Thursday, January 31, 2008

Will The Pens Miss The Playoffs?

Many naysayers out there are already saying the Penguins' don't have a snowball's chance in hell of making it to the playoffs without the services of their young captain. If you are a regular reader, you already know that I am not one of them. But for anyone who isn't fully convinced, you shouldn't take my word for it. In an article called "Agree or Disagree" (which I found by accident in the NBA section) Bill Clement explains why you should not write the Pens off so hastily:
Even though Crosby may not play again until mid-March, I still have confidence in the Penguins making it to the postseason. If Pittsburgh were a complete run-and-gun team that relied on Crosby's offense to win most games then there would be much cause for concern. But that's not who the Penguins are and what's more they are one of the top defensive teams in the Eastern Conference. And as long as a team is keeping pucks out of its net, it's going to have significant success. Crosby contributes everywhere, but it's hard to make a case that he is the reason the Penguins are such an excellent defensive team.

He'll be like a not-so-secret weapon in the playoffs when he comes back...

With Crosby out others will have a chance to play more, most notably Evgeni Malkin, who will move back to center. Expect Malkin to step up in Crosby's absence. His contributions should prove huge. The Penguins have quality talent on their roster and with Crosby sidelined, the door has opened for Malkin and others to take it upon themselves to keep the team winning.
Exactly. As I said before, Sid's absence has definitely been felt, but that does not mean it's the end of the Pens' season. There's a ton of young talent available to Coach Michel Therrien. It will be tough, but I have no doubt the Pens will make it to the playoffs. And then once Sid returns, the Pens will be unstoppable. I may be going out on a limb here, but I think Lord Stanley's Cup could be coming to Pittsburgh this year!

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