The Pittsburgh Penguins became a initial group in 19 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. But now that a fulfilment is complete, a subsequent doubt is, can they three-peat?
To find the final three-peat winner, we have to go all a approach behind to a New York Islanders dynasty of a early 1980s. There have been good teams given — a Edmonton Oilers underneath Wayne Gretzky, a Penguins with Mario Lemieux and a Detroit Red Wings in a late 1990s and early 2000s — though nothing of those teams won 3 championships in a row.
The contingency won’t be on Pittsburgh’s side, though customarily like a Islanders some-more than 35 years ago, a Penguins have a star energy and finish register to three-peat.
New York indeed won 4 Stanley Cups in a quarrel from 1980-83. When a Islanders won their fourth true title, it finished an eight-year camber in that customarily dual teams warranted Stanley Cups. The 4 years before to a Islanders’ dynasty, a Montreal Canadiens won 4 true titles.
It was positively a opposite epoch with no income cap, fewer teams and a lot reduction parity. But as a observant goes, a some-more things change, a some-more they stay a same. Talent has reigned autarchic in any NHL era, and a Islanders positively had talent.
At that time, Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies, and Billy Smith done adult New York’s core. All 5 were on all 4 Stanley Cup winning teams and are in a Hall of Fame.
Pittsburgh has a likewise gifted core done adult of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Phil Kessel and now Matt Murray in net. Murray is apparently still intensely young, so it’s too early to make any projections about his career, though it’s not improbable to trust a other 4 will be in a Hall of Fame one day. At a really least, they contingency be deliberate chosen talent in today’s game.
Even in a complicated era, an NHL group is not going to three-peat though a handful of chosen turn players. Consistency adult and down a lineup is a vital pivotal too. The Islanders had 15 players that were on their register during a playoffs a initial 3 times they carried a Stanley Cup. Including Letang, who wasn’t technically on a Pittsburgh roster during a 2017 playoffs though still has to be deliberate partial of a team’s core, the Penguins will enter this season, exclusive trades, with 14 players that won both Stanley Cups. And remember, that doesn’t embody Jake Guentzel.
But interestingly, those are a biggest similarities a Penguins will have to a early 1980’s Islanders teams. If Pittsburgh is to win a third true championship subsequent year, a trail could demeanour most opposite than New York’s.
For one, a large bulk of a Islanders’ scoring came from one line. That’s not to contend they didn’t have a finish team, though Bossy, Trottier and Gillies scored scarcely 40 percent of a team’s goals in 1982. Crosby, Malkin and Kessel tallied customarily underneath 36 percent of Pittsburgh’s goals final season.
The NHL didn’t record time on ice behind in a early 1980’s, so it’s tough to review personification time for a dual team’s tip lines, though formed on a series of goals scored, a Islanders didn’t rest on their abyss utterly as much. Plus, Bossy and Trottier played on a same line and customarily played with Gillies as well. Pittsburgh’s best dual players never play together during even strength, and a group is during their best when Kessel has his possess line too.
The second large disproportion is in a age of any team’s core players. These Penguins have utterly a few some-more miles on their bodies than a Islanders did when they were going for a three-peat. Malkin incited 31 on Jul 31 and Crosby will be 30 on Monday (if you’re reading, Sid, happy birthday!). Letang is already 30 as well, and Kessel will be 30 in October.
Goaltender Billy Smith was a customarily Islanders core actor comparison than 30 when they went for their three-peat in 1982. Defenseman Potvin was a subsequent oldest during 28.
And while a Islanders did understanding with extended postseasons and brief summers (the NHL went to a stream 16-team format in 1980, that was New York’s initial Stanley Cup win), a players in a early 1980s didn’t typically entrance during 18 or play in a Olympics.
Taking into comment an additional deteriorate or dual since of progressing debuts and all general competition, Crosby and Malkin played hundreds of some-more games before branch 30 than Bossy and Trottier did. Actually, Bossy late when he incited 30.
Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang are really still in their primes though it’s value wondering either their 30-year-old bodies have ragged down in 2018 after dual really brief summers. Pittsburgh has played 213 games over a past dual years and that excludes a preseason and a World Cup.
Age and series of games played is a biggest reason to gamble opposite a Pittsburgh three-peat. That’s a vital reason because no group has won 3 true championships in some-more than 35 years.
But as we schooled during a 2017 postseason, it’s dangerous to count out a Mike Sullivan-led Penguins. There are adequate similarities between themselves and a final group to three-peat to trust Pittsburgh could once again lift a crater subsequent June.
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