Pittsburgh Penguins: 2017-18 Metropolitan Division Preview

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 02: Scott Wilson
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 02: Scott Wilson /
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Carolina Hurricanes

PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 02: Scott Wilson
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 02: Scott Wilson /

The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t have the 2016-17 season of their dreams. The Canes finished 2016-17 with 36 wins and eight points from tying the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Eastern Conference wild card spot.

While the Hurricanes’ production was impressive and players like Jeff Skinner and Sebastian Aho were offensively reliable, they faced other setbacks. Carolina’s strong offense wasn’t complimented by their inconsistent defense and goaltending.

This season the Hurricanes brought in some new players to help including veteran winger Justin Williams and 2015 Stanley Cup winning goaltender Scott Darling. Their plan is to keep offense high and improve goaltending for a stronger season.

Last season, the Pens defeated the Canes all four times they faced each other. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, it takes very strong defense and goaltending to hold back the Pittsburgh Penguins. The only shot Carolina has at truly dominating Pittsburgh is by an incredible defensive boost.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are just two of many Penguins who can easily infiltrate any defensive system. The Penguins will still be able to weave through this team despite the fight they’ll put up.

The Hurricanes will perform better against the Pens this season, as opposed to last, but they won’t dominate them yet.