PITTSBURGH - Some-times you're left with the odd feeling that winning the Stanley Cup was the easy part for Dan Bylsma.
He became the Pittsburgh Penguins coach at a time when the team was underachieving and chafing under Michel Therrien's iron fist.
Bylsma's opposite approach, coupled with Sergei Gonchar's return from injury and the acquisition of Bill Guerin, helped propel the Penguins into the playoffs and eventually to the Cup in 2009.
He got to be the closer.
Last year wasn't as smooth, especially when the Penguins didn't have an answer for what Montreal was doing in the second round of the playoffs.
This season, Bylsma has a rebuilt defense, some dubious wingers and a No. 1 goalie whose performance and confidence have been lagging.
Bylsma's frustration has been more evident. He called out Marc-Andre Fleury after one game, and made it clear after Friday's home loss to Philadelphia that he was unhappy with bad penalties taken by Mike Comrie and Chris Kunitz.
After keeping his emotions in check for a long time, Bylsma has put his name on the long list of Penguins coaches who have shown frustration with the disconnect between their instruction and the team's performance.
The Penguins were a .500 team heading into Saturday night's game at Carolina; they were 2-4 at home in October.
Getting Jordan Staal back will certainly help, but the onus is on the coach to get this team consistently playing to its ability.
Former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson was in town last week to sell his house.
Wilson hasn't had a lot of success since the Pirates traded him to Seattle in 2009.
Unlike his friend, Freddy Sanchez, who is playing in the World Series for San Francisco, Wilson spent 2010 with the only other MLB team to top 100 losses (101).
After missing most of May and June with a hamstring injury, Wilson's season ended Aug. 7 because of a broken hand after playing just 61 games.
Wilson is undoubtedly happy for Sanchez, but there has to be a trace of envy there, too.
For all the griping about the NFL's crackdown on dangerous hits, they still played tackle football last weekend, and it was still an appealing product.
The players adjusted. Imagine that.
Mehno can be reached at email@example.com.