I really don't have too much to say, except I am extremely disappointed in the Pens. I don't have any words to describe them, other than they are NOT a playoff caliber team and haven't been since 2009. I don't know whether or not the Pens are stuck in what others have termed their "country club" mentality or MT's "dey soff, dey don' care" mode.
The bottom line is that the Pens were just not prepared for the playoffs. That is coaching. That is management.
It is also evident to me that the regular season means squat.
I am extremely disappointed in Crosby. For the first time I saw what others see, his whining, his immaturity, his allowing the opposition to harrass him until he pulls cheap shots in retaliation. I can handle the fact that he has only scored ONE goal in the playoffs. What I cannot handle is his attitude in getting into shouting matches with his coach on the bench. He can now add "most insubordinate player" to his many trophies and accolades. In my mind that will stain him forever. Now, I don't care if the Pens keep him or not. Perhaps that "C" on Crosby's sweater has more of a "cancer" connotation than "captain."
Bylsma is gone. I think he lost the team last year. I don't like to see anyone lose their job, especially a coach or manager of a sports team, simply because it is the players that make or break the coach or manager. When Bylsma's contract was extended last year, it surprised me, but I felt that it was good for team chemistry to keep as much of the team together. In one vein, I cannot totally blame Bylsma. He is the coach the Pens owners wanted, a players' coach. I distinctly remember the Scotty Bowman days, when the great Mario Lemieux complained long and loud enough that Bowman was barred from practices. WHAT??? And the Pens (Mario) hired Byslma.
I thought the team was a true cohesive unit, you know, all for one, and one for all type of deal. Lately, reports coming out about dissension in the Pens' clubhouse distress me. If that's the case, clean house from the towelboy on up.
The Pens have to totally retool. Fleury is not an "elite" goalie. He is adequate (well, most of the time). He did fairly well this post season, regardless of the Pens' defense being in "sieve" mode most of the season. As was stated on the cover of today's NY paper (Daily News, I think)...."HENRY the 7th." THAT is an "elite" goaltender.
We'll see what happens. The Pens need an overhaul. If not, then I will expect more of the same. Great season wins, stats, accolades....but playoff chokers.