Local Sports Journal
Grand Haven native Dan Bylsma became the fastest coach to 200 coaching victories in the history of the National Hockey League on Monday night.
When Bylsma’s Pittsburgh Penguins posted a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, the graduate of Western Michigan Christian High School notched his 200th victory in his 316th game coaching in the NHL.
The victory moved the Penguins to 35-10 for 70 points. They occupy the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
For Bylsma, the plateau comes as a surprise with the abbreviated schedule due to the lockout. The NHL schedule is 48 games this season.
“It’s something I looked at in the offseason and when the shortened schedule [was announced after the lockout], I thought it probably was not going to be a possibility,” Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We set our sights on the number of wins we thought we would need to be successful this year. That was around 30 to 32 wins. That came up short of the 200 mark.”
Bylsma, who took over the Penguins midseason in the 2008-09 campaign, shattered the previous record of former Muskegon Fury coach Bruce Boudreau, who accomplished the feat in 326 games.