What if the Penguins had played like this all season?
I know the Penguins just dropped a big game yesterday against the rival Philadelphia Flyers and more than likely blew their only legitimate shot at claiming home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but the Penguin’s have accomplished something remarkable so far under Head Coach Dan Bylsma.
They have turned their disappointing season into a possible playoff berth. Into a possible Finals run if the stars align.
The numbers do not lie. The only team close to matching those numbers are the Detroit Red Wings whose 3.66 G/Game and 2.93 GA/Game offer the only comparison to what could have been.
Many people have differing theories as to why the Penguins have turned their season around so dramatically. One opinion was that Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin’s arrival turned things around and Therrien would have been fine if he had had Kunitz and Guerin to play with.
Another theory was that the players had quit on Therrien and a fresh face was needed behind the bench to jump start the players.
Is the turnaround due to the new aggressive system employed by the first year head coach? Should Therrien have been playing a similar system to take advantage of the speed and skill of the Penguins?
Is the recently found confidence of Marc-Andre Fleury and Jordan Staal the key to the turnaround?
Is it really as simple as good luck started from the filet o’ fish commercial?
I like to believe it was a combination of all of these factors (except maybe the filet o’ fish) that keyed the Penguin’s stunning rally.
Now it would be incredibly difficult for the Penguins to keep up the pace in which they are currently playing but Bylsma is making Shero’s job of finding a coach for next season much more interesting.
IHCDB does not like the interim in front of his name. He is doing everything in his power to change his name to HCDB. But has he done enough to warrant his return next season? What does he need to do to drop the interim from his title?