On paper the Pens are ten times better. Right? Whatever. Tired of hearing that garbage. They don't play these games on paper.
I love Bylsma hockey. Who doesn't. It is exciting. It is in your face. It is non stop no matter how big a lead. Lets get more. Exciting indeed. No excuses here. We are gonna come at you with all we got all the time. More times than not we will get ya.
Ok now the bad. Bylsma hockey is exciting but it is the most physically demanding system. He wants to go 100 mph all the time. They play the same way all the time. I don't know if he is too arrogant to implement a trap after getting a nice lead or what but check this out...
the players can't score on every shot and they get exhausted from this go go go system. If the other team has hung around and kept the game within reach, often times they come back and win.
Speaking of Stanley Cup...how have the Pens fared in the playoffs since the Cup? Post Cup...2nd rd exit year one. 1st rd exit year 2. 1st rd exit year 3. See a continuing theme here. Why is this you might wonder. Since this is a professional sports league teams love to copy cat. The Cup year Bylsma gets a team about 8 weeks before the playoffs start in the tenth standing. The players respond to his fun system. He is a likable coach. They are bounding with energy. The big key though is the league hasn't seen an attack like this in many many years. They aren't really prepared to play against such an up tempo for 60 mins because they don't ever see that. So he has success and wins the Cup. Fantastic. Since then his playoff runs have been short.
I know there have been injuries but we are in the fourth playoff run post Cup and things are not looking so good. Or they are looking more of the same old ugly situation. Paper paper paper we should blow them out. Right? Sounds familiar too.
Bylsma makes adjustments at a zero level. The pens live and die by the 100 mph hockey. Never do they change things up. You know regardless of the score and the opponent how the Pens are going to play. Well if we know, you bet your ass the opposition knows too.
This matchup could not be any worse for the pens. It is square peg in a round hole. The Isle love Bylsma hockey. They love it because they will play Bylsma hockey and guess what...they are faster at it than the Pens are. Bylsma hockey is about speed. You can't play his system if you are slow. Well as you all have seen the Isle are the fastest team in the NHL.
If they can get out of this round there could be big things for this team because I don't see another team that could give them problems to this magnitude like the Isle are because of that speed meshing with Bylsma hockey.
He does need to check his pride at the door though and adjust his system from time to time. This is the only way I see the Pens surviving this series. if they keep going as is I have zero confidence in them winning this series.
These next two-three games IMO will also decide the future for Bylsma coaching the Penguins. Shero/Lemieux did not go all in this year to be bounced in the first round...AGAIN!