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Looking Ahead to the Playoffs and the Summer’s Top Free Agents

Posted By Ian Altenbaugh On Apr 10 2009 @ 2:31 pm In Pittsburgh Penguins | No Comments

Today we look at who the Penguins might be playing in the playoffs and who your team may sign in the off-season. 


The New York Islanders @ The Pittsburgh Penguins – April 9th, 2009


- The Penguins have finished the season 25-13-3 for the 2008-09 season on home ice.

- The Penguins have not been in a slump but they have not been as hot as they were since the month of March. They still have a winning percentage in the area of .700 since the trade deadline. So there is no reason to be concerned. Right? Honestly, I would not be. The Penguins are a team that is primarily made up of the players from last year’s lineup. Chris Kunitz and Craig Adams have rings from two of the last five cups. Bill Guerin won a cup when I was in elementary school. Playoff preparation should not be a problem.

- Good to see Boucher getting a goal on the board after such a long layoff.

- The line of Matt Cooke-Jordan Staal-Tyler Kennedy has to be one of the best third lines in the league. It is an elite level checking line that can be counted on to produce offensively on a regular basis.

- On even strength, the Penguins have been fairly strong. Still, they have been taking far too many penalties. Their PK has been solid lately though so there is no too great of a concern.

- Now that the Penguins can finish no higher than fourth and no lower than sixth it is time to examine some of their potential playoff rivals:

If they finish fourth they will either face the Flyers or Canes. These are two match ups that the Penguins should not want in the first round. Carolina has been playing lights-out hockey the last few weeks and the Flyers are healthy. Either team would be fine for a second round match however. The Canes will be have weaknesses exposed if they make it to the second round and the Flyers typically take a beating because of the style of hockey they play.

If they finish fifth, they will likely play the Canes or Flyers but not have home ice.

If they finish sixth they will play the Devils. That is a matchup I think anyone who is familiar with the two teams would like to see. Both teams elevate their games when against the other. Having said that, this Penguins team has tormented Marty Brodeur over the past two years.


Early Look at Top Twenty UFAs for 2009:

Keep in mind that this list is compiled with the idea that some pending UFAs are very likely to return to their current team or retire.

Marian Hossa

Jay Bouwmeester

The Sedin Twins

Mike Cammalleri

Martin Havlat

Alex Tanguay

Marian Gaborik

Mike Komisarek

Nick Antropov

Brian Gionta

Bill Guerin

Mike Morris

Ales Kotalik

Nikolai Khabibulin

Alex Kovalev

Mike Knuble

Nick Boynton

Manny Fernandez

Samuel Pahlsson

Rob Scuderi


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