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Ex-Pens coach Therrien never saw firing coming

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Monday, Feb. 16, 2009

Former Penguins coach Michel Therrien said today he was "shocked" Sunday to hear general manager Ray Shero say the Penguins were "going in another direction."

"I never saw it coming," Therrien said. "The conversation took about five seconds, to be honest."

Therrien also added that he believes the Penguins, who play today at the New York Islanders, "will make the playoffs." They began today 10th in the Eastern Conference, five points out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Therrien was replaced by on an interim basis by Dan Bylsma, who was in his first season as a professional head coach with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Therrien said he would "not do anything different," and agreed that the Penguins' performance Saturday at Toronto, where they blew a 2-0 lead in a 6-2 loss to the lowly Maple Leafs, was disgusting.

"Yeah, you could say that," Therrien said. "We had been playing better the past three weeks, I thought. I was really encouraged by our team's attitude and overall defensive play. I thought a (3-1-0) homestand was a sign we had turned a corner; we had a rough stretch since December.

"That game at Toronto surprised me a lot. That wasn't what I expected from the team. That wasn't the team I got to knew over the past few seasons."

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