Over the last decade-plus, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been one of the best franchises in the National Hockey League. It was truly special to watch at times.
A lot of that success had to do with a couple of generational players surrounded by some great depth, good goaltending, and awesome coaching.
The team building in Pittsburgh always seems to be mostly top-notch as well. That doesn’t appear to be changing with Kyle Dubas in charge.
Unfortunately, there can only be one Stanley Cup champion. It just isn’t a team that is good enough to go all the way. These are the four most obvious reasons that it won’t be the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2024:
The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have the goaltending needed to win the Cup.
The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have Marc-Andre Fleury in his prime anymore. They also don’t have rookie Matt Murray anymore. That means their goaltending is suspect.
Tristan Jarry has been great in the National Hockey League. He has also had some injuries and inconsistencies. This is enough to worry about him coming into the 2023-24 season.
If he can be his All-Star-caliber self all year long, the Penguins will get themselves right back into contention. If he can’t, they are in big trouble.
Goaltending can be very difficult in the NHL. Players go up and down more than at any other position. The Penguins really need an up year from Jarry.
Backing Jarry up this year is Alex Nedeljkovic so they don’t exactly have this elite duo. We’ve seen cup winners with average goalies lately but the Pens need it to be better than that.