moondart wrote:Ok...I've had it up to here on how the Pens are "the" favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Yes, we have a lot of talent, but there are a lot of holes in this team that need fixed in order to win the cup.
1) If Orpik and Martin are our "shutdown" D pairing.....no chance at a Stanley Cup.
2) If MAF plays like he did the last 3 yrs in the playoffs...no Stanley Cup (I think he'll bounce back).
3) If Geno "floats" in the playoffs like he does every year (except 2009)...no Stanley Cup.
4) If Sid gets hurt again, no Stanley Cup.
Some of these are obvious, but I'm tired of hearing the "local" and "national" media play up the Pens just because we have Sid, Geno, Neal, etc.
It doesn't appear you are forgetting. It appears you don't even know.
NONE of those things is why the Pens lost to the Flyers last year.
Valid concerns for THIS year? Sure.
Reasons the Pens got blown off the ice last year by Philadelphia? Hell no.
1. Orpik and Martin were contributors to the suckitude against Philly. But hardly the greatest offenders. Both are veterans who have been good before, and can be more than serviceable again (Orpik I believe more than Martin, but we'll see).
2. MAF has been a huge letdown the last 3 years in the playoffs. But he's also had very good games in those 3 years. Let's just call him more inconsistent than a supposed elite goaltender ought to be.
I'm not going to blame him for the Tampa Bay debacle. And I sure as hell won't blame him for that atrocious team effort in front of him against Philadelphia. Wait, did Philly just score ANOTHER PP goal??
3. Geno does not float in the playoffs. Just because the other teams can scheme and focus on him for up to 7 games, and thereby limit his awesomeness.... does not equate him "floating". There IS another team out there on the ice without Pens jerseys, you know.
4. Sid wasn't hurt against the Flyers. Where are you coming up with that as one of the reasons "we are forgetting" that the Flyers kicked the snot out of the Pens? Matter of fact, Crosby looked pretty GD angry out there at times. Crosby has been a terror against Philly in his short NHL career thanks to their goading him into emotional play. He LOVES rampaging all over those fools and mocking their fans.
The only thing you got right in your post was to doubt the Pens being considered one of the favorites for the Cup.
Now, here are some reasons for Pens fans to ACTUALLY be worried about this season:
The Pens have not made any moves that make them appreciably better than last year's squad that limped to the finish line and then fell off the crazy train against Philadelphia.
They have lost a very good player in Staal, replaced him with a guy not as good (but perhaps more suitable to the role the Pens will limit him to than Staal was).
They still have Paul Martin. One year older, and probably one year suckier.
They added Tanner Glass, a rather unremarkable 4th liner.
They may end up with Engelland a regular starter again... and the alternative is young unproven defensemen. Neither option is exactly making my heart go thump in a GOOD way.
Their "big" signing is a backup goaltender. The only value coming from this move is if it scares MAF into playing with more CONSISTENCY in his game. But will it? I don't know. MAF is a pretty easy-going guy, which is the problem. It might not have the intended effect. And if it doesn't, is Vokuon as a starter really what Pens fans have been dreaming about? I know I sure haven't been.
They still have a coaching staff seemingly unwilling or without a clue as to make quality adjustments to the PP unit. The coaches will fumble their way through another ridonkulous PP 'solution' to the glaring problem they seem unwilling to admit to: They have two GREAT players.... that are effectively the same guy on the PP. Lower RW half-boards guys. They'll keep sticking "the two-headed monster" out there, and it will be mostly painful to watch... but the talent will be enough to get them in the top 10 PP even though it's a significant underperformance to not be top 2 with that talent.
So yeah, there are a lot of unanswered questions about these Penguins right now. Questions that take a little more detective work and effort to see, than most of the national media are involved with. That's why you see a lot of people saying "FAVORITES FOR CUP!" since they see Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Letang, and MAF. Meanwhile, the Pens over the last few seasons have been less than the sum of their parts, and that's not good enough.
(Admittedly, some of this IS injuries in that time frame, but not nearly as much as some would like to believe.)