Should Bylsma pull a Cowher behind the bench?
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Q: Should Dan Bylsma show a little more emotion to get the calls he wants? Maybe yelling at the refs every now and then will get him a call in the future.
MOLINARI: Perhaps it would, but don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen, because that's not the way Bylsma operates. While there probably is something that could make him launch into a screaming fit, whatever it is, it apparently hasn't happened since he got here in mid-February.
Fact is, Bylsma's demeanor might be one of his greatest strengths. He keeps things on a steady emotional level, and that mindset seems to have spread to his players: Do not ride the highs and lows that come during a game or series, but maintain a pretty even keel.
Bylsma's approach to his work -- and the merits of it -- might never have been more evident than after the second period of Game 3 in the Stanley Cup final Tuesday night. The Penguins and Detroit were tied, 2-2, but Detroit had dominated the previous 20 minutes and only some good work by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had prevented the Red Wings from taking the lead.
With his team's season on the line -- remember, the Red Wings had a 2-0 lead in the series and having them win again would have doomed the Penguins -- Bylsma didn't rant and rave and kick over tables to make the point that his team hadn't played well during the second. Here is how forward Max Talbot described the scene: "We came in the locker room and our coach got us as soon as we got off the ice (and said), 'Everybody sit down and just relax, guys. Bear down, stay with it. Keep it simple.' "
No threats, no insults, no theatrics. Just a simple, calming message about the importance of sticking to the principles that had gotten them that far in the playoffs.
You know how the Penguins have taken to talking about "Ruslan Fedotenko hockey?" Well, what his players saw after 40 minutes the other night was yet another example of "Dan Bylsma coaching," and it's one of the biggest reasons they're playing in this Cup final instead of watching it on TV.
Q: What chance is there that Luca Caputi will be in a Penguins uniform next year?
Dave O'Mara, Springfield, Va.
MOLINARI: Caputi had a solid first pro season -- 18 goals and 27 assists in 66 games with the Penguins' farm team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and one goal in five games during a cameo in the NHL -- but his development probably wouldn't suffer if he spends a little more time in the American Hockey League. After all, he won't turn 21 until Oct. 1.
His performance during training camp this fall will have a major impact on where Caputi starts the 2009-10 season, of course, as will personnel moves the Penguins make this summer. They have a lot of forwards who will be unrestricted free agents (Bill Guerin, Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Zigomanis and Craig Adams) this summer, and which of those guys return, as well as what the Penguins do to replace those who move on, will influence Caputi's short-term prospects, too.
Q: Just curious if the Pens may break out the baby blues this year? It would be cool to see a Cup game with the throwbacks.
Matt Golden, Birmingham, Mich.
MOLINARI: While there is nothing in league guidelines that prohibits teams from wearing their third jerseys during the playoffs, there's also no indication that it's something the Penguins have seriously considered doing during this series.
First Published June 3, 2009 8:30 pm