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Pittsburgh Penguins

Second Guessing Therrien’s Firing

This weekend was spent packing, moving, and then unpacking. Needless to say, I was out of the news realm when it came to sports. After arriving at work this morning, I took a look at the latest Penguins news and surprisingly enough I saw the headline that head coach Michel Therrien was fired by the Penguins.

As a fan, I had no problems with Michel Therrien. He took the Penguins within two games of the Stanley Cup last year, and then the season before that he completely turned around a team that had look dreadful the year before. I understand that many players had personal issues with Therrien and also that Therrien was never GM Ray Shero’s choice of coach. However, I have to ask the question why? Why now?

The Penguins are 57 games into the season and in 10th place of the Eastern Conference. The Penguins have had a ton of injuries this year and lost a significant amount of players this past offseason. Is it too much to expect the Penguins to not have had a down year? It seems like people’s expectations of the Penguins team and Therrien might have been too much. Yes, the Penguins have two of the best players in the league with Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, but they can’t do it alone. Many of the problems this year occured because of player depth. Replacing Ryan Malone and Marian Hossa with Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko was definintely not a fair trade off and the amount of role players the Penguins lost is significant.

With all that said, I find it a little difficult to believe that a team that has been preaching building a team for the “long term” was so quick to fire Therrien. Could it have at least waited until after the season? Luckily, that’s the great thing about being a fan, we get to second guess decisions without being held accountable by the actual team.

Regardless of what has gone on the past few days, I only can hope that good comes out of this. I truly believe that the blame for this season can be placed on injuries, under performing playes, etc and not just Michel Therrien.

Someone has to be the escape goat…

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2 comments for “Second Guessing Therrien’s Firing”

  1. When the Sharks fired Ron Wilson we fans knew it was coming. Wilson was basically given one more season to get the team past the second round and when he didn’t he was let go. At first I was okay with the decision, they I started to have second thoughts because sure we didn’t get any further in the playoffs, but you can’t argue with 100+ point seasons, etc. In retrospect I think Sharks GM Doug Wilson knew the players had stopped responding to Ron’s style and if a change didn’t occur at that time, the team Doug helped build would fall apart. My ‘canary in the coal mine’ is Patrick Marleau - his numbers fell off so bad but he proved in the playoffs why he should stay and Ron should go.

    The Pens are a very talented team but if they didn’t make some kind of move more players might start leaving Hossa-style. It’s easier to find one good coach than it is to assemble a team of good players.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | February 17, 2009, 11:06 am
  2. Very good points sharksfan. I understand that it is very important to make sure that players respond to the coach. I suppose that it is just in the NHL nature to have coach turnover more frequently then a lot of other sports. I am not giving up on this season at all, but in a way it might be a good thing if the Penguins miss the playoffs. It could provide the players who were in the Stanley Cup Finals last year a wake-up call.

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | February 17, 2009, 11:34 am

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