Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 5 Playoff Questions for the Pittsburgh Penguins

The postseason is do or die, and the Pens will, as my high school math teacher used to say "have an opportunity to demonstrate what they've learned" (thanks, Mrs. K).

Here are the top five questions that I think we'll be getting answers to soon:

Will Sidney Crosby play?
There are schools of thought on both sides - I just don't want to see him jeopardize his career for these playoffs. Keith Primeau was never the same after his concussions.

Can Marc-Andre Fleury carry this team?
Make no mistake, the Flower will need to be the best player on the ice for the Pens to have a shot (at least until Sid possibly returns). He was great during the Cup run two years ago and not as good as Halak last year. This was his best regular season yet - he'll need to carry that over to the postseason.

Who will score?
Everything gets tighter in the playoffs. The style the Pens use should translate well to playoff hockey, but they need guys to step up and bury the puck at key moments, especially since they don't have a Sid or a Geno to lean on.

Will the power play make an appearance?
There have been recent signs of life on the power play, but let's face it - that was against lesser competition. How will they do under the bright lights of playoff hockey?

Will Ray Shero's strategy of going defense in free agency pay off?
To me, this is the biggest question of all. Shero took a deliberate approach in spending money on the blue line. They look great, and have been extremely solid all year. Now it's time to pay off when it matters most.

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