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yave1964

Global Warming sinks Pens review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK a team with Crosby and Malkin leading the way and a fine supporting cast was looked at as on the short list for teams that would fight for the Eastern Conference Crown. After losing to the Caps the year before they were hungry for revenge.

 

FINAL RECORD 44-26-12 100 points lost in first round in a four game sweep to the Islanders.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON They stumbled out of the gate slowly and Murray looked off and fragile. They caught fire after he missed time, Dec 14th thru Jan 11th they won 12 of 14 not just beating bad teams but beating 3 of the 4 teams who eventually reached the conference finals. Murray ahd 3 shutouts during the stretch to finally get his season going.

 

LOW POINT OF THE SEASON Losing 4 straight to the upstart Islanders and scoring only 6 goals in the series Crosby had only 1 assist for the entire series.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT Crosby hit the century mark with 100 points and was again arguably the games best two way player. Guentzel lived up to his promise delivering 40 goals on Crosby's line. Kessel was a point a game player with 35 of them on the power play. Malkin had 72 points in only 68 games and 87 PIMs as he continues to defy the soft Russian stereotype. Letang only managed 65 games but was nearly a point a game player from the back end. Rust added 18 goals, Hared McCann came over from florida and jumped in as a solid 3C putting up timely points. Murray overcame a glacially slow start and was hot down the stretch, Jarry was one of the leagues top backups in net. It needs to be mentioned that Dumouilin was quietly among the games top shutdown defenseman and got zero credit for a fine season.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG. A lot actually. Hornqvist looks to be aging his way out of the top six, Schultz missed over 50 games and looks to have lost a stride. Secondary scoring is a huge problem they brought in a ton of tired old veterans, Sheahan, Hagelin, Bjugstad, Gudbranson, Brassard, Pearson, Oleksiak, Derek Grant, some came in, some moved out, all failed to deliver. This was a one and a half line year all season with four forwards producing and not much else. Jack Johnson bombed on the back end, Maata had only 1 goal all year. 

 

FREE AGENTS Matt Cullen will likely hang up the skates retiring with the 19th most games played of all time (let that sink in, a career bottom six guy playing forever). Nobody else this year, Schultz an UFA next season.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Are they slipping into the dreaded middle fo the pack, not good enough to be a real contender not bad enough to rebuild in the draft? They dont have a 2nd or 3rd rounder so they need to add an impact player with their first round pick. Can Schultz and Hornqvist find the fountain of youth?

 The big one is Kessel, the Pens are not afraid to make moves as one fo the games most aggressive teams but are hamstrung by the cap, rumors are Kessel is on the move probably to the Coyotes (Galchenyuk is the latest rumored return) to free cap space to add desperately needed depth. They dont have much in the system so they need to figure out a way of improving their supporting cast. Murray to me is the teams biggest question and rumors are that he may be moved as well with DeSmith and Jarry taking over on the cheap in net. One way or the other the Pens will be aggressive as per usual this offseason.

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Murray looks like he's catching MAF syndrome. (O they're shooting the puck what do I do?)

Hopefully should they trade Kessell, they will get a mid round draft choice! I'm not sure what kind of return the trade would get!

Maybe Rutherford could put a foot up his buttocks to get him playing like he should! Let's see how 2019/20 starts?!

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