Horse: Should There be Changes in the Penguins Future? – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Horse: Should There be Changes in the Penguins Future?

Over the next week or so each of us here at PenguinPoop will be taking a hard look at whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins organization needs to make any changes.  Second up is Horse.


The most important thing that has to be done if the Penguins are going to win another Stanley Cup is fix Marc Andre Fleury. He shows spurts of brilliance. But then, so does every other goalie in the NHL. A goalie’s job is to make big saves at key times and not allow bad goals at critical times. In the Pens series against the Flyers, he performed this task during two minutes of Game 5. The rest of the series he was busy putting the puck in his own net. Every time the Pens generated any momentum, he ended it. Nothing breaks a team’s spirit more than when a bad goal is allowed soon after the players have scored a goal to get back into the game. MAF did this often in this series. It also could be said that nothing lifts a team like a big save at a key time. MAF did this in only one game.

MAF was a first overall pick in his draft year. His physical tools are certainly among the best in the league. His problem is FOCUS — allowing goals early in games and a horrible save percentage are a product of his lack of focus. So the question is this — How does Marc Andre Fleury improve his focus? He needs to work with Gilles Meloche and a sports psychiatrist to hone his focusing skills.

The second most important thing that needs fixed is the Penguins coaching. A coach is most important during the playoffs. Over the course of a series, adjustments have to be made to counteract successes of the opposing team. Dan Bylsma has failed miserably at this for three consecutive years. 2010 — He couldn’t find a way to stop Mike Camalerri. 2011 – He couldn’t fix the power play. 2012 – He couldn’t fix the penalty killing. Even though their defensive zone play was weak, they could protect their leads. They did not lose a game this season going into the third period with a lead. That changed in Game 1 of this series. Even Scotty Bowman and other stellar coaches have been fired, so no NHL job is safe. This will be Dan Bylsma’s last chance. He will learn to make changes and implement some semblance of defensive zone coverage so his team can win in the playoffs, or next year will be his last.

I don’t believe that the lineup needs a lot of adjustment. Paul Martin and Zybenek Michalek came here with high pedigrees. Ray Shero was not the only General Manager who wanted these players. That was why their price tags were so high. They played well in 2010-11 and I think they will again. They both have to because they aren’t going anywhere. We saw the impact of the Flyers’ talented young forwards. The Pens do not have one. If a promising young defenseman can be dealt for a high quality young forward, Ray Shero must pull the trigger.

Most importantly to keep in mind, if Fleury had outperformed Bryzgalov, we wouldn’t have had to write this article.

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  1. yinzer from portage's Gravatar yinzer from portage
    June 3, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Sorry all…I meant that all 6 starting defenseman would be Zubov (or Niskanen) clones! A nice blend of ”stay-at-home” types and puck movers (ala 2009 Cup team) is what we need!!! Yinzer from Portage

  2. yinzer from portage's Gravatar yinzer from portage
    June 3, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I agree with the MAF take except for one thing…Meloche has had his chance to turn MAF around and failed miserably. It is time for Mario to hire someone who will light a fire under MAF, not be his buddy. Someone needed to go after that disgrace in the 1st round, and it might as well be Meloche. Draft a goaltender in the first round as well. Send a message to Fleury that the organization is getting impatient. We all respect Johnny, especially after what he did to Ricky D’s jaw, but it is also time for the Pen’s to bring in a solid back-up for MAF. We all remember how well Fleury played when Conklin pushed him. As to Bylsma, I agree that he deserves one more chance. I predict however that he will not change. This guy has turned the Pen’s into the Washington Capitals, circa 2009! He can’t even bring himself to use the word defense. He calls it ”our play without the puck”.
    The good news is that there are a ton of excellent coaches who are currently unemployed. The Pen’s need someone who believes in a commitment to play in the defensive zone. Scoring goals is essential to getting you into the playoffs, but goaltending and a 5 man commitment to defense wins Stanley Cups. Its warriors like Scuderi and Gil that are essential to winning a cup. Two guys the organization could’t wait to get rid of…They probably could’nt afford Scuds, but let’s face it, Hal Gil isn’t Dan’s type of defenseman…can’t make a strong enough contribution in the OFFENSIVE ZONE (Dan’s favorite term). If it were up to Bylsma, the Pen’s would have 5 Sergei Zubov clones (170 lb’s soaking wet) on the Blue Line!!!!! Yinzer from Portage is Ooout!!!

  3. Pen's 4ever's Gravatar Pen's 4ever
    April 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree with you MAF needs to be there when the teams needs him the most, but I think a little tinkering needs to be done..Martin has to go Depres looked good in the playoffs and could easily take his spot, Tangradi needs a shot at playing with Sid , I thought they meshed together but he needs like 10 -12 games of 15 to 18 mins not 4-6 mins on the fourth line.

  4. Lee's Gravatar Lee
    April 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The Pens lost to Philly during the regular season after being up 2-0 going to the third.

    • sth35's Gravatar sth35
      April 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      in overtime


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