The igloo will hold its last games during the playoffs. Bye-bye Mellon Arena. You gave us all a lot of memories.
First round matchup: Ottawa Senators
That's right. I'm talking about the Pittsburgh Penguins. The current Stanley Cup Champions, but can they make a run for the finals a third year in a row? Or possibly win the Cup back-to-back seasons?
The Pens have a star-studded line of forwards. And down the centre they look beautiful. They've got Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal streaking down the centre of the rink. All three have size, power, and skill. Those three elements collaborate to make three very powerful lines that can score.
But what have they got as an achilles heel? Injuries and of course, goaltending. As much as I like to believe that the Pittsburgh coaching staff have managed their injuries down the stretch well, once you've been injuried, it's easier to get injuried again. Injuries have plagued their biggest names and their smallest names, so taking care of themselves and get the job done, they have strong chance to gun for the Cup.
Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't been the goaltender we've seen before, but besides Brian Boucher and Dan Ellis, Fleury has the worst GAA of all goalies heading into the playoffs. And our of all the goalies suiting up for the post-season, only Boucher, Cristobal Huet, and Pascal Leclaire have a worse save percentage - and two of those guys aren't even starters!
Though the Pens' blueline isn't as star-studded as some teams, they have the ability to be better than their rankings.
But these young boys (with a few veterans) have what a lot of young teams don't - experience. More over, 2 years of Stanley Cup finals worth of experience. I don't think many 20-something-year-olds can say that.
Since this year's playoffs will be the last games played at the Mellon, the Pens will do everything they can to try to keep their Igloo going until they have to stop. As much as I'm not a Pens fan, I do respect the Mellon and all the memories it has left us (Mario Lemieux!!)
This guy needs to be excellent:
And he needs to show why he won the Rocket Richard trophy:
And the Penguins better make this guy proud once again: