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Penguins got that late stage Dan Bylsma thing going on

November 6, 2018, 1:25 PM ET [107 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins have lost four games in a row and only the first loss against the Islanders was respectable. The team as currently structured/performing reminds me a lot of the 2013-14 Penguins. You remember that year, it was Dan Bylsma’s last year. Good times…

Bylsma’s swan song was a team that was top heavy and relied on primary scoring and average goaltending. This year’s Sullivan squad is top heavy with no secondary scoring and has below average goaltending. Old veterans (Adams/Cullen) are past the point of being useful. Terrible defensemen are not only played on a nightly basis, but promoted (Scuderi/Johnson).

This isn’t totally on Sullivan just like it totally wasn’t on Bylsma. The roster construction was rightfully criticized the past two summers. The only thing Rutherford has to do is work on the fringes. He has all the tough to get pieces already. He hasn’t successfully managed that. In a bubble Conor Sheary’s departure isn’t the worst thing ever, but his 8 points with Buffalo are only bested by Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby, and Kris Letang on the Penguins. Playable scoring depth was always supposed to be the ace in the Penguins sleeve. Right now it is a certifiable weakness. I don’t believe this issue will be as bad as it is right now the entire year. Some of the depth players are due for positive regression based on their career samples. However, this strength needs to outweigh the lack of ability on the back end and the poor goaltending. Even with normal regression I don’t think it is enough.

What you’re left with is the hated final year of Bylsma’s tenure. A 49% possession team who can’t afford to have their star players have a cold streak and have self-inflicted dead weight playing minutes every night.

Things like this aren’t going to help the cause


Whether this is a strategic move or a “punishment” to wake some players up I don’t like it. You have no secondary scoring and you have one of the very best power plays in the sport. Stop overthinking this. This is one of the team’s strengths. This isn’t the time to break that up when you are bleeding points in the standings.

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