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Bylsma rips Penguins, calls effort level ‘troubling’

Apr 24, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

Dan Bylsma AP

If you believe the speculation, Dan Bylsma is coaching for his job in these playoffs. Anything less than a deep run and the Pittsburgh Penguins could have a new guy behind the bench next season. Or so they say.

Today, with his team stuck in a first-round dog fight with the underdog Blue Jackets, Bylsma spoke like a coach under some pressure.

Per the Tribune-Review, here’s Bylma on his team’s effort last night in Columbus, where the Pens blew a three-goal lead and lost in overtime: “The work and compete and the battle level has probably been the most troubling thing. … It has to be raised. … It’s our puck battles. It’s our willingness to play in those areas and make it a tough game. Our whole team needs to be better in that regard.”

Bylsma didn’t tip-toe around the hot topic of Marc-Andre Fleury either. On the tying goal the Jackets scored with less than a minute to go: “Marc knows he should have stayed in the net.”

Oh, and don’t think Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin escaped unscathed: “They’re our best players. We need more from our whole team. And we need more from them.”

Neither Crosby nor Malkin have scored a goal in the first four games of the series, though they each have four assists.

PHT Extra: Will the Penguins pick it up for the playoffs?

  1. flyerspsu - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    He’s needed to say this for awhile, he has always seemed like a friend more than a coach

    • hockey412 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      I agree completely. Hopefully he’s saying it in the locker room too – but there’s no point in denying what’s painfully obvious to fans and consistently comical to non-fans.

    • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      i agree too. i dont think hes just a friend but sometimes too much.

      its not that we lose a lot, or even easily. we are always in position to do something great, but we are losing a lot of the big games the last few years and worse its from the same mistakes over and over. fluery making bad plays behind the net. over committing to one side of the ice and giving up odd man rushes. bad power plays that not only dont produce important goals, but sometimes give them up. bad penalties, wether deserved or not, at bad times, one after another until you give up 2 goals because of them and then you finally stop.

      the series is 2-2. there is no emergency here. we are not even losing. but, at some point…repeating the same mistakes is going to mean losing wether its this series or the next…

    • matt14gg - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Absolutely…Disco Danny has a reputation as a great guy and I think his players love playing for him, but I don’t think he’s a great tactician. At some point playing for a guy you like turns into taking advantage of the guy you like who isn’t going to push back too much. The trouble for Bylsma is that it’s hard to get that hardline respect back after you’ve let the leash out for too long.

      But even after all that is said, this is basically a team being held hostage by a bad goalie. Part of the reason the Pens are so unstructured is that they don’t trust MAF and therefore can’t completely commit to a style or system. In the back of every player’s mind is “oh man, I can’t screw up cuz the puddle we have playing net is not going to save me”

      • hockey412 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        I really don’t think that’s true, though. I don’t think you can blame the problems they have been having since the Olympic break on Fleury, especially during the playoffs. I’d wager that, outside of 30 seconds of TOI last night, he’s been their best player on the ice. The defense goes the other way with it, they leave him high and dry. The inability to pick up someone crashing the net would kill any goalie.

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        It takes a special coach to coach special players. When you have guys with the talent level the likes of Crosby and Toews and Getzlaf, etc. it’s got to be insanely intimidating. It’s even more so the case on those teams where you’re working with multiple players in multiple positions, considered the elite of said position. In many ways those players are going to be smarter than you, and I’m sure those kinds of players speak up and propose their own ideas, but you also need to establish a firm line of respect for the coach being the coach and the players being the players. I’ve noticed on teams like the Hawks and Bruins that line seems to be a lot more clear than it is on the Penguins.

  2. c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    sounds about right.

    ill give in to speculation and say something i think would happen if they lost this series. dan would keep his job, neal gets traded and scuderi gets bought out.

    • kaptaanamerica - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      If anything Sidney should be traded. They’d get a solid haul back. They should trade him to some team where he’s not the captain. Malkin steps up his game when he’s the number one guy and knows it’s on him to perform.the one cup they won Malkin carried the team on his back.

      Malkin is their best player. (Period)

      • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        your right you convinced me. key to winning cup is trade the captain.

        then we can be like philly.

      • 6superbowls - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Kaptaanamerica. That’s about the dumbest post I think I’ve ever read on PHT. Trade Crosby. Crosby not a captain? You mean the captain of the gold medal winning Canadian Olympic hockey team wouldn’t be a captain anywhere else?

        As for Malkin being the Pens best player? You obviously don’t know much about Penguin hockey. He’s a time-bomb on skates. If he’s not part of the game early on he loses interest and disappears for long stretches. Did you watch any Olympic hockey??? I doubt it. Bar none the easiest in the NHL to get into his head.

      • whammy71 - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Its easy to be the Captain of the gold medal winning Olympic team when there are 6 or so other Captains on your squad.

        Sid is a terrible leader. Great player….terrible leader. His punk attitude – giving cheap shots after the whistle, then skating away is a great example. Also, how about all the whinning he does to the refs. Granted he doesn’t do it as much now – but he still does it. Oh, and lets not forget he doesn’t really have a signature playoff moment….unless you count the time him and AO each had a hat trick…and the Pens LOST. He sat out for almost 2 years with a headache….only to come back and disrupt the chemistry of the team and orchestrated the shat show that was the PO loss to the Cryers….where he acted like a little punk-beotch. The natural spot for Iggy last year was on Sid’s wing…..until he decided Iggy didn’t fit his style, so he forced Bylsma’s hand and had him moved to Geno’s line. He couldn’t even finish Game 7 in the 2009 Cup finals….took an innocent check along the boards and sat out for the 2nd half of the game…..but he sure as hell was able to rip the Cup from Bettman’s hands and enthusiasticly parade it aroud the ice.

        I’m not saying to trade him….you don’t trade one of the greatest players playing in the game today. But he is and always will be a terrible Captain.

    • tkprivate - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Scuderi has absolutely sucked this year so good riddance to him – hope you’re right – he’s an empty uni.

  3. patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Jeez, I hate to repeat myself; but, just like Mike Gillis went on his rant, this seems like another swan song. Nice way to throw the players (Fleury especially) under the bus, too, Dan.

    • hockey412 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      You know, I don’t know that I agree. Most times Dan pretends to be blissfully ignorant of anyone’s downfalls on the team, and sugar coats everything. As long as this is consistent with what he’s saying to these guys face to face, then I think it’s fine. The comments really weren’t that bad. And they were accurate…I’ve never seen such little effort. Shouldn’t have to be told to ‘try harder’ at this level.

      • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        when these comments are “headlines news” from a coach, you know its gotta be disco dan

        he and shero are not at all fans of using the media to convey messages.

        …..thats a good thing.

      • drewzducks - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Totally unrelated, assuming you guys are Steelers fans as well, NFL Network is airing an hour special 10-11 on the Steelers ’74 draft. Four HOFers: Swann, Stallworth, Lambert and Webster. Pretty amazing and likely unparalleled. Ok, back to sticks and pucks.

    • micklethepickle - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      I am an unashamed Pens-hater, but I kind of feel for them now. Granted, Bylsma should have predicted the return of Beach Ball Fleury, but MAF did have a great reg. season. And speaking honestly, Pittsburgh (and Boston) are hands down the best teams in the East. The problem is… And why I feel for the Pens…. is that the Western conference is so far ahead of the East that the formerly worst team in the Western conf (CBJ) is evenly matched w the best from the East. No parity between conferences!

    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Actually he also mentioned that Fleury has been our best player all series, so he wasn’t truly throwing him under the bus. Just acknowledging a mistake.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      All of you guys make good points.

      My point is that there’s a reason the Pens have trouble in the playoffs. I have a hard time believing that it’s because they forgot how to play the game.

      No argument that Bylsma is a good coach. I wonder, though, if he can better prepare the team for the playoffs. So far, not so much.

      P.S. steelpenbucs87, I read the TribLive article twice. Maybe it’s selective reading; but, I didn’t see the remark about Fleury being the best player all series.

      And, even if the coach is saying the same things to the team, it just doesn’t sit well with me that he then broadcasts it to the media. Sounds a little desperate.

      • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        i mean again, why has he failed? because he hasnt failed. im not sure if you know this or not but the series is still going on, and its tied 2-2, as often happens in a playoff series.

        have trouble? does no other team have trouble in the playoffs? haha…the playing field is even yet for some reason the potlight lands on pittsburgh every time…

        why is that pat? think about it i really dont want to have to point out that almost every other teams playoff record in the recent past is equal to or less than that of the penguins

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        c9, I didn’t say he failed.

        The spotlight falls on Pittsburgh because they have probably the most talented team in the NHL. They played this past season with injuries upon injuries and they still had a fantastic season. How many players didn’t get an Olypmic break? 7? 9? That’s almost half the team. They played absolutely great all year.

        My only point is that this isn’t the first time they’ve struggled in the playoffs. Granted, it’s only 4 games in; yet, with the talent they have, and with nearly everyone healthy, they should be wiping the ice with their opposition.

  4. JoeAvg - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Would be great to see what Barry Trotz could do with a team that already has naturally gifted scorers. You can teach how to play defense, can’t teach how to score too much.

  5. njadvocate111 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    He is a terrible coach, he is a puppet for Mario. Everyone knows how much he hated playing for Bowman he doesn’t want his bright young stars to have to endure the same attention to detail, especially from a defensive standpoint. Game was different back then, offense prevailed. This is a different NHL. Bylsma is a puppet, who was given a Cup caliber team his first year in. Do pens fans really think he has this team prepared for the postseason every year? What is Letang doing out there with 20 seconds left, trying to preserve a lead? Your fearless leader/plumber has no one to blame but himself. Oh and how have things gone since Staal left?

    • 6superbowls - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Amen to that! Dead on.

    • johninpa - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      I think your memory is off. Yes, he did inherit a Cup caliber team. That team, however, was failing under Therrien. Bylsma took over and turned them into winners. It’s playoff hockey, it’s a different game and it’s tough. Just ask Boston. If regular season records said it all, they would be breezing past Detroit, but it’s not happening. We’ll find out what kind of intestinal fortitude the Pens have in the next two (or three) games.

  6. bgrillz - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    The team has not had compete. They are at times, aloof and listless. If i see another dman one handed try a weak poke check in a corner, rather than putting a body on them I going to throw my remote through my tv! They have been so frustrating to watch. And Crosby has been awful, in just about every facet. Can anyone on this team win a faceoff? It’s absurd! So trust me, Dan is being nice.

    • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      yeah i have noticed a lot of that. gonna need to start bodying up on every play thats how this whole post season thing works. you either start doing it and leave the regular season in the past, or you leave the playoffs in the past real quick.

      also, the faceoff circle last night resulted in like alf of columbus’s shots and zone time atleast. it was amazing sid won more faceoffs himself that the rest of the team together. if vitale isnt winning faceoffs, he has no business in the lineup really. if malkin cant win them maybe we start putting juice in the dot. maybe Goc can make is a little stronger down the middle in that regard. crosby has been good at times, and looking uninterested by his standards at others. cant figure him out right now.

      good to see comments from somebody who is actually watching the game and seeing real issues not just “dan sucks fluery sucks they all suck bye”

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Honestly could careless what he says.

    • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      you again. man your emotional…

      in game 3 first you gave up on them and denounced them, then came crawling back when they ended up winning the game.

      now your throwing in the towel again.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        Wow pal last I checked I wasn’t penguins87and71. And really I’ve thrown in the towel? That’s a good one. Where did I say that at?

    • skr213 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      If you could care less, then that means you care. Perhaps you mean you *could not* care less? Also, care less is very different than careless. But as a Pens fan, I probably shouldn’t expect much from you.

  8. hosewater2 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Could have had Kesler if Ray had just thrown in Pouliot….

    • hockey412 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Would rather keep Pouliot.

      One guy isn’t going to fix this. I’m COMPLETELY in favor of Crosby as Captain, but this is also where the Captain needs to prove his mettle.

      There’s no crisis here, series is tied. But it’s do or die.

      • hosewater2 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        I agree, one guy isn’t going to fix this. Nor did I say that the situation would be different.

        Come on though Pens fans, it’s only tied. It’s only first round. This is just character building at this point.

      • hockey412 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:13 AM

        I agree! No reason to panic…but the Pens (I think it was Crosby, or Adams) comments that “there’s plenty of time” are false. The time is now.

    • penguins87and71 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Well we know who make a terrible GM….

  9. montrealbbr - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    He should be ripping them. The Penguins should have swept this series already. They have the two best players in the world and they cant seem to get out of their own way out there. I am starting to question Sids leadership. After doing nothing against the Bruins last year and now this terrible series so far you have to wonder if he is really cut out for leading a team in the postseason. I mean Dubinsky is outplaying him and hes a scrub!

    • 2qswing - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Dubinsky is a scrub? I don’t know who will win this series but ” Should have swept this series easily?” Oh and those of you thinking if they cant get by Columbus, how are they going to get by the Rangers or Philly, well Jackets took 3 of 4 against Philly and split with the Rangers. Not that much difference.

    • 6superbowls - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      If you’re referring to Malkin as one of the best players in the world, you’re mistaken. See how fast he checked out of the Olympics? Above average with a world of talent, but no heart and about a 2 inch fuse.

  10. joey4id - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    “Marc knows he should have stayed in the net.” No kidding. He should also know that he was weak on the winner. He and Bylsma will be gone indeed of they do poorly.

    • penguins87and71 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      You really think Dan Byslma and Marc-Andre Fleury will be gone if they lose this series? I don’t. They’re not going anywhere. The Penguins are to loyal to both men. Ownership is in love with Dan Byslma and so do the players, also Byslma and Shero are pretty close. As for Marc-Andre Fleury he is good friends with the captain of the team, Sidney Crosby.

      • joey4id - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        I do think so, and they should. There is a lot of money invested in hockey operations, and the best way to increase your return on investment is to go deep into the playoffs. A team’s profit soars in the playoffs because they’ve already paid all player salaries. Each team’s profit is approximately $1.5+ million per home game.

    • c9castine - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      fleury and dan will both be here next year but it wont be because people are friends.

      as for other players, or beyond that point in time, who knows yet.

  11. penguins87and71 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    I think this has been something that needed to be said by Dan Bylsma for a long time, this team hasn’t played with heart since and desperation since winning the cup in 2009. If this doesn’t get the players going and it doesn’t make the players want to prove Dan Bylsma wrong, then their is no hope. I personally don’t want to see Bylsma back next year, he is a terrible head coach. The Penguins need a coach that’s going to get into the players faces when they make a mistake, and not be buddy buddy. The Penguins in my opinion have became an arrogant organization, and they need a slice of humble pie. All the Penguins have to do is play smart simple hockey, dump the puck in and bang bodies, they have the talent to play that way.

    • valoisvipers - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      I think Boston served the Pens a healthy dose of “humble pie” in last years playoffs.

  12. maalea - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    If the Pens get bounced this round MAF should be bought out this summer.

    • penguins87and71 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      Who are they going to replace him with? They don’t have the cap space to sign a guy like a Ryan Miller. Don’t tell me Jeff Zatkoff is the saving grace of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins might have to stick with Fleury until they have the cap space to find a better option.

    • chanceoffleury - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      No way he gets bought out. He’s got 1 year left on his contract and his cap hit is very tolerable. Somebody would take that very safe chance to get a trial period with no obligation to keep him after it’s over.

      People pretend like he’s paid an elite goaltender salary and simply put, it’s not the case at all. He had the 13th highest cap hit of goaltenders this year. He’ll probably end up somewhere after 15th next year with Crawford and Miller getting huge contracts that kick in. So next year he’ll be in the bottom half of the league in terms of starting goaltender salaries. In the very least, if the Pens don’t win the Cup that means 13 other goaltenders who make more money than him also didn’t goaltend their team to a cup. But I think it goes without saying: all but a sprinkle of them would get any crap for it. He’s not a Bryzgalov or Luongo. If somebody took the chance there would be absolutely no obligation to keep him after the 1 year is up.

  13. penguins87and71 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Then why didn’t they got rid of Dan Bylsma and Marc-Andre Fleury a long time ago? If they don’t go deep into the playoffs this year it will be the 4 out of 5 years that they haven’t gone deep in the playoffs. I felt that they should have gotten rid of Dan Bylsma after the 2012 debacle against the Flyers.

    • joey4id - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      They should have. Maybe it was last chance for the boys club, and because they made it to the ECF last year they decided to keep him. How long can a friend protect a friend when the owner is investing millions of dollars and is loosing millions because the team is under achieving? Big business stuff. If they keep both because they feel that’s best for the team, then fine, but not because they are friends. I personally think they should of let Dan go last year, and give Fleury one more chance. I mean it sucks to be them right now from a hockey perspective. No doubt they are both good men…. but…. it’s about winning and profits.

      • njadvocate111 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Mario needs to put his ego aside and come to terms that stars can’t do it on their own. Believe it or not, talent does not win in the playoffs by itself. Every night, the job of the guy across from you, is simply to shut you down. Playoffs is about depth, structure and heart. Since the cup win, the Pens have lost more playoff series than they have won. That’s embarrassing given the draft position 03-08. You didn’t play a game and got Sid AND Malkin. At some point, the finger is going to have to be pointed to the leadership. The window is closing….

      • joey4id - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:06 PM

        Well said. njadvocate111 knows hockey.

  14. laxman1944 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Coach is 100% correct

    But are they collectively ready to do what it takes to win?

    Watched every game so far and at times they are flat out watching CBJ fly around the rink. Sid at some point needs to stand up for himself, he is getting pounded out there and is just taking it. Not saying act like NEAL/MALKIN melt downs but heck shove back at least.

    • kclovesgaming - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Pens have all the offense in the world, but even hard work won’t get it done. Their defense is very much average and their goaltending is way at the bottom. That is the reality whether some fans (or even all the bandwagon fans) want to admit it or not.

  15. freefall0303 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    They’re just not a playoff team. They have the “flash” no question – but they are soft defensively and never go through people. They are good at moving a puck they already have possession of – but with the exception of a couple players like Sutter and Niskanen, they have few guys who will fight for the puck in the corner and behind the net. They depend on a bounce or a missed shot to gain possession. They played a total of 8 minutes of hockey yesterday and were lucky to have been that close to winning after going up 3-0. They did nothing after that. Penalties proved advantageous for CBJ’s – especially when they mounted up one after another in the second period, but the third period was there to be owned by whoever wanted it most. We saw who that was.

  16. blue21c - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    I love reading you all crying in your Iron City. Go Jackets!!!

  17. kclovesgaming - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    The team does battle hard, but not enough. It doesn’t help that Fleury is atrocious as they come. If he was even average, it could have changed the outcome. That said, CBJ is a very hard working team. Just like the Isles last year, we can see just what happens when a team buys into everything, works hard and for one another. I’m all for under dogs. It makes sports more exciting. It makes it even more exciting when a team has never accomplished anything in their franchise’s existence and wins it all. Love that.

  18. muckleflugga - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    bylsma has to say something are the media starts saying it for him … it’s not his fault, it’s shero’s and through shero, lemieux’s

    there was nothing wrong with fleury’s intent, the play is made every night time and again … his failure was his casual reach with his stick when he should have squared-up and used the sixteen square feet of his pads to block the puck down [ correctly assessed by chanceoffleury ]

    failure occurred when his teammates became spectators … hitchcock and babcock would have had his players marking opponents in those circumstances rather than watching … hitchcock more successfully given howard’s gaffe rate, right up there with heady company including luongo and fleury

    shero has continually tinkered with his team, a team he’s trying to tailor for sid and geno … his intent has been skewed with need to protect mario’s meal ticket … i like mario but the guy’s no hockey genius, often the case in the intuitively gifted … how many great manager’s or coaches were great players …?

    shero should have followed the detroit formula, enhancing sid’s and geno’s skill-sets with like-minded players employing speed and more speed [ look at what vanek’s done for montréal ]

    i saw the penguins over two games in a trip to florida in the fall of 2009 … that team played bash and crash hockey, but with serious speed and smart restraint, never selling-out on position … they scared the hell out of me, and i thought they were good to repeat, winning two or three more … i really liked dupuis particularly, kennedy, staal and talbot particularly

    i’m not sure of dupuis’ status, but loss of the other three has taken penguins backward … that’s on shero

    in the present, sid and geno have lost interest, plain for anyone to see from the olympics onward … if i didn’t know better, geno looks bombed, possibly trying to function under localized pain killers or general mild sedation

    sid’s clearly found a lady, looks like a young man in love, and he’s playing accordingly … whipped


    • micklethepickle - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      The only reason Sid would be interested in a lady is to use her as a beard lol. One of my friends went to HS w him up in Canada and has some great stories. Turns out he has always been a whiny, instigating little punk!

  19. fpstratton - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Everything Bylsma said is true. There is no way the Penguins shouldn’t be leading this series, and leading it comfortably. I mean no disrespect to a much-improved Columbus team, but the Penguins haven’t played a 60-minute game yet. The same can be said for the Anaheim Ducks. For all the hype these two teams have gotten, they just don’t seem as hungry as their respective opponents in the first round series. However, this could all still change. Games 5-7 will tell us everything.

  20. earpaniac - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    If they lose this series, there should be a lot of changes. There is no excuse for this squad to lose to CBJ. None. I don’t know if its complacency, or overconfidence or what. CBJ was a joke in the West, and they didn’t suddenly get better. Somebody mentioned it above, the East isn’t as good or deep as the west I guess. But Pit should’ve blown these guys out if the water.

  21. muckleflugga - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    again, chanceoffleury has the nut of it

    i’d take fleury on wings starting tonight, but i’d get him what howard needs and that’s a goaltending guru who’s only experience is untangling insecurities and doubts brought under pressure while nurturing ground for confidence and success … visualization therapy’s as old as is sports therapy … i look at howard before games and he’s so wired, i would not permit him near sharp or pointy objects

    on the ice, wing’s dreams die a murder by death brought by howard’s self-inflicted harm

    wired players commit gaffe’s under pressure, but a shrink gives those players tools that short circuit the ground where errors flourish … fleury should have gone behind the net with a fixed purpose reinforced with practice and fail-proof technique … both which he likely has, but failed to use through lack of focus a shrink might bring

    given his history, who do you as a fan blame …?

    i watch bench play during games and time-outs … mike babcock always let team leaders articulate and draft pending sets, then steps-in to refine and support ideas and plans offered by the team leaders, presumably to bring focus to a single idea

    short of coaches who simply step aside and let timeouts run, a bylsma habit implicitly supporting the players while indicating everything’s cool but we need time to cool-out, other coaches impose their will in overtime, completely …

    i can’t recall sidney doing the same thing beyond on-bench strategy sessions with the guy next to him … if they haven’t yet, penguins should permit crosby to run time-outs, enhancing his prestige as a captain should be … and he should be concluding time-outs by bringing fleury around to focus

    i see neither getting that help from their coaches late in games or under pressure … player posturing during time-outs betrays the opposite to be true

    players have a feel for what’s happening, and as often as not are as smart as their coaches … a cognitive dissonance arises, even on a sub-conscious level, when players do not buy-in on their coach’s micro management …

    lack of focus and subsequent lapses and resulting failures almost appear purpose bound … shoving it down the coach’s throat as it were

    i doubt either fleury or bylsma is going anywhere … no one can discount the effect of hooking up-and-coming teams catching fire and find if i dare, chemistry, while a complacent yet superior under achiever searches for the right mix in counter

    playoff history in all sports is littered with surprises brought by teams coming to hand when it matters most

  22. 7mantel - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    I said earlier on another story The Pens are resting on their laurels ! That is the coaches job not to let that happen .

  23. muckleflugga - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:50 PM


    too right about sid when he as growing up … i think he’s 99% there … the fact of the matter is he doesn’t whine any more or less than any other player who whines

    blowhard toughs like bruins are the best example from coach through every player, other than the resolute jarome iginla

    milan lucic is the biggest simpering, whining goof in the league with brad marchand second by a very long nose … both exceed sidney crosby season-long whining output by game three of the exhibition schedule

    as for sid’s love life … i have some inside dope on the matter … if not true, he’s renting or leasing

  24. cutelittleguy02 - Apr 24, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Pens will win next two games

  25. petersteelewannabe - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    As a Flyers fan my biggest fear is Blysma gets canned and Shero hires Barry Trotz. Dan seems like a really nice person but when one considers the talent level the Pens have had since their Cup win compared to their playoff success, well, the facts speak for themselves. The other issue is, and this isn’t Pens hating, but I just don’t see Crosby as an above average Captain. He is maybe the Best Player in the World, but leadership is something entirely different. Towes, Chara, Getzlaf, those are examples of superior Captains.

  26. billsboy88 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Dan doesn’t get his team ready to play in big games. This team hasn’t looked hungry since the ’09 cup win.

  27. bandree - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:33 AM


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