1)Can our Pens repeat? Mrs. Black-N-Gold doesn't see why not. The only player of significance that was lost in the offseason was D Ben Lovejoy in free agency. The Reverend ended up having a terrific year last season but his best days are probably behind him. Besides, with D Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley, Brian Dumoulin, Ian Cole and Justin Schultz, the Pens appear stacked in the defensmen department.
2)What about the goalie situation? What about it? Having 2 Stanley Cup-winning goaltenders seems look a good problem to have. And with Matt Murray nursing a broken hand that was suffered in the World Cup of Hockey, this gives Marc-Andre Fleury a chance to shake off some of the rust following last spring's layoff. GM Jim Rutherford knows what he's doing. It's a good move that he didn't make any move this offseason to unload either Fleury or Murray. What's the hurry? Go with the two-headed monster as long as you can.
3)How will the youngsters fare this year? Make no mistake, the Baby Pens helped bring Lord Stanley back to Pittsburgh and grew up before our very eyes in the process. Will they capitalize on that success this season? Mrs. Black-N-Gold doesn't see why not. And there's more of them waiting in the wings at Wilkes-Barre. It helped that so many of them made the jump to the NHL together last season. The sky is the limit for these kids and this team.
4)Mrs. Black-N-Gold is going to take this portion of the preview to make some (not-so-bold) predictions. She was going to say right here that C Sidney Crosby was going to parlay last spring's Conn Smythe award and his MVP run in the World Cup of Hockey, into another Hart Trophy. Unfortunately, that plan is temporarily on hold until Sid recovers from the concussion that he sustained in practice last week. Make no mistake, though. Sid WILL BE BACK. In the meantime, D Kris Letang, fresh off his exclusion from the Team Canada roster, will FINALLY win the Norris Trophy for best defenseman. Both Sid and Tanger will lead the Pens to another Stanley Cup. Yes, you read that right. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is predicting a repeat for our Pens. They will defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals to give themselves a 5th Stanley Cup in the 50th season. That also means that F Phil Kessel will win a Stanley Cup. Twice. Mark it down. Let's Go Pens!!!!