Open Letter to Mario

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Open Letter to Mario

Postby Mad City Mike on Wed May 14, 2014 8:58 am

This morning, Joe Starkey tweeted out a copy of a column he wrote last year. Never one to not steal a good idea, I am doing the same. I posted this after last year's debacle. But, as you'll see, it only required minor editing.

Msr. Magnifique,

I note that you watched (generally with a look of disgust on your face) the performance of your beloved Penguins against the Boston Bruins New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference [Semi]Finals. I did too, save for the final two periods of the Game 25 debacle that I couldn’t even bear to watch. And I have seen the same thing that you have—a team that seemingly has no identity. The question you must ask yourself is, “why.” As with any other complicated situation, there is likely not one easy answer. Maybe it’s a little bit of each of the following.

Let’s start at the top. To do so, you only need a mirror. As a player, you were known for enjoying playing for coaches (Eddie Johnston comes to mind) who ran the team like a country club. Coaches like EJ were always overly easy on the players. And those coaches always had early playoff exits. You must ask yourself if, at your behest, this organization has become TOO player-friendly. Are you no longer demanding the excellence of your subordinates that you always demanded of yourself? Is there accountability top to bottom? And I mean true accountability, where if you fail often enough, you will not be around to fail one more time. Are you holding the feet of your immediate subordinates to the fire? You must also ask yourself (and perhaps Mr. Burkle) if you are content to sell out CONSOL every night, rake in the dough, make a few bucks from the playoffs, and call it a successful season. If the answer to that is yes, you can stop reading here, because nothing else really matters.

The next possible answer to the question is one of those subordinates—Rejean Shero. Since you hired him after dismissing the much-maligned Craig Patrick, has he done enough to strengthen this organization? He inherited Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, and, essentially, Jordan Staal (who was an incorrect pick, no less). He took the organization to the heights in 2009, but the team has stagnated since then. Is the “two-superstar model” obsolete? Did his deadline frenzy actually worsen the team’s chances at a Cup? Has Mr. Shero done enough to keep his job?

Speaking of keeping jobs, let’s turn to Dan Bylsma. He remains Mr. Shero’s only coaching hire. When he came on board in 2009, he did a brilliant job turning player attitudes around after they had been soured by Michel Therrien. He combined his aggressive system with Mr. Therrien’s boring defensive system and took the team to a Stanley Cup. This hybrid system, along with Mr. Bylsma’s upbeat personality, worked perfectly. But as the years have gone on and the system became solely Mr. Bylsma’s, the playoff disappointments have only mounted. Yes, we can dismiss 2011, when both your star centers missed the playoffs. But what about the other threefour years? In each case, your team lost to a team presumed to be inferior. Last yearTwo years ago, a total breakdown in discipline was the cause. ThisLast year, the inability of the staff to find a way through Boston’s stifling defense did it. That’s a defense that cannot be THAT impenetrable—Toronto certainly found a way to score on it. But your coaches seemed totally befuddled. Why is that? [This year, they routinely failed to show any passion in the playoffs , essentially quitting on the coach. Are they too married to “Pittsburgh Penguin Ice Hockey” to adapt to each situation? Is there not enough accountability on the ice and in the locker room? Is that lack of accountability for stupid mistakes the root cause of something like Joe Vitale’s roughing penalty in Game 3?the continuous undisciplined penalties?

And finally, on the subject of accountability, what about the players themselves? Is the core leadership simply not there? Why do the playoffs annually expose this team to be less than the sum of its parts? Is there friction in the locker room? Do the players simply not mesh? Your top three forwards and your top offensive defenseman did not register a single point in this series. Not a single point. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Let that sink in then, please, go ask them the hard question of why this is happening. Is it the players choking under pressure yet again? Is it the system they play that seems ideally suited for the regular season, but is a disaster in the playoffs? Are the coaches not putting them in a position to succeed? Are the players too enamored with making highlight plays to try to score some dirty goals?

Msr. Lemieux, this is going to be a long offseason. You’d best get started right now searching for answers. Do not let a single member of this organization leave town for the summer before grilling each and every one of them for the answers to these questions. It will go a long way toward putting this franchise back on the right track.

Sincerely,
Mike Adams
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby count2infinity on Wed May 14, 2014 8:59 am

Who is Mike Adams?
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Jesse on Wed May 14, 2014 8:59 am

I'm sure he's going to read this and take every single sentence to heart.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby skullman80 on Wed May 14, 2014 9:00 am

Oh jesus.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Gaucho on Wed May 14, 2014 9:02 am

skullman80 wrote:Oh jesus.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Cedar Penn on Wed May 14, 2014 9:04 am

Mario is just not into...

Image
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed May 14, 2014 9:10 am

Dear Mario,

This Pens team is sick, with no cure in sight. It's time to drag them out back like Barbaro, that gallant animal, and put an end to their misery.

There is no glue that holds this team together.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Wed May 14, 2014 9:14 am

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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Hawkeynut on Wed May 14, 2014 9:25 am

^^^^ AWESOME!
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby shafnutz05 on Wed May 14, 2014 9:38 am

The best thing is I can imagine Bowser writing that
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby MarioLives on Wed May 14, 2014 9:39 am

Open letters are my worst nightmare........
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby penny lane on Wed May 14, 2014 9:46 am

One person's way of relieving steam. If this does it versus other ways; it's a good thing.
:D

If Mario doesn't read here, we know Scuds does. ;)
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby newarenanow on Wed May 14, 2014 9:52 am

count2infinity wrote:Who is Mike Adams?


Some *****.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Kovy27 on Wed May 14, 2014 10:11 am

Jesse wrote:I'm sure he's going to read this and take every single sentence to heart.


Jesse wins the day. No phone call this year, buddy. Damn team.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby TheHammer24 on Wed May 14, 2014 10:28 am

Is an open letter a regular letter that you show other people because you know the recipient won't read it?
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Cedar Penn on Wed May 14, 2014 10:31 am

TheHammer24 wrote:Is an open letter a regular letter that you show other people because you know the recipient won't read it?


yes
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Jim on Wed May 14, 2014 10:44 am

count2infinity wrote:Who is Mike Adams?


Craig Adams' dad?
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby dodint on Wed May 14, 2014 10:52 am

These threads. They're so good. I was as butthurt as anyone last night, but this morning, just reading the thread titles. So good. Not even reading replies, just thread titles and OPs. You guys are great.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby columbia on Wed May 14, 2014 10:54 am

dodint wrote:These threads. They're so good. I was as butthurt as anyone last night, but this morning, just reading the thread titles. So good. Not even reading replies, just thread titles and OPs. You guys are great.


It actually seems calm compared to last year. :slug:
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby newarenanow on Wed May 14, 2014 11:05 am

Definitely seems more calm. I'm not as upset. I wasn't expecting much this postseason. What hurts is blowing the 3-1 lead. If we lost to the Rags and it was back and forth and hard fought, it wouldn't bother me much.

I also think that there is word that changes are going to happen this offseason has softened the blow too.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby count2infinity on Wed May 14, 2014 11:10 am

It's more calm because it's expected at this point.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby dodint on Wed May 14, 2014 11:42 am

Game 7 went down exactly as I thought it would, so the suck didn't hurt so bad. I knew they'd score first, and the Pens wouldn't lead. The only twist was they flipped the switch with 2 mins left and let some hope leak in. I just switched my PS3 on and did some laps in GT6 to mellow out and the sting will just sit there in the back of my brain until September.
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby Fast B on Wed May 14, 2014 11:44 am

Dear Mario,

I never thought it would happen to me....
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Wed May 14, 2014 11:44 am

newarenanow wrote:Definitely seems more calm. I'm not as upset. I wasn't expecting much this postseason. What hurts is blowing the 3-1 lead. If we lost to the Rags and it was back and forth and hard fought, it wouldn't bother me much.

I also think that there is word that changes are going to happen this offseason has softened the blow too.


spoken as if your pitt fandom has infected your pens fandom
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Re: Open Letter to Mario

Postby dodint on Wed May 14, 2014 11:46 am

Oh, as an aside, the only thing that was acutely painful about last night was knowing that somewhere Milbury was watching while beating off into a shoe and knowing he has any kind of happiness crushes my soul.
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