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June 7, 2013 Final: Bruins 1, Penguins 0, a clean sweep in the series in which the pens scored only 2 goals. So now that the season is over we can ask ourselves, what happened to the favorites in the east? Another lacking performance in the playoffs from Fleury for the second year in a row makes many people question his future in Pittsburgh. And how about the coaching? Fans are quick to point the finger at Dan Bylsma and his coaching after two years of elimination in the playoffs after seemingly strong runs in the regular season. It doesn’t seem possible that a team so talented and dominant offensively (ranked #1 offense) could be completely swept in a series against a team they beat 3 times in the regular season.

What now?

Well, don’t be so quick to point the finger at individuals.

GM Ray Shero made statements on June 12, 2013 stating that he believes in Fleury and plans to see him in Pittsburgh in the future. Who wouldn’t want to see him in net? Fleury went 23-8 this season goaltending with a .916 SV%. Not to mention he also led them to the Stanley cup finals twice, winning the second time.

Bylsma’s record since taking over coaching is 201-93-25 and in the playoffs is 36-29. Add a Stanley cup victory to those stats too. But can he get the job done in the playoffs? Bylsma took over in 2008 and led the team to a Stanley cup victory over Detroit. Many would argue he took over and used Michel Therrien’s system and rode it out to victory. Since then the penguins are 20-21 in the playoffs under Bylsma, even after strong regular season play. And with the amount of talent on the team how could they play so poorly in the playoffs? Bylsma just might not be able to handle high caliber players. The emotion in the penguins in the 2012 playoffs and in the series against Boston shows poor coaching. They get frustrated and start playing reckless and too physical. They need a good strong coach to calm them and keep them focused.

But Shero is also to blame. He has made amazing moves to get the team stacked with good players for the playoffs for the past few years, but has been missing one piece of the puzzle. They needed a veteran in the locker room that could be a presence and captain them. They have not had that since Bill Guerin. When Guerin came in, he took over the room. Iggy and Morrow were just glad to be there.



The players they brought in were good, but the pieces of the puzzle did not fit. The Penguins have signed Bylsma to a 2 year extension, so he will be the coach for a while. I like Bylsma, I think he is a good coach, but I also think he needs to rethink his strategies and be open for change. Changes need to happen or we will all see the same results at the end of the year. And after seeing amazing regular season domination (and two of the best players in the world) I can’t bear to see another flop in the playoffs.





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    Dan Taylor
    Huge Penguins fan, but I love to talk hockey in general.
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