Monday, February 16, 2009

Therrien Out - But Will It Help?

The text message last night looked something like this:

"PENS ALERT: WB/S coach Dan Blysma named interim Head Coach replacing Michel Therrien."

And as quick as that, we say goodbye to a coach that has been with the Penguins for three seasons.

Was the firing deserved? It's an interesting question. On one hand, there are plenty of Pens fans that have been calling for Therrien to get the ax ever since the Pens troubles started in December. But listening to the radio this morning, there are plenty of people defending him, stating that firing him will in no way help the Pens current troubles.

I really admired Therrien his first two years in with the Pens. I thought he brought a lot of vision to a young team who needed some guidance. But this year something seemed to get lost in the shuffle. He got away from many of his characteristic traits as a coach. And in a weird twist of fate he had gone "soft".

The person the Pens need right now is the Therrien the Pens had when he first came on board. The hard ass who called out guys publicly. The guy that came in and push a struggling team towards wins. Not the proud papa who had watched his boys grow up and felt there was no need to be tough with them any longer. After all, they had been in a Stanley Cup final hadn't they?

A few of Therrien's wrong doings this year:

  1. Way too much line shuffling - Know for his constant line shuffles, Therrien usually had his lines figured out by mid November. But right now it's mid February and I can't name our top line. It changes daily. Not that the injuries help, but can't we at least find some consistency?
  2. What Power Play? - Pens should have realized something this year - good teams capitalize on their power plays. They don't attempt a consistent two minutes of dump and chase. While many here are blaming assistant coach Mike Yeo for the lack of scoring on the power play, I'm pointing my finger at Therrien. I don't care if Gonchar is out - find some combo that works until he gets back. Embrace the power play as your way to stay in a game that you're down a goal. And capitalize on the ability of players such as Sid who draw plenties at critical juntures.
  3. Assistant Captains - With Gonchar out at the start of the season, Therrien rotated the roles of assistant captains every month. While this might be acceptable for a young, winning team the concept sorely hurt the Pens. The role should have been given to Malkin and Orpik, the former for his inspired leadership last year when Sid was injured and the latter for his emerging veteran role. Give the guys someone to look up to besides Sid.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!?!?!?!!!!!!

Someone help us, we're dying here!!

Dan Bylsma anyone?


Shan said...

This will help. Therrien is not that great a coach, I'm not sure how he got people to think otherwise. He spends most games *facepalming* like that picture. But they can't rely on Blysma to turn this season around either.

Ellie said...

I agree Shan - Therrien was past his prime and the team has too many other issues than just a need for a coaching change.