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Datsyukian-Deke

2017 ECSF Washington Caps vs. Pittsburgh Pens

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2 hours ago, GMRwings1983 said:

 

Very simple.  Holtby has been subpar in the playoffs.  If he played like this in the regular season, they would have been a 4 seed.  Their so-called top defense has given up too many good scoring chances.  Those defensive players are overrated trash.  They've scored plenty of goals, but no offensive players have stood out and too many players aren't cutting it in big moments.  

Also, as I stated earlier, no-neck Barry Trotz has never gotten far in the playoffs himself.  They should have found a more proven playoff coach to replace Boudreau and Hunter.  

Hanta yo baby!

I should go to the Caps thread over at HF Boards, and post that YouTube video...For inspiration :lol:

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42 minutes ago, Dabura said:

I'm starting to think Mike Sullivan might secretly be the best coach in the NHL.

He seems to be like Bill Belichick of the NHL.  No matter what happens, no matter who gets injured, no matter who they acquire or call up from the minors, everybody plays like a star.  Jake Guentzel looks like the next Brett Hull with the way he's playing right now.

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these ******* flightless birds are good, but a few little tweaks by mammals here and there make them unbeatable. f*** you zebras and f*** you buttman!!

And Ovie, oh man... I'll ask my wife to knit him good thick wool socks, he must be very cold, frozen nearly to death, staying there on the ice waiting somebody dash him a puck for a change or for a shot...

Edited by ami

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5 hours ago, Dabura said:

I'm starting to think Mike Sullivan might secretly be the best coach in the NHL.

People said the same thing about Bylsma when he took over and led the Pens to the cup.  Sullivan will probably be thrown to the wolves in about 5 years.

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6 minutes ago, Nightfall said:

People said the same thing about Bylsma when he took over and led the Pens to the cup.  Sullivan will probably be thrown to the wolves in about 5 years.

I mean, sure. I'm not outright saying he's the best coach in the NHL. The sample size is far too small at this time.

But, like xtrememachine1 said, he does seem to have a Babcockian ability to get the most out of his team. It helps to have the kind of talent he has at his disposal (Crosby alone could probably make Mike Milbury look like a tactical genius), but I don't think just any coach could've led the Pens to the Cup last season and I don't think just any coach could have this Pens team -- missing the personnel it's missing -- performing as well as it's performing right now.

I guess the million-dollar hypothetical question is this: If you switch the head coaches in this series so Sullivan is behind the Caps' bench and Trotz is behind the Pens' bench, are the Caps leading the series 3-1? Just some food for thought, nothing more.

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1 minute ago, Dabura said:

I mean, sure. I'm not outright saying he's the best coach in the NHL. The sample size is far too small at this time.

But, like xtrememachine1 said, he does seem to have a Babcockian ability to get the most out of his team. It helps to have the kind of talent he has at his disposal (Crosby alone could probably make Mike Milbury look like a tactical genius), but I don't think just any coach could've led the Pens to the Cup last season and I don't think just any coach could have this Pens team -- missing the personnel it's missing -- performing as well as it's performing right now.

I guess the million-dollar hypothetical question is this: If you switch the head coaches in this series so Sullivan is behind the Caps' bench and Trotz is behind the Pens' bench, are the Caps leading the series 3-1? Just some food for thought, nothing more.

Remember when Bylsma did the same thing with the Pens and now is out of a job?

Your final question is correct.  Could Sullivan get more out of Washington?  Don't know.  What I do know is that great players make a great coach.  Did the Pens talent make Bylsma a great coach back then?  Probably.  What about Sullivan and now?  Probably. 

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1 minute ago, Nightfall said:

Remember when Bylsma did the same thing with the Pens and now is out of a job?

Yes.

I also realize that "Bylsma tho" doesn't necessarily have any bearing on Sullivan's abilities or the success Sullivan had last season or the success Sullivan will/won't have over the next five years.

I don't disagree that what really matters is having great players, that great players can, potentially, make any coach look great. Still, I'm starting to think Mike Sullivan might be the best coach in the NHL. He burned Mike Johnston's offense-killing system to the ground and the team hasn't looked back since then. Will he ultimately crash and burn? Maybe. (Probably.) But, at this time, there isn't much to criticize, beyond pointing to Bylsma.

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4 hours ago, Dabura said:

Yes.

I also realize that "Bylsma tho" doesn't necessarily have any bearing on Sullivan's abilities or the success Sullivan had last season or the success Sullivan will/won't have over the next five years.

I don't disagree that what really matters is having great players, that great players can, potentially, make any coach look great. Still, I'm starting to think Mike Sullivan might be the best coach in the NHL. He burned Mike Johnston's offense-killing system to the ground and the team hasn't looked back since then. Will he ultimately crash and burn? Maybe. (Probably.) But, at this time, there isn't much to criticize, beyond pointing to Bylsma.

Agreed.  I think we can also point to other coaches who have excelled when taking over a team, and then fast forward a few years later and they are fired.  I think its safe to say that a coaches message gets lost and new blood is needed to keep things going.  Very very few coaches in the NHL stay at the same place for a long time.  Heck the longest tenured head coach in the NHL is Quenneville and he has been on the job 9 years.  After that you have Tippett with the Coyotes since 2009, and then in 3rd place is Cooper who has only been on the job since 2013.

Sullivan needs a larger sample size, but longevity in the NHL coaching realm revolves around getting the most out of your players.  So far, Sullivan has achieved that. 

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Damn Capitals are gonna fail again, and this is the best roster they've ever had. If only Holtby could carry his Vezina winning play over to the playoffs. Flower is outplaying him, and he would be on the bench if Murray wasn't injured. The Caps need to figure out their goalie situation in the offseason if they can't turn this s***show around, which seems kinda stupid since Holtby is last years Vezina winner and one of this years finalists. Just can't take the pressure I guess. He looks nervous sometimes, and sometimes spaced out, and often out of position and playing too deep in his net. Trots should toss his backup (not sure of his name) in there next game. Can't be much worse, and maybe he'll actually take a chance to win a Cup seriously. Wouldn't be the first time a backup has stolen a series back.

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Crosby is participating in full practice today, which may mean a few things: 1) somewhat new protocol suggesting you shouldn't rest, but keep active...however, I doubt that means taking a lot of contact, which he would in practice, 2) if all goes well, ready to play game 5?  

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15 hours ago, Nightfall said:

Agreed.  I think we can also point to other coaches who have excelled when taking over a team, and then fast forward a few years later and they are fired.  I think its safe to say that a coaches message gets lost and new blood is needed to keep things going.

For sure. (See: Hitchcock, Ken.)

15 hours ago, Nightfall said:

Sullivan needs a larger sample size, but longevity in the NHL coaching realm revolves around getting the most out of your players.  So far, Sullivan has achieved that. 

I think what I like about him is that there appears to be precious little bulls*** in his approach to coaching this Pens team. He's logical, rational, reasonable, calculating. When he took over for Mike Johnston, he assessed the team's strengths and built the team's new systems and sensibilities around those strengths, whereas Mike Johnston had decided the Pens were going to be a team that tries to win games 2-1, "because defense" (or something). Sullivan got everyone to buy in; the players embraced a new team identity, one which helps make this team more than the sum of its parts. He seems to treat players fairly and the players seem to enjoy playing for him. By all accounts, he's extremely demanding -- but, at the same time, his troops always understand where he's coming from and what he wants from them and why he wants it. No behind-the-scenes drama. Players playing to their full potential. Good, winning hockey.

A couple pretty good pieces:

How the Mike Sullivan effect turned the Penguins into playoff bullies

How does Pittsburgh seemingly put every opponent, even the offensively elite Washington Capitals in Round 2, back on its heels? The straightforward answer is speed. The Conor Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Patric Hornqvist line skates. The HBK line, Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel, really skates. The Chris Kunitz-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust line skates. Fleet-footed Rust put daggers in the Bolts' hearts in Games 6 and 7. The D-corps, from Kris Letang to Olli Maatta, skates. But it's more than that. This team's personality changed completely Dec. 12, 2015, when coach Mike Sullivan took over. They ranked 20th in 5-on-5 score adjusted Corsi and 28th in goals per game at the time of coach Mike Johnston's firing. Sullivan came in, and the Pens were second only to the Los Angeles Kings for the rest of the season in 5-on-5 score-adjusted Corsi. It seems Sullivan unlocked or unshackled this team.

And, talking to Sullivan and his players on media day at the Stanley Cup final, it's clear this is no shoehorned narrative. Pittsburgh didn't just happen to wake up under a new coach and bust a slump playing the same way they did under the old coach. No. Everything about the franchise's turnaround this season has been deliberate. Sullivan had a specific vision when he came in. Right wingers Kessel and Hornqvist both mentioned Sunday that Sullivan is a serious man. Hornqvist said he likes Sullivan's honesty. But what both players, and seemingly Penguins player, praise most consistently about their coach: his organizational skills. Everything he does is structured and calculated.

“One of the things we tried to do as a coaching staff is instill a game plan where we could play to our strengths," Sullivan said Sunday, his gaze hardened with focus and conviction. "When you look at our core players, they all want to play a speed game. They can all skate. They all have really good hockey sense. They have the ability to move the puck and change the point of attack. So speed in all its forms, whether it’s foot speed or team speed and your ability to move the puck and change the point of attack quickly, and to create opportunities or to create a competitive advantage, is what I envisioned with this group. So we’ve tried to implement some strategies to give these players an opportunity to play to their strengths.”

How Mike Sullivan's Magic Took the Penguins from Underachievers to Champions

Is Mike Sullivan the best coach in the NHL right now? Too early to say either way. However, I do think he's starting to make a case for himself. If the Pens repeat as champs this year, with a D group of Ian Cole, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley, Brian Dumoulin, Ron Hainsey? I think it becomes a worthwhile discussion.

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They're just unbeatable. It's ridiculous.

On 2017-05-04 at 9:44 AM, Dabura said:

I'm starting to think Mike Sullivan might secretly be the best coach in the NHL.

I really hope Crosby is out for the playoffs and Pittsburgh still wins the cup. It's like Belichick winning the super bowl without Brady.

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THis penguins team reminds of the 08 wings... lethal top six but underrated PKers and warriors giving there heart out there. Wings wouldn't have made it past Nashville in the first round in 08 if it wasn't for the role players and franzen... franzen pretty much carried the team until the conference finals... hard to lose a series when a guy scores two hat tricks in three games

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49 minutes ago, F.Michael said:

I think Caps owner Ted Leonsis needs to petition the league for a move to the Western Conference...Pens always have their number.

Everyone has their number in the playoffs.  I believe they've only been to the Conference Finals once in their history.  It's not just the Pens. 

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