Also, way too early to be all doom and gloom about the Pens' young core. Having said that, I think that with two generational talents that we've been lucky to have on the same team, if the Pens come away with just the solitary Cup win in '09 during Crosby and Malkin's careers, that's got to be seen as a disappointment.
Even in the salary cap world, having those two on one team should be good for at least two Cups, maybe more. You look at the other "dynamic duos" of recent past such as Sakic/Forsberg, Yzerman/Fedorov, Gretzky/Messier, Lemieux/Jagr, and you see that they were a part of not just 1 Cup during their time together. I don't see why the Malkin/Crosby combination should have any less success.
When the Penguins lost to Detroit in the 2008 Stanley Cup, most observers said that the Penguins were at the beginning of a long period of domination, based on the age of their players.
They won the Cup in 2009 and this was the confirmation of this observation.
We all thought that the Penguins would be one of the dominant teams for many years.
What happened since then is a completely different story and a very disappointing one.
In 2010, they lost against Montreal in the 2nd round of the playoffs, and in 2011, they lost against Tampa Bay in the 1st round, losing 3 games in a row, including 2 at Consol (8-2 and 1-0).
This year, they're on the verge of being swept against the Flyers in the 1st round after another pathetic performance.
Bottom line is, top teams don't lay huge eggs 3 years in a row and I think the window of opportunity is closing much more rapidly than anticipated.
Big changes must occur, for sure, but I don't know which ones. Coaching staff? Players? GM?
Yzerman won his first Cup at age 32...Lidstrom and Fedorov were 27. Sakic was 25 when he won his first Cup, and 31 when he won his 2nd...Forsberg was 21 and 27, respectively.
All our core skaters are 25 and younger, and I wouldn't trade them for any other group in the league. They are all better now than they have ever been - some of the complementary pieces just need to be re-tooled.
Basically, if you think our window is anywhere near closing, you're either impatient or ignorant. In case you missed it, no team has won a Cup within 4 years of their last since 2002. It's not like other teams have been putting together multiple Cup wins here while we're waiting for our 2nd with this group.