Pittsburgh Penguins: 2017-18 Atlantic Division Preview

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 19: Jaromir Jagr
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 19: Jaromir Jagr /
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The 2017-18 season is among us. Soon, the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin their 2017-18 run with hopes or pursuing a third consecutive Stanley Cup. Since the season isn’t too far off, it is the perfect time to size up the competition.

The 2017-18 season is right around the corner. There is no better time than to size up the competition the Pittsburgh Penguins will come face-to-face with this season. The Pens will be chasing a third consecutive Stanley Cup, with good reason, and will need to stay ahead of the competition.

Here, we’ll size up the Penguins’ Atlantic Division competition and see how they can stay on top.

Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, NY – MARCH 21: Brian Dumoulin
BUFFALO, NY – MARCH 21: Brian Dumoulin /

The Buffalo Sabres aren’t the first team that come to mind when thinking about big Stanley Cup contenders. While the Sabres show promise of good play, they’re still a team that is still rebuilding. Despite not being that big of a threat, the Pens still want to keep up as unbeatable play as possible.

The Pens topped the Sabres in two of the three matchups they met for last season. In their wins, the Penguins used their offensive talent to get ahead and stay there. Pittsburgh’s only loss came as an overtime loss where the Sabres were able to beat Marc-Andre Fleury and take the win.

Despite Buffalo’s league-leading powerplay percentage, the Penguins are a stronger and more well-rounded team. Buffalo has some strong players, including Jack Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly, but the strong offensive abilities of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are unmatched.

The Penguins are coming into this season as strong as they have been and the Sabres still have some work to do. Buffalo might try and get an edge of Pittsburgh by forcing penalties and pushing hard to the net, but Pittsburgh’s overall skill has an edge on the team, systems aside.