First they have another disappointing exit from the playoffs (when they were leading the semi finals series 3-1 but ultimately lost it in seven games to the Rangers).
Then they fire general manager Ray Shero.
Then they bring in veteran general manager from the Carolina Hurricanes Jim Rutherford.
Then he takes out the trash and fires coach Dan Bylsma.
My first reaction? About freaking time.
Never have I understood the appeal for Dan Bylsma. His first year was a huge success winning the cup. But it seems that was the driving force on why the Penguins kept siding with him and keeping him far too long.
The next year they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games (who were backed by hot goalie Jaroslav Halak) despite being up in the series 3-2. When you look at both rosters that year there is no way in hell Pittsburgh should have lost game seven at home even if the Canadiens were backed by god himself in net. They played like shit in game seven essentially.
The year after that you can give Bylsma his due though. He still took the team to fifth place despite Malkin and Crosby being missing in action. However, again despite being up 3-2 in a series they lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And you have the Flyers series in the 2012 playoffs. Wow that was tough to watch. The Penguins were cup favourites that year and just lost their freaking cool that series. Bylsma lost control of his roster. That should have been his first and final warning that he needs to control his team.
It was proven he couldn’t. In the lockout shortened season he had a roster that was favoured to win the cup once again. If they didn’t this time they would be labeled as chokers. They faced the tough Boston Bruins in the conference finals and…got their asses kicked.
That series wasn’t even close. As a Canucks fan I was feeling embarrassed for the Penguins. They scored no more than two-four times the whole series despite having a roster loaded with all stars (they added Jarome Iginla and Brendan Morrow to an already stacked roster at the trade deadline that year). Not only could they not score, they lost their cool again. Just check out the first game in that series. They were picking fights with the exact team that feeds off of that energy, the Boston Bruins.
I said Bylsma should have been fired right after that series. Instead they extended him. He should have been gone. Three strikes. The Montreal series, the Flyers series, and then this.
He proceeded to get outcoached by Alain Vigneault of all people the very next year. Despite being up 3-1 in the series.
The Penguins should be applauded for demolishing their office this season. They should send the message that their should be zero tolerance for their awful postseason performances year after year.
Look at the Blackhawks. They have essentially the same big three that Pittsburgh has in Letang, Malkin, Crosby but Keith, Kane, and Toews. Keith is easily miles better than Letang but Malkin and Crosby should be putting Toews and Kane to shame in the postseason. Instead it’s the opposite. Chicago is the team that looks like the dynasty.
There is my daily rant. Hopefully the Penguins can make some noise this postseason. Like the Canucks firing Vigneault it was time for the Pens to move on from Bylsma. Hopefully they get that coach who lights a fire in their behinds.