Penguins Blow 3-1 Series Lead to End Season

Pitiful, disgusting, atrocious.  These are just a few words that Pittsburghers might be throwing around after the Penguins lost game seven of the Eastern Conference semifinal to the New York Rangers on Tuesday at the Consol Energy Center.

The series began on May 2, with the Rangers taking a 1-0 lead in the series.  However, the Pens came roaring back, playing some of the best hockey they have played all season to get the series in their favor by a tally of three games to one.  The sunshine and rainbows didn’t last.

In what appeared to be an anemic performance in game five, they beloved Penguins were destroyed by the Rangers, giving up five goals.  Game six was ugly and game seven was a one man show put on by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.  The Penguins had a historic breakdown and were eliminated from the playoffs without seeing the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth year in a row.

This miserable breakdown called for serious change in the eyes of the Penguins executive office.  Between Tuesday and Friday there were many talks and speculations of the firing of head coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero. Friday, all the rumors and remarks were put to rest.  In a press conference Friday morning, co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle, it was announced that Ray Shero was fired and the fate of Coach Bylsma was to be decided upon by Shero’s replacement.”Our ownership group felt that it was time to move in a new direction,” said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse in the conference. “We feel that new leadership could help us get back on track and achieve our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

“At the end of the day, we feel responsible,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “We are the guys that go out there and want to perform and want to win, and we have that expectation.

“It’s difficult to win, and I don’t think there’s been any lack of effort from players, coaches, anybody in the conversation. I don’t think it’s been a lack of trying.”

Whose fault the disastrous collapse was is impossible to say, but the Penguins need to turn things around big time next year.  It will be very interesting to see who sticks around for the start of next season and who will be there to lead the Penguins to hopefully another winning season with a pot of gold…or silver, as the case may be,  in the form of  a Stanley Cup at the end of the rainbow.