The Penguins are talking like they're going to be the shit this year. Lemieux's words:
"Five or six teams have a real good chance (to win the Stanley Cup) and we feel we're one of those teams"
You have got to be kidding me. Last year, they were the worst team in the league with the worst ticket sales. And now they're suddenly in Stanley Cup form? Sorry, but I don't believe it'll work out like that. Despite the fact that the Penguins have signed a number of high-profile free agents to help boost them out of the basement of the standings, it won't turn them into cup contenders overnight.
The Pens are taking a big risk with team chemistry. Lemieux is planning on all of his new stars being able to get on the same page, get along, and win games. That worked great for the Rangers for the past seven years, didn't it?
Lemieux is overlooking the fact that defense will still win games in the NHL. I think he's taking a big risk in that the new NHL rules will significantly affect gameplay. They won't. Until legal defensive play is outlawed, teams that play an effective defensive style will lock down offensive-minded teams. Defensive teams will obliterate those offensive-minded teams who are careless with their defense. I just don't see the Penguins being interested in playing much defense.
Lemieux has a personal vendetta to eliminate the choking defensive play that has dominated the league for almost ten years now. Unfortunately for him, he's been using a glamorous offensive style with the Penguins for a few years and it has cost him badly because it just doesn't work. Now he's pushing it more than ever and is setting ridiculous expectations for his team this season and betting that his new offense will work.
I'm going to love watching Pittsburgh's #1 pick Sidney Crosby this year. I hope he breaks records. I hope he's the next Gretzky like so many say he will be. The league needs a new superstar like him. But unless his team plays solid defense this year, he won't get a chance to contend for the Cup.