Has the NEW Pittsburgh Penguins dynasty begun? [Plus: A Penguins History Lesson]

With four seasons of just atrocious hockey, many hockey fans may have forgotten what a powerhouse team the Pittsburgh Penguins were during the ’90s. From 1988-2001, only three players won the Art Ross Trophy. Mario Lemieux 6 times (3 times back-to-back), Jaromir Jagr 5 times (including 4 straight) and Wayne Gretzky 3 times (once back-to-back). With the exceptions of Mario’s first win (’88) and Wayne’s last win (’94), none of those teams ever failed to reach the playoffs when their team sported the NHL’s leading scorer. Iginla broke that trend with Calgary the following year in ’02, but Foppa got back on track with the Aves after, followed by St. Louis and his Cup-winning Lightning, with Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby having followed suit.
Few sane people would deny that having the League’s top scoring player on your team is a recipe for success.

So where does that leave the Penguins, who, with Malkin, have the potential to have back-to-back different Art Ross Trophy winners, and 13 of the past 19 said Trophies?

Also inside, Sergei Gonchar sets an active record with his eighth consecutive 50+ point season with a goal in last night’s victory over the Habs. [What an exciting game by the way!] And, a Penguins and Art Ross Trophy history lesson.

Are the Penguins truly the real deal many people speculated they would become after winning out on Crosby? If Malkin wins the Art Ross, and if the Penguins win the Cup this year, does it signal the beginning of a new “dynasty”? The first “dynasty” since the Red Wings? [Or the first real dynasty since the Oilers. See my post-script note.] Even if they don’t win the Cup, do they have the makings of what will one day soon be the next NHL’s dynasty?

I suppose one must ask if it is even possible to have a dynasty in the “new NHL.”

A Penguins (and Art Ross Trophy) History Lesson: [to skip the lesson scroll down]
Lemieux won the Trophy back in ’88, but the Pens failed to make the playoffs. The following season he won again and the Pens won their first round of playoff hockey in 10 years. The season after, Mario was again leading the NHL, but a herniated disc kept him out of 21 games, and by a single point, the Penguins failed to make the playoffs. Wayne went on to win the Art Ross. Mario then missed 50 games recovering from surgery, but he returned at the end of the season and Super Mario scored 44 points in 23 postseason games to lead the Penguins to their first Cup. Though back problems sidelined him for 13 games the following season, he won his third scoring title, with 131 points (in 64 games). In the playoffs, he suffered a broken left hand from a slash by the New York Rangers’ Adam Graves, but he returned after missing just five games to lead the Penguins to another Stanley Cup, sweeping Chicago in the final. He scored five game-winning goals among his 34 points and won his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy (an NHL record and distinction he shares with only the Flyers’ Bernie Parent).

In 1992, Mario had 104 points in 40 games… think about that for a moment… disgusting… there was the possibility he could break Gretzky’s record of 92 goals and 215 points. But that’s when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Most of us old enough remember his courageous return and sickening scoring pace, and how he led the Penguins on an NHL-record 17-game winning streak (which still holds up today). Despite playing only 60 games, he won his fourth Art Ross Trophy with 160 points. That year’s team was considered by many to be one of the best NHL teams to ever lace ’em up. However, their three-peat would be quelled by a massive upset by the Islanders. In reality, it signaled the end of the Penguins “dynasty”.

Mario sat out 3/4th of the next season, where despite Gretzky’s efforts and last Art Ross Trophy, the Kings failed to reach the playoffs. Mario then sat out again, signaling the start of the Jagr era, with his first Art Ross Trophy win. Mario would win two more straight, then retire, leading Jagr to win 4 straight (his last coming in 2001 with the return of The Magnificent One).

After the loss to the Islanders, the Penguins managed to reach the Conference Finals only twice, never reaching the Finals again. They won a few first round matchups, and their division a few times, the last time coming in the NE in 1998. They were then moved to the Atlantic division, and no other team aside from the Flyers and Devils have won that division since the Rangers did so back with their Cup-winning team in 1994.

So now we finally come back to the present day.

Last year, the Penguins had the fourth biggest points turnaround in NHL history, with the Art Ross, Pearson, Hart and Calder Trophy winners. Not to mention two defensemen in the Top 6 of NHL scoring among defensemen, with Sergei Gonchar in 2nd, two points shy of Niedermayer, and the youngest starting goalie who tied for 3rd in the NHL with 40 wins. This year, Sergei Gonchar is again in 2nd place among defensemen, and with the injury to Lidstrom, he has the possibility to take the scoring title among defensemen. Whitney has slumped a bit, but a recent hot streak has brought him into 17th place (despite missing a few games to injury). Only Detroit and Montreal join Pittsburgh with two defensemen in the Top 20 for defensive scoring, with more than 30 points each.

This is also Gonchar’s eighth season in a row with 50 or more points, the longest active streak among defensemen. Anaheim’s Chris Pronger is closing in on his fourth in a row. Toronto’s Bryan McCabe has three in a row, but has missed a lot of games this season and isn’t close to 50 points. Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer has three in a row, but also hasn’t played enough games to seem to be able to reach 50 points this season.

The Penguins also sport the NHL’s best goalie (based on SV%), with a 16-4-3 record, an NHL-leading 0.932SV% and 5th in GAA in a goal-heavy East with 2.18 (2nd best in the East after Brodeur’s 2.17). The Pens face the dilemma of what to do with the return from injury of 1st overall draft pick Marc-Andre Fleury. The likely move will see Dany Sabourin being sent down to the AHL, despite his one-way contract, and keeping Ty Conklin up, despite his two-way contract. As for the playoffs, the Penguins still think Fleury is their future, and will undoubtedly give him the green light to start the playoffs, only pulling him in favour of Conklin if he has a horrendous outing.

But most importantly, having scored 20 goals and recording 41 points over his past 22 games, with 30 points (12 goals and 18 assists) in the 15 games since Sidney Crosby’s injury and his return to his natural position at center, with a prodigious 24 points in his last 10 games, Evgeni Malkin is looking to win the Art Ross Trophy (and possible Hart if his lead his big enough and/or Ovechkin’s Capitals fail to make the playoffs). This would be the first time since Mario and Jagr did it (twice) that two players from the same team won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies. Definitely, a good sign for any hockey club. [The other teams to do so since 1947-48 were the Bruins’ Esposito and Orr, the Black Hawks’ Mikita and Hull, the Canadiens’ Beliveau and Geoffrion and the Wings’ Lindsay and Howe.]

Can the Penguins finally break the Flyers/Devils hold on the Atlantic division title? Last year, the Penguins came within 3 points of tying the Devils for the title. This year, they have been neck and neck all season, and currently have identical records (wins, losses, points)…With the imminent return of last season’s MVP and Leading Scorer and team captain Sidney Crosby, will the Penguins be an even better team and take the entire Eastern Conference? Or will the return of Crosby ruin Malkin’s limelight? If I had to bet, I’d say the Penguins would only get better with Crosby’s return, but that Malkin would likely see slightly less time and his production (by the way, third in the NH
L after Crosby and Spezza) would slip slightly. Regardless, I predict an Art Ross Trophy for Malkin, and a possible Hart Trophy to boot. Though right now I still think Ovechkin gets the edge due to publicity and the fact that Malkin has been overshadowed by Crosby.

All in all, are we finally seeing the beginning of a new dynasty? Do the Penguins have what it takes? And for Penguins fans: are you as damned excited as I am about the future of this team?

PS. Officially, the 1983-84 to 1989-90 Edmonton Oilers were the NHL’s last dynasty. I use the term above very loosely since the rapid expansion of the NHL in the ’90s. I’m not sure if a mere two Cups for the Penguins is enough to dub them as such, but I would put the Red Wings and Devils (and maybe the Aves and Pens pre-2001) as “elite” teams over the past couple decades. In the “new NHL” I think any team that manages to win back-to-back Cups and/or 3 of 6 should be considered a “dynasty”.


126 Responses to Has the NEW Pittsburgh Penguins dynasty begun? [Plus: A Penguins History Lesson]

  1. BruMagnus says:

    I seem to jinx the Pens.

    First, I wrote about how Fleury would turn his season around, and just as he was starting to and the Pens were turning around, he gets injured.

    Second, I wrote about the NHL's Production Stats and how Crosby leads the NHL. Then he gets injured.

    Lastly, I write about Malkin's hot streak and the Pens, and Malkin gets 0 points in back-to-back games while Ovechkin ties him up for the NHL lead…

    strange.

  2. tancred says:

    You could fight fire with fire, BruMagnus.  Or you could turn the other cheek, as well.  Its up to you.  As I hinted at before about being a moderator and administrator at other sites, you might be able to fight fire with fire here and get away with it.  But that won't be the case at every forum, and most certainly not in real life.  Just some friendly advice to you–the rudeness you display here would more than likely bring you unhappy results elsewhere.  

    If you have been ignoring some people who've egged you on recently, then that's great.  You should keep that up.  
    sjconnick did go overboard in his repsonse to you, imo.  But you were the one who was rude first.  So, wasn't he just fighting fire with fire?  That's ok behavior in your opinion, right?  See where that gets you?  It doesn't solve anything, so why do it?  
    According to sjconnick, he's received several PM's of support that say not to bother with you.  So maybe that just washes out or makes even all the positive PM's you've gotten.  
    You say I'm biased against you.  If I am, its the moderator in me.  I've dealt with so many trolls before, its not even funny.  They might get banned for a little while, but they inevitably return.  If they can't return (i.e. their ban was permanent), they just make up a new username in order to come back.  In both cases, a good moderator knows to keep an eye out on the seemingly repentant troll.  You might say they are biased.  Its being a good moderator, though, as its always better to be safe than sorry.  Nip something ASAP before it gets out of control again.  If that makes me biased, so be it.  Your continued rudeness to a lot of people here just shows that any overwatchfullness on my part was justified.  
  3. BruMagnus says:

    again Whitney screws up. Can't play Cheechoo correctly and as of now Sharks are up 1-0. Great job, Ryan. Can't even control a one-year wonder.

  4. tancred says:

    I don't seem to recall your response that way.  But again, we both believe we are referring to the same article but are not totally sure.  We could still be thinking of two different things.  I have no time (or desire) to look it up for sure, so we'll have to leave it at that.  If you see your comment as that mild, I certainly did not read it that way.  Subject to interpretation, I suppose, but I think the many negative responses you've gotten before are proof enough that you often do rub people the wrong way, BruMagnus.

    I do have to get to work now, so I won't be on for some time.  Later! 
  5. UsedandAbused says:

    I am talking about the current team.

  6. Radio says:

    But this article has gotten some good heat and good convos, better than many in awhile.

    You should be proud Bru.

    And don't worry about the consistency. Everyone's favorite goon Chris Simon will stick-suey Malkin's nose this Tuesday, and then you will officially be 3 for 3 when Malks is listed DTD. ^_^

  7. Habs_Cup08 says:

    I remember after the Hurricanes won their Cup they had dynasty written all over them, but what have they done since that miracle run…………………………. EXACTLY!

  8. BruMagnus says:

    LOL. Trust me,I don't have a snowball effect on people! It's usually the opposite! Other people want to disprove me so badly that they take the devil's advocate, though usually failing.
    I think most people replied like that because it was such a bad article, to be honest.

    Oh I agree your response is kinder, but maybe not better depending on your (and my) intended effect. I feel it is my duty to make people realize how wrong they are, if it is blatantly apparent that they are. I will freely admit that I doubt it often works (due to my overbearing methods), but I can also say with certainty that what you do doesn't help change their minds. In fact, I took a look at your past 10 posts and saw nothing worthwhile in them (no offense).

    I know you aren't a moderator (I can read, you know, ;-)). I was talking hypothetically.

    Some people (definitely not most, by any means) are being enlightened on here and ask me specific questions in private messages, because they acknowledge my hockey wisdom and have are mature enough to ask advice when they want to. I am only too glad to offer it. (Simple case in point, someone asking publicly where to find faceoff% stats. Others usually have to do with opinions, but I do what I can in all areas.)

    Like I said, if you don't read what I write, it is to your own loss. My predictions are usually true. If you don't want to know about what may happen in the future, I don't know why you even come on these sites in the first place.

    Your second last paragraph:
    After a good 'talking to" by an unnamed person on here, I decided to tone down my 'smack' talk. It is sad (again) that you haven't noticed this whereas many others have.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate that you found the time to reply, unlike many others who make outrageous comments and then won't defend themselves. That's another thing that irks me, is when someone just spouts off and then won't back themselves up when I question them.

  9. BruMagnus says:

    I have turned the cheek many a time. I usually ignore many of the posters on here, and have stayed away from almost all Leafs written articles. This is a fact. I have recently finally written on the Sundin doesn't waive his NTC because I want people to know that I was right all along, yet again, and that their previous anger at my prediction about Mats was unfounded. I do really feel bad for Leafs fans with this recent complication.

    I'm only "rude" on this site, and usually to the people that started it. Guys like sjconnick, who as you admit go overboard, are the ones that start it. Not me. Occasionally (as in the post we were both refering to previously) I may start it, simply because I am so irritated by the stupidity of the post, which in that case every single poster, Leafs,Habs, Pens, etc. all agreed on. Someone even said this was the first time that fans from every different team agreed for once. It was THAT bad.

    I will keep it up. Thanks.

    I know it doesn't solve anything. I wasn't rude first. He called me a racist, etc. like I said above and woudn't apologize but just kept digging deeper and deeper. I have no respect for someone like that, and will treat him as such, or not treat with him at all. I do it to harm his pride and self-esteem and with the hopes that he either learns from this or becomes an authority figure who can take out his problems on others.

    If people PM him about me, good for them. Too bad he hasn't heeded their advice and lives on every word I say. he is, in fact, reading this right now wondering why I am talkin about him while ignoring his own comments, and it drives him insane. perhaps my strategy will finally get him to lay off of me, but knowing him…

    You may be a good moderator, I don't know, but you aren't a very good poster. You never offer opinions on matter and just come in and try to play Jedi. I don't respect this. If you aren't a mod, please don't act like one. It's quite silly. Also, stop putting me down and calling me a troll. I don't appreciate it. It makes you look arrogant, and for your sake I know that's the last thing you want, to take after me. 😉

  10. tancred says:

    I do come here mostly to read.  Pick up on the latest trade rumors and such.  I do not always reply to things for a few reasons.  One is that, given my odd hours, I often come late to articles, and others have already said pretty much what my initial reaction was.  No sense in repeating things.  Second is that I've been wonderfully busy lately.  So little time to read everything, and respond to it.  

    I have submitted trade news before, but others have beaten me to the punch.  I'm sure once the trade deadline is over, and everything is said and done, I'll have comments to add.  
    As to showing disrespect to you by not replying to your article, that was never my intent.  I wasn't trying to put you down at all.  To show that, I will comment on it now.  
    My initial thoughts upon reading your article were along the lines of those that some Rangers and Flyers fans have already made plain.  Namely that someone must start winning something in order for it to be a dynasty.  Yes, the Penguins won two Cups, but that was over fifteen years ago.  Nothing since, and thus, there's no real dynasty status there in my mind.  You're asking then if a dynasty is beginning.  I say no.  Pittsburgh's goaltending is too suspect, imo.  Fleury is too inconsistent.  Possibly even too young.  He's just returned from his conditioning stint, and I wouldn't expect him to be totally sharp just yet.  Do you have faith then in Ty Conklin to take you deep in to the playoffs?  Anything is possible, of course.  But neither Fleury nor Conklin would inspire much faith and confidence in me if they were my goalies.    
    Crosby is set to return soon.  When a star player goes down, other people on the team are looked upon to step things up and lead.  Malkin has certainly done that in Crosby's absence. However, its been witnessed in the past more than a few times that when that star player comes back, instead of playing better, teams often actually get worse.  Teammates think that now that their star is back, they can maybe let up a little.  They can rely more on the star once again.  The star in turn, feels pressured to maybe do a little more than they should or could.  Gets a little too fancy, is gripping the stick tighter, etc.  Could this happen to the Penguins when Crosby returns?  Maybe.  I have no doubt the Penguins will make the playoffs.  I just don't see them getting to the conference finals.  Heck, if things stay as they are now, they'd face Montreal in the first round.  That's not a series the Penguins can win, imo.  
    As to mentoring you, no, that was just as much not my intent as putting you down was.  I'm just looking for a little civility on the boards here.  You seem to be the most outspoken poster here when you are rude, so that's why I asked you.  If you think that I should have said all this via private message, then maybe you should do the same to the other posters when you wish to vehemently disagree with them.  
    I'm not a Master, nor would ever want that title.  You can address me as "Sir" or "Lord," though, as I have actually been knighted.  😉
    Anyway, no offense meant towards you, BruMagnus.  Just wishing for some politeness and manners here on the boards.  Thank you again for your time.  
     
  11. BruMagnus says:

    PLEEEASE, read this entire response. It is very important for me if we are to have any mutual respect.

    First, could you kindly answer the question I asked below to the left?

    Second, this in fact proves my point. You say you don't recall my response that way, because your biasness has twisted the actual words to fit a view you have of me. Or rather, you cant be sure of what I said but just imagine you know what it was… or more to the point, you said you "certainly did not read it that way." This again proves you have lack objectivity and read my posts in a certain light. Maybe I was trying to be humorous, but you have the inability to see that because of your biasness? On the most recent Leafs article, someone wrote that Sundin should take a drive with Heatley… he wasn't being humorous, but I could tell he was frustrated about Mats and didn't actually wish death on him… use some common sense and try to open your own mind a bit.
    http://www.hockeytraderumors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9891
    This is the article I was thinking about. the guy who said he shoud be the Leafs' GM. I don't see anything really wrong with what I wrote. Perhaps YOU should read the responses of other people. NONE of these are mine. But do you publicly pick on these people? DO YOU!?

    Where did you learn your math in a war veterans hospital where they counted on their fingers and toes and everyone had a different number????

    I think you have put too many foreign substances into your body. Oh and by the way most of your other deals are way out to lunch as well.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA…stupid leafs fans….you retard

      f##k typical leafs fan you think kaberle steen and a first round gets you ovechkin and a pick plus a prospect. It is no wonder this team is sinking you guys think your sh it players are worth a fortune.add

    this is the kind of article that makes me wish people had to pass IQ tests before buying computers…

    Blah blah blah… I'm full of crap…  blah blah blah…
    About sum it up?

    even dcz28, whose article you loved, wrote:
    Your Ovechkin deal is completely laughable for Washington…if you were the Leafs GM the other GM's would just laugh and hang up everytime you called.

    (I agree his article was less harsh than the others')

    Your an idiot.

    How does something this god awful bad get posted. 

    This must be the most ridiculous Leafs post to date and that's saying a lot! Seriously admins, if you must post Leaf content can you at least filter out the absolute retarded nonsense like this???? The rest of us already know how dumb their fans are, you've made your point.

    Didn't even finish reading your article…I'm sorry pal but this isn't the first time a Leaf fan has tried to trade water for wine . There is no way no way the Leafs can trade their way outta this. 

                      … getting ridiculous.

    This isn't a video game, it's real life.  Just typing it don't make it reality.

    This site really irritates me when shit like this is posted. IT'S POINTLESS, CRAPPY, SHITTY, ALL COMBINED, WHY POST THIS, IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just stop….please….just stop, your dilusional.

    Kaberle and Steen a first rounder in 08 to Washington for Ovechkin and a pick and prospect back.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    *breath*
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    *breath*
    ha.

    are you an idiot?

    AND NOW tancred, let's see what MY RESPONSE WAS, AFTER all of these, shall we?

    I adamantly disagree that Sundin will "sacrifice playing elsewhere" to help the team. He seems very shady on the idea in interviews. Even though he "claims" to want to help the team, he seems non-commital to actually put those words into ACTION and actually DOING something about it.

    and

    Detroit has already announced that they wouldn't part with whatever the ridiculous asking price would be for Sundin.
    They would only part with low-end prospects and picks. If anyone's noticed, the Wings almost never have a 1st or 2nd round pick… yet they still draft amazingly!

    and

    I highly doubt Vancouver would trade Sundin as a rental for Edler straight up.

    Back me up Canucks fans, what do you think?

    and, lastly, after reading through all the smack posts.

    Quick! Fire JFJ and hire THIS guy!
    That's the answer you need for your problems! This guy would fix them with his 'smart' ideas!

    PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I AM DOING? I am the most reasonable responder out of all of those!

  12. BruMagnus says:

    Thanks for your response. I really appreciate it.

    I myself said that I fear that with Sidney's return, that Malkin will start producing less (I believe it is in the article itself).

    However, I believe that the many many commentators have it correct when they say the Penguins don't need to make any trades because they are getting the best possible return and offering up nothing:
    They are getting a number 1 goalie (who I do agree is inconsistent, but does need to play in the playoffs to get some confidence and experience)
    A playoff grinder in Gary Roberts
    and the reigning MVP and Art Ross winner in Crosby.

    You tell me if you honestly think teams would be afraid of picking up these guys in a trade because the rest of the team might work less hard? I do totally acknowledge it may happen, but I really feel that his injury is exactly what the Pens needed, and that they won't become worse. They'll be about the same, or maybe they'll be ridiculous like when Mario returned and went on to win 17 straight. Who knows, somewhere in between, but not worse.

    The Pens lost twice to the Habs at the start of the year when we sucked ass. We were like 8-11-2 until our current 27-10-5 record. Look at that record. Without that terrible start, we easily lead the East. We have beaten the Habs twice since then, a 2-0 shutout with Sidney, and a crazy 5-4 game when in Montreal we blew two 2-goal leads after their HUGE momentum building comeback against the NYR, for them to lead 4-3, only to come back ourselves and win it. I personally thought we were done when they made it 4-3. Yet Malkin showed again why he's one of the best. and again we didn't have Sid.

    I maintain that I think a Habs Pens series would be the best 1st round matchup in the playoffs. I also think the home team would take the series, maybe even in game 7. But the habs have just as many problems in goal as the Pens, and just as much lack of experience. in fact, Darryl Sydor has more experience on D than their entire Defense!

  13. BruMagnus says:

    Thanks Radio! I also think this was one of my better received posts with good comments but most on here. I hope it can continue!

  14. BruMagnus says:

    you are right, and the Ducks have the same idea this year again.

    I wonder though, if the Ducks or Canes (who will win their division) win it again, is that enough?

    I do think that its near impossible to have a true dynasty like the Oilers of the 80s.

  15. sjconnick says:

    your wisdom? Ok there Mr hockey night in canada try not to flatter yourself to the point of exhaustion. You frequently refer to your predictions as being true? What predictions would those be?

    The pens being a dynasty?
    The pens winning the stanely cup this year?
    Malkin being mvp?
    Crosby getting more points if he gets more ice time?
    the ducks at risk and most likely to miss the playoffs?
    the blues and coyotes making the playoffs?
    The pens winning their division?
    Vancouver missing the playoffs?

    Which one of those predictions was correct?

    90% of the stuff you write is your own fantasy bs, the other 10% is obvious stuff that a 5 year old could have predicted. Yeah but look at you go.

    Do you have your own 1-900# that the public can call to get the top inside predictions on what is going down in the NHL?

    Keep it up Bru you are about a hop, skip and jump away from being the next Eklund at hockeybuzz.com

  16. sjconnick says:

    Again you mention my name for the 5th time today while not even talking to.

    OH MY GOD YOU PREDICTIED SUNDIN WOULD NOT WAIVE HIS NO TRADE CLAUS? WHAT WOULD THIS SITE DO WITHOUT YOU? It has only been the most talked about subject for 2 months. there was a 50/50 chance and you called it, congraduma*****inglations! everybody stop what they are doing and give brumagnus a round of appauls for predicting what 5 million other people predictied as well.

    You also keep saying I called you a racist? what are you going on about? why would I call you a racist? or say anything racist to you? I called you a 50 year old asian man which you are. Last time I checked that was not a racist comment. Just like if you where to say I am a 23 year old white male.  I think you are confused.

  17. kamullia says:

    Not critical, but realist. They are a good team, but I do not think they are ready to win it all with the present personnel and maturity they have right this minute, and they show it here and there. And no, the same does not apply to the Sens, Habs, or Devils, although mind you they all have their flaws also. The difference on the flip side is the Pens have everything to be rightfully expectant that things will get better in the near future, while no team can say they have that coming.

    I did mention the Devils have a similar problem, meaning personnel that does not convince me they can get there. The Sens have the personnel, even though they are not playing well. If you have the talent and are in a slump, typically time gets you there, but if you do not have the talent nothing short of a miracle is needed, so the Sens have that in their favor. The Habs are playing well, even if their personnel is not convincing, but they are finding ways…much like the Pens have been without 87, the thing is the Habs have probably been the most consistent of any team this year.

    It comes down to the trades this year, in my views. Most years we all expect and look at the trades, but seldom I think do they become a major issue as I think it will be this year. I think in the East the team that makes the right trades goes to the final…although I expect a team from the West to win it all by the time the Eastern champion gets there nursing all the wounds in a tough climb.

  18. kamullia says:

    Agreed, but that only speaks to how terrible they were before, not how good they really are.

    PS Teams all have bad goals, but not 50% or more of what they let in, and that’s what I mean with the Pens. Take away every team’s bad goals, and they will all fair better, but none will do as good as the Pens would.

  19. kamullia says:

    What Fleury’s time between the pipes will be will only be determined by his play. Yes, he is the present go to goalie of the future, but that all can change depending on what he shows from here on in. Ideally you’d want him to be the go to guy during the playoffs, but if he falters or is shaky then Shero has a decision to make. Play him regardless and chuck it up to getting experience (at the cost of rage by most Pens fans watching a quick playoff exit), or put in Conklin and ride him as far as he can take them (I would think at least a couple of rounds) and give the experience to the skaters and plan for a new goalie strategy from here on out.

    Conklin is young, but I doubt he will be resigned by Pittsburgh, mainly because of cash. He was written off by everyone, and he has emerged strong enough to cash in during free-agency, which can be his one and only chance. Now, it is all up to him, but more than likely he would go where the cash takes him and that likely won’t be the Penguins.

    Conklin cannot be traded, in my opinion. The questions regarding Fleury are too many to just send him out the door. It would be great if Fleury was solid and you could trade Conklin, but that is not the scenario here, so he won’t be going anywhere.

    Sabou (his nickname, not Sabs), signed up here because he thought he could better himself under Fleury and getting to show some mettle to eventually be signed by/traded to another team for a better position (more ice time and more $$$). I do not think he wanted to make a career of backing up Fleury, but now with Conklin pushing him back, he has to be upset at the situation, no doubt. What will happen with him is so complex, because not only does it depend on him, but on Shero, Conklin, and Fleury. Too many variables. My best guess, even after Conklin leaves he is still mad, but see’s an opening. Showing Fleury off is the key here, and goes off in the off-season and trains like crazy trying to put doubts in management if he should be given more ice, even split duties with Fleury…and raising his stock and interest from the other teams. Not saying it will work or not, but that’s my best guess as to what he will be thinking.

  20. BruMagnus says:

    I call him Sabs because it's easier, shorter to type and only one syllable to pronounce.

  21. Archion113 says:

    To be honest i even stoppe watching the games.

    Between officiating this year and the Flyers recent struggles its not enjoyable to watch anymore.

    I hate having to watch games where 20-30 minutes of the game is spent on the PP or PK for minor infractions while watching major infractions go unpunished.

    I'm hopeing the Flyers set the record for most losses in a row… to go with their longest winning streak of 35 way back when…

    I'm all for the coach being fired now as well…

  22. Archion113 says:

    i knew i was going to take heat for saying that…

    i might as well go read it now so i can get advice on how to get 6pack abs from Crosby.

  23. BruMagnus says:

    The Blue Jackets are looking to make it their 7th straight non-playoff season (and 8th year, cause they still got picks) since they came into the League.

    But with the additions of Brassard and Voracek, I think they will FINALLY make it next year…….

  24. BruMagnus says:

    Months later we can all ask:

    WHO IS THE HOCKEY PROPHET?

    HIS NAME IS BRU MAGNUS!!!

  25. BruMagnus says:

    Cup win in 2009.

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