Sitting back watching the Pittsburgh Penguins battle the New York Rangers on the ice on a cold January day, there was plenty of excitement. Both teams played hard. Both teams are very talented and have great players. But one team is clearly better than the other. One team is more playoff hungry already in the early parts of the season. One team is poised to make a deep playoff run this year.
The Penguins are that team! They have an explosive offense. Just ask the Rangers what can happen. They have the talent to light up the scoreboard each and every time they take the ice. There are multiple players on the Penguins who can score and they share the puck better than most teams. Goals are very easy to come by in Pittsburgh. Their defense is just as relentless and punishing as their offense. Easy goals aren’t surrendered when you play the Penguins. You earn everything you get. You better keep your head on a swivel because these Penguins are always looking to hit you. Every player on the team is willing to lay it on the line and knock somebody to the ice. They are a tough bunch of guys. Yes, the Rangers shared the ice with them tonight, but they share nothing else. They were simply there to be dominated and to help put on a show. Make no mistake, this game tonight was all about the Penguins.
The past few season have been disappointing in Pittsburgh. However, it’s clear just from this one game, the Penguins will be in the playoffs and will be competing for the Stanley Cup this season. They have too many weapons on offense, defense and in the net. A hungry, talented and driven team is a dangerous mix of chemistry and anyone who watched this game tonight could see this recipe is set on one goal. The Stanley Cup could very well return to Pittsburgh this season.
You can’t make conclusions based on one game, but after watching this game, this Penguins team is clearly on the right path to do big things this year. If they avoid injuries and continue to play well, you WILL see them in the playoffs and you will most likely see them in the Stanley Cup Finals. They have that look about them, the look of a dangerous hockey team.
David Galleher is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @theDaveGalleher.