Pittsburgh made waves early Thursday morning, firing coach Ed
Olczyk after the team got off to a horrendous start over its
first 31 games. The 39-year-old Olczyk was replaced by Michel
Therrien spent the first part of this season coaching
Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate in
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 42-year-old, who has led the AHL's
Penguins to a league-best 21-1-2-1 record this season, coached
the Montreal Canadiens from 2000-03, compiling a 77-77-22 mark.
After finishing with the league's lowest point total in 2003-04,
the Penguins made a number of changes prior to this season and
were expected to at least challenge for a playoff spot.
However, the drafting of Crosby and the acquisitions of Mark
Recchi, Ziggy Palffy, John LeClair, defenseman Sergei Gonchar
and goaltender Jocelyn Thibault have not been enough to change
the fortunes of Pittsburgh, which has the fewest wins in the
Following Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, who own the
NHL's worst record, the Penguins fell to 8-17-6. They are tied
with the Washington Capitals with a conference-low 22 points.
Therrien and his new club will be faced with a difficult task in
slowing down the surging Sabres, who have won 12 of their last
Buffalo posted its fourth straight win Wednesday with a 4-3
triumph over the Dallas Stars.
Martin Biron stopped 32 shots and Daniel Briere scored the
game-winning goal as the Sabres squeaked out a victory despite
getting outshot, 35-22.