The NHL Wild Card race is heating up, but the Penguins stay cool.
Just nine games remain in their regular season, and the Pittsburgh Penguins warily sit in the last remaining playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The good news for Pittsburgh fans is that the Pens control their destiny, 3 points ahead of the Florida Panthers in the bid for that last spot. The better news is that 5 of the remaining 9 Penguins’ games are home games. On the other hand, the bad news is that the Florida Panthers own the tiebreak over the Pens. Florida will make the postseason if the two teams are tied on points when it is all said and done.
Also, the Florida Panthers aren’t the only team knocking on the Pens’ door. The Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, and Washington Capitals are all within 6 points of the Penguins.
Indeed, the final playoff spot may come down to several teams’ last games of the season.
The Pens this season and seasons in the past have had a knack for squeezing out all of the drama a hockey game can offer. Over the weekend, the Penguins blew a 3-0 lead in the 3rd period vs. the Washington Capitals. Immediately after blowing the lead, Penguins’ forward Evgeni Malkin scored a game-winning goal with 1 minute remaining.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are not for the faint-hearted.
Love them or hate them, the Pens produce some of the most exhilarating, thrilling, and frenzied hockey that one could imagine. Fans genuinely don’t know what team they will see this season when they watch a Penguins game. The team is inconsistent yet dynamic. They’ll score a beautiful goal, then give up an easy goal. Albeit, whenever one counts the Pens out, they’re suddenly back in.
This Wild Card race is in the Penguins’ favor right now, but that could just as quickly flip a week from now. It is time for the Penguins to grit their teeth, go to work and play hard. There is something to say when a team has to scratch and claw its way into the playoffs rather than coasting in. That can give a team the necessary momentum to play a 7-game playoff series.
With that, will the Penguins make the playoffs this season?