Firing the Head Coach was the Only Option for the Penguins
It is apparent that the Pittsburgh Penguins are shaking up its coaching staff in a bid to win again in this reign of Sidney Crosby- Evgni Malkin that is open. People who were betting on hockey and hockey fans expected head coach, Mike Johnson, to be fired. This is because the team has been registering disappointing results in the field. Penguins is rich with offensive talent yet it ranks number 27 when it comes to goals per game. Many of its players have shown their frustration since the beginning of the season and this spells doom for any coach.
With the bad performances and the key members of the team disgruntled, Penguins general manager, Jim Rutherford, had no option but to fire the coach. As much as he would have liked to make a bold trade, previous seasons have shown a different picture. It is usually not easy for cap stricken teams to carry out meaningful trades during the first half of NHL season.
Over the past few years, the Penguins have been desperate to win in a similar fashion that NHL betting individuals always want to win. As a result, the franchise has traded away draft picks as well as prospects to secure that chance. This explains why they acquired Phil Kessel during the summer and Rutherford, a veteran, to replace Ray Shero as the General Manager. The decision seems to be a short time fix rather than a long term one. Pursuing young minds like Julien BriseBois or Jason Botterill is an internal option that might have offered a long-term solution. However, Rutherford is never afraid of making big changes. If the changes work out then it will be great.
After making the changes, Rutherford noted that it was the right time that changes were made. This is because the team had underachieved with much higher expectations from the current group of players. He also added that had been impressed by the work done by Mike Sullivan at the top of Penguin’s AHL affiliate. That is why he got the promotion to be the head coach for the Penguins. Additionally, experienced coach, Jacques Martin, will join hands with Rick Tocchet alongside Sullivan on the bench.
Sullivan has a solid reputation that has seen him secure his position by merit. It all depends on whether he will connect with key players in the penguin team, a goal that Johnson could not achieve. As it stands, there are still one or two trades that Rutherford could pull before all is done and dusted this season. After that, it is most likely the Penguins will have no more tricks. If it works and the window remains open for the next couple of years, then it maybe the penguins last shot. However, if it fails one more time with an exit in the first round or worse, then a dramatic off season is more likely to be witnessed.