After the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Panthers to get back on track, they will head into one of the most difficult stretches of the season… the West Coast Road Trip.
Looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins right now, it is clearly easy to see that the next week and change will be one of the toughest stretches they will face this year. It will open with back to back games in Anaheim and Los Angeles starting tomorrow, and the following week will feature three more difficult games, including a showdown with Vegas on the 19th.
While the Penguins have been having great success over the past couple of weeks, it is also fair to admit that a lot of those wins were against lesser competition. This will be a grueling five game stretch that has San Jose and Vegas (Two of the better teams in the league), and also has Anaheim, who the Pens lost to at home earlier this season.
Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith will both be integral parts of this trip, as there are two back to back sessions in this trip, so it is likely DeSmith will be getting two starts out of the five games. He struggles in the game against the Blackhawks that ended the winning streak, so he will be looking to bounce back in a big fashion.
The Capitals are also facing a difficult stretch coming up, and it will be interesting to see how the Metropolitan standings fluctuate as this week plays out. The Pens are currently two points out of that coveted first place position.
There are a lot more games left in the season, but there is only one West Coast road trip. The Penguins will hope to make a solid showing, and if they can do so, it will certainly work in their favor as the season continues to progress.