There is no more underachieving team in the NHL than the Pittsburgh Penguins. Heck, that might extend to all sports (sorry Atlanta Braves). It's painful and ugly, but it's darn true. The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins have taken their young core of stars to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in four years. The Penguins sniffed the Cup last year for the first time since they won it in 2009. For a team with two former MVPs, that's one word: unacceptable. Pens fans need to learn to say it more often.
2013-2014 needs to be the season the Pittsburgh Penguins put everyone and everything back on notice.
The Pens have the two best players in the league . . . and they're locked up for the next decade. The names Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin appear on the Stanley Cup only once. That's crazy-go-nuts. That's unacceptable. Crazier still is their supporting cast. James Neal, Kris Letang, you know the names. These guys should be ruling the league, not giving sports writers cannon fodder for articles like this.
Do not worry about the regular season. Marc-Andre Fleury will be stellar and the Two-Headed Monster will be top five in points. Letang will challenge for the Norris Trophy again and the Pens will win north of fifty games. Get the sewing crew ready to stitch '2013 Metropolitan Division Champs' on yet another banner. The rafters of CONSOL Energy Center are lousy with them.
Regular season's not the issue. It's the pesky postseason. Those problematic playoffs. That tricky tournament (this is fun! you try). This season is not Stanley Cup or bust (is it?), but the Penguins need to have that mentality going into April. The roster is stacked, ownership awesome, coaching staff solid, and fanbase passionate. The window is not closed, but the latches are squeaky. There is no reason the Pittsburgh Penguins should be in a championship drought this long. That's unacceptable.
Whether the Penguins dropped the torch, lost the brass ring, left the coffee cup on the car's roof- whatever. They need to reestablish the drive that got them into consecutive Cup Finals. They need to remind the league just how good this team is. Not just on paper but on the ice. The success of the Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and their Blackhawks have wretched the spotlight away from the Pens.
And there's only one thing to say about that . . .
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