Isles Talk continues it’s 2014-15 season preview with the reigning Metropolitan Division Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last year was a good regular season year for the Pens as Sydney Crosby played healthy and brought back a ton of hardware at the NHL awards ceremony. Unfortunately they let the New York Rangers make history as they came back from a 3-1 deficit and beat the Pens in game 7 in Pittsburgh to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The end results were changes to the GM, the coach and an overhaul of some of the players.
2013-14 Record: 51-24-7 109 points; 1st in Metropolitan Division; 2nd in Eastern Conference
Additions: D Christian Ehrhoff, F Patric Hornqvist, F Nick Spaling, F Blake Comeau, F Steve Downie, G Thomas Greiss
Subtractions: F James Neal, F Jussi Jokinen, D Matt Niskanen, D Brooks Orpik, D Deryk Engelland, F Tanner Glass, F Joe Vitale, F Brian Gibbons
My take: I have always respected the Pens organization for their drafting of players and development, which has kept them atop of the division for a long time. However, losing two key players like Niskanen and Orpik certainly stings. Signing Ehrhoff was a great move but now the young defense must step up and getting a more experienced goalie like Greiss can reduce some of the pressure off of the defense and challenge Fleury for a few more games. Living an hour away from where the baby Pens play, I know that they’ll do a decent job, but if you’re a Pens fan, you don’t want Crosby or Malkin or any top 6 out for an extended period of time, because you really don’t have any baby Pens to graduate and that may hurt you come playoff time. Beware of the teams below you because you are the Metro Champs and they are coming for you.