Nov 21, 2011, 12:48 PM EST
The Big Question will be a weekly feature on PHT where we ask a question, provide some background and ask you, the reader, to weigh in with your opinions.
Today’s question: Are the Penguins the Stanley Cup favorites?
Not sure if you heard, but Sidney Crosby is playing a hockey game tonight. The best player in the world will be a nice addition for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as best players in the world typically are for teams.
The Pens haven’t suffered too badly without Crosby. They’re 11-6-3, tied for third in the league. James Neal , Jordan Staal, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury have been outstanding. Evgeni Malkin is a point-a-game player.
Top to bottom, it’s hard to find a real weakness.
Of course, Pittsburgh isn’t the only good team in the NHL. You could make a case for each of Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago as the current Cup favorite.
Personally I think it’s the Pens. The play of Neal and Letang are huge factors for me, just so far as things that differentiate this season’s Pittsburgh team from past seasons – Neal to take the scoring load off Crosby and Malkin, Letang because almost every single Cup winner has an elite defenseman.
Agree? Disagree? The comments section awaits.
Update: Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick apparently agree.
- BREAKING: Flames fire Feaster 18
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 9
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 36
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 75
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 32
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 18
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 15
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)