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ISA: Penguins junk coach

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ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:41 am

Huge red-flag warning: I'm a casual hockey fan.

From this lay perspective, the Penguins seem like a young, Tampa Bay Rays sort of team: some enormously talented players like Crosby and Malkin, overall a youngish team, went to the Cup Finals last season. They are certainly not performing well this season, and if the season ended today, they'd miss the playoffs. That's disappointing, I get that.

But firing the coach? The coach who took you to the Finals last season? For a team which still pays higher rates for car insurance because they're not 26 yet? I mean, I wouldn't know the coach from a beer vendor, but how bad can this guy be? Is this a Mike Keane "I burned everyone out with my yelling" situation? Was he over his head? Why isn't 2009 simply regression to the mean, or at least the kind of volatile performance blurp that many younger teams experience? What am I missing here?
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:21 pm

Quite frankly, this is a move by the front office that they view as necessary because they had a horrible offseason. They couldn't keep Hossa, Gonchar and Whitney both got hurt in training camp. They're a soft, underperforming team and the coach is always the scapegoat for that.

Unfortunately, like in all sports, you can't fire the team. Marc-Andre Fleury has a 3+ GAA. Therrien mostly got the job because he took Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to one of the sickest records in AHL history before getting the Penguins job. He also had a lot of the same guys on that team that he does on the current Penguins.

Therrien got fired because the team has the two of the three best players in the Eastern Conference, so the fans expect more. Plus, they'll be getting a new arena, and are already in such financial constraints that TSN has rumored that they need to trade Evgeni Malkin. Yeah, they are very young, up front anyway. On defense and in net, they should be a lot better than they are. Therrien's system simply wasn't working anymore. Injuries have hurt them, no doubt about it.

I'll tell you this right now, though. I think that if they go get Peter Laviolette to be the coach (former Hurricanes coach), they finish in the middle of that conference and become a force in the postseason.
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby TouchEmAllTime » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:59 pm

Skating Tripods - I know this is kind of old news now, Therrien (sp?) getting fired that is, but as a somewhat informative, but still not overly knowledgeable hockey fan, ok maybe more casual, was using Crosby and Malkin on the same line too much firepower? I occasionally catch some of the FSN Pittsburgh shows, and I remember hearing something about Therrien finally taking them off the same line before he was let go, so I was just wondering if he let that go on too long or if that is normal to have that much firepower on the same line?
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby skatingtripods » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:42 pm

TouchEmAllTime wrote:Skating Tripods - I know this is kind of old news now, Therrien (sp?) getting fired that is, but as a somewhat informative, but still not overly knowledgeable hockey fan, ok maybe more casual, was using Crosby and Malkin on the same line too much firepower? I occasionally catch some of the FSN Pittsburgh shows, and I remember hearing something about Therrien finally taking them off the same line before he was let go, so I was just wondering if he let that go on too long or if that is normal to have that much firepower on the same line?


When you have so much of the allowable cap tied up in Crosby, Malkin, Orpik, and Fleury, it's hard to have any kind of secondary scoring. Satan has constantly underachieved. All of their talent is at the C position, in Malkin, Crosby, and Staal, so there's really not a whole lot that they can do.

The fact is, they're stuck. The only real chance they have of scoring is to load up one line and hope that the others can play a defensive game.

In terms of firepower, it's great to have balance, but some teams definitely have it all loaded up on one line. It's not out of the ordinary, but it isn't all that common. The fact that Pittsburgh's top line looked more like a powerplay unit because they have no depth isn't why Therrien got fired.
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby TouchEmAllTime » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:07 pm

Thanks for the answer, and I agree, someone just had to bite the bullet for the extended poor play, he didn't seem to be overly friendly with the media either, kinda like an NHL Eric Mangini.
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:13 am

TouchEmAllTime wrote:Thanks for the answer, and I agree, someone just had to bite the bullet for the extended poor play, he didn't seem to be overly friendly with the media either, kinda like an NHL Eric Mangini.


They had a ton of injury problems that they simply did not have the depth to overcome. They lost Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar to injuries in the offseason. Marc-Andre Fleury was out for an extended period of time. They traded two good pieces last year to get Marian Hossa and really missed them at the start of the season.

But you're right, someone had to bite the bullet and you can't fire the team.
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby TouchEmAllTime » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:03 pm

Hate to say it but they are playing damn good hockey right now, I wouldn't be surprised if they knocked off NJ or Wash in the first round if they stay at the 6th seed, with the way they're playing, chances are they will move up, I think they could beat Philly too. I was so hoping they'd miss the playoffs, now they're looking like a Cup contender again, damnit!
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Re: ISA: Penguins junk coach

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:20 pm

TouchEmAllTime wrote:Hate to say it but they are playing damn good hockey right now, I wouldn't be surprised if they knocked off NJ or Wash in the first round if they stay at the 6th seed, with the way they're playing, chances are they will move up, I think they could beat Philly too. I was so hoping they'd miss the playoffs, now they're looking like a Cup contender again, damnit!


Washington is beatable because of their goaltending issues. I don't think anyone can beat New Jersey. A fresh Martin Brodeur is just too advantageous to them in the playoffs.

Bylsma is a former muck and grinder, so he preached defense to them and creating offense from defense. It's really worked out. Marc-Andre Fleury finally being healthy helps too. He hasn't allowed more than 3 goals in a game yet this month, except for the two OTLs.
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