The whole premise that just because Sykora says (or implies) something about Sid or MT that it has to be correct is absurd. Just because it is his opinion it doesn't mean it is right. He also isn't working as hard as he did during an era of rampant obstruction to get shots and create more goals for himself and his employer despite Geno allegedly bringing the best out of him.
Depends on your definition of "correct." For Sykora, it's his perspective. It's correct for him. For us fans who aren't in the lockerroom and on the bench etc etc, we can say we have a more "correct" perspective, but whatever. I'm much more interested in what the players think and say, especially when it's as candid as Petr's interview. Obviously, I filter the information through his point of view. It's ludicrous to think anyone has the one "correct" perspective...despite your predilection for facts.
The issue of leadership is a subjective one nonetheless, and very much a work in progress with Sid and surprisingly, Therrien. He has shown an ability to adapt to the team as it develops. I still wonder if he is the guy to get the most out of the star power of this team, especially as the players mature. Sykora's comments reflect the perspective of a mature player, and his criticisms of the coach, who uses tactics better suited for motivating young, still developing talent, should not be taken lightly when considering what future he has with the team.
Your hero, anti-floater, Gary Roberts did not take kindly to Therrien's methods. Of course Roberts is an uber-professional (yes, he is above the profession) and so did not call out the coach after getting benched in Game 1 SCF. But he was obviously not pleased with the decision.
So getting to the real issue, what do you think of Therrien's future with this team?
We are actually saying the same thing in a way. I agree Sykora's opinion is obviously correct from his perspective and more relevant than any poster at LGP. That said, his inferred opinion is being generalized to be an accepted fact that Sid is a poor leader, especially compared to Geno. That is where I draw the distinction and qualify Sykora's POV. Charitably speaking, Sykora is laid back. I doubt anybody would disagree with that characterization. Critically speaking, he is a lazy floater. Either way, it is logical for him to be attracted to a laid back style rather than a hard driving demanding style. That is where I discredit Sykora's opinion in terms of generalizing it to be correct.
I think MT has been a good coach because the Pens obviously needed defensive structure when he took over. The blueprint in the NHL to win Cups has basically been a strong defensive foundation ever since the NJD won in 95, so why should the Pens go against the grain? Everybody likes to focus on 87 & 71, but overall the Pens strength is in goal with MAF and a relatively deep corps of NHL Dmen. They do not have enough goal scorers to play run and gun hockey. MT is playing to the Pens strengths and the current blueprint for success.
I think he could be in trouble if the Pens miss the playoffs, but that won't happen IMO. He will get fired eventually, all coaches do. He isn't what has held the team back this season. The goaltending has been weak and the PP has suffered without the Gonch and a slot presence.
The Pens goals for average is a bit higher than last season. Goals against is up around a half a goal per game. The Pens need to be more defensive, not less defensive so if MT is guilty of anything it is not being a stern enough taskmaster to enforce defensive and systemic accountability.
Roberts beef with MT was over his rule about keeping a lineup intact if the Pens were coming off a win in the playoffs. MT put Talbot back in the lineup after a Pens win during the Philly series, but used that reason to keep BGL in the lineup vs. DET in game 1 over Roberts. MT benched BGL after that loss and Roberts played the rest of the series, so using that logic he thought Roberts was more important to the Pens winning than BGL. DET didn't have a goon and Roberts main weakness (poor skating, possible lack of defensive positioning due to being caught up ice) was the same as BGL's so I can see why Roberts didn't appreciate the double standard. I think MT made a mistake by rationalizing his decision to keep BGL in the lineup when he didn't apply the same policy equally with Talbot in the previous series. IMO he should have played the 18 guys he thought were best for that game regardless of the result of the previous game.