Lack of accountability

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Lack of accountability

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:51 am

This is another one of those things that I think is troubling and is grounds for a coaching staff change. Where is the accountability on this team? It goes along with Bylsma being a player's coach. Now, before anyone says it, I'll put the asterisk right away that I'm just a fan that doesn't know what's going on behind the scenes. Anything I say is just speculation based on what I see during games.

One of the things that is most frustrating about watching this team in recent years is when you see the same errors made over and over again. Stupid penalties, offensive zone penalties, interference penalties at the blueline (how many times did we see this in the Philly series?). Dumb errors being made all around the lineup over and over again. I think a possible reason for this is that Bylsma is too soft on the players. When do you ever see someone getting benched or scratched for doing something stupid? The only time Bylsma seems willing to do it is with someone in the bottom of the lineup. Examples are Lovejoy being scratched for good after his terrible game two and Vitale getting scratched after his giveaway led to Briere's goal that fueled the comeback in game one. I doubt it carries much weight with the rest of the team when it's only irrelevant guys like that getting punished. But maybe it would carry some weight if it's Kunitz getting benched during a game after taking a stupid offensive zone penalty, or it's Letang getting benched after chasing a hit and causing a two-on-one.

This is the type of thing that needs to be established during the season. When someone puts themselves above the team and takes a selfish penalty or gets caught out of position chasing a hit or makes a really dumb play, they need to be benched. There needs to be the expectation that things like that aren't acceptable and there are real repercussions to it. Then when the playoffs hit, you figure to have a much more disciplined and focused squad that has practice in executing. The problem with the Pens these days is that they're all talk. They talk about how they need to execute better, how they need to find their game, how they need to avoid dumb penalties, etc. but the action is never there. It just seems that stuff gets brushed off too easily and corrected in words but not in what they're doing on the ice.

Of course, there are always issues with this approach, especially when a common offender is a guy like Malkin who you don't want to take off the ice and who you also might need to walk a fine line with before you alienate him. But at the same time, I think there needs to be the culture change that no one is above the team and there has to start being consequences to this stuff. Hunter has benched Ovechkin in third periods recently and his ego actually seems to be handling it OK. This team appears to have very little discipline and, to me, that's another poor reflection of the coaching staff.

EDIT: Forgot to mention one more thing, and that it's possible that you'd see Bylsma start being tougher on the player if he's allowed to return. My problem with that is that it may just be too late for him to do it. It's kind of like in Washington with Boudreau. He was soft on the players until this season. By that point, they weren't going to listen to him suddenly being tough on them for things he used to let go and they apparently tuned him out for good. I could see a similar thing happening with Bylsma. It needs to be a new voice and preferably one with some credibility.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby columbia on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:02 pm

Mark Madden wrote:One change is necessary: The coaching staff needs a power-play specialist and a bad cop. The players aren't lazy, but signs of entitlement are certainly present. And there's no excuse for not molding Crosby and Malkin into a killer power play after years of inconsistency.

Hire ex-Pen Rick Tocchet. He'd provide both elements required. He'd also be a head coach-in-waiting if the Penguins further falter under Bylsma.


http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local ... 31708.html
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby comatose on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:08 pm

I used to love when Therrien would put Malkin or Whitney on the fourth line when they were being undisciplined or playing poorly. I also loved when he called Whitney out in the media for costing them the game. The players didn't like it, but I did.

I think stuff like that works and there isn't enough of it on the Penguins. Granted, you can't really put Crosby or Malkin on the fourth line any more being who they are, but what about guys like Martin? Spare me the fake "undisclosed" injury. Sometimes these guys need a public kick in the arse.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:11 pm

comatose wrote:I used to love when Therrien would put Malkin or Whitney on the fourth line when they were being undisciplined or playing poorly. I also loved when he called Whitney out in the media for costing them the game. The players didn't like it, but I did.

I think stuff like that works and there isn't enough of it on the Penguins. Granted, you can't really put Crosby or Malkin on the fourth line any more being who they are, but what about guys like Martin? Spare me the fake "undisclosed" injury. Sometimes these guys need a public kick in the arse.


Orpik's another guy that got the Therrien treatment. He seemed to play his best hockey after his stint on the fourth line but his game has regressed under Bylsma.

Tocchet actually seems like a good choice to add to either this staff or whatever one takes over. Good suggestion by the fat man.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:11 pm

Players will tune someone like Therrien out eventually and will stop working for someone like bylsma. Sometimes a change is needed, doesn't mean the coach is broken.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby comatose on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:14 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:Players will tune someone like Therrien out eventually and will stop working for someone like bylsma. Sometimes a change is needed, doesn't mean the coach is broken.

I think this is so absurd. I thought hockey players were tough, not a bunch of prima donnas who need to be coddled or pushed hard depending on how they feel a particular year.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:22 pm

comatose wrote:
Idoit40fans wrote:Players will tune someone like Therrien out eventually and will stop working for someone like bylsma. Sometimes a change is needed, doesn't mean the coach is broken.

I think this is so absurd. I thought hockey players were tough, not a bunch of prima donnas who need to be coddled or pushed hard depending on how they feel a particular year.


Being tough doesn't mean they're always smart or working hard. I think it's like anything else. When someone lets you get away with stuff eventually you get used to getting away with stuff all the time and you get sloppy. Likewise if someone is always riding your ass eventually you get tired of getting berated all the time for not being perfect. It's a cycle in hockey and it looks like the Pens are at the end of the players coach cycle. Coaches with longevity appear to have the ability to keep players in line without wearing out their message. From all accounts, Therrien seemed to be too hard on the players. It looks like Bylsma is too soft on them.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby columbia on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:40 pm

Henry Hank wrote:Tocchet actually seems like a good choice to add to either this staff or whatever one takes over. Good suggestion by the fat man.


Tocchet is not soff, that's for sure.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Guinness on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:48 pm

columbia wrote:
Mark Madden wrote:One change is necessary: The coaching staff needs a power-play specialist and a bad cop. The players aren't lazy, but signs of entitlement are certainly present. And there's no excuse for not molding Crosby and Malkin into a killer power play after years of inconsistency.

Hire ex-Pen Rick Tocchet. He'd provide both elements required. He'd also be a head coach-in-waiting if the Penguins further falter under Bylsma.


http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local ... 31708.html


Hmm... interesting notion from Madden. :pop:
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby shmenguin on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:06 pm

i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different. that's your accountability problem right there. i know they may have to say that sort of thing to reporters, but if they sincerely believe that nonsense, this issue runs very very deep. someone needed to smack them in the collective head and say, "wake up, idiots!". i sincerely doubt that bylsma is capable of that (though like HH said, as fans, this is speculative of course).
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby penny lane on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:17 pm

Except for Paul Martin ? I don't think he is hurt. We'll find out when pens close out their business at the arena.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:21 pm

I think Martin really was hurt. The fans may have wanted him out, but the coaching staff never showed much indication that they were unhappy with his work. I doubt they would willingly sit him so that they could dress a couple rookies and play each of them less than ten minutes a game. We even have a big hit on him in game three that was the probable cause for the injury. He wasn't even practicing. Why single him out over any other D that also was under performing, and not even let him practice on top of that. As much as the fans hate him, he was not and is not THAT bad to go to those lengths.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby penmyst on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:31 pm

shmenguin wrote:i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different. that's your accountability problem right there. i know they may have to say that sort of thing to reporters, but if they sincerely believe that nonsense, this issue runs very very deep. someone needed to smack them in the collective head and say, "wake up, idiots!". i sincerely doubt that bylsma is capable of that (though like HH said, as fans, this is speculative of course).



Why do they have to say that to the media?

I will argue that they said it because they believed it. And that is where you are correct, shmenguin. That is the accountability problem.

Know what they could have said to the media, if they believed it? "If a few bounces go our way, this series would be different. But we aren't working hard enough, we aren't playing disciplined enough, we aren't putting extra effort in on the details and little things that matter for playoff hockey against good opponents. And that is probably why those bounces aren't going our way. While we can't control the bounces, we can control putting ourselves in positions to capitalize when they go our way, or to limit damage when they don't. And that comes down to our entire work effort and outlook at this point in the series being too careless and expecting defensive performance to come easy."

THAT would show an understanding of where things went wrong. Namely, between the players' ears.

You can't wait until the 4th game of a series to decide and put in the work, and still expect to win series.

-------

Henry Hank wrote:
Being tough doesn't mean they're always smart or working hard. I think it's like anything else. When someone lets you get away with stuff eventually you get used to getting away with stuff all the time and you get sloppy. Likewise if someone is always riding your ass eventually you get tired of getting berated all the time for not being perfect. It's a cycle in hockey and it looks like the Pens are at the end of the players coach cycle. Coaches with longevity appear to have the ability to keep players in line without wearing out their message. From all accounts, Therrien seemed to be too hard on the players. It looks like Bylsma is too soft on them.


There is a middle ground to be had.

Just like in our real life jobs, some bosses stray too far one way or the other. But the good bosses are able to toe the line and utilize both punishment and reward as necessary.

Some guys simply know no other way. You can be effective even at each end of the spectrum. But it will get old. Whether it's workers tiring of being hammered constantly, or the workers that eventually will take advantage of a softer boss. Sooner or later, playing heavily to one extreme or the other will leave you vulnerable.

Really, no matter the occupation (sports included)- managing people is the game. Because if you manage them right, they'll do what you ask and they'll work hard at it.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby meow on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:38 pm

Coaching superstars must be more difficult then us fans realize. Look at the longest two tenured coaches in the NHL - Ruff and Trotz. Not a whole lot of superstars passing through there.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby rgj on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:45 pm

Henry Hank wrote: When someone puts themselves above the team and takes a selfish penalty or gets caught out of position chasing a hit or makes a really dumb play, they need to be benched. There needs to be the expectation that things like that aren't acceptable and there are real repercussions to it. Then when the playoffs hit, you figure to have a much more disciplined and focused squad that has practice in executing. The problem with the Pens these days is that they're all talk. They talk about how they need to execute better, how they need to find their game, how they need to avoid dumb penalties, etc. but the action is never there. It just seems that stuff gets brushed off too easily and corrected in words but not in what they're doing on the ice.

Of course, there are always issues with this approach, especially when a common offender is a guy like Malkin who you don't want to take off the ice and who you also might need to walk a fine line with before you alienate him. But at the same time, I think there needs to be the culture change that no one is above the team and there has to start being consequences to this stuff. Hunter has benched Ovechkin in third periods recently and his ego actually seems to be handling it OK. This team appears to have very little discipline and, to me, that's another poor reflection of the coaching staff.



I, too, am weary of the "we need to execute better, we need to play our game, we need to avoid dumb penalties....etc...". Hank, you have most accurately described the Pittsburgh Penguins. I do not listen to the post game player interviews anymore.....it's the same ol', same 'ol. They should just tape an automatic response and just press 1), 2), or 3)....It has not changed in three years. The idea of Tocchet becoming a coach, if not the head coach intrigues me. I like Bylsma. But, even I can see that something's not working.....
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby farnham16 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:03 pm

I don't think there's any question that Bylsma is too soft with this team.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Toke on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:35 pm

Well done. :thumb:
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby joker10277 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:03 pm

There's been no accountability since they won the cup, it's all about bounces and not getting to their game.
It starts at the top, perhaps above Disco.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby puckeye on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:15 pm

like to see Lavy try to come over the bench if Tocchet is waiting there for him... love him as a player but would appear to me to be too much of a personality for Bylsma's staff. Interesting thought

While there at it, they should consider hiring Gary Robert's as the nutrition/conditioning/general-attitude-adjustment coach while they are at it
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby slappybrown on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:46 pm

shmenguin wrote:i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different.

I believe that. Outside of game 6, I didn't see Philly as some kind of dominating force and thought we carried play for swaths of games. Briere offsides, Staal hitting the post, Fleury knocking the puck into his own net, etc etc.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby The Snapshot on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:13 pm

Lots of conjecture and theory. Fleury once again failed miserably. Move along now. There is no other issue of greater importance than the fact that in three straight playoff series, he has been outplayed but the opposing goalies and gave up horrific goals at key points in key games.

I went in to the series very confident in his superiority to a horrible goaltended in Bryzgalov - and he didn't measure up.

The Flyers PP or the Pens PK - Fleury gave up a solid 5 or 6 softies.

The Lovejoy giveaway - Fleury was beaten by a simple move by a rookie.

The Briere offside miss - Fleury overcommitted and was easily beaten by a simple forehand.

I can go on.

The Pens had issues. Cup winners encounter issues in early rounds every year. Stars are held in check. PKs struggle. PPs struggle. The salve on all of those wounds is invariably great goaltending. We haven't gotten it. We didn't even get it consistently in the runs to the Finals. We got more great nights than bad ones, but we were a much more cohesive team in those seasons that had not faced the challenges of the inconsistencies in the lineups all year. This team was flawed, but so will the Cup winner be this year.

At this point in his career it is not too much to expect consistency, and nobody can begin to argue that he has shown it.

Fire the coach, trade crosby, bring in a bad cop......it's all wasted energy. Fleury needs someone to fix him or there is no point in any of it.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby Rylan on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:14 pm

slappybrown wrote:
shmenguin wrote:i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different.

I believe that. Outside of game 6, I didn't see Philly as some kind of dominating force and thought we carried play for swaths of games. Briere offsides, Staal hitting the post, Fleury knocking the puck into his own net, etc etc.


This series was, IMO, just a few bounces. Both teams had blow out games, but taking those out, the series was tight.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby shmenguin on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:26 pm

slappybrown wrote:
shmenguin wrote:i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different.

I believe that. Outside of game 6, I didn't see Philly as some kind of dominating force and thought we carried play for swaths of games. Briere offsides, Staal hitting the post, Fleury knocking the puck into his own net, etc etc.


it seemed like the pens were going to find any way possible to lose games 1 and 2. if it wasn't the missed offsides on briere, it would have been something else. and in game 3, they lost before the game even started.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby offsides on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:53 pm

Rylan wrote:
slappybrown wrote:
shmenguin wrote:i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different.

I believe that. Outside of game 6, I didn't see Philly as some kind of dominating force and thought we carried play for swaths of games. Briere offsides, Staal hitting the post, Fleury knocking the puck into his own net, etc etc.


This series was, IMO, just a few bounces. Both teams had blow out games, but taking those out, the series was tight.


Tight? Take away our blow out game and we were out scored 27 - 16. Never in the series.
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Re: Lack of accountability

Postby penny lane on Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:22 am

The pens never corrected the way they played philadelphia through the entire year. They think they can skate with Philly and they cannot. No adjustments made from 1st game regular season game, in how they approach playing the flyers.
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