Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pittsburgh Penguins 2018-19 season preview



          After two consecutive Stanley Cup victories, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally lost to the Washington Capitals in the playoffs. But this year, the Penguins look to create a dynasty, if they can win three cups in four years. Before we look at their roster, let's look at some fast facts for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Head Coach: Mike Sullivan
General Manager: Jim Rutherford
Arena: PPG Paints Arena
AHL Affiliate: Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins
2017-18 record: 47-29-6 (100 points)
2017-18 placement: 2nd
Division: Metropolitan
2017-18 goals leader: Evgeni Malkin (42)
2017-18 assists leader: Sidney Crosby (60)
2017-18 points leader: Evgeni Malkin (98)
2017-18 points leader (defensemen): Kris Letang (51)
Captain: Sidney Crosby
Assistant Captains: Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang
2018 first round pick: None, selected Calen Addison 53rd overall

Offseason additions: Jack Johnson, Matt Cullen, Jimmy Hayes, Derek Grant

Offseason subtractions: Conor Sheary, Matt Hunwick, Tom Kuhnhackl, Carter Rowney.

Forwards: the Penguins will keep on winning with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as the top two centers. They even have Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard on the third line. Don't forget about Jake Guentzal and Patric Hornqvist. Daniel Sprong and Zach Aston-Reese are two young players who will get a big chance. This is a really good group.

Forward lines:

Jake Guentzal - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Bryan Rust - Evgeni Malkin - Daniel Sprong
Carl Hagelin - Derick Brassard - Phil Kessel
Zach Aston-Reese - Matt Cullen - Riley Sheahan
Other: Dominik Simon, Derek Grant

Defensemen: Kris Letang is a first pairing defenseman, but needs to stay healthy. Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz and Olli Maatta are top-4 guys. They paid Jack Johnson a lot, but I think he's a third liner at best. The Pens saw good things out of Jamie Oleksiak after getting him midseason from Dallas.

Defensive pairs:

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Justin Schultz
Jack Johnson - Jamie Oleksiak
Other: Chad Ruhwedel

Goalies: Matt Murray is entering his second season of being a full time starter. Now, he has number two prospect Tristan Jarry backing him up. Casey Desmith played a little last year, but is an AHL goalie.

Goalie alignment:

Matt Murray
Tristan Jarry
Other: Casey Desmith

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Sidney Crosby
Evgeni Malkin
Phil Kessel
Derick Brassard
Patric Hornqvist

Playoffs: Yes
Division: third
I think the Pittsburgh Penguins will be eliminated in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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