Sure, the Penguins had taken a horrific start to the season and put it behind them after a loss to the Los Angeles Kings in mid-December. Mike Sullivan was the piece that started the rejuvenation of these Penguins. I say these Penguins because they are literally the same exact team, minus Ben Lovejoy (and Jeff Zatkoff and Beau Bennett for knit pickers).
The sad news is, deep down in my heart, I don’t believe the Penguins can magically win the sixteen games required again this season and I’ll tell you why.
This team is going to be the exact same as last season, except one less top six defenseman. I’ve never really thought that staying with a very similar team was a good idea. When you win a Cup and it’s obvious how you did it, teams try to use that to their strength heading into the next season.
Because the Penguins were able to dominate teams with their speed, other teams looked to add some to their lineup. Obviously that’s easier said than done. The Penguins are a fast, skilled team and it’s not going to be easy to keep them contained, especially if they get the goaltending from Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury this season.
Also, as fate would have it, the Penguins aren’t allowed to win a Cup this year. Unless they lose their first twenty games of the season, Mike Sullivan isn’t going anywhere. No coach in Penguins history has won a Stanley Cup in anything but his first season as the organization’s head coach.
That’s my quick take on if the Penguins can repeat, now read @PensArmy_ take on why he believes the Penguins will repeat right here: