Is Dan Bylsma Trying To Get Himself Fired?

What the hell is this guy doing?

I'm kidding of course. I think.

But even though I'm half-assed joking, HCDB is doing some absolutely maddening things nowadays.

Maybe I just haven't noticed these because I still haven't paid enough attention to the advanced stats of today's game. There have been some outstanding articles written lately using these advanced stats, for example by my good friends at Pensblog on puck possession and the lack of drafting forwards by GM Ray Shero.

So, hey, maybe it's just me.

But when I read Seth Rorabaugh's recap of last's night loss to Phoenix, something just aggravated the shit out of me.

This subject has been mentioned several times recently, but after the Penguins' snoozefest last night, it really hit home. So allow me to set the stage.

We all know the Penguins have been hit with an incredible amount of injuries this season, the latest of which of course was Evgeni Malkin's foot injury, resulting him being out of the lineup for 2-3 weeks.

So we get it, the Pens are extremely banged up. The only line that's completely healthy is the first line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Lee Stempniak.

The Pens had their morning skate yesterday, and HCDB talks gushingly about Coyotes' young defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Bylsma did everything but call this young buck the next Paul Coffey.

So let's see: Penguins are extremely banged up. Coyotes have a strong defensive group of Ekman-Larsson and former Penguin Zbynek Michalek. But it's all good, the Penguins are at home and they've got last change?

Right? Um, no.

What does Bylsma do? He blatantly ignored the last line change and allowed Ekman-Larsson and Michalek to be matched up against the Crosby line for virtually the entire game.

Don't take my word for it. Seth's article provides a crystal clear breakout proving this (courtesy ShiftCart.com).

So I repeat - What the hell is this guy doing?

Then to top it off, Bylsma basically admits that Jussi Jokinen was benched after his retaliatory penalty, which resulted in a power play goal last night.

Great, accountability! So I'm assuming James Neal, or Evgeni Malkin, or yes, even Sidney Crosby will be held accountable for their stupid retaliatory (and some are calling dirty) penalties, right?

So now the question becomes, when the inevitable 5th consecutive playoff collapse happens in late April, will the Penguins' injuries save Bylsma's job?

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