Penguins Hope To Open Up New Arena With Strong Season

The Penguins will go out with the old and in with the new this season when they open up the CONSOL Energy Center to being their season October 7th against the Philadelphia Flyers. Leaving the tradition of Mellon Arena behind them, the team hopes to continue their recent success on the ice as they move into their new arena.

Looking ahead at the schedule, the Penguins will not have the Olympics to worry about. In order to get in enough games before the Olympics began, the NHL forced every team to play more games then usual week after week and it took its toll. After playing an 82 game regular season, the Olympics and playoffs, the Penguins roster was exhausted by the time Game 7 rolled around in the second round against the Montreal Canadiens. Like every season, there will be injuries but not as many games due to this not being an Olympic season.

As captain, Sidney Crosby has developed into one of the great leaders and is considered to be one of the best players in the world. Crosby helped lead the Penguins to a Stanley Cup two seasons ago and has won many friends on and off the ice for his accomplishments. Despite Bill Guerin not returning, Crosby tends to adjust well to his linemates and Maxine Talbot and Pascal Dupuis as potential linemates. If healthy, Crosby is a threat on the ice and seems to play well with whoever is alongside him. Crosby is determined to play well and will have a great season ahead of him.

The Penguins will unfortunately be starting the season without Jordan Staal, who is recovering from a foot infection. Staal can play physical and is a threat on the penalty kill. The Pens will need someone to pick up the slack while Staal is out and will be ready for him to come back.

When healthy, Evgeni Malkin is a threat on the ice and provides a good powerplay combination when paired up with Crosby. Malkin has matured as a player in just a few seasons and can drive to the net easily. The Penguins will need Malkin to be healthy for most of the season because he is a threat and provides added scoring touch to the powerplay.

On defense, Sergei Gonchar migrated north to the Senators leaving a hole to fill in the Penguins defense.  Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang have developed well as defencemen but the Penguins may need more help in front of netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. Even though Fleury has proven himself to be a reliable goaltender, the Penguins will need defense to play in the division they are in. With the New York Rangers, Flyers, New Jersey Devils and several other depth filled teams on their schedule, the Penguins will have to step up on defense.

With the new arena opening up, the Penguins look to have a strong season ahead of them and hopes of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh may not be far off.


~ by jeffrsabo on September 22, 2010.

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