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Thread: Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

      
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    Default Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

    It started prior to the Carolina Hurricanes game. The flood of doubt came flowing into the Pittsburgh Penguins fanbase. Most of the flood was created by tears of those that annually or in some cases weekly become a little over dramatic with regards to loses. Added drama usually leads one to lose a bit of rational thought and/or a grip on reality. Naturally it's no surprise that when I go and float around on the internet I see plenty of knee jerk reactions to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5-1 start. Ok, at the time of this Article concept the Pens record was 5-5-1 but I'm sure that when the next Pens loss occurs, the cries will start rising water levels again.

    What have I heard? things like....

    "The Pens have problems that they can't fix dating back to last season and it's Dan Bylsma's fault"

    I love this one. A team that went practically an entire month of the 2009-2010 season rotating Defensemen nightly and at points fielding a Defensive squad made up primarily of AHL'ers and people are whining. A team that posted the following numbers...

    If those are problems folks, I believe that most teams would enjoy signing up for some of that. Those are all impressive results. They are all Top 10 results. The Giveaways Stat is one that you want to be ranked lower in anyways. Reverse it and we are really the 9th best team in the NHL last season in not giving the puck away.

    The real issues with the Pens in 2009-10 were the following..

    It's difficult to give a a ranking on Save Percentage because number of Games played varies. We'll just say this .. There were 14 Goaltenders in the NHL last season that played 60 games or more. Marc-Andre Fleury was one of those Goaltenders. He was ranked #13 out of those 14 in Save Percentage.

    Of course you get the tired and worn out excuse by those that are more interested in being fans of individual players on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster than the entire Team itself. This is a problem that's risen along with the number of puck bunnies that have latched onto the team the past 4-5 seasons. The excuses are things like...

    "Well the defense left MAF out to hang"

    or

    "The defense needs to clear the crease better"

    or

    "The defense always plays better behind everyone else except for Marc-Andre Fleury"

    this one

    "That one turnover in neutral ice doesn't help MAF"

    Sorry, these are excuses. They are excuses because either nobody can justify them with any facts or people expect the rest of the team to do everything including changing Fleury's jock for him. When you have a team like we did in 2009-10 that was Top 10 in Blocked Shots, Shots on Goal against, Shots on Goal, Penalty Kill ... How much easier do you have to make it for your #1 pick "Elite" goaltender who is swallowing $5 million per year in cap space? This team lead by Dan Bylsma limited the work that Marc-Andre Fleury had to do. Dan Bylsma's system and defense helped Marc-Andre Fleury and the results were Marc-Andre Fleury not helping himself.

    The result? We get to listen to the entire Pittsburgh Penguins fan base cry about the desperate need for Defensive upgrades this past offseason because we were bottom half of the league in Goals Allowed. That's cherry pick a single stat to make a claim if there ever was one.

    Alright, so let's fast-forward to the Present. 2010-11 Hockey season! The Pittsburgh Penguins are sitting at 6-5-1. It looks terrible on paper until you look at the standings and recognize that most of the rest of the NHL is not exactly playing up to the same standards one expects in the month of March. It doesn't matter though. Due to the Pittsburgh Penguins being inconsistent early in the season, the finger pointing has come out and I've been seeing it pointed at Dan Bylsma. Now, we just defused the myth that HC Dan Bylsma lead a team with all of these un-fixable issues that will plague us forever and ever last season . Of course we must assume that he's the problem for a 6-5-1 start to the 2010-11 season, then?

    First let's ignore that the Pittsburgh Penguins have played it's first 12 games of the season without it's expected 2nd Line center - Jordan Staal. We also need to ignore that we played 6 games without Brooks Orpik and have played 9 games without Defenseman Zybanek Michalek. What both of these guys are, are the Pittsburgh Penguins best stay at home defensemen. They cost $7.75 million this year against the cap. Throw in Jordan Staal and you are talking about $11.75 million in players for most of the early part of the season. I am going to assume that because of the money we recently have paid these players, that they are worth it and/or a pretty important part to this team by Management's design. This is about 1/6th of the teams payroll... Missing.

    But let's ignore that we've played without these players because, well .. everyone else seems to be ignoring it also.

    So what is the problem then? 6-5-1. We aren't dominating the league, eating small children and ****ting gold. Let's go find a coach to start running over with the Pittsburgh Coach Hating Bus.

    The problem is that we aren't getting anything resembling quality goal-tending from our #1 pick, Elite, $5 million per year goaltender - Marc-Andre Fleury. The guy is playing terrible. Whether you like Fleury or not, he is playing far below what his career average is...

    When Marc-Andre Fleury starts, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 1-5-0. That's unacceptable for everyone. The Fans, Management, Coaching Staff, Players, Mario & Burkle, Cotton Candy Guy, Iceburgh, Evgeni Malkin's parents etc... So when the finger isn't being pointed at Dan Bylsma it's being waved at Marc-Andre Fleury. Often times I see both, together. However, the hysterics. The nostalgia, the "fans" that put individual players before the team, well they are aren't very happy of the blame being placed on Marc-Andre Fleury. Float around the internet and you'll find things like ;

    "Stick behind your goaltender or get off the ****ing bandwagon"

    I love this ****. Now you **** well know that those that are saying things like this are those that jumped on the Sidney Crosby bandwagon post lock-out because no knowledgeable, long standing and reasonable fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins is going to place crappy individual performances before the betterment of the entire team. Hey, I still maintain hope for Marc-Andre Fleury but the object is to Win hockey games, not change your goaltenders diapers and also wipe his ***. It's time for Marc-Andre Fleury to start wiping his own *** ... when he gets a chance to start because at this point, he's not earned it. His performances, his stats, the Pittsburgh Penguins record when Fleury starts has dictated that he sits on the bench right now. What he did last year or the year before or the year before that means nothing right now when he's not playing up to even those standards. If those fans of "individual" players don't like this, maybe they can buy the Phoenix Coyotes, trade for Marc-Andre Fleury and rename the team the "Phoenix Fleury's". That's pretty catchy actually


    The problem this year is that when Dan Bylsma's lead Pittsburgh Penguins get solid goal tending, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 5-0-1. That right there is a record that everyone would be proud of. If the Penguins sustained a winning percentage like that, Al Gore's internet would be a buzz with talks about giving Dan Bylsma more money and of course adding more praise to the belt of GM - Ray Shero.

    Here are the numbers...

    Basically, when the Pittsburgh Penguins are getting solid goal-tending they are winning. Brent Johnson is providing solid goal-tending. He's not out there providing acrobatic plays. He's been positionally sound, limiting soft goals and has been mentally locked in. He's making the saves most people expect their goaltender to make and then making those extra few saves that most teams get from their goalies in a game that fire up the rest of the squad.

    The Shots Against Per Game Stat should erase the belief that the Defense plays so much better behind anyone and everyone else than Marc-Andre Fleury. No team in the league is allowing less than 24.3 Shots Against Per Game.

    What's happening is Marc-Andre Fleury's confidence is all but shot right now. He has little confidence and his teammates feel it on the ice. That's natural. Those are normal human traits. A little more emphasis appears to be being made to protect Fleury more and the result is the team isn't providing as much Offense as it should. Granted, when you are giving up the 27th most goals per game in the league, you will be a 1-5-0 team. When Brent Johnson is in goal, we're a Top scoring team in the league and we are the best defensive team statistically from a Goals Against Per Game aspect. #5 and #1 rankings.. Nobody would be complaining about Dan Bylsma.

    In conclusion folks. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a night and day different team when Brent Johnson starts in goal than when Marc-Andre Fleury starts. I fully understand that the Coaching staff is going to keep plugging Fleury in there because they believe like myself and others that Fleury is going to overcome his struggles. We just don't know when. Therefor you keep trying. There's also the concern that Brent Johnson won't be able to keep up the way he's playing. He's not doing anything really special out there goal-tending but it's a fantasy to believe that he can continue anything near a 1.17 GAA | .963 Save %. At which point, we will need Marc-Andre Fleury to be ready to finally step up his game and earn some of that $5 million per year.

    When the goal-tending is solid, Dan Bylsma the coach, his system, his Assistant coaches and the rest all look stable and perfectly fine to me.
    Last edited by Kipper; Feb-27-2015 at 08:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

    I agree 100% and would like to add that had MAF played the way Johnson did we WOULD be running over the league and eating entire families in the process. And that's really says a lot, especially since we're missing Staal and Michalek not to mention other bodies in the process. Johnson is doing a great job and deserves to get a run of at least 3 games and go from there. Now, if Bylsma doesn't give him that chance, you can call it bad coaching. I call it trying to wake your 5 mil. goaltender up, and we can't just ignore the fact that there's a lot of pressure from upstairs for MAF to play. Bylsma has to make it work, and is doing a pretty solid job of it so far this season. No it isn't brilliant but with no wingers, key injuries and MAF playing like crap we're still 6-5-1. "When the goal-tending is solid, Dan Bylsma the coach, his system, his Assistant coaches and the rest all look stable and perfectly fine to me. " - exactly. He's just juggling, you can't expect a coach to just give up on a Stanley Cup winning goaltender this early in the season. If we did, and Johnson underperformed, he'd be kissing his *** goodbye. So, MAF HAS to get his starts. That said, Johnson definitely deserves more time in nets and I have no doubt Bylsma realises that as much as we do.

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    Default Re: Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

    You forgot a stat.... "Fights won!" We've gotta be leading the league!

    To quote Mike Lange... Bylsma could "let some heat out of the kitchen" if he parked MAF's butt on the bench until BJ proves he can't handle the #1 job.

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    Default Re: Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

    This team sucks. Horrible horrible horrible. Back to the same old same old with great talent at the center position and no wings.

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    Default Re: Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

    Quote Originally Posted by foslrock View Post
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    This team sucks. Horrible horrible horrible. Back to the same old same old with great talent at the center position and no wings.
    Tonight... well, last night. Yeah, they sucked as a whole. Every part of the team from goaltending to defense to the forwards played like ***.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Tonight... well, last night. Yeah, they sucked as a whole. Every part of the team from goaltending to defense to the forwards played like ***.
    Yeah but if they had Kovalchuk they would have been awesem like the devils are...

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    Default Re: Relax! Bylsma Is Fine When The Goaltending Is Good

    MAF Sucks
    The only player in the NHL more overpaid than MAF is Jordan Staal

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