Okay, time for an Pens predictions/expectations thread:
1. Who will be the biggest surprise of the season?
2. Who will be the biggest disappointment?
3. Which rookie (or currently in AHL) will have the biggest impact this year?
1. I'm one of Martin's biggest bashers, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say the guy finds his jockstrap this year. With Michalek gone, and Martin solidified on the second pairing, I going to predict he plays solid, positional hockey, logs a bunch of minutes, and maintains a top plus rating. Though it's possible this is just a prayer.
2. It's hard for me to single out one player here, as I kind of think that our collection of supporting forwards are going to struggle big time. That's Kunitz, Cooke, Kennedy, Dupuis, and even to a degree Sutter. My guess is that the pressure to contribute and perform over their heads will have them clenching their sticks all season long. This will be the Pens achilles heel, and no doubt we'll be talking about sitting some of these guys to give Tangradi, Jeffrey, Bennett a chance.
3. I say Tangradi earns a regular spot on the top 2 lines by the end of the season and shines in the playoffs. I also think Bennett will become Sid's winger down the line, but not until next season at the earliest. Despres will have a solid season for a rookie, but nothing spectacular.