5 Secondary Players Most Important to Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2nd-Half Success

January 13th, 2015 by Carol Schram Leave a reply »
Halfway through the 2014-15 season, the spectrum of opinion is wide-open in Pittsburgh. Penguins fans could easily justify either a positive or a negative prognosis for how the season will end.

The team's biggest issue has been its rash of injuries, especially long-term problems that look like they'll knock not just Pascal Dupuis, but also Olli Maatta out of the lineup for the rest of the year, according to Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Lineup issues could well be to blame for a drop-off in scoring and a slumping power play.

On the bright side, the Penguins have enjoyed solid work behind the bench from new coach Mike Johnston, an MVP-level season so far from Evgeni Malkin, career-best goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury and a comfortable position near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

As for Sidney Crosby, the jury is out. With both good and not-so-good moments in the first half of the year, it's hard to know whether we'll see Crosby at the very top of his game again this season.

After the late-January All-Star break, the on-ice intensity typically ramps up around the NHL as teams start jockeyi ...

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