What to Expect from the Pittsburgh Penguins this Season

Pittsburgh Penguins Season

Coming off the back of an interrupted season that ended with a Stanley Cup playoff loss to the Canadiens, the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to bounce back this season – and the first puck drop is set to take place at the end of September.

If you’re looking to bet on their strengths, you’re undoubtedly hoping to see that fire that won them the Cup back in 2017. This is what we can expect from the Penguins when the new season kicks off. 

2020 and 2021 Pittsburgh Penguins Season

2020 was a strange year for every athlete in sports, but the NHL was struck hard regarding COVID regulations. The season was suspended in March and finally called off altogether in May. 

However, the Penguins had a reasonably successful season up until that point. At one point, they were top of the Metropolitan league, but a six-game losing streak allowed the Capitals and Flyers to breeze past them. 

The Penguins sat in third place in their division and dropped to fifth in the conference, with the top four teams getting a bye in the first round of the playoffs. This wasn’t ideal for the Pittsburgh team. 

In the first round, they faced the Canadiens, who pulled off a shocking victory, beating the Penguins in four games and ending their season. 

2021 once again saw the Penguins play some incredible hockey, this time beating the Washington Capitals to win a playoff berth, extending their playoff streak to 15 straight seasons. This is also the longest active streak in the top four sports in the US. 

Players

While the past season ended in another playoff defeat, the players showed a ton of growth and maturity and aimed to improve on their 2020 season. However, some changes are needed if they are hoping to get past the playoffs this time around. 

2021 has seen the Penguins add numerous players to their roster, most notably Danton Heinen. Heinen had his break-out season with the Bruins back in the 2017-2018 season, scoring 16 goals, 47 points and providing 31 assists in 77 games. 

Strangely, Heinen was a free agent, having been released by the Ducks in July. However, Ron Hextall believes that he will be an excellent fit for the Penguins and, on the surface, could be the player that reignites their offensive fire. 

The Penguins have also added goaltender Louis Domingue to their squad. Domingue spent last season playing for both Calgary and the Stockton Heat but has played for multiple teams and gained quite a bit of experience along the way. 

He has a 58-59-10 average, with a 3.05 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage, and two shutouts. While he isn’t at the top of his game, he is a much-needed addition in a position that sometimes needs mixing up. 

Jeff Carter has also joined the Penguin ranks. The two-time Stanley Cup winner and two-time All-Star may be on the older side now, but his experience with the team is invaluable. He also registered his first 4-goal game against the Buffalo Sabers earlier this year. 

The Stanley Cup 

Many believed the Penguins had a perfect chance of winning the Stanley Cup last season. That hasn’t changed, with the team still in the position to go all the way due to three advantages. 

The team is loaded with experience. From top to bottom, some players have mountains of playoff experience and a number who have won the coveted trophy and know exactly what needs to happen to get to that point again.

Talent can be bought and traded, but the experience gained is invaluable. This is where the Penguins have an advantage over their opponents, which could be seen last season in almost every game they played.

Depth is their next strength. There is no doubt that the Penguins have the players needed to make a Stanley Cup run. They have more than enough of the right players to ensure they stay strong in every position throughout the season. 

Lastly, speaking of defence, they have one of the best defensive lines in the league. While they are stacked with players that can score goals, they have just as many incredible defenders stopping opposing teams from doing so. 

While their away performances could undoubtedly improve, their strength at home is certainly something they can build on. Their home record last season was 22-4-2, and their away form was 15-12-1. Scoring 196 goals and conceding 156 is another area that can improve, but it has a solid base. 

As you can see, the Penguins have set themselves up to build on the success that they have had over the past couple of seasons. They are more than capable of reaching the playoffs; it is just about getting over the line now and to the finals. 

2017 showed they could do it too, and with most of those Stanley Cup-winning players still in their ranks, they will be looking to reach those heights once again. We just have to wait and see if the Penguins will be the team to lift the trophy when all is said and done. 

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