By Nicole Tracey
Throughout the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins wore a t-shirt with an inspirational slogan of “The Pens in Our Hand.” The Pens achieved their ultimate goal of the season by defeating the reigning Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling game 7 at Joe Lewis Arena. An unsung hero took center stage, scoring two goals allowing the Pens to raise Lord Stanley’s hardware. Max Talbot wasn’t the only unsung hero of the series. Another honorable mention is “The Piece” or Robert Scuderi. Rob Scuderi‘s antics in front of the net at the end of game 6 helped the Pens force the thrilling game 7.
After the high expectations coming off of last season’s disappointing finish, the Pens kicked it into high gear and went above and beyond the critics and skeptics with a Stanley Cup victory. The question now is should we have the same or even higher expectation of the team this coming season? Free Agency wasn’t that kind to the Pens with The Piece signing with the Los Angeles Kings and Hal Gill with Montreal. With one defensive pairing now gone, General Manger Ray Shero decided to bring in another Veteran defenseman being Jay McKee of the St. Louis Blues. Along with McKee, Alex Goligoski will get his opportunity to shine, but not without having to fill in some pretty big shoes. When it comes to the offensive side of the Pens, they are pretty solid. With Max Talbot out of commission for a couple months due to shoulder surgery, we will get a chance to see some up and coming Wilkes Barre boys. Luca Caputi, Eric Tangradi, Dustin Jeffery, and Tim Wallace are just some the players we could see to fill in for Talbot.
More experience was added to the coaching staff. Tony Granato, former head coach of the Colorado Avalanche will join Dan Bylsma and Mike Yeo behind the bench this year.
With training camp just around the corner for the boys, a lot will be determined, if or any new defensive pairings or line changes, as well as who could possibly back up Marc Andre Fleury.
Our lives will soon be back to normal as the 2009-2010 NHL Hockey season gets set to begin in just a few weeks.
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