Can the Pens still make a run?
Ok so now that camp is a week away lets dissect the Penguins and see if they truly can make a Cup run or not. Ok, first thing is their offense. Despite the fact that they lost Jaromir Jagr, they still have one of the most talented offensive teams in the NHL. With the possible trade of Lang to the Caps for Simon, and Hrdina for Zubrus I think they will only ge better. Simon would add alot more toughness to a team that desperately needs it. Now to the topic of Richer and Errey. Richer will make the team and will probably play on the first line with Lemieux. As for Errey it is my opinion that he will not even make the team, nothing against Bob he was an excellent player but even great players have to know when to call it quits. If we could rely exclusively on our offense then we would be able to make a true run, but we saw last year in the playoffs that we can’t do that.
So now we go to the defense. We made a few additions such as Melichar. Lets just hope he is not all hype. Oprik should make the team, as well as Jonsson and Rosival. Ference is really going to breakthrough this year and have a heck of an offensive season. Can Laukennen stay healthy or will he be a bust. And what about the Murphy rumors, is there any truth to those? We lost Boughner, probably will trade Kasparitis. So I think that the defense will again be the downfall of this team as it has been the past few years.
Now to the Goaltending, I personally don’t see a problem here. The way Hedberg played in the playoffs should have been enough to quiet all the critics. I think as long as we keep Aubin out of the net we can expect a great year in the net. I just hope our defense does decent enough to keep the shot count down below 40 every night. No goalie can be expected to make 40 or more saves a night. Not even the great Roy or Sawchuck.
So what am I saying? Can the Pens make a run this year? No. They will not make a true run until the young players they got from the Caps turn into the stars they are expected to be. They will still be a good team and may even make it far in the playoffs but they will not win the Cup this year or even the next. They are a very deep team in youth and talent and when those things all come together with the veteran leadership of Straka and Kovalev this team will rock!!!