February 16, 2009
Michel Therrien, his team fading in the Eastern Conference playoff race less than a year after making the Stanley Cup finals, was fired as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach on Sunday night and replaced by minor-league coach Dan Bylsma. Therrien oversaw one of the NHL’s best single-season turnarounds in his first full season in 2006-07 and coached the Penguins to within two victories of the Stanley Cup last year, but this team has struggled badly since mid-November and is danger of not making the playoffs. General manager Ray Shero decided to fire Therrien after a 6-2 loss in Toronto on Saturday night in which the Penguins led 2-1 going into the third period. The Penguins are 27-25-5 after winning 47 games each of the last two seasons and are five points out of the final conference playoff spot. They also are 1-7-1 in their last nine road games.
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