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Penguins’ Neal: ‘I think we have the right pieces’

Jun 9, 2013, 5:28 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Getty Images

The dissection of the Pittsburgh Penguins continues, as that team cleaned out its lockers Sunday, after getting swept in the Eastern Conference final by the Boston Bruins.

The Penguins entered the series against the Bruins as the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, but were outscored 12-2 and quickly bowed out of the race for the Stanley Cup in the third round.

“I think we have the right pieces (and) anytime you don’t win it’s disappointing. Our goal is to win a Cup (and) we came up short,” said Penguins forward James Neal, as per the team’s Twitter account.

The Penguins went out before the trade deadline and made a number of high profile deals, including the acquisitions of Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jarome Iginla.

But the team’s failure in the conference final has led to many questions about the future of certain individuals on the team, starting with head coach Dan Bylsma.

A report out of the New York Post says owner Mario Lemieux may want Bylsma out.

And then, of course, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who once again melted down in the playoffs.

“Fleury is our No. 1 goalie and will be moving forward,” Bylsma told reporters. “He is a guy who will come back to this team.”



  1. malvaren18 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    You need an Ok defence to go along that great offense

    • ikillchicken - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      I don’t know. I’d have agreed with you completely after last year. Goaltending ranges from mediocre to poor with the current tandem and the defence is quite suspect defensively. But against the Bruins this year, it really wasn’t defensive issues that killed them. I mean, obviously the big 6-1 blowout happened. But that was one game. Boston only scored an average of 2 GPG in the other three games. For a supposedly offensive team, you should really be able to win more often than not when you limit your opposition to 2 GPG in a series. But what happened? Well, Pittsburgh averaged 0.5 GPG. That’s just brutal. Obviously retooling the defense and finding a goalie are still something they ought to do. But I can’t help but wonder about the offense as well.

    • sparky99922 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      Ok last time I knew Pittsburgh was favored before you point the finger at the goaltending
      HOW MANY GOLAS DID PITTSBURGH SCORE???? So unless they shut Boston out
      they wouldn’t have won. You win as a team and you lose a a team.

  2. banger60 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Pieces of what, pack your gear, ur outta here, SID. GO BRUINS.

    • borgsng - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      I could never root for Boston even with a gun to my head GO BLACKHAWKS

      • anotheryx - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        I donno man, that’s a pretty dumb reason to die.

    • Kristenaux - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      Show me the BEST team in the league with all the talent in the league and then show me them winning EVERY game in their season. It doesn’t happen.

      You can have ‘all the right pieces’ & you can have the best players in the league i.e. Lemieux, Crosby and/or Gretzky but you can *still lose critical games*. Like playoff games. Neal is right. Pens have the right pieces, just not the right timing…

  3. borgsng - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    As a Pens fan all I have to say is why did you play so bad you cant have it both ways mr Neal

  4. Stiller43 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I dont think being a one seed and getting to the ECF, but getting swept out means you should make big changes across the board…

    One change they do need is a bona fide goaltender that doesnt wilt in the playoffs.

    I’m willing to chalk up their lack of scoring against boston as an abberation (and a helluva job done by boston!)…

    Just think, if toronto hadnt completely collapsed, pitt may have beaten NYR or the leafs and nobody would be talking about this…unfortunately (for pens fans, not for fans of the other 29), it didnt work out that way

  5. squidward247 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Penguins’ Neal: ‘I think we have the right pieces’

    No you don’t Since winning the Cup in 2009 you haven’t been back to the SC Finals. You’re lacking something, or have a few things that need to be gotten rid of.

    • pdmjr - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      So what? Lemieux never made it back after the 92, Gretzky didn’t win after 26. They have the right ingredients just like many teams do. LA CHC BOST MTL SJ. What makes you think this is easy to get back to?

  6. banger60 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    forgng, we could make that happen, just joking, may the best team win.

  7. pdmjr - Jun 9, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Coaching decisions are Ray Shero’s area not Lemieux’s, coming from Brooks should tell you that.

    Shero has intimated to some press members that he will not make a change at head coach.

    Doesn’t mean that Bylsma will get a new deal just that he will finish his last contract which ends after next season

    • nesuperfan - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      You really think one of the owner’s has no influence over firing and hiring a coach? Especially an owner named Lemieux? They almost certainly all discuss it (with Ron Burkle), and certainly can order Shero to fire the coach if they want that done.

      • pdmjr - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        Not true, they have let Shero run everything with regard to personnel decisions

  8. banger60 - Jun 9, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Borgsng, sorry, got your name wrong, my fault.

  9. hockeyflow33 - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Goaltending was the least of the Pens concern in their last series

  10. pdmjr - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Byslma has fired Giles Meloche goalkeeping coach.

  11. malkinrulez - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Goaltending was not the issue. Vokoun deserved better. The issue was the goaltender on the other end was white hot and Boston played amazing “d” and made few mistakes.

    • mmmpierogi - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      Vokoun wasn’t an issue, but just about everyone’s patience with MAF’s playoff shenanigans has worn thin. Dude seems to turn into Swiss cheese at the most inopportune time of the season when he gets paid big bucks to do exactly the opposite. If it’s not MAF, then I guess you can pin it on Meloche to some extent for lack of conditioning or not prepping him better, but in either case, it’s a liability (and an expensive one).

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