Written by Mark Stevens
With guys like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the roster, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been in the Stanley Cup playoff discussion nearly every single year. That is once again the case in 2015, as they currently stand in 6th place in the Eastern conference. Even though this is not the best team Pittsburgh has put out there in recent memory, they look like they will at least get the opportunity to compete in the postseason. In the NHL, that is all a team really needs.
Right now, a total of 7 teams have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack in the Eastern conference. A few hot weeks could get Pittsburgh right back to the top of the conference standings, as they are just 6 points behind Montréal as of right now. They could easily fix their current standing if they did a better job playing at home. They are actually the best team in the Eastern conference as far as road records are concerned, but they have not done a good job protecting their home ice.
As expected, Crosby and Malkin have been leading the charge on offense. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is once again very solid in net as well, as he has helped this team become a top 5 defense as far as goals against are concerned. That is really going to come into play in the postseason, because goaltending can make a huge difference.
With the trade deadline looming, there is a very good chance that Pittsburgh makes at least one move to try to solidify their roster in general. This is a franchise that is in a win-now mode, as their star players will not be in their prime for too much longer. They have already added David Perron and Maxim Lapierre in deals in the month of January. As far as the next week is concerned, they will probably look for either an additional piece in front, or another forward to add depth.
Pittsburgh definitely has experience in the postseason over a lot of their competition. That could help sway things into their favor as they try to make a postseason push.
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