FanPost

A Look at The Pens Organization and Possible Changes

So here we are they end of another season seeing the Penguins fall in the playoffs and not winning the Stanley Cup. I am writing this fan post because it is more appropriate than me filling this out in a comments section.

First, we must assess the weaknesses and problems with this team and why they didn't win the cup. The Pens while having the top tier talent to compete in Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Letang, and Martin, didn't have a competent and consistent bottom 6 forwards and bottom 4 defense. However, despite this the Pens bottom 6 forward showed flashes and were a major reason for winning the CBJ series. Now, with the artificially lower cap hit I believe every team, even "deep" teams have weaknesses this year due to the cap.

Systematically the Pens were solid, but not impressive in my mind. While I watched the whole game 7 last night I was screaming at my TV as the Pens refused to use the D in the offensive zone? They preferred to play 3 on 5 in the offensive zone. Now despite this complaint last night, I have seen Dan over the years as a willing learner and have changed numerous things about his "system" over the years. BTW, this could be a result of wanting to play defensive sound and not want to use D/cycle high because of the possibility of an odd man rush.

My opinion on the decision on were this team should go coaching wise is unlike many Pens fans. The fans who are calling for Dan's head and want the Pens to hire a Torts or Trotz type coach. While, I don't believe I know all of the NHL, AHL, NCAA, and CHL coaches, I do understand that forcing this team into a purely defensive mentality would be detrimental. However, without firing Shero which I will discuss below the Pens if they went the fire Bylsma route would probably call up the WBS coach John Hynes due to the fact the GM and organization have bought into this idea or concept about how to play winning hockey. I believe bringing in an outside HC, while interesting requires a massive shift in the organization all the way down to Wheeling, if the new coach doesn't have a similar style. Now, while many fans want this titanic shift, I will point out that the organization would take at least 5 years to recover, all of Crosby and Malkin's remaining "prime" years. The outside coaches who I think could succeed in this current organization without large change are Mike Johnston, Peter Laviolette, and Guy Boucher. Breaking down all three, Peter Laviolette just got hired in Nashville so he is off the table. Mike Johnston I believe could take this team back into an offensive juggernaut, but is not know for defensive structure and I think the fans would call for his head quicker than Bylsma if he didn't succeed immediately, which he could. Finally, Guy Boucher who many of you think I am crazy right now because obviously he is a "defensive" coach because he ran a 1-3-1. Wrong, his teams were very effective offensively because he relied on there speed and transition game to get play going the other way, and when possession was in doubt in the corner applied a very aggressive forecheck. Jeremy Weiss does a good job breaking it down here. Guy Boucher is now coaching for SC Bern in Switzerland. In recap the two simple options are to keep Bylsma or hire Hynes with Guy Boucher being my outside coach of choice as far as my knowledge goes.

GM Ray Shero is not without blame for the loss this year either. As mentioned above the roster issues of this year’s team are fairly glaring. However, some of this can be put off because of the artificially low cap created by the new CBA. Some fans are quick to point to the lack of ability to draft forward, but as mentioned above most hockey players take 5-7 years to develop before they will playing in the NHL and since he has been the GM since 06 he had only a couple of draft classes in the 5-7 year range. I personally think Shero does a good job drafting, but am not as sold on his trading as others. Think to all the draft picks Shero has traded over the years to acquire guys at the deadline, specifically last year. There were two forward prospects, a 1st round pick, and two 2nd round picks to acquire Jerome Iginla and Brendan Morrow. As far as the other 1st round picks are concerned a think Staal, Despres, Maatta, Pouliot, and Beau Bennett were all good picks and will play significant roles in the organization going forward. Now, if the Owners don't like the style of play the organization plays it would make the most sense to gut the management staff including the GM, but again you are basically rebuilding during Crosby and Malkin's remaining prime years.

Finally, I see the organization keeping Shero, with the head coach being 50/50 Bylsma or Hynes, and the Assistant Coaches replaced. Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see some major roster move like Neal or Sutter. However, at the end of the day a team with 18.3 mil in cap space given to your two star centers you expect/need more than 7 goal and 16 assists in 13 playoff games, with 8 of those games with both of them on the same line, to win the cup. This is especially true with the cap at 64 million.

I also was going to say they were a poor shooting team, but looking at there regular season average 5 on 5 close, I calculated they appear average. The table is below, data thanks to Extra Skater. It pretty rough. Corsi For (CF), Fenwick For (FF), Shots For (SH), Goals For (GF), Corsi shooting percentage (CFS%), Fenwick shooting percentage (FFS%), Shooting Percentage (SH%), Blocked Shot percentage (BLKS%), Missed shot percentage (MissSH%), and percentage of shots on net (ONSH%)

team

CF

FF

SF

GF

CFS%

FFS%

SH%

BLKS%

MissSH$

ONSH%

SJ

2562

1887

1339

101

3.942233

5.352411

7.542942

26.3466

21.38954

52.26386

Ottawa

2553

1910

1332

95

3.721112

4.973822

7.132132

25.18606

22.64003

52.17391

Vancouver

2545

1861

1311

93

3.654224

4.997313

7.093822

26.87623

21.611

51.51277

NYR

2495

1880

1394

85

3.406814

4.521277

6.097561

24.6493

19.47896

55.87174

LAK

2480

1851

1275

77

3.104839

4.159914

6.039216

25.3629

23.22581

51.41129

Boston

2472

1802

1275

109

4.409385

6.048835

8.54902

27.10356

21.31877

51.57767

Winn.

2462

1818

1308

110

4.467912

6.050605

8.409786

26.1576

20.71487

53.12754

Chicago

2427

1780

1357

107

4.408735

6.011236

7.885041

26.65843

17.42892

55.91265

Carolina

2368

1726

1211

90

3.800676

5.214368

7.431874

27.11149

21.74831

51.1402

NYI

2343

1701

1230

90

3.841229

5.291005

7.317073

27.40077

20.10243

52.4968

TBL

2334

1759

1260

97

4.155955

5.514497

7.698413

24.63582

21.37961

53.98458

Dallas

2304

1735

1219

101

4.383681

5.821326

8.28548

24.69618

22.39583

52.90799

NJD

2253

1673

1188

85

3.772747

5.080693

7.154882

25.74345

21.52685

52.72969

Phoenix

2239

1674

1205

87

3.885663

5.197133

7.219917

25.23448

20.94685

53.81867

Caps

2158

1589

1135

85

3.938832

5.349276

7.488987

26.36701

21.038

52.595

Pens

2152

1588

1166

96

4.460967

6.04534

8.233276

26.20818

19.60967

54.18216

Montreal

2142

1574

1118

89

4.154995

5.654384

7.960644

26.51727

21.28852

52.19421

AVS

2142

1568

1164

100

4.668534

6.377551

8.591065

26.79739

18.86088

54.34174

Detroit

2131

1654

1203

103

4.833412

6.227328

8.561929

22.38386

21.16377

56.45237

Blues

2127

1566

1079

88

4.137283

5.619413

8.1557

26.37518

22.8961

50.72873

CBJ

2113

1574

1154

91

4.306673

5.781449

7.885615

25.50876

19.87695

54.61429

Philly

2103

1506

1063

81

3.851641

5.378486

7.619944

28.38802

21.06515

50.54684

Calgary

2098

1539

1108

81

3.86082

5.263158

7.310469

26.64442

20.54337

52.8122

Anaheim

2071

1563

1132

121

5.842588

7.741523

10.68905

24.52921

20.8112

54.65958

Minn.

2030

1507

1082

77

3.793103

5.109489

7.116451

25.76355

20.93596

53.30049

Nashville

2021

1528

1151

95

4.700643

6.217277

8.253692

24.39386

18.65413

56.952

Florida

1966

1509

1112

67

3.407935

4.440027

6.02518

23.24517

20.19329

56.56155

Toronto

1955

1447

1059

87

4.450128

6.01244

8.215297

25.98465

19.84655

54.1688

Buffalo

1915

1418

1050

60

3.133159

4.231312

5.714286

25.953

19.21671

54.83029

Edmonton

1784

1323

946

78

4.372197

5.895692

8.245243

25.84081

21.13229

53.02691

The content expressed in fanposts does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff here at Pensburgh.com. FanPosts are opinions expressed by fans of various teams throughout the league but may be more Pittsburgh-centric for obvious reasons.

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