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03-15-2013, 01:21 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Land of no calls..
Country: United States
Posts: 17,622
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My complaint when Tortorella was hired is that the team went to the opposite end of the spectrum to find a coach. They wen't from a nurturing, friend of the players kind of coach to a guy who screams at everyone and everything and is too much of a "learn by fear" kind of coach. I was hoping for Laviolette because I think he falls somewhere in the middle. He's a good developmental coach who can bring the kids along, but he also has a low BS tolerance that works well with vets who get complacent. I think he's a far better tactician than Tortorella is as well.

I see some similarities between this team and the 08-09 Pens. Not in the sense that we're on the cusp of a cup, but the fact that a very fiery, defense first, my way or the highway coach is at the helm and the team has perhaps reached a point where it can only go so far on that system. Therrien got them to a point that they were struggling to live up to last seasons success and was having problems getting the team to continue to buy in to what he had put in place. Bylsma stepped in with fresh ideas and a better attitude, and piggy-backed off of the system that was in place. He opened up the taps just enough offensively that they found a perfect balance of offense and defense. That coaching change, coupled with a key trade by Shero (Whitney/Kunitz) two weeks before, were the catalysts that propelled that team to the ultimate prize.

Now, is it completely the same situation? Of course it isn't. However, when you look at the Pens from 07-08 getting so close to a cup, then struggling to make the playoffs halfway through the season the following year, it draws some interesting comparisons between us and them. Naturally the lockout is a big player in things as well.

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