Our defensive system sucks. It has sucked for a while and I can't stop screaming out to the television.
We NEED to hire a defensive guy. We NEED to abandon whatever hybrid zone/man-to-man system we are employing now. It is literally one of THE WORST defensive systems in the league.
The Penguins have the personell to at least be SOUND in our own zone. But time and time again, they force stupid plays.
I know it is only four games in. I get that. But this problem is only going to get worse. Ever since the '09 run, our defense has gotten progressively worse. We had a slight boost during the Michalek/Martin introduction, but these two seemingly solid additions became horrendous liabilities not long after joining our squad. Coincidence? Probably not.
I can't stand this "5-second rule" or whatever Bylsma cooked up. It forces defensemen to make STUPID decisions with the puck and not take their time looking for outlets. I understand that he wants to limit time in the defensive zone, but treating puck possession like a game of hot potato is no way to run a NHL club.
The latest testament to our stupidity in our own end is the throwaways of Strait and Michalek, and support of players like Lovejoy. It's obvious that this organization has a near obsessive compulsion to reward "puck-movers"...at the expense of everything else.
Changes HAVE to be made, because if the circus of a playoff series last year proved anything, it's that our defense needs an overhaul. Anything less is entirely unacceptable.
I'm ok with the defensive personnel, but the forwards are so bad defensively Nick Lidstrom could be anchoring your D and you'd have problems. The forwards are so ****ing irresponsible with the puck. They aren't forcing turnovers and they aren't blocking shots. The Defensemen have no help.
The Pens were dead last in takeaways last season and they're mediocre this year. They miss a ton of shots which doesn't help.
Guys, while I agree the Pens need another top 4 d-man, it's mostly been the forwards that have been causing the problems. They continue to make blind passes in their own zone and try to make pretty east-west plays in the neutral zone instead of keeping it north. Bylsma putting Kennedy and Cooke on their off-wings for the Jets game didn't help in that regard. It's much harder to get the puck out of your own end when a player is on their off-wing, and it showed tonight.
TOnight wasn't totally on the D. We gave away more pucks (our forwards did) in the offensive zone than any other time (with this group of players) that I can remember. They were literally passing the puck right to the other team. They didn't even have to fight to get it.
I think Bylsma got 100% owned tonight by the Winnipeg coaching staff. THey gamed planned us to a T and it worked. They knew our setup and their players were always in the right spots, waiting for the giveaway. Tops it off by pulling the goalie down by 1 with 1:40???? ****ing stupid. NO reason to pull the goalie until about 40 seconds left.
Talent isn't this teams problem, coaching is. Lack of discipline, unmotivated, nonexistent adjustments and giveaways galore. In general there seems to be a total lack of basic fundamentals. I don't think any amount of talent will help this team until the coaching staff is replaced.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. Every defenseman on the team gets worse every year since Bylsma has taken over. How good were Martin and Michalek when they first got here? They were 2 of the best in the league. I'll be curious to see how Michalek does now that he's away from Bylsma's system. Orpik is average. Letang looks like Ian Moran defensively. Lovejoy blows. Niskanen is sadly probably our best defenseman, probably because he hasn't had enough time to be corrupted yet. Where was Depres? Why play Lovejoy? What's the point? Engelland is terrible.
But I don't think the players are bad... it's whatever the hell "system" Bylsma has implemented.
Maybe when they won the Cup the system was simpler. I have no idea. Now he's just making players worse. Ray "everything is going to be alright" Shero needs to fire him.
There's absolutely no way this team can win in the playoffs.
I'll probably regret this post in the morning, heh