PITTSBURGH - Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins is one of the three finalists for the NHL's coach of the year award.
He should win it.
Nobody dealt with adversity more successfully than Bylsma did in the regular season, which is the timeframe for the award.
Despite the lengthy absences of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, Bylsma found a way to keep the Penguins successful.
But Bylsma deserves an equal ration of blame for the Penguins' first-round playoff exit.
Leading 3-1 in games, the Penguins lost three straight to Tampa Bay, mostly because of their inept power play.
They scored one goal on 35 chances with a man advantage in the playoffs. It's not like it was a new problem, either.
They ended the regular season with a 6-for-76 power play skid over the final 23 games.
Let's also remember that the power play wasn't that hot even when Crosby and Malkin were still around.
In a sport where goals can come on crazy bounces and deflections - intended and accidental - it's almost impossible to have a percentage as low as the .0285 the Penguins had in the playoffs.
It was popular to blame past power play failures on assistant coach Mike Yeo, but he left the organization after last season.
Whether the power play problems are systemic or personnel-related, it's clear this isn't Bylsma's strength.
There's no reason the Penguins should have been No. 25 in regular season power-play rankings and absolutely horrible in the playoffs.
It's time to bring in someone who can manage the power play.
And no, the answer isn't Eddie Johnston, who's 75. Johnston crafted a record-setting power play more than 30 years ago, but one of its key components was running a pick on a defender.
These days, that's an automatic interference call and it wouldn't work.
The Penguins need a power play specialist.
Because of the early exit, they have plenty of time to search.
The Penguins players seem to be adjusting to the sudden end of their season.
Here's hoping Dan (Root) Potash can get over it.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.