Pittsburgh Penguins Spring 2011 Game Plan: Without Star Power, What Can Be Done?

February 9th, 2011 by Steve Strausbaugh Leave a reply »
The stars in Pittsburgh have temporarily burnt out. With Sidney Crosby out indefinitely and Evgeni Malkin out for the season, who will bear their load in Pittsburgh?

One possible scenario is the defense becoming New Jersey-esque and holding opponents to around a two goals-per-game average. There is no doubt the Pens have the ability to do that. They have a No. 1 overall pick and Stanley Cup champion with Marc-Andre Fleury in goal. Last night (February 8) was the first time Fleury let up more than three goals in a game since November 19th.

They have Brooks Orpik, former US Olympian. They have Kris Letang, who just played in his first NHL All-Star game. Oh yeah, and let's not forget about the two big acquisitions of Paul Martin and Zybenek Michalek during last year's free agency, who are known to be shutdown defensemen.

Rounding out the bottom of the D are Alex Goligoski, Derek Engelland and Ben Lovejoy; all capable third pairings, though Goligoski and Lovejoy can be scary at times in the defensive end.

If Sidney Crosby does not return this season, which is a definite possibility it seems, the most probable scenario ...

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