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Are the Penguins getting screwed? That's a hard NO

May 23, 2020, 9:35 AM ET [73 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
People, the Penguins aren’t getting screwed over. Nobody is getting screwed over. The 24 team playoff the NHLPA voted 29-2 to approve last night is a way to play out the year and recover some lost financials. This is about money. It is an entertainment business. Wasting time arguing over the format is a sign you can’t see the forest through the trees.

The Penguins don’t think they are getting screwed. They voted for the format.

My favorite part since the playoff format was revealed is all the whining I see about the Penguins playing the dreaded Montreal Canadiens and Carey Price.

“The Canadiens wouldn’t have even made the playoffs”

Good! You are playing one of the eight worst teams in the conference. Montreal had all of 19 wins in regulation this year. Only Ottawa (18) and Detroit (13) had fewer than the Canadiens. If the Penguins lose to the Canadiens they’ll deserve it. They’ll have their entire roster sans Dominik Simon. Obviously, that includes Jake Guentzel who would likely not have been available in round one a month ago. Hockey is a sport that rewards the better team less than other sports so of course the Penguins can lose to the Canadiens, but you can say that about any matchup.

“wHaT If cArEy pRiCe sTeAlS ThE SeRiEs”

This isn’t 2013-16 when Price was at the top of his game. He’s a .909 goalie this year and in the last three years he’s a .910 goalie. You know who is a .909 goalie the last three years? Matt Murray. I don’t think he’s scaring too many people off these days (except perhaps the Penguins from giving him a long term contract something maybe the Canadiens should have pondered longer with their situation). Price and Murray (or Jarry) could all get hot in a short series. They can all tank. This is how this dumb sport works. No sense in getting worked up about it when random variance rules the day.

The Penguins have all of their top players available to play. They are built to win now. They are getting a team with the third fewest regulation wins in the entire league. If they win they are going to get a really tough second round matchup. This sounds pretty similar to most years where they should win the first round and then get Washington. I don’t see the problem.

Kris Letang on the topic:

At the end of the day, the playoffs are a different beast,” Letang said. “No matter (who) you play, it’s going to be hard. (If it wasn’t Montreal), it was going to be Washington, or Philadelphia, or a challenge like that. We have a lot of experience, I’ve never heard of an easy series. Look at Tampa from last year.

“It’s a great challenge for our team right off the bat.”

Jim Rutherford isn’t having it

Would the Penguins have had Jake Guentzel to start the playoffs in April? That’s a hard NO

Is there a perfect way for the league to set up the playoffs this year? That’s a hard NO.

Should they be terrified of Carey Price? That’s a hard NO.

Did the Penguins get screwed with the format? That’s a hard NO.

Thanks for reading!
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