Pittsburgh Penguins: 2017 Early Power Rankings And Predictions

By Larry Snyder

For fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the opening of the 2017-2018 season in the National Hockey League has been a rollercoaster ride from a 5-4 loss in overtime to a 10-1 put down on the road to finally a shutout victory. The power rankings across the internet have been volatile when listing the Pens.

CBS Sports – This Week #2 / Last Week #1 – Cody Benjamin appreciates Matt Murray’s shutout of the Predators from the weekend.

NBC Sports – This Week #10 / Last Week: #2 – J.J. Regan reminds everyone Antti Niemi is not Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes. Well, duh…

OC Register – This Week #4 / Last Week #1 – Eric Stephens joins the chorus of appreciation for Pittsburgh claiming a 4-0 triumph against Nashville.

OddsShark.com – This Week 16 / Last Week #5 – When the gang at OddsShark run through the numbers on a team’s power play efficiency, goal differential, and road strength, they come up with their projections every Monday and Friday. After dropping two out of three, the Pens hit free fall in the rankings from the digit crunchers.

TSN.ca – This Week #13 / Last Week #1 – The staff of the Canadian network agrees the Black and Gold is heading in the right direction up ice after the triumph over Nashville.

Time to check out some predictions for the City of Bridges Crew this season – Justin Cuthbert offered up his NHL projections in the Puck Daddy column on Yahoo Sports and he likes the Penguins, the Capitals, and the Hurricanes to make the chase for the Stanley Cup in April and thinks Matt Murray is ready to claim his first Vezina Trophy.

Jason Mackey from the post-gazette.com expects Sydney Crosby to capture the Hart Trophy (MVP) when the NHL passes out their end of the season hardware.

Upgruv.com’s Rob Rossi offers this outlandish prediction on the Penguins, if the team accomplishes the three-peat, Matt Murray should be considered the NHL’s best player.

Kevin Allen of USA Today projects the Black and Gold to finish first in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 50-24-8 and 108 points. Despite the departure of veteran players this past summer, he expects the Pens to compete at the same level as last season.

Brandon Schlager, Jim Cerny, and Evan Sporer at the Sporting News agree the Pens clinch first in the Metro at the end of the season. Schlager likes Pittsburgh to put up 116 points while Cerny forecasts 110 points and Sporer sees 112 points.

Bleacher Report’s Kyle Richardson rates Crosby at No. 2 and Evgeni Malkin at No. 5 in his Top Five centers in the NHL Edmonton’s Connor McDavid took the No. 1 slot. Should be interesting to see how his rankings hold up at the conclusion of the season.

Next Up: Mike Sullivan’s squad is at Capital One Arena for a showdown Wednesday, Oct. 11 with Metro rival, the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.

From The NHL On YouTube.com – 10/07/17 Condensed Game: Predators At Penguins…