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Pittsburgh could enter the playoffs as the deepest team in the East

Created by: Imagine875948
Initial Creation Date: May 3, 2021
Published: May 3 at 8:59
Team: 2020-21 Pittsburgh Penguins
Team Explanation
Nobody knows better than the Pittsburgh Penguins that the NHL playoffs are a war of attrition.

After all, they entered their last championship season as one of the most injury-ridden teams of the decade, then won the Stanley Cup without Kris Letang when a patchwork defense composed of names like Mark Streit and Ron Hainsey stubbornly backed the team to a championship.

Now, the Penguins find themselves uniquely prepared for that battle. Superstar second-line center Evgeni Malkin has been missing from the lineup ever since an awkward collision against the Boston Bruins on March 16.

In his absence, the Penguins have rallied in spectacular fashion. The team has put up a record of 16-5-2 since March 16 and have tied for second-best in the NHL by scoring 84 goals in 23 games. We’ve talked already about how the Penguins’ defense has contributed to that offensive success, but the loss of Malkin (as well as other key top-six forwards like Kasperi Kapanen) has showcased an advantage that Pittsburgh holds over all seven rival teams in the East Division: they boast an extensive forward depth that has been revealed by series of unlucky injuries.

When ranking production for each East Division team by forwards outside of their top six (defined as the six forwards on each team averaging the most ice time per game), the Penguins soar high above the rest. A division-best 160 of the team’s combined points have been generated by forwards outside of their top six. That accounts for a full third of the team’s offense through April 30.

As a percentage of the team’s total offensive output, only New Jersey tops Pittsburgh, with a full 40% of the Devils’ combined points total coming from outside of their top six forwards. Of course, they don’t have the top-six support enjoyed by the Penguins. After all, Sidney Crosby has been quietly putting up the 16th consecutive point-per-game campaign of his career on the Penguins’ first line.

But to make a deep run in the NHL playoffs, you need more than just a good first line— and that’s where the Penguins shine. They’ve proven that when the inevitable injuries from a playoff run eat away at the number of available forwards, they have a supporting cast to fill those spots— and this supporting cast may just beat out the depth forwards of every other team in the East Division.


What’s more, Evgeni Malkin is nearing his return just in time for the 2021 postseason. Although the oft-injured center has historically seen his production dip following a return from the injured reserve, he will still be a huge boost to the Penguins’ lineup.

That, combined with the host of hard-working players ready to fill in for injured forwards, puts Pittsburgh in an enviable position as they prepare themselves for the first round of their 15th consecutive postseason.

To sum it up— for little reason other than that this is my favorite Malkin highlight of all time— let’s celebrate the impending return of the Penguins’ second-line center with a treasured memory from 2011:
Buyouts
  • Jack Johnson: $1,166,667
Retained Salary Transactions
  • Nick Bjugstad: $2,050,000 (50%)
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2021
PIT
PIT
PIT
WSH
ANA
2022
PIT
PIT
PIT
PIT
PIT
PIT
2023
PIT
PIT
PIT
PIT
PIT
PIT
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
25$81,500,000$82,160,706$0$982,500-$660,706
Left WingCenterRight Wing
PIT
Guentzel, Jake
$6,000,000
LW, RW
UFA - 4
PIT
Crosby, Sidney
$8,700,000
C
NMC
UFA - 5
PIT
Rust, Bryan
$3,500,000
RW, LW
UFA - 2
PIT
McCann, Jared
$2,940,000
LW, C
RFA - 2
PIT
Malkin, Evgeni
$9,500,000
C
NMC
UFA - 2
PIT
Kapanen, Kasperi
$3,200,000
RW
RFA - 2
PIT
Zucker, Jason
$5,500,000
LW, RW
NTC
UFA - 3
PIT
Blueger, Teddy
$750,000
C, LW
RFA - 1
PIT
Carter, Jeff
$2,636,364
C, RW
UFA - 2
PIT
Aston-Reese, Zach
$1,000,000
LW, RW
RFA - 1
PIT
Gaudreau, Frédérick
$700,000
C
UFA - 1
PIT
Tanev, Brandon
$3,500,000
RW, LW
NTC
UFA - 5
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
PIT
Dumoulin, Brian
$4,100,000
LD
NTC
UFA - 3
PIT
Letang, Kris
$7,250,000
RD
NMC NTC
UFA - 2
PIT
Jarry, Tristan
$3,500,000
G
UFA - 3
PIT
Matheson, Michael
$4,875,000
LD
UFA - 6
PIT
Ceci, Cody
$1,250,000
RD
UFA - 1
PIT
DeSmith, Casey
$1,250,000
G
UFA - 2
PIT
Pettersson, Marcus
$4,025,175
LD
UFA - 5
PIT
Marino, John
$925,000
RD
UFA - 1
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
PIT
Jankowski, Mark
$700,000
LW, C
RFA - 1
PIT
Rodrigues, Evan
$700,000
RW, C
UFA - 1
PIT
Ruhwedel, Chad
$700,000
RD
UFA - 1
PIT
Lafferty, Sam
$750,000
C, LW
UFA - 2
PIT
Zohorna, Radim
$792,500
LW, RW
RFA - 1
Taxi Squad
PIT
Sceviour, Colton
$1,200,000 ($125,000)
RW
UFA - 1
PIT
Riikola, Juuso
$1,150,000 ($75,000)
LD
UFA - 2
PIT
Maniscalco, Joshua
$853,333 ($0)
RD
RFA - 3
PIT
Larmi, Emil
$792,500 ($0)
G
RFA - 1
PIT
Weber, Yannick
$700,000 ($0)
RD
UFA - 1

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May 3 at 9:22
#1
FoxCzarCup
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 4,017
Likes: 427
Nice info, usually rambling posts irk me lol. On paper, it's not pretty, but Sid, Sully and history have shown us what a Cyborg Sid's-leadership lead team can do. Do it again Sid, since my NYR are RIP.
Imagine875948 liked this.
May 3 at 9:50
#2
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 3,341
Likes: 876
Jankowski went from being an everyday 4th line forward to being probably the 5th forward option from the scratched/taxi squad set of forwards. The pens are really in a good position with their team.
May 3 at 11:16
#3
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 17,532
Likes: 4,399
this is the same kind of "deep" thinking that got the team into trouble last year. When people were like, "this is a deep team" with marleau starting.
Truth is it says more about the East than it does about the penguins. BOS has no depth. Washington slightly better. If the toss up is between the Islanders and the Pens for depth that's a pathetic situation.

Fact is CAR and TB(if healthy) are really deep teams. Much deeper than the pens.
This might be the best pens team in the last 3-4 years, but they are not built to win playoff games. Their first two series are going to be brutal. Their best hope is that they don't play WSH.
They aren't coming to play hockey. Even if they win that series they will probably have 1/2 the team on IR for the next round.
That can be said true of every team they face in the east. They will try to goon their way to victory. This team has done nothing to get people off their 40 goal scoring winger. That isn't helping this team at all.
You can't win when your best players are getting face washed.
They probably have the hardest time of any team in the East advancing.
May 3 at 11:47
#4
Jeuck75
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 3,003
Likes: 1,105
You copied and pasted that

"attrition" is not in your vocabulary 🤣🤣🤣🤣
May 3 at 12:12
#5
Thread Starter
Go Pens!!
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 617
Likes: 154
Quoting: Jeuck75
You copied and pasted that

"attrition" is not in your vocabulary 🤣🤣🤣🤣


Nah I didn't, I only use good vocab if I need to lol
May 3 at 12:15
#6
Jeuck75
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 3,003
Likes: 1,105
Quoting: Imagine875948
Nah I didn't, I only use good vocab if I need to lol


https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pensburgh.com/platform/amp/2021/5/2/22415237/pittsburgh-penguins-playoffs-east-division-malkin

Busted....lol
 
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