Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 1/12/12

From the Trib:

"We're making the playoffs, put it that way," Shero told the Tribune-Review on Thursday afternoon. "Anything less is unacceptable."

The Penguins, losers of six straight games, have fallen to ninth in the Eastern Conference playoff field with 40 games remaining. Only the top eight teams qualify for the postseason.

"Just making the playoffs is never our goal," Shero said.

Confidence, or foreshadowing of possible trades to come?

According to Shero, he likes the Penguins as they are when healthy:

"I like the team we have now," Shero said. "We have good hockey players. We just need to play better. And hopefully I have all those guys back by the trade deadline so I don't have to make a deal."

At this point it doesn't make sense for the Penguins to mortgage the future or give up key assets unless management feels that the team can make a serious run for the Cup. That sort of run includes having a healthy line-up.

If even two of Crosby, Staal and Letang can come back before the deadline, the Pens could be buyers in an attempt to pull off a first round upset over a higher seeded opponent and make some noise in the postseason.

Regardless of how it looks now, there's still a lot of season left. It certainly sounds like Ray Shero isn't down with all of the doom and gloom talk. It looks like there will be some interesting times ahead.

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