Sunday, February 15, 2009

Therrien toe tagged for Penguin's troubles

When he looked down the bench just Saturday night, Michel Therrien saw Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar to name a few, all seemingly struggling to fit into his defensive oriented schemes, strangling the offensive portion of the Penguins game.

When GM Ray Shero looked at the NHL East division standings on Sunday morning, he saw his Penguins out of the playoffs and falling fast, a rather unusual place for a team that was a Stanley Cup finalist just last season and boasts of some of the fastest of skaters and sharpest of shooters that there is in an NHL lineup.
So, Shero on Sunday did what many had been suggesting was bound to happen, he fired Therrien as head coach of the Pens, bringing in Dan Bylsma the head coach of the AHL farm club, now the hopeful guide to the playoffs before the season is lost.

With the Penguins continuing to struggle and Saturday nights collapse and surrender still fresh in managements eyes, the decision was made to make the much anticipated change, the fifth coaching change this year in the NHL.
Pittsburgh's decision is one that seems to have been designed to return the Pens back to the more offensive style of play that was the mark of last year's run for the Stanley Cup, a more fast paced approach to the offensive attack, one which probably won't be the greatest of news for Marc Andre Fleury, the Pens who never really seemed to buy into Therrien's defensive approach will now seemingly abandon it in a quest for goals.

Whether it will be the change that was needed to push them back into the playoff picture or just the final act of a very disappointing season remains to be seen, one thing however is certain now, only the players and management will be left to be held accountable when the regular season comes to an end with the Pens either in or out of the playoff race.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- Bylsma named coach as Pens fire Therrien
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-- GM Shero hopes coaching shift will spark Penguins but don't count on it
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review-- Pens fire head coach less than a year after reaching Stanley Cup finals
Pittsburgh Tribune-Rview-- Penguins part ways with coach Therrien
Globe and Mail-- Lemieux behind Therrien's dismissal
Globe and Mail-- Penguins fire Therrien
National Post-- Struggling Penguins cut loose coach Therrien

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