Therrien Out. Schneider to Habs. Rangers Seek Avery?
February 16, 2009 by Big Tony
Therrien out – Michel Therrien has paid the price for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season of gravely underachieving. Despite having the league’s top two scorers in Malkin and Crosby respectively, the Penguins are in 10 in the East and are coming off losses to out-of-contention Toronto and the lowly New York Islanders. Therrien is hardly to blame for Pittsburgh’s struggles but coaches are usually the ones to take the blow when a team is struggling because firing players is hardly an option. Baby Penguins (Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate) boss Dan Bylsma has been called up to lead the team for the remainder of the season. Therrien stated he believes the now Bylsma led team will make the playoffs but now having lost two in a row to teams they should have beaten it certainly seems unlikely. The good news for Pittsburgh is that a lot of teams in front of them have been struggling to win games as of late keeping the Penguins in contention.
Rangers sliding – The New York Rangers have hit a bit of a rut lately losing eight of their last nine, including a five game losing streak and a 4 game slide that was extended Monday night with a loss to home-standing St. Louis. Tom Renney’s job is in jeopardy and the Rangers are considering making a move for Sean Avery of all people to help turn them around. When a team looks to Sean Avery to “right the ship” that team is probably in a hole they will never dig out of.
Mathieu Schneider to Canadiens – The Canadiens—another team in a free-fall—have acquired defensemen Mathieu Schneider from the Atlanta Thrashers for two draft picks. Schneider, now in his 20th season, returns to the Canadiens after being a part of their last Stanley Cup team in 1993. Perhaps Schneider’s presence will serve as a morale boost but not much more than that. The defense may be sured-up slightly with him in the lineup, but in the end the Canadiens’ problems stem from Carey Price’s collapse, not being able to score on the power play, losing Robert Lang, and Kovalev having an extremely average season. If those pieces don’t shape up then it won’t matter what Schneider does because he cannot carry this franchise to the promised land alone.