Tag: Dan Bylsma

Dan Bylsma

Murky offseason awaits Bylsma, Penguins


PITTSBURGH – If tonight’s Game 7 loss by the Pittsburgh Penguins was the the final game for some in the organization, it’s one that will ultimately be capitalized by frustration.

The Penguins fell to the New York Rangers 2-1 to end their season at the hands of a lower-seeded team. In the five seasons since they won the Stanley Cup, they’ve lost to a team in the playoffs they were supposed to beat.

After five straight disappointing performances, coach Dan Bylsma may find his job in jeopardy. The same could also be said of Penguins General Manager Ray Shero. With the lack of a deft touch with the lineup both behind the bench and in the front office, owner Mario Lemieux may be forced to change things up.

“Our goal, our ultimate goal, is to win the Stanley Cup and we haven’t done that in five seasons,” Bylsma said. “I’m 20 minutes post battling for a Game 7 and right to the bitter end. I haven’t contemplated the price that it’s going to be or anything towards the future yet.”

The Penguins might be able to avoid thinking about the future tonight, but with the offseason suddenly upon the organization, change may be on the way.

“I think there’s always questions,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “When the expectations are high and you don’t win I think that’s normal. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of questions.”

The reason why the Penguins have to face so many questions right away was Henrik Lundqvist.

All throughout the seven-game series, King Henrik was at his best as he put up a .940 save percentage and allowed three total goals in the final three games against the Penguins.

“Tonight was one of our better games,” Crosby said. “We worked hard and generated some good chances.”

POLL: Should the Penguins fire Dan Bylsma?

The chances were there, but Lundqvist saved some of his best for the end of the game making 13 saves in the third period en route to 35 saves overall.

“He made some big saves,” Crosby said. “We were pressing late and for a good five minutes late in the third, we had some great chances. It’s a game, but we put ourselves in that position.”

While Lundqvist was the road block this year, the continued disappointment of the offense is what has hurt Pittsburgh the most. Last season, Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins stifled the Penguins holding them to two goals in a four-game sweep.

“When you lose a game and you’re not able to generate enough to score, it’s always going to be the case [for why we lost],” Bylsma said. “We had enough to go up 3-1 in the series and win three games in a row. We weren’t able to get enough in [Games] 5, 6 and we weren’t able to get enough tonight to win the game in terms of getting goals.

“They’re tough to come by, it’s tougher around the cage – we saw that. We weren’t able to get the goals we needed to win the game.”

Finding a way to break through tough defense and all-world goaltending is the job of a coach and to drive that through to the players. After being stifled by Lundqvist, Rask, Jaroslav Halak and Dwayne Roloson in the past, Penguins brass may find their solution lies with new personnel on and off the ice.

PHT Morning Skate: Rangers looking for Game 4 rebound

Chris Kuntz, Henrik Lundqvist

The New York Rangers are hoping a day off will do them a world of good.

After a run of playing five games in seven days and falling behind 2-1 in the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a simple day of rest might be the cure for what ails the Broadway Blueshirts.

The Pens are hoping that’s not quite the case as they’re looking to head back home for Game 5 with a 3-1 lead.

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Game 4: New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins [Pittsburgh leads series 2-1] (7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

One thing the Rangers have to hope for heading into Game 4 is that Sidney Crosby getting the goal-scoring monkey off his back in Game 3 isn’t a sign that there’s more to come. Crosby has had an outstanding playoffs even without scoring, but now that he’s got one it could mean the dam is about to break open.

One change Pens coach Dan Bylsma made that’s benefited the team is having Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Chris Kunitz work together as a line to turn up the pressure on the Rangers defense. At times that line has been dominant for Pittsburgh, and guys like Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have had to spend a lot of energy to slow them down. That on top of playing a manic schedule has made life hard for New York, but they’ve got their own problems to figure out.

The Rangers power play has been a mess all playoffs long and it’s been costing them against the Penguins. The number of chances they’ve had with the man-advantage have been enough to turn the tide in the series, but instead it’s giving Pittsburgh the chance to seize the day.

If the Rangers are going to even this series up, they’re going to need points from Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. Those two are the biggest offensive threats they have but don’t have much to show for it this round. Nash in particular could use a goal as he’s yet to score one in these playoffs.

Bylsma wants replay expanded to review goalie interference

Dan Bylsma

Instant replay is always a big deal when its put to use during a game, but Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma would like to see its use expanded.

Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears from Bylsma about how he would like to see it put to use in other instances around the net and not just to see if pucks crossed the goal line.

“I think the goalie interference call is way too difficult for the referees to judge in the game,” Bylsma said. “The timing of it, the location of it, whether he is pushed in (to the goalie) or not. I just think it’s way too hard for the ref to judge it.”

This angle isn’t anything new as this kind of added review was discussed at the recent GM meetings in Florida.

There have been a few instances recently in which goalie interference has gotten goals waved off and, as happens with these calls, there’s a fair amount of debate as to whether or not the call was warranted.

Offense is a good thing and goals help spur the game on. Having officials take them off the board because they believe they saw something is fine, but if it’s not actually there it’s something that should be able to be reviewed.

Penguins’ Kunitz a late scratch against Philadelphia

Chris Kunitz

If the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to beat the rival Philadelphia Flyers, they’ll have to do it without Chris Kunitz.

Kunitz was a late scratch for their game Saturday afternoon and Jayson Megna replaced him in the lineup. With Kunitz out, Taylor Pyatt replaced him on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Lee Stempniak. Megna started the game on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.

Kunitz missed practice on Thursday with what coach Dan Bylsma called “bumps and bruises” and joined James Neal on the injured list for today’s game. Neal is out with a concussion.

Backes, Callahan, and Brown are Team USA’s “Meat Line”

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 9 - Slovenia v United States

It wouldn’t be an Olympics without a story about a line developing so much chemistry they’ve developed a nickname. Such is the case with Team USA’s trio of David Backes, Dustin Brown, and Ryan Callahan.

As Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy shares, the team captains of the Blues, Kings, and Rangers have earned a name for themselves and it’s… Delicious. They are “The Meat Line.”

“I’m the beef. Dustin Brown’s the pork. Callahan’s the chicken. So that’s our meat line,” said Backes.

Beef, pork, and chicken – just like your burrito choices at your favorite place.

Backes tells Wyshynski it was Derek Stepan who came up with the name for the three and Stepan wanted to make sure his Rangers teammate was the chicken out of the group. Figuring out the rest of the charcuterie plate was easy enough.

That trio played very well against the Czechs as Brown and Backes each had a goal. Coach Dan Bylsma is hoping the three of them can make life miserable (and hungry?) for Canada on Friday.