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With a career regular season coaching record of 201 wins, 93 losses, 25 overtime losses and a .630 winning percentage, Dan Bylsma has been one of the most successful coaches in the NHL since he took over the Penguins in 2009.
Yet for all of the regular season success his teams have had, Bylsma’s record is 36 wins and 29 losses and, since 2009, he is a sub-.500 playoff coach.
Obviously, the reason for this disparity between the regular season and the post season records are the postseason adjustments or lack thereof.
In the regular season, teams face different opponents from one game to the next and, while they may make small adjustments, teams won’t change their system.
In a best-of-seven playoff series, however, teams can rework their strategy to face one specific opponent as the Bruins did last year in the ECF when they went away from their aggressive fore-checking system and decided to clog the neutral zone.
Unfortunately, Dan Bylsma was either unwilling or unable to make adjustments and, as result, the Pens ended up with another disappointing post season finish.
If the Pens are to chase another Stanley Cup, they must be willing to adapt to their opponent instead of forcing the play as they did in their embarrassing four-game sweep against the Bruins.