Hockey season is already in full swing, which means that hockey fans everywhere are trying to predict who will win the 2017 Stanley Cup. Everyone knows that teams like the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs are long shots, even with young, new stars like Auston Matthews shaking it up with a history making four goal debut game.
Some of the top contenders for the Cup this year are the Chicago Blackhawks, the St. Louis Blues, the Washington Capitals, the San Jose Sharks, the LA Kings, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. But it’s the Pittsburg Penguins, who already took home the Cup last season, who have the biggest chance of winning the Cup this year.
Can the Penguins really pull off back-to-back Stanley Cup wins? Yes! Here’s why.
The Penguins still have a great lineup. They’re coming into the 2016-2017 season with nearly the same roster that they had when they won the Cup, which means they have that incredible three-line attack, each based around a superstar player (Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby).
The great thing is that this team has such a great lineup, that even when they lost Crosby, who’s arguably the world’s best hockey player, to a concussion early this season, they still came out playing strong. They’ve proven that they can win, even without their Team Captain. Once Crosby gets back in the game, it can only get better.
Winning isn’t just about scoring goals – it’s also about keeping the other team from scoring, and that’s what Kris Letang does best. Even though the team has a few defensive weaknesses, Letang makes up for it with brilliant goaltending, which was instrumental in their 2016 Cup win. In the first few games, he’s already shown that he’s looking just as strong this year.
It’s tough for teams to pull off back-to-back Cup wins in the modern era of the NHL, but don’t forget that the Penguins is a team that has done it before. Back in the Mario Lemieux years, the Penguins brought back the Stanley Cup in both 1991 and 1992. They’ve had a total of four Stanley Cup wins, and there’s a good chance they come back with number five this year.