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Bylsma/coaching discussion thread

View Poll Results: How long do you give Dan?
Fire him now 18 22.22%
15 games 33 40.74%
30 games 4 4.94%
Fire him if we fail in the play-offs 23 28.40%
Keep him till next year 3 3.70%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
01-26-2013, 10:17 AM
  #126
Rowdy Roddy Peeper
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Originally Posted by Dupree13 View Post
Yeah, we did, although in the 3 point game era there is often little difference between President's trophy and the golf course, making point totals a questionable barometer. Though it is true that if we were as poorly coached as some here make it sound like, we wouldn't even be having the success that we have had. But Bylsma's teams have so underperformed in the playoffs, that I think it's clear his brand of hockey doesn't win in the playoffs, which everyone agrees is a different kind of hockey. This of course assumes that the Cup victory was not pure "Bylsma hockey" being played.
We haven't been to the golf course yet under Bylsma. Not even close, actually. The only year we haven't hit 100 points in a season during his tenure was '08-'09, when we had 99.

You're right about needing to make some adjustments to make for the playoffs though. I don't see many circumstances where his job is secure unless we make it to the 2nd round, at the very least.

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01-26-2013, 10:20 AM
  #127
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What I've wanted to see for the last three seasons is Tom Fitzgerald get back on the ice with this coaching staff. I know he wants a GM position but those don't open up everyday. Hopefully his on the ice presence during prospects camp will expand during this shortened season.

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01-26-2013, 10:26 AM
  #128
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I'm just afraid they don't recognize the problem. That they just keep making excuses. "They goalie played well" "The refs made some bad calls" "We got tired" We didn't try hard enough"

I want to hear a player or a coach come out and say what everyone else seems to see. You can't win games by assuming you can just play offense entire the time.

A slow structured break out will always beat this throw up the ice & hope for a big play crap. Not to mention half the time it just gives the puck right back.

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01-26-2013, 10:31 AM
  #129
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So much angst over systems when none of it matters when we play like ****. I don't care what system you have in place, when you play terrible, undisciplined hockey and constantly make bad decisions like we did in the playoffs last year and for these last two games, you're going to lose. Bylsma's system works just fine when we're playing well, in fact it works great. We had the best offense in the league last year despite not having Crosby for most of the season, and the 5th best PP and 3rd best PK. The defensive adjustments we made during the short training camp were evident in the first two games we played this season and they looked great. Toronto rolled into town and we simply couldn't get it up to play them and last night was just an abomination, wholly uncharacteristic of the way this team usually plays.

We don't need to fire anyone. We don't need a complete front office overhaul. We need this team to settle down and focus and play the way they've already shown us they can. The start of this short season has been weird, we all knew it would be. Let's let the league find its feet before we start firing everyone okay?

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01-26-2013, 10:34 AM
  #130
Florentino Ariza
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
I don't know if he's the right coach or not. If I felt this was even close to a complete team, coaching is the first place I would look.

But it's not a complete team, and I swear what irks me the most on these boards, more than anything else, is the assumption that because of two bodies, the TEAM is and should be better than everyone else. Its such an Xbox mentality that I honestly want to stay away from these boards.

Crosby, Malkin, Neal , do not equate to what Chicago can roll out there. When healthy, it doesn't even come close to what Philly could throw out there. I'm using them as two prime examples, but they aren't the only ones.

You have to understand one thing about me: I love my Penguins and Broncos as much as anyone loves their favorite teams, but I never overrate them in terms of talent. That's why whenever I hear these moron prognosticators automatically say "Penguins", I feel like punching the screen because they fall into the same trap that fans do: they overrate the team because of two players, while completely ignoring the supporting cast. That's why the Broncos loss still stings. Yeah they were missing a couple of pieces, but they were finally primed to win, and that's why I still haven't gotten over it. Pens losing to Philly last year? How could anyone not see that coming?

Dupuis can score 30 goals, but he wouldn't be a 30 goal scorer if that makes any sense to you. Same with Kunitz. All I see, and all I've seen for years is one legit scoring line, and glorified third liners sandwiching either Malkin or Crosby (depending on who is healthy) This is not sustainable by any stretch once things start to ramp up in the postseason.

We have three bodies, THREE, who can produce offense on their own. Frankly, its embarrassing when you compare that to the other contenders in the league. That's why I get a kick out of reading silly posts complaining about chest sniping and lack of creativity: what else do these penguin rosters have, other than chest snipers and uncreative forwards littered everywhere? Why are we complaining about kunitz and dupuis not being able to do more when they're clearly incapable of it? You think we are turning pucks over now? Wait until the blunt instruments start attempting "five foot passes" through defenders in the neutral zone, then it'll get really interesting to see everyone's reaction when the puck starts going the other way.

As to why they won the cup? Why did Carolina win it then not make the playoffs the following year. Why hasn't Detroit won a playoff round in three years? Why did Chicago need a Dallas loss on the last day of the season to even make the playoffs the following year after they won? How did Boston blow a 3-0 lead to Philly one year, then sweep them the next? Sometimes, the stars simply align, and sometimes they don't.

I could care less if bylsma gets fired and ends up in a shelter, as long as his replacement is someone I know will make things better. My point in all this is that this team has been fatally flawed for years personnel wise, and while coaching may be a problem, its near the bottom of the list of what's wrong with this team.
Quoted for truth. It doesn't matter how good Crosby is or how much space he can create for Kunitz or Dupuis while he is double-teamed if, when he gets them the puck, they immediately fall down and lose it. Outside of the second line we have no legitimate line with 2 or more people that are capable of creating offense. This is the same problem we have had for years now.

During last night's game I remarked to a friend that you really miss Staal's presence because, even though he wasn't exactly the most offensively gifted player, he chipped in from time to time and broke the stalemate since our anemic "offensive" supporters (Dupuis, Kunitz, etc) didn't provide any offense.

Even when Staal was here, we had the same problem because Crosby would be triple-teamed, miraculously get the puck to Dupuis and then.....well, nothing happened, over and over again. They are also not great at keeping the puck in the zone, either. Without Crosby those are fringe second liners.

Also, our defense sucks even though that is supposedly our strong suit based on drafting and GM style.


Last edited by Florentino Ariza: 01-26-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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01-26-2013, 10:37 AM
  #131
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Keep in mind, while Bylsma certainly can't be blameless, at some point the players have to play better. They are the ones making bad decisions with the puck. They are the ones getting suckered into firewagon hockey. Bylsma has emphasized better puck management to the team, but it's up to the players to make it happened.

Now, I also realize another first round exit puts Bylsma's job at question, and rightfully so. However, he's still one of the better coaches in this league. He doesn't suffocate talent with system like Tortorella does. Instead of firing him, I'd rather management take power away from him. Pick Bylsma's assistant coaches for him, and bring in someone to run the power play. That's better than recycling a washed up coach like teams tend to do all too often.

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Old
01-26-2013, 10:47 AM
  #132
eXile59
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So much angst over systems when none of it matters when we play like ****. I don't care what system you have in place, when you play terrible, undisciplined hockey and constantly make bad decisions like we did in the playoffs last year and for these last two games, you're going to lose. Bylsma's system works just fine when we're playing well, in fact it works great. We had the best offense in the league last year despite not having Crosby for most of the season, and the 5th best PP and 3rd best PK. The defensive adjustments we made during the short training camp were evident in the first two games we played this season and they looked great. Toronto rolled into town and we simply couldn't get it up to play them and last night was just an abomination, wholly uncharacteristic of the way this team usually plays.

We don't need to fire anyone. We don't need a complete front office overhaul. We need this team to settle down and focus and play the way they've already shown us they can. The start of this short season has been weird, we all knew it would be. Let's let the league find its feet before we start firing everyone okay?
This is what I'm worried about. People rationalizing that everything is okay with the system & that the games we lost are just flukes. The team just wasn't trying hard enough. The team tried plenty hard the last couple years & it always ends up with us watching other teams in the playoffs.

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01-26-2013, 12:16 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
Then you haven't been reading my posts for as long as you claim if I'm simply lying to support past arguments. No offence.

Ask Kirk about my Bill Guerin rants, 20 goals goals and all, going back to three years ago when DB was still popular, and how the lack of winger help would bite us.
I remember the rants well . . .

Funny you mention it too. Camp before the 2009 season. You know who Sid's linemates will be. With Talbot on the shelf, it's going to be Geno with Feds and TK, with Dupuis with Staal and Cooke.

Then, this kid Tangradi comes into camp and kills it with Sid and Kunitz.

Some of us say 'hmmm . . . maybe keep that line and see how it goes and slide Guerin down with Geno and Feds; if it doesn't work, the kid gets a great experience'.

Instead, the kid goes down to have his game 'refined' and we all know how the lines open the season.

Three years ago and Guerin is an epic example of how Bylsma works with young players.

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01-26-2013, 12:21 PM
  #134
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about the finer technical aspects of the game, or that DB's without fault, but people seemed pretty pleased with his coaching at the two-game mark. Has that much changed in the two games since?

I've heard people talk about Bylsma's failure to adjust being his kryptonite against better coaches, but I think if you were to poll most Pens fans, the idea that Carlyle and Noel were better than Tortorella and Laviolette probably wouldn't be held by the majority before now.

The best argument for DB is probably that 5 minute stretch in the 2nd period against the Rangers when we straight Globetrotted them. That's what Bylsma's emphasis on quick transition, aggression, getting the puck deep and making the opponent play in their end can look like when executed well. But when we're making multiple low-percentage cross-ice attempts and drop passes at the opposition blueline? Not so much.

We tease about DB always going back to the "we didn't get to our game" when we lose, but the execution really has looked to be lacking the last couple games. We've been pretty damn sloppy, so...maybe not the best two games to judge?
At some point, don't you have to ask WHY the Pens seem to be sloppy a lot, especially at strange times, like against teams they should paste or in the playoffs?

Bylsma's system could be the greatest since sliced bread on paper. If a team executes it infrequently or it cannot overcome playoff preparations (or game days where a team really preps, like Noel wanting to show his team wouldn't get caught repeating last year's track meets) from the other team, then there's a problem.

Now, it is only two games, and I recognize that. So, I'll ask you more directly a question that has been implied throughout my posts:

What's the timeline here?

Do you give him the end of the season no matter what?

Do you act in season only if the team falls out of the playoff hunt?

Do you act more proactively if the trends of the last three years continue over say the next dozen games, give or take?

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Originally Posted by Tender Rip View Post
No. But some of us, certainly I, said that we were second best for the last two periods against the Flyers and that the Rangers game was also due to them playing a terrible second and very good goal tending by Vokoun.



Bylsma is probably not as good or bad as any of us would want to argue, but ultimately the problem is not that anyone is judging based on two games - good or bad. It is that when we are bad, this is how we look, and we've seen it often enough to know.
And this isn't even with poor goaltending or 'should be good players' like Martin making epic gaffes.
I think it's also that we're arguing that we seem to look bad when the other team prepares more than what you see for a typical game day . . . for a playoff series or in a game like last night, where Noel wanted to see how his team had progressed and made significant game plan and then in game adjustments.

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01-26-2013, 12:26 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
I honestly can't imagine any coach - let alone Bylsma - would tell his team to do a lot of the things our players have been doing the past couple games.

Guys like Sid and Kunitz in the post-game have come out saying they made bad mistakes and got away from what made them successful against NY and Philly. From what I saw, they're right.
Sid used to say the same type of things four years ago. As I said, the 'mistakes' often seem to be directly proportional to the preparation of the other team.

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01-26-2013, 12:28 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
At some point, don't you have to ask WHY the Pens seem to be sloppy a lot, especially at strange times, like against teams they should paste or in the playoffs?

Bylsma's system could be the greatest since sliced bread on paper. If a team executes it infrequently or it cannot overcome playoff preparations (or game days where a team really preps, like Noel wanting to show his team wouldn't get caught repeating last year's track meets) from the other team, then there's a problem.

Now, it is only two games, and I recognize that. So, I'll ask you more directly a question that has been implied throughout my posts:

What's the timeline here?

Do you give him the end of the season no matter what?

Do you act in season only if the team falls out of the playoff hunt?

Do you act more proactively if the trends of the last three years continue over say the next dozen games, give or take?
That's where I'm at. I can't imagine a scenario where we'd be out of the playoff hunt after playing a meaningful amount of games this year, but if we did, something should be done.

Other than that, Bylsma gets to the end of the year no matter what. His regular season track record is pretty outstanding - even with our depth issues, we managed to plug along very well when our best players have been in and out of the line-up.

These playoffs should be the barometer for DB. He deserves that.

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01-26-2013, 12:33 PM
  #137
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I'm not sure I can get on board with the belief that Bylsma's system is a good one because when it works, we dominate, even though those moments are rare when it actually works. That's like saying the Hail Mary pass is a great play to use because when it works, it results in a touchdown each time it's successful. You wouldn't want your team using that every single time they have the ball, would you?

At this point, I think it's a combination of things. I do think Bylsma's part of the problem, but I also think the personnel is. The lack of skill up front is apparent, and I'm not a fan of the make up of the blueline. Not enough grit/physicality, and the philosophy behind keeping a more "mobile" Lovejoy over a bland, boring defensive guy like Strait is starting to wear thin.

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01-26-2013, 12:36 PM
  #138
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
Sid used to say the same type of things four years ago. As I said, the 'mistakes' often seem to be directly proportional to the preparation of the other team.
Even veteran superstars have games like that, KIRK. You don't grow out of them...especially after playing only 30 games since January 2011.

Again, we're 4 games into a season with little camp and no pre-season, on a team whose success is contingent on execution.

There Will Be Rust. Give this season some time.

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01-26-2013, 12:38 PM
  #139
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
That's where I'm at. I can't imagine a scenario where we'd be out of the playoff hunt after playing a meaningful amount of games this year, but if we did, something should be done.

Other than that, Bylsma gets to the end of the year no matter what. His regular season track record is pretty outstanding - even with our depth issues, we managed to plug along very well when our best players have been in and out of the line-up.

These playoffs should be the barometer for DB. He deserves that.
Honestly, I think that's what happens and that we don't fall out of the hunt.

I've thought about this a bit since last night? Why don't we get to our game more frequently in the playoffs or against a **** team in a regular season game that just seems to know what's coming before we do it. I think it's preparation . . . teams that have the time (playoffs) or take the extra time (regular season game) to prepare make the Pens 'look bad' or 'get away from our game'. Now, with the **** teams, talent or 'the breaks' often win the day. The other good teams around using limit things to in game adjustments (unlike the Pens) and save the major game planning for the playoffs (like NJ's plan for Philly that TR discussed).

And, that's really the rub: The Pens are good enough to make the playoffs. There's nothing to suggest that they're well-coached enough to win. 2010 . . . Staal got hurt, SC hangover. 2011 . . . Sid and Geno out. 2012 . . . Sid not himself. You know, for a team that doesn't make excuses during the regular season, it sure seems to embrace them for the post season.

I don't know. There's other stuff beyond the results. All of the other red flags that pop up every couple of games. That's what I'd be monitoring, but, as you said, it's going to be a regular season record driven decision as to whether Bylsma is coaching in the playoffs.

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Ive been annoyed with Bylsma ever since he changed what worked for the cup win. The more this goes on the more I strongly believe that the Cup Victory was more a product of simply changing away from Therrien than Bylsma being a good coach.

Since then this team has underachieved greatly. The last few years it has been picked as the likely cup winners yet it puts up an disappointing effort in the playoffs and in some cases barely limps into it. Coaching is a what have you done for me lately kind of profession and Bylsma has NOT produced as of late given the kind of star power he has been given.
Agreed.

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01-26-2013, 12:43 PM
  #140
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
Even veteran superstars have games like that, KIRK. You don't grow out of them...especially after playing only 30 games since January 2011.

Again, we're 4 games into a season with little camp and no pre-season, on a team whose success is contingent on execution.

There Will Be Rust. Give this season some time.
I'm not worried about the four games. I'm not worried about the rust.

Toronto and Winnipeg game planned for the Pens. The Pens didn't play their game.

Philly made adjustments after the first. The Pens got away from their game and the ice tilted.

Torts really didn't adjust much.

This theme-- teams that prepare for the Pens seem to pretty consistently get the Pens away from their game-- goes well beyond four games and rust.

Oh, don't get me wrong. The Pens should be fine for the regular season. May even win a round by talent default or Shero making some aggressive moves.

But, from a coaching perspective, what do you think is more likely, Bylsma coaching the Pens into the conference finals or out of the first round?

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Originally Posted by Jag68Sid87 View Post
It was the perfect storm in '09. Since then, we've seen the results. It's not pretty.

Is he a good coach? Yes. Is he the right coach for a team with two uber-talents like Crosby and Malkin? Hell no. I hate the fact he rolls four lines. I hate the fact he wants us to play this grinding game. We're not the Nashville Predators, so why are we playing like them? It doesn't make any sense. Do you think Barry Trotz would adjust his style if Nashville suddenly acquired Crosby and Malkin? Trotz has NO CHOICE but to play a certain style. We don't. We can do whatever we want, but we choose to play this predictable, grinding, bland style that saps all creativity out of the lineup and renders players into robotic tendencies.

I also hate the fact teams around the league seem to be going back to the enforcer role, but Bylsma rolls four lines with two of the greatest players in the game in his lineup. I hate the fact that Despres isn't developing. Tangradi isn't developing. We have precious few options. This isn't all on Bylsma. Shero hasn't helped him enough. Shero hasn't broken away from the Nashville model enough, and it compounds the problem.

I laugh when people talk about the "talented Penguins", or call playing against us a "track meet". We come out of the gate strongly most nights. We flash our two best players early. Then, we take a lead and it's grind, grind grind. This is not only losing hockey, but it's also very unentertaining. Which is hard to do with our lineup.

We need fresh ideas. We need some newness to this roster. We need something to change. Because we're not winning anything with this current setup.
And it's going to take another wasted year of Sid and Geno before Shero maybe admits THAT to himself . . . unless he gets another excuse handed to him like the last three seasons.

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01-26-2013, 12:47 PM
  #141
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Originally Posted by Boocock View Post
Dan Bylsma has made some... dubious personnel decisions lately. I understand that he didn't have a full training camp to work everything out. But, the rest of the league didn't either.

We'll see how the Ottawa game goes. The minute distribution on this team is just far too top heavy right now. To be fair, we lost a lot of talent during the offseason and maybe this is the only way HCDB thinks we can succeed.

Oh well...

By the way, if Sidney Crosby leads your team in hits, then your bottom six isn't doing its job.
Talk to me about that after a game where Geno and Neal get more TOI than Kunitz and Dupuis OR where Geno actually plays more than 20 minutes in a game.

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01-26-2013, 12:48 PM
  #142
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Hey first time posting, thought I'd join the party with my thoughts.

Bylsma is still a young coach so he's got a lot to learn. The problem is that he's not learning from his mistakes. Maybe he's not learning from his mistakes cus he thinks his "mistakes" aren't his mistakes rather the team isn't executing the way he wants them to. If that's the case then its also a whole other problem.

We could be nearing a point where the coach's words aren't getting through to the players and if that's the case we need a coaching change. This practically happens with all coaches at some point anyways after several years.

I don't think Bylsma is going to get fired unless we're out of the playoff picture like in 09 but that's unlikely to happen, but if we fail to produce results in the post season then I think he should seriously be questions and probably gone. If we continue this trend into the next couple weeks though I do think some sort of spark needs to happen, whether that be a big trade or whatever i dunno.

If the team does need a new coach tho, other that the regular names that keep getting thrown around this board I think Dallas Eakins could be an intriguing hiring. For those that don't know him he use to be an assistant coach in the NHL, now he's the head coach for the Toronto marlies and lead them to the Calder cup last season. A big plus that should please a lot of ppl here is that he's very good with younger players and developing them. You can look at the leafs lineup for proof, guys like Komarov, Kostka etc. are doing pretty well on the big club this year and he also helped get Kadri's game back on track. A lot of people say he's ready for the NHL.

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01-26-2013, 12:49 PM
  #143
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
Honestly, I think that's what happens and that we don't fall out of the hunt.

I've thought about this a bit since last night? Why don't we get to our game more frequently in the playoffs or against a **** team in a regular season game that just seems to know what's coming before we do it. I think it's preparation . . . teams that have the time (playoffs) or take the extra time (regular season game) to prepare make the Pens 'look bad' or 'get away from our game'. Now, with the **** teams, talent or 'the breaks' often win the day. The other good teams around using limit things to in game adjustments (unlike the Pens) and save the major game planning for the playoffs (like NJ's plan for Philly that TR discussed).

And, that's really the rub: The Pens are good enough to make the playoffs. There's nothing to suggest that they're well-coached enough to win. 2010 . . . Staal got hurt, SC hangover. 2011 . . . Sid and Geno out. 2012 . . . Sid not himself. You know, for a team that doesn't make excuses during the regular season, it sure seems to embrace them for the post season.

I don't know. There's other stuff beyond the results. All of the other red flags that pop up every couple of games. That's what I'd be monitoring, but, as you said, it's going to be a regular season record driven decision as to whether Bylsma is coaching in the playoffs.
The team has never made excuses, AFAIK. The fans do that.

2012 was a turning point. I think there were reasonable extenuating circumstances for the playoff failures of '10 and '11, but we should've beaten Philly last year. We simply fell apart.

There's a lot riding on this season. But I think once we shake off the rust - and hopefully add a skilled top 6 complement - this team can be a force under DB and do some damage in the playoffs.

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01-26-2013, 12:51 PM
  #144
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I can keep breaking down specifics, but people's eyes will gloss over. It isn't sexy stuff.

It also doesn't matter what system you run if your team continues to play outside of the system. We have way too many guys not doing their part. So many guys are turning the puck over, the biggest culprits being Crosby and Malkin, that I don't even know who to criticize the most. I lost count of how many dumb mental mistakes I saw the last two games. No just turnovers, but undisciplined penalties.

I'm ok with a penalty when a guy is trying to make a play or defend... But these are lazy, retaliatory penalties. You don't have to know the Xs and Os to see that in the last two games, this team has fallen right back into the same problems that plagued them last season down the stretch and agt. Philly.

I'm discouraged by DB inabilty to adjust, no doubt, but I'm hoping he works it out. What most concerns me is the lack of discipline.

DB holds the young kids accountable and makes them into scapegoats, then dresses guys like Engo and he lays two turds in a row. Kunitz is making bad play after bad play, and he never misses a shift. Cooke was a turnover machine last night and he never missed a shift.

Where is the accountability for the vets? They are the ones making the same mistakes that killed this team last season and in these last two games.
Question: Is this the right system for Sid and Geno? Or, would we be better off with a system like Bylsma used before he changed it after the cup win? I just look at those two, for example, and think you need a breakout to utilize short passing, puck support, and give and go's rather than dump and chase stretch passes again and again and again.

And agreed wholeheartedly about accountability. I keep going back to Malkin playing for Maurice in Russia. Malkin's a god there. Maurice is just another American coach. Geno played like **** defensively in like the second or third game, and Maurice benched his *** for the third period. ****, if Bylsma won't bench Englland, then you know that's part of the problem.

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01-26-2013, 12:56 PM
  #145
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The team has never made excuses, AFAIK. The fans do that.

2012 was a turning point. I think there were reasonable extenuating circumstances for the playoff failures of '10 and '11, but we should've beaten Philly last year. We simply fell apart.

There's a lot riding on this season. But I think once we shake off the rust - and hopefully add a skilled top 6 complement - this team can be a force under DB and do some damage in the playoffs.
Because of DB or in spite of him?

Everyone concedes that some of the issues here are mix of personnel. Shero addressed that in 2008, and gave Therrien overwhelming personnel that pretty much steamrolled into the cup finals. He address it in 2009 with a combination of a coaching move and personnel changes when the team was on the outside looking in.

That's why I think, like you, Shero only makes a coaching move if we're outside. At the same time, short of a finals appearance, Bylsma ought to be judged not just on what round we make but also on his role in that process once the playoffs begin.

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01-26-2013, 01:00 PM
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So much angst over systems when none of it matters when we play like ****. I don't care what system you have in place, when you play terrible, undisciplined hockey and constantly make bad decisions like we did in the playoffs last year and for these last two games, you're going to lose. Bylsma's system works just fine when we're playing well, in fact it works great. We had the best offense in the league last year despite not having Crosby for most of the season, and the 5th best PP and 3rd best PK. The defensive adjustments we made during the short training camp were evident in the first two games we played this season and they looked great. Toronto rolled into town and we simply couldn't get it up to play them and last night was just an abomination, wholly uncharacteristic of the way this team usually plays.

We don't need to fire anyone. We don't need a complete front office overhaul. We need this team to settle down and focus and play the way they've already shown us they can. The start of this short season has been weird, we all knew it would be. Let's let the league find its feet before we start firing everyone okay?
So, when the Pens play well, it's because of the system. When they don't, it's because they play outside the system. Well, to borrow from another cliche, the standard is the standard, and one playoff series win in three years isn't the standard.

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01-26-2013, 01:00 PM
  #147
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
Because of DB or in spite of him?

Everyone concedes that some of the issues here are mix of personnel. Shero addressed that in 2008, and gave Therrien overwhelming personnel that pretty much steamrolled into the cup finals. He address it in 2009 with a combination of a coaching move and personnel changes when the team was on the outside looking in.

That's why I think, like you, Shero only makes a coaching move if we're outside. At the same time, short of a finals appearance, Bylsma ought to be judged not just on what round we make but also on his role in that process once the playoffs begin.
If we win, will DB's detractors ever think it's anything but in spite of him? His Cup win has already been annulled.

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01-26-2013, 01:01 PM
  #148
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who wants to make sense of these fenwick numbers?

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01-26-2013, 01:04 PM
  #149
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Keep in mind, while Bylsma certainly can't be blameless, at some point the players have to play better. They are the ones making bad decisions with the puck. They are the ones getting suckered into firewagon hockey. Bylsma has emphasized better puck management to the team, but it's up to the players to make it happened.

Now, I also realize another first round exit puts Bylsma's job at question, and rightfully so. However, he's still one of the better coaches in this league. He doesn't suffocate talent with system like Tortorella does. Instead of firing him, I'd rather management take power away from him. Pick Bylsma's assistant coaches for him, and bring in someone to run the power play. That's better than recycling a washed up coach like teams tend to do all too often.
Yeah, but if players are making the same mistakes again and again-- in spite of what the coach is telling them-- then doesn't that mean they've tuned him out. Ultimately, that's on Bylsma too. It's just how it works in hockey, why coaches are hired to be fired.

I agree . . . it's a coaches job to put players into the best possible position to make plays, and from there, it's on the players. So, in terms of what Bylsma does systemically, with adjustments, with line combos, motivation, etc, is Bylsma putting his players, especially his best players, into the best possible position to make plays?

I don't know . . . when I see players making that many mistakes and looking that hopelessly out of position, especially against teams that make pregame or in game adjustments, I think either the coach is being out-coached or the players don't give a ****. Both reflect equally badly on the coach.

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01-26-2013, 01:08 PM
  #150
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
If we win, will DB's detractors ever think it's anything but in spite of him? His Cup win has already been annulled.
Probably not.

You know, seriously, the one time I thought Bylsma showed real growth as a coach was the series against Tampa, when he broke the vaunted 1-3-1. Took Tampa four games to figure it out, but Boucher figured it out, adjusted, and Bylsma did nothing from there.

I'm talking about tactically. IMO, going up 3-1 against Tampa was the one time he really showed tactical vision as a coach. But, when Tampa changed, he didn't, and THAT really is a big part of the problem:

When a team prepares for or adjusts against the Pens, we're screwed.

Sometimes, talent wins the day, like the series win against Ottawa in 2010 or a regular season game against a **** team. But, it really is a trend if you think about it: The games where teams gameplan or adjust are the ones where the Pens seem to get away from their game. That's one heck of a coincidence.

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