You could certainly argue that the Pittsburgh Penguins have already built a dynasty. With that being the case, how do they keep it up and continue to build on it going forward?
When you go back and look at the time since the Pittsburgh Penguins came into existence, what do you see? Failure, mistakes, promise, fulfillment, dynasty, or something else? In all actuality, it’s probably a bit of everything, if not more. The Penguins are scattered in a promising period at the moment and should look to improve going into next season.
The dynasty, for intensive purposes, is there, but we all know that in the NHL, things can change at any time. The team isn’t perfect, but it’s not far off either. Who knows what might happen if this season continues. Regardless, let’s look ahead and see what can be done to keep the Pens on this great adventure and not fall into the pit of mediocrity.
For starters, finishing needs to be a thing worked on with expedience. Coming into the last month of play before the leagues shut down the Penguins failed on numerous occasions to close out games. At that time, we saw them lose a few spots in the division and lose moral in the lockerroom.
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Finishing out the games takes leaders and fearless players that know what to do during the difficulty that is finishing a game. That can either be changed by added a veteran prowess to the defense or clearly practicing that scenario day in and day out leading up to next year.
As discussed in yesterday’s post, there need to be new stars emerging into the forefront as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin start there decent into their golden years. For years, Sid and Geno have been needed to lead, which is ok, but new leaders much begin to emerge. Just as Sid gently pushed out Mario Lemieux, so should we see players push Crosby and Malkin for their spots.
That’s easier said than done, but competition breeds excellence, and as the Penguins slowly creep towards a new era, competitiveness is a must. Sullivan and Co should lean on the supporting cast of Gruentzel, Rust, and others and push them. For one, it betters them, and secondly, it prepares them to continue the dynasty and not let it crumble when Sid and Geno eventually retire or leave.
Pittsburgh has positioned itself to make a playoff run this season if it continues, but either way, preparation for the future is imminent. The good news, the Pens have the tools and skillsets around them to push on into the future and continue this great dynasty.