Monday, February 16, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

You've probably read by now that the Penguins have fired head coach Michel Therrien and made Dan Bylsma interim head coach. Assistant coach Andre Savard was reassigned within the organization while Mike Yeo and Gilles Meloche will remain on the staff. Tom Fitzgerald, who is the Penguins' director of player development, will be joining the staff as an assistant coach. Shero and the organization believed they needed a change in a direction and that this change would accomplish that.

We have to say we think this wasn't a bad idea. We didn't used to be on the fire Therrien bandwagon because we didn't think it was his fault the team was playing poorly. But as the season wore on and the Pens came out flat game after game, we couldn't accept that they were just bad, not with all that talent. Yes, they'd lost key players after last season and brought in a few that maybe weren't the best, but they have too much talent to be losing game after game. It was also apparent that the team was flat and not playing with a whole lot of effort. Why? We just said yesterday that we felt it had to be mental in some way because of all of the above. What or who was causing this? We're not going to say it was Michel Therrien because we don't know, but if it was, his firing was long overdue. Either way, we still feel this was the best for everyone. If a coaching change doesn't shake things up, we don't know what will. If a team can't respond to a new point a view that expects them to play tough and with a lot of energy, well we don't know. Granted not everyone can just walk into something and be in control from the start, but this gives the team a new chance of sorts and they should take advantage of it. Without knowing how the team feels about Therrien's firing, it would be hard to tell how accepting they may be of someone else coming in. Either way, things weren't going well and we have to wait to see whether that will change.

We have to admit that we're pretty excited about this because it feels like a new start. It may not have much time to develop this late in the season and Dan Bylsma may not be the long term solution, but it will at least make things interesting for a while. We also like this guy's lease on life. If we could walk into that locker room and run things, we'd want to say something similar to what this guy is saying right now. 

“I’m a passionate person and energetic person,” Bylsma said. “I believe you need commitment, passion and a high energy level. That’s how I approach life. We have a great challenge that we should enjoy. We should bring all that energy to the rink (Monday).”

“Teams should be forced to deal with our speed and skill and we need to be an aggressive group,” Bylsma said. “With the strengths we have, we should be able to go into buildings and make teams deal with the quality of players we have at every position. We’re going to try to get the guys on their toes and going, bringing passion and work ethic to game. If we focus on playing back to our strength and get away from the situation it’s been for a while here, you’ll see a team that can compete and be a contending team.”

Please read this entire article. Almost everything Bylsma said was money. Now we just have to wait and see whether this guy can walk the walk while he talks the talk because he sure sounds good to us. And no, we don't think this guy is Superman and going to make everything better and the season will end like a fairy tale with the Cup, but we like his attitude.

One other thing we'd like to address here because we think it's ridiculous is the fact that already people are talking about how this is Sidney Crosby's fault. We haven't even begun to read all the articles, opinions, comments and whatever because our heads would probably explode in the process. Not only because there are a lot of idiots out there, but because we're sure by now there is more stuff out there than there are hours in the day. But we've already seen enough this is Sidney Crosby's fault/the team's fault than we'd like to. 

First of all, everyone is entitled to their opinion and we're not saying that everyone who argues this point is an idiot. The idiots are the people who just yesterday were complaining about Therrien and who are today complaining he's gone. You all know the type, the kind that like to cause drama because somehow that's exciting to them. Making stupid comments on the internet that are the opposite of someone else's just to start something is just dumb. Please find something else to do with all your time, you'll be better off, trust us.

As for us, blaming Sidney Crosby and insinuating the kid is spoiled, is a bit ridiculous. We're so sure that he goes behind everyone's backs and complains every day. Mario can't get him out of his ear because all he does is complain about how it's not all about him and it should be and how Michel Therrien sucks. Okay, and pigs fly. We're not saying the kid is perfect, no one is, but to think someone who acts and does what he does is some secret backstabber is ridiculous. He is the captain of this team and he has responsibility as a leader, and again is not perfect, but to put all the blame on him isn't right. Maybe he does need to step up as a leader, but every guy in that locker room is part of a team. Team being the key word there, meaning they have to work together to win because one or two people aren't going to carry them night after night.

Maybe it's time to stop pointing fingers and move on because let's face it, this is the reality of this team right now whether anyone likes it or not. If the team makes the playoffs and looks better than they ever have, Shero will look pretty damn good and everyone will be happy. If the team continues on it's underachieving, people will still have something to complain about and those who wanted Therrien gone will probably want him back. But let's also face the fact that no matter what happens, people will be there to complain just like they always have.

The Pens play today at 2 p.m. Game preview, but we think this is a tad outdated considering we think it was done before Therrien's firing. Should be interesting to see the line combinations.

Let's Go Pens!

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