Scott Ferrall has correctly picked every round of the NHL playoffs thus far. Greg Wyshynski? Not so much.
“I picked the Blues to win the Cup, so one of us is doing well,” the Yahoo! Sports Puck Daddy blogger said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Ferrall, you deserve all the accolades because to me, the first round has been a little bit unpredictable – in my opinion, at least. But it could just be that I’m terrible at picking hockey games.”
The Blues lost their first-round series to the Minnesota Wild in six games, dropping the last two games 4-1.
“The big intrigue is now whether Ken Hitchcock comes back next year,” Wyshynski said. “He doesn’t have a contract. He’s going to go talk it over with his family, but what he said (Tuesday) was exactly what Todd McLellan said before he stepped down with the Sharks, so maybe you read the writing on the wall there.”
If Hitchcock steps down, however, Wyshynski doesn’t think that would necessarily be a bad thing.
“I got a theory,” Wyshynski said. “I got a theory about the Blues. I think they need Dan Bylsma. I think you bring in the players’ coach to follow up the gruff taskmaster, which is kind of what Bylsma did in Pittsburgh when he took over for Michel Therrien. You bring in a guy who’s a little bit more offensive, right? And you bring in a guy who’s got the Team USA connections with (Kevin) Shattenkirk and (David) Backes and (T.J.) Oshie and (Paul) Stastny. I think that’s a good landing spot for him if Ken Hitchcock steps away from the team.”
In other news, Ferrall may be revoking his Penguins fandom. Pittsburgh lost to the New York Rangers in five games, losing 2-1 in every loss, including in overtime in Games 4 and 5. Ferrall thought Evgeni Malkin, who failed to score a single point in the series, payed uninspired hockey and simply didn’t care if the Penguins won or lost. Ferrall sees in Malkin a guy who has already gotten paid, already won a Stanley Cup and is now just coasting. He called Pittsburgh a “sissy team” that “doesn’t hit anybody” and feels the Penguins need to get rid of everybody.
“Yeah, and the frustrating part is, it sounds like they won’t,” Wyshynski said. “Hearing them after they lost to the Rangers – I covered that game – in the locker room there was this vibe of, ‘Well, you know, it was all 2-1 losses, and one bounce one way or another could have changed things.’ You hear Jim Rutherford, the GM, talk today and the message is, ‘Well, if we had our three defensemen that were injured, it could have been a different situation.’
“I agree with you,” Wyshynski continued. “It’s not a fun team to watch anymore. There’s no discernible personality. They don’t seem to like each other all that much on the ice – and life in general. There just needs to be some kind of a shakeup there, and it just seems like what the Penguins are opting instead to do is stay the course for another season because if they were healthier and got the bounces, it could be a different deal.”