Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/15/14 at 11:43 AM ET
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
In the five full seasons Bylsma has been at the helm for the Penguins since winning the 2009 Stanley Cup, he has forged this team's identity into his own. That has resulted in five mostly marvelous regular seasons and five unsatisfying postseasons.
From a tactical standpoint, several portions of the system the team played overwhelmed or confused current and former players, particularly on defense. Ben Lovejoy was a middling borderline NHL defensemen with the Penguins. After being traded to the Ducks early in the 2012-13 season, he became a top-four defenseman for head coach Bruce Boudreau who by his own admission, likes "to keep things simple."
The Penguins' unyielding adherence to their system allowed for any flexibility for the unique skillsets of players. As a result, marvelously talented players such Simon Despres and Beau Bennett have either languished in roles below their abilities at the NHL level or been marooned in the AHL while trust and ice time has been entrusted to players with limited abilities such as Deryk Engelland and Chris Conner.
While Bennett and Despres are hardly without blame for their stagnant development, no one can fairly say they were put in a position to succeed.
Beyond the X's and O's, the adage that "every coach is hired to be fired" appears to have finally come true for Bylsma.
continue for the a in-depth look at the current state of the Penguins...
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