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Dan Bylsma: Next Washington Capitals Head Coach?

The Washington Capitals know Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma quite well. He’s led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup and the Penguins have been legitimate Stanley Cup contenders every year under Bylsma. However, that’s apparently not good enough for the Penguins because after this year’s playoff failure, there are rumors that Dan Bylsma could be fired. Since the Washington Capitals currently have a head coaching vacancy, naturally there have been rumors that he could be the next Capitals head coach.

There is a lot to like about Bylsma. He’s experienced and he knows how to handle egos. He’s managed to keep Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby happy when both of them want to be the star.

Reasons To Hire Dan Bylsma

1. Consistent winner. Say what you want about Dan Bylsma, but there’s a reason that the Penguins have been a consistent contender under him.

2. He’s won a Stanley Cup. The Washington Capitals should definitely be considering Dan Bylsma due to his experience.

3. He brought out the best of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Before Dan Bylsma was hired, the two almost seemed to be at odds. They haven’t seemed to be at odds ever since Bylsma was hired. One can assume Bylsma had something to do with that. This tells me that Bylsma knows how to handle egos, which is a tough thing to do.

With all that said, there are some reasons to be concerned about Dan Bylsma as a head coach.

Reasons To Not Hire Dan Bylsma

1. Yes, he won a Stanley Cup, but how do you not win at least one with his talent? A team with Malkin and Crosby should have won more than one Stanley Cup since 2009. Plain and simple. The Penguins have consistently underachieved in the playoffs under Bylsma save one year when Malkin went nuts and someone convinced Marc Andre-Fleury that he’s the second coming of Patrick Roy. Eventually you have to stop blaming the players and bad luck and blame the head coach.

2. He appears to have no control over his team. Honestly, I’m not too concerned that the Penguins lost in the playoffs the past few seasons. It’s HOW they lost that concerns me. The same problems arise year and year: the Penguins can’t control their emotions and are prone to being outhustled by lesser teams. I think a lot of that has to do with Dan Bylsma. If, as a head coach, you see your team consistently have problems and you do nothing to fix them (or appear to do nothing), regardless of if you tried or not, you have failed as a head coach. While Bylsma has had a great deal of success with the Penguins, it’s not a stretch to say that he has failed. And then there’s this:

3. Not a fan of the Penguins’ defense under Bylsma. This falls under the “seeing a problem and not fixing it” category. The Washington Capitals need to improve their defense. The Penguins’ defense has always been average at best, IMO. I’m not sure if that’s Dan Bylsma’s fault or if it’s the general manager’s fault, but that doesn’t look good for Bylsma.

Personally, I’d prefer Barry Trotz to Bylsma. Trotz is a no-nonsense kind of coach. The Capitals need a strong head coach who will hold them accountable. That’s not Dan Bylsma. I think Bylsma would be a good hire by the Washington Capitals, I just think that Trotz would be a much better fit.

As always, let me know what you think in the comments!

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