1 and pick a fight with a guy a foot taller than you. Same thing happened last year. Lost all composure early and once its gone, its tough to get it back. Crosby, stop talking to the media and quit whining about the refs and do your job… not as a hockey player. But a hockey player with a “C” on the front.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:57 AM

      Very good comment. As I’ve been writing here for the past week Bylsma should get fired. Crosby needs to take a serious look at the man in the mirror. Perhaps his agent can give the kid some well needed advice.

  5. cspuck7 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    No way you put these playoffs on Shero, he built a solid roster with some really great moves, however Bylsma needs to coach better, and the players need to step up as well. If they go down 3-0, I really question whether a coaching change is needed

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:51 AM

      Bylsma has to go. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve already contacted Vigneault’s agent.

  6. thesportsjudge - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Did the author of this article grow up in Pittsburgh? I mean sheesh, he is literally hanging on to the nuts of this organization like sweaty pubic hair.

  7. kingcobraman - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    the ship is sinking ….

  8. tms71 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    It’s nice to hear a GM admit how much luck is involved in winning. Its really the most important element when 2 teams are fairly even. Of course they never admit it when they win – but it is the truth. Luck is just huge.

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