Apr 12, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) at the face-off circle against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Flyers won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Don't Be Surprised If The Pittsburgh Penguins Start Slow

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ annual training camp is rapidly approaching, which will then bring the start of the NHL season. After watching many veteran Penguins leave via free agency, fans are probably uncertain about what the upcoming season will bring.

Not only are fans baffled about what to expect, but new head coach Mike Johnston is still evaluating the roster.

Many writers, including myself, have tried to predict what the Pittsburgh Penguins opening lineup will be, but truthfully, we are all just guessing. Johnston still does not know which players will start, let alone who will play on each line. Recently, an article surfaced that Johnston will be looking for Malkin’s wings during training camp.

Mar 11, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) on the ice against the Washington Capitals during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This means that in all likelihood, the Penguins will start the season looking out of sync and with various line combinations. The biggest problem that writers face when trying to identify who will play on each line is the realization that players aren’t chess pieces. As much as we want to think they are, players need to have chemistry with each other to be an effective line.

Johnston will probably spend most of the first quarter of the season experimenting and trying to find the most effective lines. The theory behind the Pittsburgh Penguins’ current roster construction is to create a balanced lineup. While trying to achieve said balanced lineup, the Penguins will look uncoordinated and sloppy at times.

Hopefully by the time the playoffs arrive, Pittsburgh’s new strategy will pay off and they will make a deep playoff run.

Even if the Penguins look anemic to begin the season, do not lose faith, it’s all part of the plan.

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