April 22, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma speaks during press conference after game six of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers defeated the Penguns, 5-1. The Flyers won the series 4 games to 2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

The Long Off Season Begins

The Pittsburgh Penguins now begin to try and fix what is broken, and put things back together.     The question is, Who will be here next year?      Not just for the players, but for the Coaching staff and front office.       

There are many questions swirling around what players to keep or move and what players they can’t be moved because of albatross contracts.      So for now, let’s just talk about the staff….How about just the head coach.

Dan Bylsma has now over seen 3 straight early exits out of the playoffs.     I realize that injuries have mired the past seasons and even this season.     Injuries are part of the game, and this game in particular seem to be especially vulnerable right now.      That said, the coach’s job is to keep his team moving forward as best he can and during the season, you can say that he has done a great job.      But coaches get paid to win in the post season.     That’s it.       You really get no trophies for doing a great job with what you have.     Maybe you get  a little leash  if the talent level on your team is lacking, but that certainly is not the case on this team.

I do not think it is that simple, but hockey is more black and white.    Win and you stay, lose and you go.      I think his real judgement may fall on his handling of the 2 stars.       In public, Sid and Geno look to be great teammates.      But what about behind closed doors?        Both players play is at top level when the other is not in the lineup.       When Sid was out this season, Geno stepped forward and became the best player in hockey.      When Sid is back in the lineup, Malkin has the ability to slump and disappear.      When Sid is inserted into the top line, Sid turns into the best player in Hockey.      So is this really Bylsma’s problem?      That is the question that Ray Shero has to wrestle with in this off season and no offense, better him than me.

If had to bet, I do not think Coach Bylsma will be fired, but the front office is and will probably consider it.       They have to.     Way to much talent to have not have post season success.    But maybe, just maybe that is the issue.    Maybe the big 3 can not exist together and have success in the post season.

If you would like to follow my thoughts, you can on Twitter at Sports Monger and on Sports Monger Radio every Friday Night at 11pm.

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Tags: Dan Bylsma Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby

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