TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Fair or not, the heat is on Penguins head coach Mike Johnston and it’s not coming from the GM but ownership.
He will not survive a first round exit and ownership is growing concerned by the day about the Penguins lack of identity and the product that’s being displayed offensively, multiple sources say. Johnstons biggest threat has always been Rick Tocchet not Mike Babcock when it came to his long-term job security and things are being so closely watched right now.
Is Tocchet even a threat now if things don’t turn around in the next 10-14 days? Don’t see it getting that far but the talk won’t go away from those close to the situation, which shows how concerned those who call the shots are and I’m not talking about Jim Rutherford. Don’t forget Johnston was the Penguins fourth choice in their coaching search and ownership’s first choice had always been a staff of Guy Boucher and Rick Tocchet.
After Bill Peters, Willie Desjardins both balked at becoming the Penguins next coach due to job security concerns, some top decision makers in the organization not from the Jim Rutherford tree even wanted Ron Wilson over Johnston as they had concerns on how Johnston would be able to handle the core players after baby sitting teenagers for years.
At somepoint the Penguins have to look at the players if another early playoff exit happens, but if one does happen, there will be major consequences starting again with the head coach.
2. Bill Guerin one of the Penguins 10 assistant general managers, is not a normal assistant GM when it comes to his role. Guerin’s role is being around the players on the day to day basis to provide somewhat of a leadership role and get a first hand view of what the pulse is in the room on a daily basis. That’s why his comments to Sportsnet Hockey Central Thursday in saying the Penguins are whiners has to be taken seriously and let’s just say, it surely won’t sit well with some of the core players who already feel their head coach is throwing some players under the bus.
“I think it’s definitely an area that we’ve identified as being an issue at times,” Guerin said via Sportsnet.ca. “And you know what? We’ve put ourselves in that position, and we have to be better. There’s no question. The referees are out there, they do a fantastic job, the game’s faster than ever, and it’s really hard to pick things up sometimes with just the naked eye. These guys are human beings too. They’re out there doing tough job out there. And we just have to be better. We have to flat out be better.”
3. A Western Conference scout told me the best thing that’s happened to the Penguins is Patric Hornqvist missing time because he’s the type of player who if he plays close to 82 games, he’s worn down by the playoffs.
4. The advance analytics people like what Daniel Winnik is bringing to the table for the Penguins and he has made Brandon Sutter a better possession player, but Winnik’s been as predicted, a low impact acquisition.
5. ESPN’s Mel Kiper did a redraft of the 2009 draft. Shocking Ziggy Hood was nowhere to be found….. Of interests to the Steelers, Kiper has Mike Wallace going 7th overall to Oakland and the Steelers selecting OLB Paul Kruger in his redraft with the last selection in the draft. Al Davis would have loved Wallace.
— The Daily Five Returns Monday —