Hey Puck Daddy...
I like your blog but with all due respect, I can't believe this statement coming from you.
Isn't this the most likely scenario for the Penguins this season?
After that, they will likely go on a streak and get just enough points to grab a 6th or 7th seed in the East (97 points). In the playoffs, they can definitely win a round or two if the matchups are right.
Are you out of your mind? Please tell me the 5 or 6 teams that you think will finish ahead of the Penguins this season. I think you're gonna have a tough time coming up with a good case for more than 2 or 3 teams. Ottawa's a possibility, I believe, but their defense is a huge question mark. And Montreal is as well, but those 2 teams are in the same division so unless the Penguins DON'T win the Atlantic division this year, both of those teams can't finish higher than the Pens. And the chances of the Penguins NOT winning the Atlantic are not very good. The Flyers lost Umberger and didn't add anybody that will make a significant impact, and we saw what the Penguins can do to that lineup in the playoffs. Yes, Hossa was a big part of that, but regardless, the Penguins are still clearly a better team than the Flyers. The Devils added a bunch old timers like Holik, but Brodeur is aging and despite adding Brian Rolston, I still question their offense with the exception of Zach Parise. I expect the Rangers to have another finish in the 5th-8th seeds, most likely at the bottom at 7th or 8th. The loss of Jagr is huge. An aging Markus Naslund and a soft Wade Redden are NOT the answer for them. The only way the Rangers can challenge the Penguins is if they add Mats Sundin and Henrik Lundqvist has a Vezina type year, which is possible, but then again, they didn't finish ahead of the Penguins with exceptional back to back years from Lundqvist AND Jaromir Jagr in 06-07 and 07-08.
So that leaves Tampa Bay and Washington as the 2 teams that any sane person would suggest could finish ahead of the Penguins. Tampa's a circus with a coach who has been working with freakin ESPN for the last 14 years, and no one knows how good they'll be. The Caps showed a lot of promise but there's a big question mark there with Jose Theodore, and their defense is still not very good.
So the Penguins are clearly the favorites in the Atlantic with back to back MVP nominees that will only continue to get better (something no other team in the NHL has) and an exceptional young goalie, plus a stud 3rd line center who will likely make the the move to the wing on the top 2 lines in Jordan Staal.
I would say that Ottawa and Montreal COULD finish ahead of the Pens in the standings. But still, even with Montreal, they got a big question mark with Carey Price. The Devils have a shot. Same for the Rangers IF they add Sundin. That's about it in my opinion. The Penguins don't have any weaknesses. They added some toughness to replace Laraque with Eric Godard and Jarkko Ruutu with Matt Cooke, but that's not gonna really come into play until the playoffs. They're clearly a contender. And you agreeing with whoever that moron was saying the Penguins will most likely finish 6th or 7th really makes you look like you don't know much about the NHL.
Ottawa only finished 7th because they had lots of problems in the locker room and a lack of leadership. If you question Crosby's leadership after the way he played in the playoffs, you're out of your mind. Oh, and Conklin, yes, I think we will miss him, but Sabourin is an OK backup and if Fleury plays 60 games or so, we'll be OK. So basically we're in trouble IF he gets hurt. In the playoffs, did he look like he was still injured to you?
So PLEASE, either reply directly to me OR put up a new blog post about the Penguins explaining your asinine opinion on where they'll finish...