Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma listened to the question about his future, after losing Game 7 to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
“If the inevitable happens…” said the reporter bluntly.
Bylsma, staring into the abyss, smirked.
The reporter corrected himself: “If an unfortunate situation happens …”
If Bylsma is fired, it’ll be both unfortunate and inevitable. He’s a good coach that won’t be out of work long, whose teams suffered through significant injuries and whose general manager hasn’t filled out a championship-caliber roster in a few seasons. But the Penguins haven’t been back to the Stanley Cup Final since winning in 2009, Bylsma’s first season, and have lost to a succession of lower seeded teams – including the loss to the Rangers, blowing a 3-1 series lead. He's been outmaneuvered in many of those series.
This could be the last game Dan Bylsma will have coached for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Anytime you into an elimination game, you think about it as the possibility that it’s your last game. You think about it,” said Bylsma.
Here’s the head coach on his fate and the series loss:
Key quote, when asked about “paying the price” for the Penguins’ loss.
“Well, you know, our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. We haven’t done that in five seasons. I’m 20 minutes post battling for a Game 7, and right to the bitter end. I haven’t contemplated what that price is gonna be, or anything towards the future yet,” said Bylsma.