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Old 12-14-2005, 07:10 PM   #423
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Thing getting sticky in P town. Staff

12/14/2005 4:01:57 PM

In the wake of last night's 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, rumours continue to swirl in Pittsburgh about the demise of head coach Ed Olczyk.

The speculation that there could be a coaching change in Pittsburgh heated up considerably after last week's 5-0 home-ice loss to the Minnesota Wild, but abated briefly on the weekend after Pittsburgh scored an impressive victory on home ice over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

But last night’s shutout loss to one of the weakest teams in the league has renewed the feeling that Penguins' owner Mario Lemieux and general manager Craig Patrick may be on the verge of making a coaching change.

Sources suggest they have tabbed Michel Therrien, who is coaching the Penguins' farm team in Wilkes Barre, as the new coach if they decide to pull the trigger on Olczyk.

Lemieux and Patrick have been intensely loyal to Olczyk and firing the coach is not something they want to do, but pressure is mounting to do something to get the Penguin team pointed in the right direction. The Penguins have a home-and-home with the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and Saturday.

Sources suggest a coaching change could be made before that, but other sources said that two-game set with the Sabres will be the determining factor in whether to make a move.

Expectations for this team soared in the off-season when Pittsburgh won the Sidney Crosby lottery and then signed a bevy of free agents, pushing the payroll far beyond what anyone anticipated the Penguins would do. But they haven’t been getting the results on the ice - Pittsburgh ownership budgeted to make the playoffs this season -- and sources suggest something is going to give.

That something, more often than not, is a coaching change.

Meanwhile, in Boston, the media is questioning the future of Bruins’ head coach Mike Sullivan.
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