I can see it. Just watch replays of the games from March through June.. they played with a lot more intensity. Man on man defense still requires more energy than zone defense. With the distractions out of the way, and with the stretch drive coming up.. I can see the team really turning it on. Would this be an unreasonable assumption since this has happened the last 3 years?
Not to be one who goes against tradition, but I'd hardly consider it to be a great idea simply because it seems to have worked for them over the last 3 seasons.
I think most people can agree that the Eastern conference has become less of a cake walk than it once was, and the Pens can't (nor should they) rely on their last month heroics in order to see them through. Making the playoffs isn't a concern for me for this team anymore. They are cup champs, and at this point they should be expected to be no less than top 4 finishers.
This is what burns me. I don't want them to simply make the playoffs. I also want them to get themselves into the best possible position going INTO the playoffs. Home ice advantage is considerably more important than you may think. And I'd much rather start the post-season against teams like MTL, NYR, or even Philly, rather than a team like NJ, Washington, or Buffalo.
This statement is getting up there along with posting a picture of [insert player name] holding the Stanley Cup in player versus player debates on the main page as the overused excuse about why we shouldn't be concerned about lackluster play.
Yes, it's one thing to proud of last year's performance and to hold out hope that that same team will appear this year. But it's almost naive to just simply shrug off the current struggles by saying "we won last year!".
Carolina won the Cup a few years back. They've been between average and downright awful ever since. And while I'm not necessarily comparing the teams, since they don't have Crosby and Malkin, the point is that just because something worked one year, doesn't mean that guarantees success after that.
I don't have a problem with people who actually contribute to threads with some constructive criticism. What I do have a problem with is posters like Katawah who take any opportunity to ***** and moan about a highly successful team without a positive or constructive thing to say. I'm a Penguins fan, but a hockey fan first and foremost. At least show some appreciation for the talent level these guys have and what they're capable of doing on the ice.