Penguins

Friday Insider: Bylsma had chance to change

[caption id="attachment_5010" align="aligncenter" width="622"]Dan-Bylsma-2 Dan Bylsma was fired by the Penguins after another playoff flop in 2013-14. -- GETTY IMAGES[/caption]

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

A weekly feature rounding up a lot of randomness from a lot of time around our city's teams …

fridayinsider• Had a fascinating conversation this week about Dan Bylsma's final couple of years behind the Penguins' bench, and it shed light on something I hadn't previously understood: Why, if the people over his head were displeased with his system, did it never change?

The answer, according to one individual eminently in the know, was that Bylsma flat-out wouldn't listen to anyone. No, not even to Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle.

The part that was most irksome to the owners was the same that seemed to irk most in the public, that being the spread-all-over-creation breakouts. Those above Bylsma recognized that the breakouts, one, stunted his own star players' speed by having them catch passes at a standstill and, two, were laughably easy to defend when a team had time to practice it. Such as, you know, a best-of-seven playoff series.

Bylsma would occasionally be told of this dissatisfaction, and the system would be modified ... but never for more than a game or two.

Some coaches really do forget that the objective is to win, not to win your way.

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