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Plus/Minus – Grading the Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 26 2011 @ 1:17 pm In Pittsburgh Penguins | No Comments

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
2010-11: 106 points, #4 in Eastern Conference

GOALIES

Returning: Marc-Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson

Arrivals: N / A
Departures: N / A

Grade: 0

No changes in goal for the Penguins; expect to see a lot of “Flower in the cage”.

DEFENSE

Returning: Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek, Matt Niskanen, Ben Lovejoy, Deryk Engelland

Arrivals: N / A
Departures: N / A

Grade: 0

Pittsburgh will enter training camp with no changes on defense. However, if Simon Despres proves he is NHL-ready, the Pens could potentially deal one of their blueliners.

FORWARDS

Returning: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Tyler Kennedy, Mark Letestu, Matt Cooke, Aaron Asham, Craig Adams, Dustin Jeffrey

Arrivals: Steve Sullivan
Departures: Max Talbot, Mike Rupp, Alex Kovalev, Chris Conner, Mike Comrie, Eric Godard

Grade: +3*

While Crosby, Malkin and Staal are technically returning players, they missed a combined 120 games last year. Getting full seasons out of all 3 of their top players would have a tremendous impact on their lineup. Out of all of the players they are losing, the top scorer (Kovalev) put up 34 points. Replacing him will be Steve Sullivan which is also an upgrade to the top 3 lines.

OVERALL RATING: +3
2011-12 Prediction: #1-#3 in Eastern Conference

The Penguins are in a tough division, but at the end of the day I see them as the team to beat in the Atlantic…if everyone stays reasonably healthy.

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