dempsey_k wrote:If by "falling off a cliff" you mean "had a stroke", you're a more terrible human being than I imagined. Letang looked exceptional for the Pens in the playoffs, IMO. He's nowhere near a Keith, Doughty, Weber, or Suter, if anything he's a glorified Barrie, but I'd cut him a little fucking slack for this season. Finns don't have sophomore slumps. If Maatta has a sophomore slump, I'll find you his Swedish birth certificate. Anyway, Pouliot, Dumoulin, Despres all look like they have strong potential, Pouliot especially. Curious that you highlight their D problems and don't point any of the blame on that at Bylsma. Do you seriously think Sutter or Quenneville (or even Yeo or Trotz for that matter) would have the exact same results with the same blueline?
you're looking at the details and not the big picture. Pittsburgh's D, writ large, lacks mobility. That makes it easier for the opposing team to forecheck and more difficult to transition into offense, and that's something the coach cannot change. Their young players could make up for that in the immediate future, but A) I'm talking about this year's Penguins and not next year's Penguins and B) I'm hugely skeptical about Pittsburgh's ability to develop talent. It's been 8 years since they've drafted a player who has suited up for more than 100 games in gold and black, they do not get the benefit of the doubt.
could a hypothetical better coach have done better with Pittsburgh's roster? Yes. Can any coach win when either Fluery has a .850 save % or when Crosby's line has 6 goals in 13 games? No. Full stop.
ABasin wrote:Thanks for the post.
I agree that Fleury has had some shitty moments, but doesn't it say something about top-heavy salaried players, who don't play that way? Pittsburgh has 3 players taking up ~$26M of cap space. One (Letang) was hurt this season, but the other $18M wasn't. And they didn't get it done. When Pitt won the Cup back in 2008, Malkin was the single best hockey player on the planet for a month or two.
While coaching game plans (Sacco's permanent erection for a 4th line grinding game is an example) do have a part to play, I'm wondering whether the top-heavy salaried roster doesn't also. With such high salary guys, how many good players can you put on their wing? How much quality depth can you have? Shut down those 2 guys, the team dies.
it's true, but I don't see it as a negative so much as the other side of the coin of having the two best players on the planet. You can't build an unbeatable NHL team; each one has weaknesses, and Pittsburgh's is they can't commit assets to depth. That's not inherently a bad thing -- Crosby and Malkin playing 40 minutes of a game is better than Crosby and a bunch of above-average players playing 60 -- but it sure as hell backfires when one of them doesn't produce.
Pittsburgh could use some changes, but overall they'll be fine. Unless Crosby or Malkin leave, they'll be a top five team for the next decade. They don't need a coach, they need to get the most dollar value for the cap space they have left after those two get their paychecks.