Notable players lost: Jordan Staal (CAR), Arron Asham (NYR), Zbynek Michalek (PHX)
Notable players obtained: Brandon Sutter (CAR), Tomas Vokoun (WSH)
Drafted: Derek Pouliot- 1st round, 8th overall // Olli Maatta- 1st round, 22nd overall
The Penguins were ousted in a highly entertaining six game series to the Flyers in the Eastern quarterfinals. It was quite obvious the reason the Penguins were quickly outed was their inability to play any kind of defense in front of Marc-Andre Fleury and routinely left the goaltender hung out to dry. At the conclusion of the six game series with Philly, Fleury's goals against average was a brutal 4.63, a far cry of what should be expected from the former first overall pick. In an effort to shore up the back end, Pittsburgh traded Jordan Staal after he declined an extension offer, to the Carolina Hurricanes for high end prospects that included Boston College alum Brian Dumoulin and Brandon Sutter. Dumoulin could quickly become a fixture in Pittsburgh as early as this season, although a stint in the minors is his likely course of action. In addition, the Pens do have decent defensive depth in their system that includes former first rounders. 2009 first round pick Simon Despres will likely start on the Penguins roster this upcoming season after being one of the lone bright spots in the Penguins short playoff run. 2011 first rounder Joe Morrow is signed to a professional contract and loses junior eligibility after this upcoming season. The Pens also had the fortune of two first round selections and used both on defense. Pittsburgh selected Derek Pouliot 8th overall, and Finnish defenseman Olli Maatta 22nd overall.
With the majority of the defensive prospects at least 2 years away, it does not address their defensive struggles now and the Penguins next season once again are going to have to depend on running up the scoreboard on the competition. James Neal and Chris Kunitz are both coming off career seasons with the Penguins. Brandon Sutter will be inserted onto the Penguins 3rd line replacing Jordan Staal, although it would be a stretch to think Sutter could effectively duplicate the production Staal had there. Of course, we have to mention the Pens still have newly re-signed Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin leading the way.
The Penguins have won just one playoff series (against the Rangers of course) in the last three seasons since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009. Their lack of recent playoff success begins and ends with Marc-Andre Fleury, even with the amount of offensive talent the Pens possess. As good of a regular season goaltender Fleury has been, he has been downright brutal in the postseason since the Pens made back to back appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals. Fleury's GAA in the past three postseasons has been north of 3.00 and his save percentage is well below 90%. The Penguins are still major players for the Stanley Cup, but Fleury needs to be much better for the Penguins if they wish to advance deep in the Stanley Cup playoffs in the immediate future.
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@gravey94 bring em on
I think these post will be a good read. Sometimes as diehard fans we become a bit self-involved. This will be good. Great stuff.
Keep forgetting Pens picked up Vokoun. While he struggled in DC before getting injured last season, he is a solid goaltender who Bylsma should feel comfortable starting to give Fluery a break.
@KevinDeLury Look for them do to what NYR did last season: 20 something starts for Vokoun assuming he's effective. Fleury was abysmal in the playoffs, most likely burnt out.