Skip to content

And then there were 7: Penguins eliminated

May 13, 2014, 10:00 PM EST

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Four Getty Images

For more entries in this series, click here.

For all the regular season successes and stories of resiliency, the Pittsburgh Penguins have seen their postseasons end in very sour ways the last few years. You can now add “the bitterness of coughing up a 3-1 series lead” to that list of recent disappointments as the New York Rangers bounced them in Game 7 by a score of 2-1.

Let’s look at the complete picture, even if there might be some panic in Pittsburgh:

  • Sidney Crosby blew everyone else away in regular season scoring. His 104 points topped everyone by a large margin; no one else even crossed the 90-point barrier (Ryan Getzlaf came in at second place with 87).
  • Of course, things didn’t work out quite so well for Crosby during the postseason. Evgeni Malkin actually enjoyed a fantastic playoff run after “only” scoring 72 regular season points. Expect a mind-numbing array of stories pondering what’s wrong with Crosby … including maybe even a tangible update or two (maybe an actual injury update if applicable?).
  • Marc-Andre Fleury seemed to settle himself down after Mario Lemieux gave him a locker room visit following a tough first-round loss. Still, the questions about “The Flower” will probably persist amid his ups and downs. The interesting thing with Fleury is that unlike Crosby, Malkin and other key cogs, he isn’t locked up long-term … with a contract to expire after 2014-15, he’s approaching a real fork in the road.
  • The questions about head coach Dan Bylsma’s job security will probably be quite a bit louder, however. The amicable coach navigated the challenging waters of another regular season and helped Pittsburgh shake off the typical run of injuries to win their division, but work before mid-April is taken for granted now with the Penguins. He’ll be questioned for a perceived lack of adjustments and a variety of other failings that may or may not be his fault. Many believe this is finally the time that his second chances will run out.
  • While the big names are locked in, the supporting cast could change drastically in Pittsburgh. Matt Niskanen is the biggest free agent name to consider after a breakout season, but Jussi Jokinen joins the likes of Brandon Sutter and Brooks Orpik as the Penguins don’t have many players lacked up outside of the core. That could be intimidating or promising depending upon your opinion of GM Ray Shero (assuming he’s still the general manager).
  • The Penguins were patient after being swept from the 2013 Eastern Conference finals by the Boston Bruins, but will the franchise weather the storm this time? It’s difficult to imagine this team without some significant changes … the question is: how drastic will those alterations end up being?

Latest Posts
  1. Wild storm Hurricanes for fifth straight win

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:14 PM EST

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    Minny has lost only three times since start of February.

  2. Debut delayed? Johnson doubtful, Sabres recall Makarov

    Mar 6, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres

    Meaning Anders Lindback looks to play against Ottawa tonight.

  3. Darryl Sutter was asked about ‘must-win’ games, and his answer was very Darryl Sutter-like

    Mar 6, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Darryl Sutter AP

    “There’s no such thing as a ‘must-win.’ Nobody gets locked up or thrown in the ocean or anything like that.”

  4. Slumping Preds lose Nystrom (lower body) for one month

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EST

    Detroit Red Wings v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    Gritty forward will miss most of the remainder of the regular season.

  5. One NHL GM thinks it’s ‘ridiculous’ how much ‘heat’ Chiarelli is taking

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EST

    Peter Chiarelli AP

    “There’s no question Chiarelli would have a chance to work as soon as he wanted to.”

  6. Goalie nods: Dubnyk to make 23rd straight start

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:03 PM EST

    Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    News and notes from around the crease…

  7. Voynov trial delayed to late April

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:13 PM EST

    Sasha Voynov Sasha Voynov

    Making it virtually impossible for him to play again this season.

  8. Bettman concedes there are ‘some members of the NHL family who would like to see fewer shootouts’

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:10 PM EST

    Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Quick AP

    However, “We’re not hearing that from fans. Fans like the way the game is.”

  9. Okposo (detached retina) to travel, resume skating with Isles

    Mar 6, 2015, 12:38 PM EST

    Kyle Okposo Getty Images

    It’s likely he’ll take the morning skate on Saturday.

  10. Flyers part ways with goalie coach Reese

    Mar 6, 2015, 12:08 PM EST

    Getty Images

    “It was a mutual agreement between both parties.”

  11. Season over: Avs lose MacKinnon to broken foot

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:43 AM EST

    Nathan MacKinnon Getty Images

    Huge blow to Colorado’s already slim playoff chances.

Featured video

Is there an issue with Babcock in Detroit?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Okposo (2801)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2698)
  3. T. Seguin (2622)
  4. T. Hall (2088)
  5. A. Ovechkin (2079)