Early April Fools!!! Unlike in previous seasons, when the Pittsburgh Penguins had a playoff position wrapped up by now. The Pens are still fighting, just to make it into the NHL Playoffs!!! The REAL NHL Playoffs begins shortly after April 13.2023.
Last night, Florida won over Montreal and the Penguins beat the Preds 2-0. The Pens basically held serve. Yes, they got, the much needed 2 points in the standings, however, they still sit only 1 point up on the Panthers. So, strap on that helmet folks, it’s gonna be a wild ride until the end of the season. Here we go…
37-28-10 = 84 pts
5th – in the Metropolitan Division
7th – in Eastern Conference (ties)
12th -Tied Overall in NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins are holding the #2 Wild Card Playoff Spot, Eastern Conference.
Round 1 Begins April 01.2023
The reality is, the Penguins have 7 games remaining on their schedule as of April 01.2023. They are tickling the Wild Card Bubble as we speak. They need to treat these last 7 games like Round 1 of the Playoffs, in essence it is do or die, win or go home time for the Penguins.
I genuinely believe the Penguins need to win 4 of their last 7 games in order to make it into the NHL Playoffs.
Apr 01 vs Bos
Apr 02 vs Phila
Apr 04 @ NJ
Apr 06 vs Minny
Apr 08 @ Det
Apr 11 vs Chic
Apr 13 @ CBJ
This is basically Pen’s Picks for April 2023.
I think we can all agree that beating Boston will be a tough one. However, I do think the Philly game is a MUST WIN game for the Penguins.
I think New Jersey is too much for the Penguins, as are the Wild.
So that leaves the Detroit Red Wings as another MUST WIN game for the Penguins. This one will be very interesting because the Pens Need To Win, and the Red Wings, kind of want to Lose (to drop in the standings and the race for Bedard).
The Penguins would then need to win out against Chicago and CBJ, just to make it into Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs. And your reward for scratching and clawing your way into the Playoffs, a First Round match against the League Leading Boston Bruins…ouch..
The Florida Panthers are the main threat to the Penguins at this time.
Mar 30 @ Mtl
Apr 01 @ CBJ
Apr 04 vs Buff
Apr 06 vs Ott
Apr 08 @ Wash
Apr 10 vs Tor
Apr 13 vs Caro
I cannot see any scenario where the Panthers win all their remaining games. That said, they could potentially beat Montreal, CBJ, Buffalo, Ottawa and Washington, which would make it real interesting, for that final Wild Card spot.
The reality is, that Montreal and CBJ are trying to drop in the standings, in order to win the Bedard Sweepstakes. Why they would want to win now of all times, is beyond me.
Buffalo, Ottawa and Washington are playing for pride and next year. They are not an easy win by any means.
Toronto and the Canes should beat the Panthers, as they both tune up for the playoffs. However, those two games might see players resting, before their Run for the Cup.
My View from the Cheap Seats
The Good thing is…the Penguins still control their own fate. Win and they get in. Simple.
The Bad thing is…the Penguins have shown their inability to close out games, in which they have held a large lead. That is not a good sign.
The Ugly thing is …the Penguins were in a similar position last year, knew where the roster needed fixing and the GM didn’t really fix any of the known issues. Oh no. Oh no.
If the Pens decide they are motivated and want to win…they can get in.
If the Pens actually play a full 60 minute game…they can get in.
If the Pens stop turning the puck over at the wrong time or in the wrong area…they can get in.
If the Pens play Rock-Solid Team D…they can get in.
If the Pens Goaltending plays above average, at the very least…they can get in.
Pen’s Pick: Penguins will get in…by the skin of their beak.
Quote of the Day:
Marc Penner – Writer / Author – Site Expert