One of the true tests for Bylsma is how in fact he will deal with a team that needs to overcome adversity such as this. With Orpik now in the above banner being added to the list of guys on the shelf there is most certainly an excuse. But the question remains: How are the players going to react? How will Bylsma keep them focused? As Captain, what does Crosby have to say to the team when he himself is in the longest point drought (5 games) of his young career? Who will be the locker room voice?
The road ahead will indeed be difficult. Last season at this time there wasn't a good excuse. Sure Gonchar and Whitney were out, but offensively the team was there. Well, a coaching change and a few veteran additions changed everything. This year, yeah, well, there's an excuse, we're shorthanded. Reeeeal shorthanded. But then again, when you're shorthanded its time for SOMEONE to step up. Its time for a guy like Jordan Staal to show everyone why Shero kept him around and signed him for almost $5MM a season. Why he's not just a 3rd line center who can beat most other third line defenseman. Why he is the better Staal than his brother Eric.
Its time for Sid to get angry and become the locker room presence of a 32 year old trapped in a 22 year old body. He's experienced and achieved more in 4 years than some guys do their whole careers. Time to show the group he leads how to mentally prepare in times like these.
Granted, I know we're not the same team or anything. That is, we can't expect the same output from these lines as we can when we're full strength. But we can expect effort. It's through adversity that a team proves who they really are down the stretch. It's times like these where these men see what they're made of.