Detroit Red Wings: They Have the NHL Right Where They Want It

December 16th, 2009 by Greg Eno Leave a reply »
Last June 12, as the Pittsburgh Penguins reveled in their first Stanley Cup win since 1992 on the Joe Louis Arena ice surface, the state of the team in mid-December, 2008 must have seemed to them like ancient history—something written in hieroglyphics on a cave wall somewhere.

I caught team president Mario Lemieux before he made his way into the locker room. The Pens had made a coaching change after the new year. And I wanted to know how the Penguins were able to go from also-rans around Christmas to Stanley Cup champions six months later.

“They bought in,” Lemieux said about new coach Dan Bylsma. “And we got our special teams in order.”

Same question, posed to Bylsma moments later.

“I thought that we had the talent to make this happen,” Bylsma told me just after donning his champions baseball cap, about his feelings when he took the team over from Michel Therrien. “I didn’t want to say it too loud, but I knew we had the talent.”

The Penguins were 16-10-4 one year ago today, on the fringe of playoff contention. A few weeks later, they sank to 20-19-4. No one was talking Penguins when they were handicapp ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NHL
Article written by


Comments are closed.