"I want to congratulate the Flyers organization on the series win but, I really can't wish them good luck though," Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma.
Some NHL fans might hear Bylsma’s comments and think that he is being rude, but Penguins and Flyers fans should be thrilled with what Bylsma said.
Dan Bylsma is a coach that makes sure he acts appropriately when the public is watching. When Bylsma is on the bench, he is usually very composed and rarely loses that composure.
When Bylsma refused to wish the Flyers luck, it sent a message to both Penguins and Flyers fans—that he is fully committed to the rivalry, and being beaten by the Flyers is personal.
Bylsma was very polite when he made his statement; he even made sure that he first congratulated the Flyers, because they beat him and his team. He did not discredit the Flyers’ win and simply admitted defeat.
The important part of Bylsma’s comment was when he refused to wish the Flyers good luck.
The Penguins and Flyers’ rivalry is intense. The first three games of the series were part-hockey game and part-bar fight. The two cross-state rivals hate each other, and they are not shy about admitting it. If Bylsma would have been nice and wished the Flyers good luck, it would have been fake and pointless.
The Flyers and Penguins are both full of young players and are set up to have success for the foreseeable future. With the current group of players, the rivalry should be highly competitive with close matchups for several years to come.
Bylsma’s comments were perfect for the situation. In a way, he set the stage for next year when they play again.
During the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Flyers’ and Penguins’ rivalry heated up, and Bylsma’s comments have already set the stage for the rivalry to pick up next season.