I love the Penguins. The logo. The team. The logo and team are forever. Mario Lemieux is forever. Everybody else is temporary.
So, as yet another talent-loaded Penguins team stares down yet another three-games-to-none deficit, forgive me if I ask hard questions on behalf of the logo:
*Dan Bylsma’s refusal to adjust (until it’s too late) has put the Penguins in yet another hole. If you coach like you know everything, you had better be right. Every coach comes with an expiration date. Has Bylsma hit his?
*The Penguins are a get-along gang. In-house tension is rare and inconsequential. The Penguins get rattled by the slightest on-ice angst, especially in big situations. Would the cause be better served by a more demanding sort behind the bench? Michel Therrien had to go when he did. But he built the ’09 Stanley Cup winner.
*How does a team win 15 games in a row during the regular season, then look horrific in losing three straight times to a team they previously beat three straight times? Losing to a good team is one thing. The Pens were brutal in Games 1 and 2.
*How many people involved with the Penguins ever admit mistakes, even privately? Because it sure takes a long time to correct them.
*Why were Beau Bennett and Simon Despres, both first-round picks, buried on the depth chart behind the pride of St. Louis and a Las Vegas Wrangler? The Penguins assigned Bennett and Despres pedigree, then didn’t trust it. Play them. Coach them. Develop them. Use the regular season to prepare them for the playoffs.
If the Penguins lose tonight, these questions are just the tip of the iceberg. This isn’t losing Game 7 in OT. This is a slaughter.
Make no mistake, lack of production from the stars is primarily to blame for what’s happening. But addressing the above might have provided a Plan B.
Love the logo, not the individuals. That’s how things get done.