When looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins, their forward group strikes fear into the heart of any team. Led by Sidney Crosby, this Penguins forward group is no joke. The aforementioned Crosby finished the year with 100 points for the sixth time in his career.
His running mate, Evgeni Malkin finished with 71 points in just 68 games this year. Malkin is also a playoff beast with 165 career points in 158 playoff games over the span of 11 seasons.
Besides that one-two punch, you have quality depth in Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, and Nick Bjugstad. The Penguins top three lines are as good as any teams and it will be a tall task for the Islanders.
McCann – Crosby – Guentzel
Rust – Malkin – Kessel
Simon – Bjugstad – Hornqvist
Blueger – Cullen – Wilson
The Islanders offense is certainly not the team’s strength. Their leading scorer was Mathew Barzal with 62 points. Comparatively, the Penguins had four forwards with more points than what Barzal finished with.
Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and Josh Bailey all finished with over 50 points. Beyond that, it was a struggle for some familiar faces. Jordan Eberle finished the year with just 37 points and Anthony Beauvillier only had 28 on the season.
While both heated up down the stretch over the full 82 game season they weren’t consistent enough. When mentioning the Islanders forward group you can’t forget about the fourth line of this team.
The reunion of Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck went amazing. Led by Casey Cizikas’ 20 goal season, this unit was as good as advertised and the Islanders most consistent line.
Lee – Barzal – Eberle
Bailey – Nelson – Dal Colle
Beauvillier – Filppula – Komarov
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
The Edge: Penguins