Pittsburgh Penguins Playoff Preview
Are you ready? Yes, it is time for the 2nd season in the NHL. As mentioned in my previous post, the Penguins were able to capture home ice for the first round of the playoffs due to a couple of things outside of the Penguins control.
1.) The Carolina Hurricane’s had to lose their two last games.
2.) The Philadelphia Flyers had to not get any more points than the Penguins. The Penguins would beat the Flyers due to more regular season wins then the Flyers (45 to 44)
With both of those things happening, the Penguins gained a much needed home ice advantage in the first round. This is extremely important as I feel that the Penguins need to get off to a good start against the Flyers. The Flyers are an extremely aggressive and physical team which always plays the Penguins hard. They are also looking for revenge from the loss (in 5 games) to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Championship. As a Penguins fan, I feel like this season is a success regardless of what the result of the series is.
With that said, it is time for some playoff hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins come into this series facing a much different opponent then they did at this time last year. Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers’ top defenseman, was unable to play due to a blood clot in his ankle; Braydon Coburn, was hit with a shot in the eye early in the series and wasn’t the same when he returned to action; and then forward Simon Gagne was out for a lengthy period of time with a concussion.
The Penguins will have to play a very tough series. The good news for the Penguins is that they have been there before. They have played these games before and even though it is the playoffs, the Penguins know what they need to do. They added grit with Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz. There is no Marian Hossa this year, but that’s okay. The Penguins have a new identity and are looking to head back to the Stanely Cup Finals. The Pens also just called up Miroslav Satan from their AHL affiliate, Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. If the Penguins struggle early, you might see Satan go straight to one of the top two lines as he does have the skill for scoring goals.
The Penguins will begin play on Wednesday at 7:00pm EST on Versus.
One last note, Evgeni Malkin locked up the Art Ross Trophy and he will be added to the rafters along side the likes of Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Sidney Crosby. He certainly deserves it and I look forward to him playing the hardest anyone has seen him play as he wants to make up for the disappearing act he had in last years Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit.
So, to wrap it all up, I want to wish the Penguins the best of luck and if I could speak to them as a coach would, I would tell them how proud I am to be a fan and what a wonderful season they have provided us.
Let’s Go Pens!!