View Full Version : 30 in 30: Potent Top of Penguins Lineup Looks Familiar

08-29-2013, 02:20 PM
It has been four seasons since the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, and each of the past two have ended in shocking fashion. They've fallen behind 3-0 in series they were expected to win after being anointed one of the favorites to win the Cup in each of those regular seasons.

In 2012 it was a wild, defense-optional series against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. In 2013 the offense disappeared against the Boston Bruins.

In 2013-14 the Penguins will again be considered one of the top teams in the NHL. The goals will flow, but a major question in net remains after back-to-back poor postseasons for Marc-Andre Fleury (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8470594).

The biggest moves of Pittsburgh's offseason were signing Evgeni Malkin (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8471215) and Kris Letang (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8471724) each to an eight-year contract extension, and securing Sidney Crosby (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8471675)'s linemates Chris Kunitz (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8470543) and Pascal Dupuis (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8466393). There was a bit of a surprise once free agency began: The Penguins were able to retrieve Rob Scuderi (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8467452) after he left for the Los Angeles Kings shortly after Pittsburgh won the Cup in 2009.

All of the big trade acquisitions -- Jarome Iginla (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8462042), Brenden Morrow (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8466160) and Douglas Murray (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8468114) -- were not retained. Two staples on the third line, Matt Cooke (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8465951) and Tyler Kennedy (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8471311), are gone. The additions -- Matt D'Agostini (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8471851), Andrew Ebbett (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8473682)and Chris Conner (http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8472368) -- were low-cost moves because the team is tight against the NHL salary cap.

The expectations remain the same in Pittsburgh: Either NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hands the Stanley Cup to Crosby in June or the season will be viewed as a disappointment.

Read more: http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=681194&navid=DL|PIT|home