​Imagine calling for the firing of the coach that led your team to two straight Stanley Cup victories.


That's exactly what some ​Pittsburgh Penguins fans have been doing after their series sweep at the hands of the New York Islanders. Many fans took their frustration out on Sullivan due to his lack of adaptability and line combos during the four game series. 

​​The blame extends much further than just Sullivan and his roster choices. 


In Game 4, Sullivan shook up his lines by putting Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel back together on the second line while Sidney Crosby, Jared McCann and Jake Guentzel took the top unit duties. Perhaps the blame should be on Guentzel or Crosby who both went pointless until Game 4. 


Matt Murray was far from consistent, logging a 3.02 GAA and .906 save percentage in the series. ​Jack Johnson has lived up to expectations as one of the worst free agent signings this past offseason. 

And there's more.

Fingers can be pointed every which way but the fact of the matter is that the Penguins collectively didn't show up for four straight contests, not just Sullivan. 

The Islanders were simply the better team and far more defensively responsible throughout the series. 


There's a reason why Barry Trotz is one of the winningest coaches in NHL history. His system works impeccably, especially when backed by strong goaltending. Sullivan may not be as good as Trotz, but he's shown time and time again that he's the right fit in Pittsburgh. One series sweep does not warrant his firing.