Pittsburgh Penguins: March of the Penguins Leads Them to Ninth in Conference

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst IJanuary 4, 2009

It's not like fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins didn't realize it would be tough to duplicate last season's run to the Stanley Cup finals, especially when the team has been hit by the injury bug and lost their top two blueliners in Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar.

Of course, there was also the bolting of free agents, as Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts signed hefty contracts in Tampa, while Marian Hossa flapped his wings to Detroit.

Still, there was a slight bit of optimism as the Penguins came out of the gate with a 15-6-4 record and looked like contenders once again.

Insert a knock-out punch in the month of December, one of which turned this contender into a 19-16-4 team, as they managed only four wins to go along with 10 losses.

Maybe this is the real Pittsburgh Penguins, who, although they boast two of the top scorers in the game in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, don't have much after that.

The team is filled with streak offensive players and guys that have been discarded by other clubs. And to make matters worse, Marc-Andre Fleury has looked average at best.

Which brings us to the coaching situation.

Michel Therrien is not a good coach people!

It should have been realized in last year's finals when Mike Babcock made him look like a peewee house coach. A change should have been made in the off season.

While Joel Quenneville was scooped up and turned the Blackhawks around the Penguins were winning, but now that they aren't, maybe it's time to look to a Pat Quinn or a John Tortorella before things get really out of hand and the Penguins slip off the radar.

Yes, it's easy to speculate and point fingers as an outsider looking in, but it doesn't take a hockey whiz to realize how to fix the problem either.