Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/12/14 at 09:13 AM ET
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
As for what precisely happened over these past five years, there is no easy answer. Lots of things happened. At various times, the Penguins were undone by bad coaching, bone-headed plays, questionable roster building, thin drafts, cap issues, leadership vacuums, poor goaltending and stars wilting at the biggest moments.
It's been a team effort.
Then there are two significant factors that rarely see the light of day, because, you know, the Penguins were supposed to cruise to multiple Cup wins. These are not intended to excuse Bylsma, who easily could have been fired after the Philly flop and should have been after the Boston blowout.
They are just true:
1. Injuries. The Penguins were robbed of a significant chunk of their allotted time with the “Big Three.” Between 2010-11 and 2011-12 — Staal's final two seasons here — Crosby, Malkin and Staal combined to miss 207 regular-season games. Malkin and Crosby missed the '11 playoffs, when the Penguins seemed poised to roll through the East.
2. Good opponents. A terribly inconvenient fact, I know, but there really were TWO teams on the ice in every series.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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