The Pittsburgh Penguins have lost four of five games and are 5-7 in their last 12 games. They are 12-8 at the 20 games. Last season the Penguins weren’t much better at the quarter mark, 13-7 after 20 games and 13-8 after 21 games before the Penguins went on to win 15 straight games. Don’t bet on that happening with this group.
Despite similar records at the quarter mark, there’s just a different feeling about this years team in a bad way. Serious questions need to be asked about this coaching staff but people complaining about Bylsma are likely just wasting their breath.
As long as Ray Shero is the General Manager, the odds might be stronger of a Kris Letang and who knows maybe even Evgeni Malkin getting traded in the next couple years than Bylsma losing his job. Some core players will become the scapegoats before Bylsma does. Bet on that.
This is a mis-managed team right now from the coaching staff to the front office.
It’s a front office and coaching staff that is so infatuated with skill that they turned a huge blind eye to the personnel of the third line believing a Matt D’Agostini could be the answer. I mean, really? Chuck Kobasew isn’t the answer either people.
The issue is the type of players the Penguins target on their bottom-2 lines when this is becoming a league all about size and playing heavy.
This isn’t 2008-2009 anymore when Bylsma’s uptempo system came onto the scene with a bang and was a hard adjustment for the opposition. The league has evolved differently, despite what the Penguins thought would happen. The Penguins are too easy to play against and most scouts/evaluators I talked to over the summer saw this coming. Thankfully for the Penguins they arent in the Western Conference.
When you look at the Penguins roster right now, another question I pose is where’s the best 23?
Management right now doesn’t have the best group on the roster they can, now that the cap space is there with Vokoun on LTIR.
Case in point Simon Despres should be in the NHL and playing a No. 3 pairing role with Rob Scuderi out. Despres is dominating in the AHL and the reality of the situation is he should be up here playing over Deryk Engelland, Robert Bortuzzo and maybe even Matt Niskanen. He’s better than all three guys and the upside is much higher for this season..
Jason Megna is also a better option from a fit standpoint than Matt D’Agostini on the third line. The Penguins would be a better team with those two personnel moves and Bylsma also keeping Joe Vitale in the lineup.
Players like D’Agostini, Jeffrey should be gone, while a Deryk Engelland should be phased out on the blueline. And this team being mis-managed was also happening last season from the staff.