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01-26-2013, 02:51 AM
Can you like, shutup
Malkin4Top6Wingerz's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Country: United States
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I'm sure a few people are hoping that I poke my head in this thread, as I've been the resident Bylsma supporter in this forum now for the past year and change.

I will start by saying this - I have been just as annoyed as most of you when we make the same mistakes over and over again that cost us games. While a lot of them seem to me as being individual miscues, I concede that at some point it's the coaches responsibility to get players to play the right way. I've also been disappointed in how disciplined this team has been under Bylsma, both in terms of the way they take unnecessary penalties as well as the accountability of players who seem to get away with making poor decisions left and right. It seems as if they've either tuned him out or he's just not doing an adequate job getting the message across. Either way it's concerning.

Ultimately however I do not think this is a matter of X's and O's. We've seen this team play their game and completely outplays teams for extended periods of time. Even in the Philly series last year we had spurts of complete and utter domination. Laviolette knew the storm was coming but was helpless to stop the onslaught before serious damage had been done. While they made some impressive comebacks, Laviolette had his team in a position where they were huge dogs to win. That's not part of any coach's gameplan.

When I look back at the Pens losses I don't usually chalk them up to being outplayed. It's usually a matter of beating ourselves. Is that grounds for finding another coach? I'm not sure. What I do know however is that just about every fanbase in hockey seems to hate their coach at one point or another - even the most successful teams. People were ready to kick the door down and remove Claude Julien from the Bruins facilities after they had an epic meltdown against Philly. They kept him, and a year later they won the Cup. Quenneville has had plenty of critics in Chicago after failing to do anything of note since their Cup victory. McLellan is presumably on the hotseat once again. Laviolette has had tons of ups and downs in his coaching career. Hitchcock has been fired by teams several times. I could go on and on .. the bottom line is that fans are going to be driven crazy by their coach and attribute everything that goes wrong with something they did or didn't do. To some degree that's just the nature of the business and comes with the territory, but I think as fans we get too riled up over our teams and have a hard time looking at things objectively. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Other teams go through the same phases that we do, usually much worse. The same thing is going to happen no matter who our next hypothetical head coach is.

Ultimately I'm of the opinion that with coaches you have to take the good with the bad, and there's a lot more good than bad with Bylsma. It's hard to see the forest through the trees right now, but people need to take a breather and see that we're four games into the season and some sloppy hockey is to be expected after missing so much time and having a short camp to work with. So far we've convincinly beaten two EC contenders and lost to Toronto and Winnipeg. Not everything makes sense right now. Let's check back in April.

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