Deep Breath...

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Deep Breath...

Postby topshelf on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:20 am

Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.

- I still believe that Bylsma is a helluva coach. Period. In 3.25 seasons with us, he's posted a 167-85 record, and his WORST full season with us was a 101 pt. season. People point to the fact that we haven't made it out of the first round in the past two years, but they are quick to forget that in the 2011 playoffs our top unit was Staal - Letestu - Kovalev (an extremely washed up Kovalev at that). Given the amount of injuries that we've endured over the past few years (and I'm talking beyond Sid and Geno), Bylsma has done an excellent job and has kept the team extremely competitive.

- Fleury is an elite goaltender, and easily a top 5 guy in the NHL. In my opinion, he was used WAY too much this year. That being said, Johnson needs to go. We need a guy that we can rely on to come in and steal a game here and there.

- You don't move Sid, Geno, or Staal. Period. Malkin carried this team all year, was the scoring champion, and will more than likely be league MVP. Why people think that trading him is a good idea is beyond me.

- The defense. It needs a shakeup. Trade Martin for someone that is defensively responsible. Despres is in the NHL next year, too.

- EDITED TO ADD: We need someone who can run a **** power play. Our lackluster PP has been the story for a while now, and it was a huge factor in the Flyers series. Far too predictable.
Last edited by topshelf on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby sil on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:27 am

I, personally, like to take a deep breath just before I jump off a bridge.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby orpchar on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:51 am

- I agree on Bylsma, I think his system works great when you're playing a different team every day, but in a playoff series this team has become predictable. He needs to show the ability to make minor tweaks and adjustments at the right time, but blowing up the staff is not the way to go.

- Disagree on Fleury... he made 64 starts this year. Rinne made 72, Quick made 69, Lundqvist made 62, and they're all still playing just fine. Having a reliable backup is never a bad thing, but fatigue is not a valid excuse for Fleury. He has always been a streaky player, and his lows don't always come at the end of the season (see November 2010.) His status as a 'big game goaltender' has flown out the window, and unfortunately I think he is the biggest question mark on this team moving forward.

- Staal is a lot easier than everyone is making it out to be IMO. Geno and Sid are your centers. If Staal works at wing, decide what he's worth, and trade him if he wants more than that. If Staal doesn't work at wing, or he really wants to go be a #1/2 C somewhere, trade him. You don't pay a 3rd line guy $5.5-6M. I wouldn't mind seeing Geno move to wing either, but I doubt this is in the long term plans.

- Getting anything for Martin would be fantastic. Getting rid of him would be a success in and of itself, and if the decision is made to trade Staal I think a team with a lot of cap space could be forced to take them as a package.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby newarenanow on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:15 am

- I like Byslma and I hope he has a long successful career here. But there is a reason no Penguin coach has made it 4 full seasons. It's easy to fire the coach first when things aren't going your way. He has done awesome during the regular season, but 3 playoff flops, for whatever reason (and I agree there are reasons outside of your control), should not happen with this team. I say don't fire him, but if there is one more flop, it's time to move on.

- On Fleury, love the guy, believe he is a great goaltender, but he is not elite IMO. And that is not a bad thing. They can go far with him. There are not many goalies out there that can do that. He is very streaky, and it sucks he hit his low at the end of the season/playoffs after having a monster 90% of the regular season. But you keep the guy. He is not going to win you a cup by himself, but he can be there and get you there as a team effort. But a quality backup is a must.

- I think you have the luxuary to move Staal. I woudl hate it, I love him, but with these guys becoming UFAs coming up, and all will probably want a raise, you aren't going to be able to keep all three. You may have to move him to get a nice return before his contract is up. IMO, you should never move Crosby or Malkin. Hopefully they want to sign another 5 year deal to stay here.

- Moving Martin is harder said than done. He has been underperforming and it's killing this D. But you are not going to get a great return for that. But I agree, if anyone is willing to take him for a decent return, do it.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Idoit40fans on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:22 am

No, apparently you're in the vast majority. Part of a vocal majority.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby jeffshly on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:25 am

I agree on there being no need to start this team over from scratch. To your points:

- Bylsma's a great coach. But one thing that Laviolette did that Bylsma didn't do was make minor adjustments as the series went on. When Philly's power play was beating the Pens' PK like a rag doll, I didn't see anything to suggest that Bylsma tweaked his system to combat what the Flyers were doing. He was rigid in his PK system and, given that the Flyers were admittedly a team built to beat Pittsburgh, some tweaks to the system were required since the Flyers' system was designed to attack what they perceived to be weaknesses in Pittsburgh's PK. Their perception was correct.

- Flower's fine. I don't buy that 64 games was too many for him, and I don't buy the fatigue thing. The big difference between the Fleury who ran off something-teen straight wins and the Fleury in these playoffs was that the team left him hanging out to dry countless times in the playoffs. Sure, he gave up a softie here and there, but guess what? Every goalie does. Brodeur did in these playoffs, so did Rinne, so did Quick, and so did Lundqvist. Fleury will win games, but he can't be a duck in a shooting gallery night in and night out.

- Staal's gonna have to make a decision. The $4M he makes now is high for a third-line center. The $5-6M he's expected to get on his next contract is WAY too much for a third line center. So his decision is this: does he want to be a top two line winger or does he want to be a top two line center. If he chooses center, he's gonna have to do it somewhere else. Does he want to leave this team? I have my doubts. I expect that he'll easily make the transition to Malkin's wing, where he showed good chemistry with Geno in years past.

- Martin, for what I've seen all year, is vastly overpaid. Michalek is a shut down guy who's an incredible shot blocker. Except he didn't block many shots in these playoffs, did he? Letang, while remaining a threat with the puck, needs to focus on the defensive side of his game this offseason, too. I was impressed with Orpik's positional play and pleasantly surprised with what Niskanen brought to the table. Thumbs up for Engelland, thumbs down to Lovejoy, esecially for that horrendous giveaway to Couturier that led directly to a goal. Despres is NHL-ready, and I think Strait is too. However, moving Martin and Michalek is going to be very difficult given their salaries and contract durations. I'd love to be able to free up cap space by moving Martin and Michalek, using Despres and Strait at a much cheaper price (don't forget Bortuzzo and Morrow), and maybe getting a winger for Crosby, but moving either one of those guys is going to be a lot easier said than done.

What I think this team lacked, more than anything else, was the will to compete. I think this team began to believe its own hype and thought they'd coast into the conference finals. They forgot they had to fight, scrap, and claw tooth and nail to beat a good Philadelphia team. Until it was too late. Combine that with Bylsma's lack of adjustments and the porous defense (part of the lack of compete level) and you're left with an opportunity squandered, a summer starting way too early, and a big letdown.

However, we're not posting on LetsGoFlyers.com or LetsGoWhoeverTheChampionIsThisYear.com. We're all Pens fans. And we're all gonna be Pens fans next year. I'm excited to see if this loss, which has to feel like a huge kick in the teeth, is enough to light a fire under their collective butt next season. I hope and expect that this team's gonna come in with a big chip on their shoulder next year, especially at playoff time, and have something to prove. Not only to the fans and the media, but to themselves.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby DropEmJayBird on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:29 am

I have a problem with the Fluery discussions.

I don't think many teams ask their goaltender to do as much as Fluery. I think that needs to change. You simply don't see a guy stop every 2 on 1, breakaway, and bulldozing of traffic. They need to insulate him a bit more, especially with the lead. What the team did in front of him this series is an absolute disgrace.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby penny lane on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:34 am

Yes, Michalek was not in position to block shots because the flyers were in the pens zone like a wild fire.

Pens got the worse draw. After losing to ottawa they should have used the games for practice and rolled the dice with being on road( insert home advantage joke). Hindsight being perfect.


ps~ I was saving my oxygen for game 7 of all game 7's :cry:
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby MRandall25 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:43 am

No topshelf, you aren't allowed to think Bylsma is good. You aren't allowed to be calm :scared: :scared:

That said, I pretty much agree with everything there. Basically took the words out of my mouth.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Gaucho on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:44 am

topshelf wrote:Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.



Hardly.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby 66 Fighters of Foo on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:22 pm

I'm hanging out here. I can't relate to most of the other threads. I understand the frustration at the early round exits, but I just don't understand the mass overreaction.

I knew the Flyers could very easily be the Penguins' kryptonite this postseason. The fact that we had to play them first doesn't make it any worse. I'm not saying I'm happy with how the Penguins lost to the Flyers, but I don't see losing to them in the first round as any worse than if we lost to them in the ECF.

The glaring deficiencies the Flyers exposed in this series are correctable, and I trust Bylsma and Shero will work on those this offseason. Swapping coaching staffs every few years isn't a good habit to get into, so long as you're not anchored to the bottom of the standings every year. Now if the team struggles out of the gate next year, with those same deficiencies costing us game after game, then I'll rethink the options.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Idoit40fans on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:48 pm

Gaucho wrote:
topshelf wrote:Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.



Hardly.


I'm glad someone else was confused by that comment.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Pensrock on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:57 pm

newarenanow wrote:- I like Byslma and I hope he has a long successful career here. But there is a reason no Penguin coach has made it 4 full seasons. It's easy to fire the coach first when things aren't going your way. He has done awesome during the regular season, but 3 playoff flops, for whatever reason (and I agree there are reasons outside of your control), should not happen with this team. I say don't fire him, but if there is one more flop, it's time to move on.

- On Fleury, love the guy, believe he is a great goaltender, but he is not elite IMO. And that is not a bad thing. They can go far with him. There are not many goalies out there that can do that. He is very streaky, and it sucks he hit his low at the end of the season/playoffs after having a monster 90% of the regular season. But you keep the guy. He is not going to win you a cup by himself, but he can be there and get you there as a team effort. But a quality backup is a must.

- I think you have the luxuary to move Staal. I woudl hate it, I love him, but with these guys becoming UFAs coming up, and all will probably want a raise, you aren't going to be able to keep all three. You may have to move him to get a nice return before his contract is up. IMO, you should never move Crosby or Malkin. Hopefully they want to sign another 5 year deal to stay here.

- Moving Martin is harder said than done. He has been underperforming and it's killing this D. But you are not going to get a great return for that. But I agree, if anyone is willing to take him for a decent return, do it.


Agree with this almost word for word.

As for Martin, I don't care what the return is to be honest, if you can unload him for a bag of hockey pucks I would do it.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby PensHckyFan79 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:05 pm

topshelf wrote:- EDITED TO ADD: We need someone who can run a **** power play. Our lackluster PP has been the story for a while now, and it was a huge factor in the Flyers series. Far too predictable.


I believe most of the things you said are true, but I have to disagree on the power play. We all complained about it last year that it caused us the Tampa series. But our PP was good this year. In fact 5th in the league at 19.7% reg season and 31.0% for the playoffs. Now getting a PP quaterback (Gonchar type) would be great and maybe we would not have seen the turnover at the blue line go for short handed goals. I would take those PP numbers. Now our PK was a different story we were 3rd 87.8% in the league reg season and worst 47.8% in the playoffs.

I remember some of the Flyers games in the Regular season thinking there power play always clicked against us. The problem was the Pens not coaching the players to adapt to the Flyers PP and shut them down. I would like to think with all of the regular season and the first couple games of the playoffs tape the coaches could come up with a plan to try and limit the Flyers success on the PP.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby BleuLineLady on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:29 pm

I would only consider letting go of Byslma if there was someone out there who may be better. I'm not sure who that could be, but I dont know off hand what coaches would be available for hire. Regardless if Bylsma goes or not, I do think he is very good coach, but all coaches have flaws. They need to work with him to create a structure for this team. The lack of structure, lack of committment to team defense and the overly close relationship between players and coaches are areas where there need to be changes.

A few years ago, those attributes were considered positive changes compared to Therrien's coaching style. The ideal is a mix between Byslma's and Therrien's coaching styles. GMRS needs to recreate the right coaching atmosphere for that to happen. That at the very least means a heart-to -heart with Bylsma and possibly hiring assistant coaches that can help implement a stronger structure for this team next year.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby BleuLineLady on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:42 pm

Oh and I think the roster needs to be bolstered in a couple areas during the offseason. They need to revamp the D. Its not working. Trade, waive, whatever you have to get rid of Martin. He's not a bad player, he just doesnt fit the system here and he makes too much to not to make a change. Who cares what the Pens get in return. A 4th rnd pick to get someone to pick up his contract would be more than generous in my opinion. The goal isnt to get something for Paul Martin, the goal is to reacquire 5 mil dollars in cap space that can be respent elsewhere.

I would keep Michalek, keep Lovejoy atleast through training to compete for a 6th, 7th or 8th D role on the team, otherwise he may be traded with Martin possibly.

Despres is an absolute must, he's in the top 6. Resign Niskanen, if at a reasonable price, 2-2.5 mil, nothing more. Not sure how far away Morrow is, but he should given a shot to try out for it. Also look at bringing in a FA on D.

On offense look at signing a gritty 2nd/3rd line winger who can score 15-20 and play tough defense and who is quick. Maybe need to make changes to the 4th line also, beef it up a bit.

Oh and back up goalie, find someone better than Brent Johnson.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Noise on Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:21 pm

topshelf wrote:Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.

- I still believe that Bylsma is a helluva coach. Period. In 3.25 seasons with us, he's posted a 167-85 record, and his WORST full season with us was a 101 pt. season. People point to the fact that we haven't made it out of the first round in the past two years, but they are quick to forget that in the 2011 playoffs our top unit was Staal - Letestu - Kovalev (an extremely washed up Kovalev at that). Given the amount of injuries that we've endured over the past few years (and I'm talking beyond Sid and Geno), Bylsma has done an excellent job and has kept the team extremely competitive.

- Fleury is an elite goaltender, and easily a top 5 guy in the NHL. In my opinion, he was used WAY too much this year. That being said, Johnson needs to go. We need a guy that we can rely on to come in and steal a game here and there.

- You don't move Sid, Geno, or Staal. Period. Malkin carried this team all year, was the scoring champion, and will more than likely be league MVP. Why people think that trading him is a good idea is beyond me.

- The defense. It needs a shakeup. Trade Martin for someone that is defensively responsible. Despres is in the NHL next year, too.

- EDITED TO ADD: We need someone who can run a **** power play. Our lackluster PP has been the story for a while now, and it was a huge factor in the Flyers series. Far too predictable.



I agree with points 3 & 4, but on points 1 & 2: Homer much?

Isn't it possible that Bylsma's got a great record because the team is highly talented? Anyways, post-season success is what matters, & since he's implemented his system it's failed every year (Stanley Cup year was still MT's system, just with some DB tweaks)
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Indyman on Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:59 pm

Thank you for this thread....

This team needs tweaking, not an overhaul...The Flyers got rid of their top two guys because they obviously decided they couldn't win a Cup with them leading the team....that's not the case with the Pens. I'm sure everything I'm about to write has been written, but these are my thoughts:

Bylsma - no change necessary....pretty much every other team in the league would love to have him coaching their team.

Fleury - no change necessary...a backup that will consistently push him however, is.

Staal - like mentioned before, he (and the Pens) have to define a role, and make decisions accordingly.

The "D" - the ROI this last year has been almost embarrassing. Generally, most of the Dmen underperformed this year. Orpik has to be (a lot) better. Niskanen has been a pleasant surprise. Engellend has been solid. Find a way to cut ties with Martin. Letang - please study film of Erik Karlsson.

"Special" Teams - the PK was consistent during the regular season - what the hell happened din the playoffs?!? With the personnel on this team, the PP should be otherworldly...The coaching staff needs to figure this out, and fast..

What happened - Basically, this team peaked a little too early, and faced the opponent that they don't measure up against very well....it sucks, but it's happened before (1993). It doubly sucks, because this was the year out big guns were all healthy, and we should have gone far. Life goes on, but the window to win with this core is slowly shutting with every year that passes.

I think something big will happen with this team before next season (along the lines of Staal being traded, or something similar) but I think Shero will do whatever it takes to win the Cup again.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby The Snapshot on Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:10 pm

topshelf wrote:Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.


You are not alone. Tweaks on D and the 4th line needs to be completely redone. That is all.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby Rylan on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:06 pm

The Snapshot wrote:
topshelf wrote:Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.


You are not alone. Tweaks on D and the 4th line needs to be completely redone. That is all.


Yea, this team isn't as far off as everyone thinks.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby sj? on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:11 pm

The Snapshot wrote:
topshelf wrote:Apparently I am among the minority that believes that this team does not need to burn the entire organization down and start over.


You are not alone. Tweaks on D and the 4th line needs to be completely redone. That is all.


:fist:
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby penny lane on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:38 pm

maybe when the CBA is presented again, the pens are willing to listen regarding being moved to a
different division ?
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby wondermoose on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:46 pm

Just out of curiosity, who would be for losing Jordan Staal and Paul Martin while gaining Shea Weber or Ryan Suter?
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby MRandall25 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:51 pm

wondermoose wrote:Just out of curiosity, who would be for losing Jordan Staal and Paul Martin while gaining Shea Weber or Ryan Suter?


No. I've mentioned it in the other thread with regards to Malkin: If I'm Shero, I do my damnedest to keep them together, but if push came to shove (salary cap issues, etc), I'd keep Staal and Crosby. Staal has a defensive game unparalleled by almost anyone on the team. Period. He's also still developing. Only way to go is up.
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Re: Deep Breath...

Postby wondermoose on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:56 pm

MRandall25 wrote:
wondermoose wrote:Just out of curiosity, who would be for losing Jordan Staal and Paul Martin while gaining Shea Weber or Ryan Suter?


No. I've mentioned it in the other thread with regards to Malkin: If I'm Shero, I do my damnedest to keep them together, but if push came to shove (salary cap issues, etc), I'd keep Staal and Crosby. Staal has a defensive game unparalleled by almost anyone on the team. Period. He's also still developing. Only way to go is up.


I totally disagree about Staal. His defensive game has taken a horrible downswing lately. He got absolutely smoked by Giroux this year, by St. Louis last year, and Camalleri the year before. Honestly, I just don't see Staal wanting to be just a third-line center his entire career.
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