Cody Flavell (@LetsTalkPens): Without Letang the Penguins may struggle. They are still a very good team and I believe they can make a run. I’ll say that they lose in the Stanley Cup Finals to a Chicago Blackhawks team they haven’t matched up well with over the past few years. The matchup we’ve all wanted to see finally happens after the Pens beat Columbus, Washington, and Montreal on their way to the Finals. Finals Prediction: Blackhawks over Penguins in 6.
Ryan Pawloski (@RyanPawloski_12): My hopeful view is for Penguins vs Blackhawks and the Penguins to win it in 5. The Pens have been beaten by the Blackhawks over and over again. But the Pens finally get their revenge and win when it counts and gather their 5th Stanley cup. Realistically speaking, I can see the Penguins vs Blackhawks with Pittsburgh winning in seven. It’ll be tough for the Pens to repeat this year by when healthy they match up to any team in the league. The Pens get their revenge in 7 games and maybe win the cup at home finally. My wild card matchup is the Leafs vs Wild and the Wild win that in six games. The Wild have more depth and experience. They finally get over the hump that is Chicago and beat the young and over achieving Leafs. The Leafs catch fire at the right time but barely get this to 6 games. The wild are in control the entire series and win their cup. And Staal re-energized his career.
Josh Boulton (@ToughCallBlog): The Penguins have been told every single season they can’t win with injuries. They’ve been told they can’t win with the current defence. They’ve been told they can’t win with a bunch of young guys. They’ve been told they can’t win if they keep giving up so many shots. They have every reason not to win, but win they did last year, and win they keep doing. So they’ve defied every reason not pick them for the Cup. If they don’t, I won’t be overly disappointed because there’s so many good teams this year, but I can’t say they won’t. Pens to repeat in 6 games against….The Edmonton Oilers. I think both teams will get some help in the first round with the Predators knocking off the Hawks in the West and the Leafs upsetting the Caps in the East.
Brad Franjione (@FranjiPensPress): The Penguins are a good hockey team. In fact, they are a great hockey team. But they are not going to win the Cup this year. Both times the Penguins won the Cup during my lifetime (’09 and ’16) there was just a feeling going in that the Pens were gonna win it, and I just don’t have that same feeling this year, especially without Kris Letang. The Pens will beat the Jackets in 6, but won’t have enough to make it past the Caps. I have a very hard time convincing myself that this team can beat CBJ and WSH in back to back series. Do I give the Pens a chance to repeat? Of course. Do I truly think it’s going to happen? I can’t say that I do. Caps beat the Leafs, Pens, and Habs and face the Hawks, who beat the Predators, Wild, and Oilers on their way to the Final. Prediction: Ovi finally gets his Cup, Caps in 7.
Austin Ulm (@_AustinMatthews): The Penguins have proven time and time again this season that their depth is a major reason why they finished 2nd in the league in points. i believe if the Penguins can escape this first round vs the Blue Jackets with no major injures they have a chance to make another run for the cup. Out of the West I hope to see a surprise team make it to the finals such as the Oilers, Predators, or even the Blues, but it seems like this is the perfect year for the Blackhawks to walk their way to their 7th Stanley Cup. Finals Prediction. Penguins over Blackhawks in 6.
Matt Matera (@Matty4_Matera2): The question looming largest going into the playoff rounds for the Penguins is how will the defense hold up reconnecting their oft injured talent? Trevor Daley has only played for a couple games and Oli Maatta will be seeing the ice for the 1st time in a while. They’ll be thrown to the fire fast. Next up is what will the 2nd and 3rd lines look like? Other than Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino centering them respectively, theres numerous combinations regarding Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist that is worth watching, let’s not forget the rumored return of Carl Hagelin! With all that said the Penguins still have all world talent and skill out there, some of the best in the league, these are minor concerns at best. I strongly feel the battle against Columbus is most important round to the Pens. The Blue Jackets have been painfully difficult to deal with this year, they like to rough it up with Pittsburgh, I’m hoping winning recently 4-1 over them rights any fears I had as a fan. Washington to me we will always be chokers until the day they come over that and the Atlantic Division sucks compared to the Metropolitan. If the Pens win the 1st round I think it’s a fast track to another Stanley Cup Final visit. Playing against the Western Conference I’m confident the Pens can take on anyone and defeat them…..except for the Chicago Blackhawks. For sure see the Pens winning it all but unfortuneately it looks like were on that collision course with the Blackawks. Stanley Cup Prediction: Blackhawks over Penguins in 7 games.
Jeffrey Rask (@HagsToKessel): 1st Round: The Pens are going to lose the first two games, win game 3, lose game 4, and win games 5, 6, and 7. Columbus is a big team and they’re very physical, but as we say last year against the Caps, speed trumps physicality. 2nd Round: Pens vs Leafs. The Penguins will beat the Leafs in 6 games but a key player will get injured for the Penguins which will leave a gap in our lineup. 3rd Round: Pens vs Boston. This is going to be the toughest matchup we’ve had in years and it’s going to take everything we’ve got to stay healthy and push through. Pens in 7. Stanley Cup Finals: Pens vs Edmonton. I could honestly go either way with this one but since I’m biased towards the Penguins, I’d say Pens win in 7. Phil Kessel being awarded the Conn Smythe.
Lexi Waltz (@pgh_hockey_): The first round of the playoffs is always the hardest. No matter who the team is facing, the emotions overwhelm not only the fans, but also the players. The first round is going to be a battle, but the Penguins will come out on top in a full 7 game series. The Pens will face the Caps in the second round. I’d like to say they will win this series but I find it difficult to say that they will. I wouldn’t be surprised by any means and I have hope that the Pens can win against the Caps but I think it’s finally Washington’s time. My Stanley Cup Final prediction is Caps over the Blackhawks in a 6 game series.
Cam Easton (@CantThinkStreit): In round one, I believe the Pens win in six games over Columbus. This leads to a round two matchup with Washington. The Pens pull it out in seven games. The Penguins will make the Eastern Conference Finals and beat the Habs in six games. The Pens will lose to the Blackhawks in six games.
Connor Andrews (@ConnorAndrews31): I predict that the Penguins will have a lengthy playoff run and in the end repeat as cup champs. Yes I know this may sound a little biased and they do not have Letang, but they have proven that without Letang they can hold their own. The addition of Malkin, Maatta, and soon Hagelin will also be a huge piece in their run. If Sully can stick the players to their game and “Just Play” then I believe the Penguins will beat the Chicago Blackhawks in 7 games while beating Columbus, Washington, and Montreal on their way to the finals.