• 01/31/2009, 09:51AM ET

The Pittsburgh Penguins are the most overrated team in the NHL.


The Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby. Evgeni Malkin. To hear people talk of this team one would think they are currently in the top 3 in the Eastern Conference. The reality is that they are 9th, with the 8th place team, Florida, with 2 games in hand and the 7th place team Buffalo, with 1 game in hand.

After 50 games, 24-21-5
Home 12-11-2
Road 12-10-3

Almost identical, so no difference if they play on the road or at home.

Sidney Crosby, lots of points, only a +6 for the season so far.

Evgeni Malkin is having a very good season and is a +16 and deserving to be in the race for the Hart. We can get into the whole "valuable" part of the award at another time.

After that:

Peter Sykora, PP specialist, 7 even strength goals, for the season.
Miroslav Satan, 7 even strength goals, for the season.
Ryan Whitney, 17 GP, -9, dreadful numbers for a defenseman.
Jordan Staal, -3 for the season.
Maxime Talbot, -13 for the season so far.


Fleury, GAA of 2.82, Save Percentage of .911

Puts him 28th in GAA, tied with 2 others for 21st, but played in fewer games and faced less shots than the other 2 he is tied with.

They are not a Sergei Gonchar away from a cup run.

1st off the Penguins fact was sealed when Marian Hossa, (who Pittsburgh gave up 3 players to get him plus a #1 pick to get him and Dupuis), signed with Detroit. So I don't think going into the season they were seen as a cup contender with the players they had lost.

Secondly they were without their power play QB's Gonchar (who's been out all year due to shoulder surgery) & Ryan Whitney (who missed a 1/3 of the season due to foot surgery).

Besides if you look at the last 5 Stanley Cup Finalists the number of didn't make the playoffs or were out in the 1st round is puzzling...

2006-07 Ducks (champs) vs Senators (Senators got 7th playoff spot and were elimated in the 1st round in 4 straight)

2005-06 Hurricanes (champs) vs Oilers (Both failed to qualify for the playoffs the next year)

2003-04 Lightning (champs) vs Flames (Lighnting got the last playoff spot in the East & Flames made playoff but were eliminated in the 1st round)

2002-03 Devils (Champs) vs Ducks (Ducks didn't qualify for playoffs the next year)

2001-02 Red Wings (Champs) vs Hurricanes (Hurricanes didn't qualify for the playoff the next year)

more in my 2nd...

I'm not sure exactly what those teams that had trouble the following seasons has to do with Pittsburgh this year. Stanley Cup failure hangover?

Injuries. Every team gets them. For example, the Conference leading Bruins have been without leading goal scorer Marco Sturm from last year for all but 17 games this year. He is gone for the season. I could go on about the injuries in Boston. Good teams can make up for injuries, others use them as a crutch.

Ryan Whitney. 17 games. -9 for a defenseman. When healthy, a defensive liability.

The following publications picked Pittsburgh to finish 1st in their division:

Here is who the Penguins gave up for Hossa:

Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a draft pick. These aren't the sort of players you lose that have a tremendous impact. As a matter of fact, the Penguins had an offseason to make up for losing Hossa.

So the Stanley Cup runner up over the last 5 seasons either missed the playoffs the following season or were eliminated in the 1st round. So expectations should never be high for Cup runner ups.

In addition to Hossa they lost Ty Conklin (currently 16 wins 5 shut outs 2.31 GAA & .917 SV%) Ryan Malone (currently 15 goals would be 4th on the Pens in goals). Gonchar & Whitney led the the Pens to the 4th best Power Play last season, this year 24th thus far.

"I'm not sure exactly what those teams that had trouble the following seasons has to do with Pittsburgh this year." My point is that any team that goes to the finals & loses shouldn't have high expectations the following year.

"the Penguins had an offseason to make up for losing Hossa"...And who did they pick up (Fedotenko & Satan) yeah that really makes up for Hossa and Malone.

One of the issues with the Pens is that other than Crosby & Malkin they have no one else to score. They have no 2nd line scoring to speak of and no one to play with Sid or Malkin.

You have yet to explain why, if everyone from ESPN to Sportsnet to TSN picked them to do so well, they weren't overrated. They were picked after all the Free Agent moves were made.

Using an explanation that the Hurricanes didn't make it in 2003 does not explain Pittsburgh in 2009. Sorry, there is no relationship.

Also, none of the teams you mentioned that failed the next season had allegedly 2 of the top 5 players in the NHL. That is a huge difference.

You can't say that Ryan Malone would be 4th on Pittsburgh in goals. How did you figure this out? Saying he would have 15 goals in Pittsburgh now because he has 15 goals in Tampa makes no sense. Different linemates, playing different teams and so forth.

Ty Conklin? Really? Losing a backup is that important? Saying he has 16 wins on one of the top 3 teams has nothing with how he would do in Pittsburgh now. I'm just guessing that Detroit has some more talent than Pittsburgh and that is contributing to his success. BTW, the .915 save percentage is 15th in the NHL. Mike Smith has a better SV%.

Only player missing since being picked now is Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar <> Stanley Cup run.

I think you should trade your arguments for what's behind door 1?

"Ty Conklin? Really? Losing a backup is that important"

Dude if ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.

With Fleury struggling so much Conklin would be in there and they would be in a playoff spot right now.

"You can't say that Ryan Malone would be 4th on Pittsburgh in goals. How did you figure this out? Saying he would have 15 goals in Pittsburgh now because he has 15 goals in Tampa makes no sense. Different linemates, playing different teams and so forth."

No but with playing on the top 2 lines with Malkin or Crosby, Malone probably would have about 20-25 goals by now and would be a good bet for 40 on the season.

When you have arguably 2 of the best hockey players in the world expectations should be high, but with guys like Malone they would have some additional secondary scoring. Then team wouldn't key in on Crosby & Malkin. As the Senators have been proving secondary scoring is a key to success. And when you don't have it your not going anywhere.
With Gonchar and Whitney in the line up all season the Pens Power Play would be back in the top 10 as opposed to the bottom 10.


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