Pittsburgh Penguins: Thank You For This Season

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 7:?p87/, left, skates away as the Washington Capitals celebrate after wining dGame 6 of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday, May 7, 2018. The Washington Capitals won 2-1 to advance the next round. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 7:?p87/, left, skates away as the Washington Capitals celebrate after wining dGame 6 of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday, May 7, 2018. The Washington Capitals won 2-1 to advance the next round. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /
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After a hard-fought series against the Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins season ends early after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs in 6 games.

The Pittsburgh Penguins played a hard-fought game on Monday night, but unfortunately came up short, losing 2-1 in overtime to the Washington Capitals. This loss eliminated the Penguins from the playoffs and allowed the Capitals to finally move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The big story of last night’s game was Alex Ovechkin’s ability to finally defeat Sidney Crosby’s Penguins to move on past round two. That’s a great story and all, but I want to touch on the season the Penguins had. It was a rocky one from the start, but we stuck with them right until the very end. No matter what the outcome was, I am still proud of this team.

A Rocky Start

This season was not like any other. We started as back-to-back champions and as a result, expectations for our team was high. Everyone wanted a three-peat, but unfortunately our team looked weaker than it did last season. Nick Bonino and Ron Hainsey left during the offseason and although we signed Matt Hunwick as a replacement defenceman, that third-line centre position Bonino left vacant became a problem for us all season long.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

Starting the season off with a record of 2-2-1 which included a 10-1 blowout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Penguins took some time to pick things up where we left off last season. The pressure was on for us to be contenders yet again and it wouldn’t be until the midway point of the season where we started hitting hot streaks again.

Unsteady Goaltending

Our goaltending was not as great as it had been in years past. This season was Matt Murray’s time to shine as the sole starter and he didn’t meet expectations. Although he played exception nonetheless, people just expected repeats of his sensational play in the last two seasons.

We had a few goaltending changes this season, and we saw the likes of both Tristan Jerry and Casey DeSmith split time between the pipes. Goaltending was a tricky area to work around for the Penguins this season, but I believe they each still did a great job and I’m expecting great things from our goaltenders as we move forward.

Looking Back

All in all, looking back on this season, we’ve been through a whole lot. The Penguins may not have achieved the highly coveted three-peat, but we’re back-to-back champions still and we have a butt-kicking core that’ll still be contending for years to come. Maybe this wasn’t our year, but we still have a lot to be proud of. Now let’s bring on the offseason!