Pittsburgh Penguins: Top 5 Issues Facing the Team Before Playoffs

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Nov 11, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) celebrates scoring a goal with teammates against the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Solving the Metro

Pittsburgh’s troubles against Metropolitan division foes this season are well-documented.

The Pens’ record against their own division is a less-than-impressive 9-11-4.

For a frame of reference, the three teams that look like they’ll give Pittsburgh the most trouble in the postseason (the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Washington Capitals) all boast at least 14 wins against fellow Metropolitan teams – with the Rangers and Islanders having 18 and 19 Metro wins, respectively.

It won’t matter how great the Pens’ powerplay looks, how well they hold their composure, how strong they come on in 3rd periods, or how great their wingers look if they keep up the pattern of falling to Metropolitan teams.

Pittsburgh has done a bit better as of late, as they’ve registered two recent wins against Columbus and Washington, but the last few weeks of the season will be the true test as the Pens face the Philadelphia Flyers (twice), the Blue Jackets, and the Islanders.

If they can hold their own and even put forth a dominant performance or two, the Pens should be in good shape heading into the postseason.

Next: Should the Pens Give Matt Murray a Shot?

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