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SWOT Analysis of the Metropolitan division continues with the Pittsburgh Penguins who missed the playoffs last season.


The Penguins’ strength is their experience. Eight members of the current roster have won at least one Stanley Cup and their head coach, Mike Sullivan, has won two with the Penguins.

They also have relative stability with Sullivan heading into his eighth year as bench boss while Crosby, Malkin, Guentzel, Rust and Letang have not only won cups, but have played their entire careers in Pittsburgh.

Even as an aged group, the level of skill would still be considered elite and the addition of Erik Karlsson in an offseason trade just took that to another level.

It’s hard to rate a power play as elite when it hasn’t played together yet, though it is hard to imagine they won’t improve on the league’s 14th best power play with Karlsson in the fold.

Matchups between the Sens and Pens will likely be decided by their special teams and the Senators should be up to the challenge though it would behoove both sides to stay out of the box.


After winning a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings, Tristan Jarry was to take over from Matt Murray in goal and lead the team to future championships. It hasn’t worked out that way in his first four full NHL seasons. Stats haven’t been bad. However, he hasn’t been good enough.

Consider that a reliable back-up in Casey DeSmith was dispatched to Montreal for cap management purposes and replaced by Alex Nedeljkovic and it would seem that the crease is the weak link in the chain in Steel Town.

Jarry has played more than half the games twice in his career, while neither of the Senators goalies have. Both Korpisalo and Forsberg can log significant time and Sogaard is a ready option in case of injury.

Crease goes to the Senators.


Being right up against the cap (slightly over) and no LTIR pooling available to them, there are no obvious advantages that the Penguins can capitalize on to give themselves an edge.

Karlsson is the primary opportunity that stands to propel this team forward. He is an offensive juggernaut whose injury woes in Ottawa are clearly behind him. Though he will never be a great defensive defenseman, his defense is in his ability to keep the puck at the other end of the ice.

Advantage Penguins not just against the Senators, but against the entire Eastern Conference.


The Rangers boast 12 players on their roster of 30 years old or more. Crosby is 36. Malkin is 37. Carter is 38. Letang is 36 and has had two strokes. Healthy, they are still a force to be reckoned with and the assumption should be that they will be healthy.

The Penguins also have 13 players with either full or partial no movement clauses.

What the Senators lack in Stanley Cup winning experience they will make up for in youthful enthusiasm and speed with Stutzle, Norris and Tkachuk to name a few. Claude Giroux provides them a wily veteran of their own.

They don’t have anyone on their D-Core that can produce like Karlsson. However, they do have a deeper and better top four which can re-create Karlsson results in the aggregate.

The Penguins bettered themselves in the offense to the point that they have moved from a pretender trying milk the last bit out of Crosby and Malkin to a contender.

The good news is that they shouldn’t be a wildcard competitor for the Senators.



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