That was quick.
From Stanley Cup Finals favorites to “Don’t let the arena doors hit you on the way out,” the Pittsburgh Penguins have been swept out of the Eastern Conference Finals by the Boston Bruins.
The best offensive team in the NHL in both the regular season and the playoffs managed to score only two goals the entire series, and was shut out twice.
The team that was supposed to have addressed last year’s undisciplined play against the Philadelphia Flyers by bringing in veteran’s like Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow were flustered and suckered into playing their opponents’ game for the second straight postseason.
In short, another postseason comes and goes without the Penguins fulfilling what was expected of them, and now their offseason begins. Some people will see no reason for the Penguins’ organization to re-think its strategy over the summer; after all, this is a team that made the Eastern Conference Finals, so it’s not like they failed to even qualify for the playoffs. There’s no reason to panic; the team might just need some minor adjustments.
There are some, however, such as Ron Cook of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who argued that there were many player’s whose futures were at stake during this playoff series. Is Dan Blysma, the man who failed to keep his team focused and disciplined for two straights postseasons now, on the chopping block? Will Pittsburgh continue to pay both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin close to $10 million a year? Are impending free agents such as Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, and others going to be back? And what about their goaltending situation – will Marc-Andre Fleury be back next year? Will Tomas Vokoun be the new starter?
Let me know what you think the top priority of the Penguins’ organization ought to be this offseason!