Michel Therrien Takes Fall for Ray Shero's Shortcomings

Scott BarnerContributor IFebruary 16, 2009

Ray Shero had many choices to make after the debacle in Toronto last Saturday night.  He could have made a player move, a coaching move, or accepted the blame himself for the poor supporting cast of players he put on the ice this season. 

He chose the easiest solution and fired Michel Therrien and replaced him with a minor league affiliate coach Dan Blysma.  A move not popular with the Penguin fans.  A poll conducted today by KDKA Television has 64% of the fans strongly in agreement that firing Therrien was the wrong move.

This consequently was the decision that will make no difference and have the least amount of impact on the team.  The right move here would have been to keep Therrien to finish out the season, and fire Shero.  The fault lies with him.

He is responsible for giving the coach the right pieces of the puzzle to build a team that is to make the playoffs and beyond.  He provided pieces of the puzzle that just don't fit together.

The players are rumored to not like Therrien's style of coaching.  He made them practice too long.  He was too tough.  He was distant from the players.  Cry me a river.

Badger Bob Johnson and Scotty Bowman were both very successful with this style of coaching. They both brought Stanley Cups to Pittsburgh.  Michel Therrien took the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Finals last year with a disciplinarian style of coaching. It works.  

The new NHL players seem to have a lackluster work ethic and now want to quit on hard work and discipline. Well, news flash: the Penguins won Stanley Cups under such a coaching system, so obviously it works.  

If they think things were bad before, wait to see what they have coming with Blysma. He works his players hard and expects them to play a physical and fast style of hockey.  This means hard practices.  So, I guess the players will quit on him as well.

The right move here was to fire Shero, replace him with Eddie Johnston as the interim until the end of the season and hire a new GM that has more experience and can find players that have a good work ethic and will fit well with Malkin and Crosby.