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Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins: Time For The 2nd Season!

Pittsburgh PenguinsYes, it is that time again. It seems like not that long ago when the Penguins took home the Stanley Cup after defeating Detroit in Game 7 last year. That win does not matter anymore as this is a whole new post season.

The Penguins stumbled into the post-season with an unimpressive 11-6-3 record since the Olympic break. There was very little consistency and some injuries that were hampering players. Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar had injuries that took them out of the game for a period of time and it showed. Sidney Crosby continued to play stellar hockey but other than that no one else was playing consistent. Marc Andre Fleury has had an especially rough time as he has been chased from more than one game since the break.

Sidney Crosby took a share of the Maurice Richard Trophy for most goals in a season along with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Obviously, I was quite upset to see Stamkos get the empty net goal at the end of Sunday night’s game, but let’s face it this kind of award means little to nothing for anyone other than the players.

The Penguins lost the division race to New Jersey after being swept by them this year. The Penguins did wrap up the 4th seed and will play the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs starting Wednesday.

Unlike last year, the Penguins are not going in to the playoffs on a roll. They are looking for some consistency from their players not named Sidney Crosby. Penguins fans have been waiting since March for the team to turn the switch on and start playing great hockey again and so far we’re still waiting. The playoffs are an entirely different beast and I still feel like the Pens have a very good chance of taking the first round fairly easily. The season series was tied at 2-2 for both teams while Ottawa’s two wins were against a Penguins teams beaten up by injuries.

What will it take for the Penguins to win the cup again?

1.) Malkin will have to step up and have the kind of playoff performance as he did last year. Even though I would take Crosby over Malkin any day, I know that with he two-headed beast out there it gives each player a better opportunity to get a more favorable defensive match up.

2.) Marc Andre-Fleury will have to play consistent hockey. I know that he is capable of this but this season it did not appear as noticeable.

3.) With the absence of a defensive “shut down pairing” like last year’s Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi the defensemen are going to have to be huge. As the common saying goes “Defense wins championships”.

With all of that said, it is time to start some playoff hockey. Who will be crowned Stanley Cup Champion this year? Time will tell and I am looking forward to an amazing two months of hockey!

Let’s Go Pens!

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One comment for “Pittsburgh Penguins: Time For The 2nd Season!”

  1. I am getting giddy with excitement. 7:00pm EST cannot come soon enough!

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | April 14, 2010, 12:05 pm

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