There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Penguins opponents hated visiting the Steel City. Not only would they have to face a lethal lineup featuring hungry young stars such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but they knew they’d absorb more than a few bumps and bruises, too.
Now it seems, opponents are having far too easy time with the black and gold. Basically, all a foe needs to do is weather the Pens predictable frenzied start, deny their smallish forwards the middle of the ice, and wait for one of their high-priced superstars to turn the puck over in frustration.
It wasn’t always so. When Ray Shero assumed the GM duties back in 2006 one of his first priorities was to make the Penguins more difficult to play against. Enter disturber Jarkko Ruutu and, a short time later, legendary toughies Georges Laraque and “Scary” Gary Roberts. Overnight, the Pens were transformed from hockey lambs into lions.
And now? While you can hardly call the Pens timid, there are a growing num...