Found October 02, 2013 on Steel City Sports Report:
Picimg_pittsburgh_penguins_vs_1801
After adding Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen, and Douglas Murray around the trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Penguins were seen as a team that was "going for it" with "it" being the Stanley Cup. No offense, but when your team consists of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, etc. you're always "going for it". Regardless, the Penguins fell short of their goal of raising the Stanley Cup, failing to win a game, in the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite loading their team with grit, toughness, and a hall of fame winger who fits both of the aforementioned categories, the Penguins couldn't bring home the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup. A team that was labeled a future dynasty, instead, had to sit at home and watch another team take a giant leap towards being dynastic. And yet, instead of making drastic changes, the Penguins elected to hold on to their biggest pieces and their coaching staff. Kris Letang wasn't traded as many had speculated, he was signed to a long-term contract. Same with Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins didn't blow up their team much like the Flyers have done over the last few years, they stuck with their major pieces and added "The Piece" in the offseason. So where do the Penguins stand now? Well they aren't the favorites to win the Cup this year -that title has been placed on the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks- but they do have the second best odds. But they are certainly a favorite to win the Eastern Conference.Maybe this season they'll make it to the finals based on something they surrendered when they acquire the likes of Iginla and Morrow: speed. With Beau Bennett finally getting an opportunity as a top six forward, and Olli Maatta getting an opportunity to showcase his skills on the blue line, the Penguins have added youth to their roster. Granted, their inexperience, particularly Maatta's, may make for some growing pains. But an 82 game schedule will hopefully yield itself to iron out some simple mistakes.The Metropolitan Division may include three additional teams to the five that previously made up the Atlantic, but the Penguins should still be the top team come April. The Penguins will continue to be one of the highest scoring teams in the league, and with a few defensive moves and the addition of defensive-minded Jacques Martin behind the bench, they should be solid defensively. In the end it all comes down to goaltending and therein lies the biggest question mark. Marc-Andre Fleury has been spectacular during the regular season but can he redeem himself in the playoffs? The last three years suggest no but at this point, it may be do or die for the Flower. The talent has always been there but the mental toughness has been as elusive to Fleury has a puck bouncing off the end boards. If Fleury can get back to his 2008-2009 form, the Penguins could find themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins will continue to "go for it" but Fleury will be the one to get them there.Photo courtesy of Cbs Sports
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