So we’re on to yet another round of playoffs, and that means another opponent. Here to answer some questions about the Pittsburgh Penguins is managing editor Mike Darnay from Pensburgh. Here are his takes on the series:
1. The Senators were probably the team you would've most wanted to face out of the Atlantic. Is there anything about this team that scares you?
Two words. Erik Karlsson. He plays half the game and does so better than any other defenseman on the planet right now. That can be problematic. We know that the Penguins are thin on the back-end and heavy up front, so the hope is that the forward depth can help cover for the defense and help neutralize Karlsson.
2. How much of a factor will the Penguins' health be in this series?
Health will be a factor, but my concern is more on their fatigue than their health. They’ve played a looooooot of hockey over the last year. But maybe I’m just an idiot. The Penguins couldn’t even barely skate in the 3rd period of Game 5 and in all of Game 6 against the Caps — but then they played the game of their lives in Game 7, especially as they closed the game out.
3. Who gets the bulk of the starts - Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murrray?
It should be Marc-Andre Fleury until its his net to give up. Given how he played in Game 7 on Wednesday night, it’s his net for now. It’s nice that Matt Murray is available from the bench, but they should ride Fleury’s hot hand until it’s not hot anymore.
4. Can Jake Guentzel keep up his torrid scoring pace?
Yes. And he will. The kid just has the touch right now. It’s remarkable.
5. Who wins and in how many games?
Penguins in six.