Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma Must Go


After being swept by the Boston Bruins Friday night in the Eastern Conference final, there is one thing the Pittsburgh Penguins must do. That one thing is to fire head coach Dan Bylsma.

May 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma (top) gestures on the bench against the New York Islanders during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Since Bylsma took over from Michel Therrien in Feburary 2009 and led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup, his teams have lost twice in the opening round, once in Round 2 and now once in Round 3. In every one of those loses, he was outcoached.

Bylsma did not have his team ready for playoff hockey or under control this postseason. Instead of playing hockey they would do silly things after the whistle. Just look at Game 1 against the Bruins and Evgeni Malkin fighting.

Bylsma is under contract for next season, and has seen regular-season success. Pittsburgh has reeled off three straight 100-point seasons under Bylsma (you can make it four if you want to include the shortened 2013 campaign that saw the Penguins finish with 72 points in 48 games.)

Also Bylsma became the fastest coach in NHL history to record 200 regular-season wins, but the playoffs have been a different story.

It is clear that Bylsma is a great coach, but when you coach the Penguins, especially this year after all the trades they made, it is Stanley Cup or bust. There was no excuse to not at least make the Final this year with their all-star lineup.

Granted it didn’t help that Malkin, Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Kris Letang were pointless in the four games against the Bruins, but unfortunately their poor performance will cost Bylsma his job.

A coach has a shelf life with a team and it appears that Bylsma and the Penguins need to part ways. The Penguins could let Bylsma finish his contract, but they shouldn’t as there are many great coaching options out there this year.

Coaches like Lindy Ruff and Guy Boucher have dealt with star players before. They would bring in a different system as it appears that Bylsma’s approach doesn’t work in the playoffs.