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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Penguins, Bylsma only focused on Game 4

Friday, 06.07.2013 / 1:24 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor / Penguins-Bruins series blog

BOSTON -- There is no denying that changes could be afoot if the Pittsburgh Penguins lose Friday night and are swept out of the Eastern Conference Final by the lower-seeded Boston Bruins.

Such a scenario would be construed as a failure for a team that was the odds-on favorite to reach the Stanley Cup Final, especially after general manager Ray Shero loaded up before the NHL Trade Deadline with the acquisitions of Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen and Douglas Murray.

As such, there is a consensus that the 2013-14 Penguins would look significantly different if the team is bounced from the Stanley Cup Playoffs this weekend. There have been some rumblings coach Dan Byslma would lose his job over such a failure.

Bylsma addressed that issue during his off-day press conference Thursday.

"I don't coach, have never coached for my job," Blysma said. "When I took over as coach of this hockey team in 2009, I came here to win hockey games, and that's where we're at right now. We know exactly what's in front of us with being down 0-3, but I believe in that group, I believe in that team, I believe in how we battled and how we're going to battle. And we're going to go in knowing we have an elimination game and win Game 4."

Forward Matt Cooke, who has been with the Penguins since 2009, has heard the chatter about this being a potential swan song for the team as it is presently constructed. He said it is not part of the thought process of the players.

"It's always about winning," Cooke said. "We were a Pittsburgh Penguin yesterday, we are today, and we will be tomorrow. Game 4 is the most important. We need to go out and win, and that's the sole focus. You can't look any further than that, because that's the task at hand."

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1