The NHL is going to start the qualifying round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday August 1st. The Pittsburgh Penguins will have to wait for the announcement when their first game will be against the Montreal Canadiens. Pittsburgh will be traveling to Toronto on Sunday July 26th.
Training camp will begin on July 13th. The Penguins are hungry to win another Stanley Cup Title in franchise history. The quest will now be for six for this franchise. Pittsburgh has not won the Stanley Cup since going back-to-back in 2016 and in 2017.
They defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games in 2016 and they defeated the Nashville Predators in six games in 2017. The Penguins the last two years in the postseason lost to the Washington Capitals in six games in the second-round in 2018 on a Evgeny Kuznetsov goal in overtime.
The following year in 2019, they got swept away against the New York Islanders in four games. Head Coach Mike Sullivan is hoping the same thing doesn’t happen this season. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin want their fourth Stanley Cup Title.
Mario Lemieux, the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, wants his sixth title. It will be a challenge for this team and a guy like Patric Marleau wants to win his first.
He is currently 40 years old. A couple of other guys like Teddy Blueger, John Marino, and Brandon Tanev are looking to win their first Stanley Cup Title. Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust, Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, and Justin Schultz will look to win another title.
Pittsburgh will either face the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, or the Boston Bruins in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they can get past the Montreal Canadiens.
The Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t going to lose this series most likely and some of the Montreal fan base wants Pittsburgh to win. Max Domi, Carey Price, and a couple of other players may opt-out of the re-start.
No one on Pittsburgh is expected to opt out of the re-start. There will be wholesale changes if the Penguins lose this series. Matt Murray will be the starting goalie most likely, but he will be on a short leash. Tristan Jarry would be on to play if he goes nonetheless.
Canadiens fans want to lose so they can land the number one pick. That prize would be Alexis Lafreniere, but wouldn’t it be something if Pittsburgh got another generational talent from the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL? Crosby was also from Rimouski and he was the number one overall pick back in 2005 after the NHL had a lockout season nonetheless.
I know the Pittsburgh Penguins want to win the Stanley Cup this season and so does their fan base, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see the old phrase was goes around comes around? Personally, it isn’t even in their minds to land the number one pick. They want the ultimate prize and that is winning the Stanley Cup and have their names scratched on it once again though nonetheless.
This is going to be a fun few weeks for this team nonetheless. Will see what happens down the road though nonetheless and it could be glory or doomsday in 2020 for this franchise just like this year has gone nonetheless.