From Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Starkey lists the majority of bullets for those not agreeing with a contract extension for Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma.
Instead, they essentially told the world — via Shero — that they are accepting of the hideous playoff implosions that have marked the past four springs.
The Montreal meltdown. The Tampa Bay tank job. The Philly flop. The Boston Tee Party (See local country club).
This move evokes the Steelers' coach-centric model of management. Which might not be a bad thing. It's a vote for stability. And who knows? The Steelers were proven correct when they twice extended Bill Cowher after disappointing seasons. The Penguins might be vindicated, too. It's just so hard to envision a largely unchanged cast changing the script next spring.
I mean, really, Marc-Andre Fleury's coming back, as Shero stated in the strongest possible words? The Bylsma-Fleury marriage works? Management's confidence in a shattered goaltender has not waned?
Nope. Nothing to see here.
Congratulations to the Bruins for their dominating performance. I think I can speak for most Pens fans when I say that even the morning after I sit here in a bit of a daze. Not in that the Penguins lost, the Bruins are a quality opponent and it was common knowledge that this was going to be a tough series.
But the common term I've read this morning that really hits the nail on the head is "stunned".
Please allow me to expound:
What a frickin' hockey game. Just outstanding.
Not going to waste my time talking about the Jagr no-call on Malkin. There were so many no-calls in overtime it wasn't going to get called. Maybe if Malkin was in the offensive zone, who knows.
But now that the Penguins are down 3-0, while now that's not the automatic death sentence it once was, I'm not confident at all the Pens can pull it off, so screw it.
This soon-to-be fourth straight playoff collapse now sets up a potentially massive upheaval on the Penguins roster and possibly within the Pens coaching staff as well.
Let's be clear: Dan Bylsma does not tend goal. Dan Bylsma does not try to score goals. Dan Bylsma does not provide defense in front of his goalie.
But as we all know, that doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the world of professional sports.
Because as the Penguins inch closer to their fourth straight playoff collapse after winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, Penguins management may very well now be wondering if this coaching staff is built to lead this incredibly stacked team to a championship level once again.
Is a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals sufficient? I wouldn't think so. And it's for that reason that Bylsma's seat should start feeling mighty warm this morning.
Pretty damn entertaining hockey game, I must say.
The Penguins 3-0 loss to the Bruins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals wasn't due to their opponent outhustling and/or outworking them.
It was just a good old-fashioned, hard-fought game that saw the Bruins capitalize on their chances, while the Penguins simply could not do the same.
Sure, you can nit-pick numerous individual scenarios that may have contributed to the overall tone of the game, but like I said, for the most part, it was merely the Bruins taking advantage of what was presented to them. Good road win for the Bruins, give them credit.
From Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen:
Honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2001, Lange is an icon in the Steel City, following in the big footprints of Bob Prince, who was the voice of the Pirates for 28 years, and Myron Cope, the colour commentator on Steelers’ radio broadcasts for 25 years.
Lange is so ingrained as the city’s voice of hockey that his fans will turn down the sound on NBC broadcasts and listen instead to his call of the game.
“If I ever own my own skyscraper, instead of smooth jazz as the elevator music I think I’m just gonna loop Mike Lange goal calls,” wrote one devotee on Twitter a couple of days ago.
The affection is mutual.
“If they enjoy listening to me and can have some fun with it, hey, that’s the ultimate compliment,” Lange said this week while watching the Ottawa Senators and Penguins practice at Scotiabank Place.
From Roy MacGregor of the Toronto Globe and Mail:
Three Dog Night had it all wrong.
One is not the loneliest number. It’s 29.
No. 29, also known as Marc-André Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is on the ice at Consol Energy Center. He is skating between Zambonis as they re-surface the ice: crouched over, head bowed, deep in thought that does not require a mind-reader to decipher.
What the hell has gone wrong?
Fleury is, or at least is supposed to be, the starting goaltender for what has been the strongest NHL team in the Eastern Conference. He is supposed to stop the pucks while Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, and a cast of other hockey stars fire pucks into the opposition nets. He is supposed to backstop the Penguins to the 2013 Stanley Cup prior to taking over the net as Team Canada defends its Olympic gold medal in Sochi next February.
That was the dream, the plan – but recently it has gone off the rails.
TiqIQ have planned a great Twitter contest that we'd like to get off the ground around tonight's game. Details below:
Guess the final score/outcome of Game 1. Guess the scorer of the GWG as a tiebreaker. Correct answer wins a pair of tickets to Game 2.
We're thinking the value of the tickets will be in the $200 range (tbd).
All you have to do is follow @tiqiq and reply with mention of TiqIQ and you'll be entered to win.
From the Penguins' Sam Kasan:
Tomas Vokoun will be the Penguins starting goaltender in Game 5 Thursday night against the NY Islanders at CONSOL Energy Center.
“We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us and be a goaltender we can count on to go in and play big games. He’s done that this year for us,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.
In four games – three starts – against the Islanders this season, Vokoun is 3-0 with a 0.90 goals-against average, a .970 save percentage and one shutout.
”He has been very good against the Islanders in the three games he’s played against the Islanders,” Bylsma said. “We’re getting a guy that is capable of being a great goalie for us.”
Vokoun, 36, has a 13-4 record for the Penguins this season with a 2.45 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and three shutouts.
Vokoun has played 11 career playoff games, all with the Nashville Predators. Game 5 will be his first playoff action since 2007. He has a career .922 save percentage and one shutout in those 11 contests.
Marc-Andre Fleury started the first four games of the series. He went 2-2 with a 3.40 goals-against average, .891 save percentage and one shutout.
Vokoun will be the first playoff starting goaltender for the Penguins not named Fleury since Johan Hedberg in 2001.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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