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Dan Bylsma still really, really likes the Sharks

Mar 7, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT


It’s becoming pretty evident Dan Bylsma is a big San Jose fan.

Following Thursday’s 5-3 loss to the Sharks at the SAP Center, the Pittsburgh head coach was — once again — full of praise for his black-and-teal clad opponents.

“They play not only a physical game, but a fast game,” Bylsma said, per CSN Bay Area. “They counter quickly, got to the offensive zone and played that type of game. I think in the second half of that game we just weren’t able to negate that by playing back in the other end.

“We saw them come at us with that speed and that size, and they’re maybe the best team in the league at getting pucks and bodies to the cage.”

Bylsma, you may recall, heaped huge praise on the Sharks prior to a matchup in early December, calling them the NHL’s strongest team.

“With all due respect to Chicago, [San Jose] is the best team in the league right now,” Bylsma said at the time, as per Pens Inside Scoop. “They way they come at you, the way they play — I think [they’re] the best team in the league.”

It’s possible some of Bylsma’s admiration comes from a guy he coached at the Winter Olympics in Sochi — American center Joe Pavelski. The Sharks forward was lethal against Pittsburgh on Thursday night, finishing with a game-high three assists while racking up a team-high 23:46 TOI.

  1. lowenni - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    While it may not be exactly motivational to his Pens players, that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The Sharks are a really good team, in my opinion the second/third best in the league when they are fully healthy and playing at their max. If they can find full on consistency and get better goaltending, it’ll be hard to stop them come playoff time. Even with their playoff history, they really do have a great team. Pavelski’s one of the most underrated players in the game.

    • ron05342 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      “Even with their playoff history”

      Therein lies the rub. Bylsma can cream all over himself in love with the Sharks, but until they prove themselves in the playoffs they cannot be taken seriously. And if the playoffs started today, they would face the Kings. Not a healthy prospect in turning their playoff history around.

      • phutchin77 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        The Sharks as playoff failures is a false narrative. It isn’t like they get bounced in the first round every year. They have made multiple trips to the Western Conference finals this decade and unfortunately have run into a better team each time. A team that often goes on to win the cup.

        A more accurate narrative is a team that year after year is among the NHLs best, but can’t quite get over the hump. Which is actually pretty impressive considering they haven’t gone through the scorched earth rebuilds a lot of those teams have.

      • blomfeld - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:54 AM

        Ron … we beat these bastards last year when it counted and we’ll do it again this year if necessary … nuff said

    • lowenni - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      If the Kings and Sharks faced off today, I would take the Sharks. They have a better team now than they ever have, and everyone (including me sometimes) says that they’re chokers but they’ve made the playoffs repeatedly over the past ten years. Yes, they haven’t won a Cup, but they haven’t had a championship-winning team. This may be the year, who knows, there are many other good teams. Detroit has made the playoffs 22 seasons in a row and won 3 Stanley Cups. That’s an average of about one Cup every 7.8 years. The Sharks should’ve perhaps at least made the finals recently, but they aren’t any worse than an average of the other teams. The fact that they make the playoffs every season, even if they don’t win the Cup, is more a testament to how GOOD of a team they are than how bad they are.

      • btlpper68 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Well it realy looks like they’ll play eachother so..

      • lowenni - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        It’s possible. But the Bruins, Hawks, and Blues all can’t be counted out either. Pens-Sharks would be a awesome Cup Final though, lots of skill, scoring, and speed. All the best of hockey.

      • btlpper68 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Anything close to last nights game would be sick

      • pirovash88 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Funny how everyone’s been saying is San Jose’s year for about 7 years now, this year doesn’t make it any different.

      • gp424 - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:49 AM


        To be honest since the Vancouver meltdown series in the 10/11 series 20 players who played or where on the roster during that series are no longer in San Jose. As for the playoffs you talk proudly of the Sharks have the worst playoff record of any other playoff team that has made the playoffs over the past 4 seasons. Enjoy the fact that Sharks almost made it.

    • blomfeld - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:43 PM



  2. sw19womble - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Hey Bylsma! If you love the Sharks so much, why don’t you marry them!

    Much as I love the Sharks, I’m taking a break from the NHL until that clown Bettman stops trying to destroy the league from the inside: either by retiring, being ousted in a coup, or getting hit by a zamboni.

    Doesn’t really matter tho. I won’t be missing any Stanley Cup games featuring the Sharks anyway. 😉

    • skr213 - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      Don’t let the door hit you on the *ss on the way out the door. I don’t like Bettman either, but the NHL doesn’t need half-*ssed fans like yourself.

  3. hockey412 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    It’s funny that his comments are always geared towards that end, the big physical players, because that is the one thing that Shero really hasn’t brought in for Dan to tinker with, as far as forwards go. Don’t get me wrong, Burns’ and Thornton’s don’t grow on trees and that’d be a scary as* tree if they did, but you don’t see the Pens busting down doors for physical forwards in trades or in the draft. They’re physical enough, but against teams like SJ, St. Louis, etc., it gets lost.

  4. penguins87and71 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Dan Byslma needs to worry about his own team, not the San Jose Sharks. If you love the Sharks why don’t you go coach there?

    • malkamania71 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      lol ok

    • hockey412 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      You tell ’em tiger.

  5. khar9 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Like disco in the 70’s, Dans era is almost over

    • hockey412 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      I know…Pens management can’t have their team flailing about at the top of the Eastern Conference and losing a game.

    • penguins87and71 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      I hate to break this to you, but Dan Byslma isn’t going anywhere. His players like him to much, the upper level magagenent and owners like, and his good friends with GM Ray Shero. I think Dan is going to be in Pittsburgh for a while.

  6. bsfan77 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Doesnt matter what any team does in the regular season. Look at the Pens last year. Top of the conference. They had nothing but trouble with the Islanders followed by an absolute melt down against a banged up Bruins team. Balsma should have been mixing up lines and trying to make something work. Hard to coach a top heavy team that might as well have no 3rd and 4th lines. The Bruins shut down Crosby and Malkin and that is all it took. The “best” offense in the leauge was held to 2 goals in 4 games. Dont even get me started on the biggest flop of a playoff goalie “The Flower”. Be the best goalie all year except when it matters most. The Bruins lost the cup but watching them dismantle the Penguins was the best part of the playoffs for me! Stay real Pitt! Maybe your coach should worry about his own team.

  7. pantherpro - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Parade in downtown San Francisco around June 15th? Move over Giants time for Sharkie!

    • steeltuff - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      And no parade in downtown San Jose?

  8. bsfan77 - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Btw. Way to back check last night Sid! I guess he is soooooooo hood he can just glide into the zone while his opponent scores the goal. Oops i meant goalsss. How is that -5 treating you? You should learn from Bergeron how to play north/south!

  9. steeltuff - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    San Jose has a better chance than Pittsburgh to get to the SC Finals, even though they’re in the tougher conference. As you saw last night, the Pens have too many holes to fill to enable them to beat a physical team in the playoffs. Two of their best blue liners, Martin and Letang, are hurt; they haven’t been able to find a winger to take Depuis’ place; they lack depth on the third and fourth lines.

  10. pastabelly - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Bylsma does less with more talent than any coach in the game. The Penguins have more talent than the Bruins but are an inferior team, especially in the playoffs.

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