As a Penguin fan, outside of the Cup years, there are very few seasons as memorable as the 2000-01 campaign. During this time, we saw a little bit of everything, including an unexpected playoff run, 2 OT series clinchers for the ages, the exodus of an idol, and the legendary return of Le Magnifique from a 3-and-a-half year “retirement”. The season would also prove to be one of the most transformative years for the organization, as the events after the 2000-01 season would mark the beginning of some lean years in the Steel City. Pens fans would watch the win-loss columns switch, the roster move from Hall of Famers to borderline prospects, and the 90’s-mighty Pittsburgh Penguins rely on the draft lottery to keep “Pittsburgh” on their team’s sweaters. While it was brutal to watch the Pens in the early 2000’s, those horrific seasons would eventually produce generational talents, scoring titles, and 3 Stanley Cup runs. But you already know that.
Alright N00Bz, pop that collar, pick your favorite away message for your AIM profile, and throw that Razr in your cargo shorts; we’re taking a walk down memory lane.
This segment is designed to provide a Penguins-centric glimpse around the NHL. Since I’m not a super genius, all opinions and predictions are completely wrong.
Now that the regular season is a quarter of the way complete, NHL fans are beginning to have an idea of what to expect this season. Special teams prowess/deficiencies are becoming clear, expected and unsuspected (Brian Gibbons) players are solidifying roles on their squads, and most teams have had a chance to look like both potential champions and absolute dumpster fires. With over 900 games left to play, let’s take a look around the NHL and see how the rest of the season is lining up. Ready?