The NHL is less than 31 days away from the beginning of the 2017/18 season. Over this period we’re diving into the 31 NHL teams in alphabetical order, take a look at their previous standings and upcoming season predictions, as well as their key additions and subtractions. Today we look at the Flyers arch-rival: the Pittsburgh Penguins.
2016/17 record: 50-21-11=111 points
Key additions: Antti Niemi, Ryan Reaves, Matt Hunwick
>Key losses: Marc Andre Fleury, Chris Kunitz, Trevor Daley, Nick Bonino, Ron Hainsey, Matt Cullen
2017/18 prediction: Three cups in a row. Is it possible?
As usual, a playoff spot is eminent for the Pittsburgh Penguins with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang always finding a way to put their team in the playoffs. Yet after losing a slew of players and other teams improving in this offseason, it’s hard to imagine the penguins being a Stanley Cup champion for the third time in a row.
However, oddsshark.com has the Pens leading the odds (+700) to bring home a third championship, which is 200 higher than every team except the Oilers, who are +800 to win the cup.
Don’t rule out the Penguins, as even in the 2016 playoffs with a beaten up roster, the Penguins still showed their dominance. Jake Guentzel was a huge reason why the Pens brought home the cup last year. When the trio of Crosby, Malkin, and Phil Kessel was absent on the ice, it was Guentzel who put up an impressive 21 points in his playoff debut to help the team win. If the Penguins are going to bring home the third cup, they will need his support again to get them through to the finals.
The Pens may have lost some key players and veteran leadership, but as long as they have Crosby on top of his game, the Pens will always be a threat. Do you think a three-peat is possible? Let us know in the comment section.