After getting off to a hot start in 2013-14 and making the Eastern Conference Playoffs as the top seeded team, the Pittsburgh Penguins flamed out for another consecutive year and failed to in a Stanley Cup or even get into a decent position to win one. After nearly allowing the Columbus Blue Jackets to bounce them in the first round, the Pens were blown away by the New York Rangers who refused to go quietly and beat the Pens in seven games.
The epic collapse by Pittsburgh for yet another season has finally cost head coach Dan Bylsma his job. According to Louis Jean of TVA Sports as well as CBS Sports.com’s Chris Peters, the Penguins have had enough of the lackadaisical coaching habits of Bylsma and have sent him packing.
In reality, this is a move that should have been made last year after the Pens were brutalized by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals. It wasn’t a pretty site how fast and hard the Pens were eliminated and many thought hat was when Bylsma was going to get the axe.
They waited a year, flushed another season away and have now finally realized the Bylsma isn’t the right guy for the job. Bylsma’s firing comes on the same day that the Penguins hired new general manager Jeff Rutherford, which is hardly a coincidence. Rutherford replaced Ray Sharpiro as the Pens GM and his first move was to cleanse himself of Bylsma on the bench.
Like Rutherford, whoever takes the Pens coaching job is walking into the best situation in hockey as the roster is Stanley Cup caliber an capable of turning around their woes fast. It will take the right guy though as Bylsma proved you can’t just put anyone in the job and expect things to work.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins