4. Pittsburgh Penguins (-1)
Nothing new here; Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are still really good at hockey. They are on the quest for their third straight Stanley Cup. This year may look a little different for the Penguins. They are healthy right now, but they do not have the same type of depth as they have in years past. The good news is that the Penguins still have Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. As long as those three players are available, the Penguins are capable of beating any team. Matt Murray has been a star during the Penguins’ cup runs and will need to be again this year.
As the Penguins gear up for their run at a three-peat, they won two of their last five games, setting them up to take second or even third in their division. It looks like the first-round matchup will be against their in-state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers. Home ice advantage will be a major factor, so the Penguins will want to finish the season strong. They open their final five games against the New Jersey Devils, then take on the Montreal Canadiens. Then the Penguins will host the Washington Capitals. It’s the regular season, so the Capitals have a chance. The Penguins then head to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets before closing the season at home against the Ottawa Senators.