Monday, February 16, 2009

Penguins Fire Therrien

As most already know, the Pittsburgh Penguins fired Head Coach Michel Therrien. They have brought in Dan Bylsma to try and right the ship at least until the end of the season. For the most part the Pens coaching staff remains in place. We'll get a quick look at the new guy when the Pens play today at 2pm.

It is hard for me to come to a decision on this change. I probably won't like most other things and then just agree with the experts that sound smart down the road. But I do think that there is somthing that shouldn't be lost in all of this. Here is my take.

Obviously the Pens were struggeling this season. Not having Gonchar and Whitney for half the season proved to be a negative. Take the top two defenceman from any team and they will have issues. The other thing in all of this however was that the Penguins clearly weren't the same after last season losing some key players and not getting Hossa back either. Therrien I feel was a very solid coach. But it's also tough when a guy like Satan and Sykora are supposed to be "finishers" and they are struggeling. I do think he was especially good with a team full of young players like the Penguins. Therrien's downfall though was the fact that he shuffled lines too much and was maybe too defence minded for a team with so many young talented players. Overall I think for the most part, Therrien's tenure with the Penguins will be considered a success, but this season may be remembered for his failure after coaching them to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. Overall the reason Therrien got fired, wasn't because of the team's struggles, but that they simply didn't believe in his theories and style anymore. When Therrien was first hired, everyone bought into the fact that defence would be the way to win and it was his way or the hi-way. That maybe was somthing that this team didn't want to buy into anymore with the struggles of the season. No matter what though, Therrien will be remembered for the guy that helped turn this team around and we should be grateful for that. He was the right guy at the right time for this team back in 2005-2006.

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