By EMMA NORMAN –For the past two years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have glided through the playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup.
The start of the 2017-2018 season was a disappointment for many. Fans were starting to question whether or not the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions would make it to the playoffs. However, the Penguins have shown great persistence and their record has dramatically improved.
In 1991, the Pittsburgh Penguins won their first Stanley Cup and proceeded to win another in 1992. Yet, they didn’t win another cup until 2009, and many were beginning to wondering if this pattern would repeat itself.
The 2017-2018 season was not looking promising for the Penguins; however, they still had a shot at the playoffs. With 22 wins and 22 losses, the Pens were 5th in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins now have a record of 42 wins and 27 losses, making them 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, only two points behind the Washington Capitals.
According to NHL Network, Kris Letang stated at the beginning of the season, “I think we’re on the right path. We could have easily given up but we kept going.” Head coach Mike Sullivan also commented, “Controlling what we can in order to give ourselves the best chance to win each and every night. That’s the only approach we can take.” Turns out they were right. The Penguins now have a promising outlook.
Many fans here at IHS were disappointed with the way the team started off the season. Sophomore Nick Hilliard stated, “It was hard to watch the Penguins because they were not the same team I saw last year.”
Matt Murray, who was selected by the Penguins in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, took over as the full-time goaltender. Towards the end of November, Murray was considered out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, which he soon recovered. Murray has played a total of 41 games this season and has started in 37 of them. Out of the 41 games that he’s goaltended this season, he won 23 and lost 13. The total number of shots taken against Murray is 1,159, but only has a total of 106 goals scored against him.
Some fans continued to stand by their team throughout the season. Sophomore Danny Brody commented, “If they play better 5 on 5 and keep their mindset, they might have a shot.”
IHS is hopeful that the Pittsburgh Penguins will end the season strong and possibly end with a shot at a third consecutive Stanley Cup.
[Photo by Emma Norman]
Photo Caption: “Freshman Adriana Guth-Borowski proudly supports the Pittsburgh Penguins.”