The 2022-23 NHL season begins on October 7. With training camp open, NHL.com is breaking down the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions and the projected lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Coach: Mike Sullivan (season eight)
Last season: 46-25-11, third in the Metropolitan Division; lost to the New York Rangers in the first round of the Eastern Conference
1. Stay healthy
Last season he started with a front-line center sidney crosby out 12 of Penguins’ first 13 games due to wrist surgery and COVID-19, and second-row center Yevgeny Malkin out until January 11 recovering from off-season knee surgery. Those two, and go jason sugar, bryan rust, Teddy bear Y brock mcginn, all played less than 70 games. Pittsburgh survived those problems and reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but better health of key players is paramount for the Penguins, who will try to win a postseason series for the first time since 2018.
2. Constant Depth Scoring
Crosby, 35, Malkin, 36 and Jake Guentzel (40 goals, the team’s maximum) can’t be expected to keep score on his own. The Penguins hope to repeat the performances of Rust, who had an NHL career-high 58 points (24 goals, 34 assists) in 60 games and signed a six-year deal on May 22; Danton Heinen, who scored a career-best 18 goals in the NHL; Y Jeff Carter after his best offensive season (45 points, 19 goals, 26 assists) since 2016-17 with the Los Angeles Kings (66 points, 32 goals, 34 assists). It will also take a healthy Zucker to contribute. Injuries have limited the four-time 20-goal scorer to a combined 79 games over the past two seasons.
3. Repeat from Jarry
tristan jarry answered any questions about his ability to be the NHL’s No. 1 goalie last season. Among goalkeepers who played at least 30 games, he was sixth in goals against average (2.42), tied with ville husso sixth in save percentage (.919) and allowed two goals or fewer in 34 of 56 starts. Jarry was at his best when the Penguins needed him, going 18-6-4 with a 1.91 GAA, a .932 save percentage and three shutouts in 28 games (27 starts) before Malkin returned to give the Penguins Penguins a full lineup. It will be necessary to maintain a similarly high level of play this season.
Video: Tristan Jarry’s 15 best saves of the 2021-22 season
making the cut
Although the Penguins remade their group of defenders with the acquisitions of jeff petry, Ty Smith Y Jan Rutta, Pierre-Olivier Joseph could have a chance to earn a spot in the NHL this season. The 23-year-old has five points (one goal, four assists) in 20 NHL games, but tied for ninth among American Hockey League defensemen last season with 10 goals in 61 games for Wilkes-Barre. /Scranton. His size (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and offensive ability could give him a chance to push Smith (5-foot-11, 180-foot) for a spot on the third-par and second power-play unit.
The most intriguing addition
Petry and go ryan poehling were acquired in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on July 16 for defense mike mateson and a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. The Penguins hope the Petry they’re getting is the one who had four straight seasons of at least 11 goals and 40 points between 2017 and 2021, rather than 27 points ( six goals, 21 assists) in 68 games last season. Petry (6-3, 209) has the size and intelligence to get the puck out of the backcourt quickly. If he can rediscover the offensive touch from him, he will make the attack much deeper.
Biggest Potential Surprise
Valtteri Puustinen tied for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead with 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists) in 73 games last season and had an assist in an NHL game. The 23-year-old forward isn’t the typical NHL size (5-9, 183), but a strong training camp could have him considered for a top nine spot.
ready to break
Kasperi Kapanen he is 26 years old and needs to show that he can be a valuable part of the present and the future. He scored 11 goals in 40 games in 2020-21, but last season he scored 11 in 79 and two in his last 39, and had a 21-game goal drought at the end of the season that included a seven-game loss to Rangers. in the first round. Kapanen is likely to start the season on the back row, but the Penguins would benefit from him getting a bigger role.
Rickard RakellLW/RW (average fantasy draft position: 170.0) — He had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and 38 hits (2.00 per game) in 19 games after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on March 21 and then signed a six-year contract on July 11. Rakell played multiple lines for Pittsburgh last season, but he could have a deep fantasy dream if he establishes himself on the second line with Malkin (1.17 points per game; third among active NHL skaters to play at least 150 games). –Pete Jensen
Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker, Evgeni Malkin, Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen, Jeff Carter, Kasperi Kapanen
Ryan Poehling, Teddy Blueger, Brock McGinn
Brian Dumoulin — kris letang
marcus pettersson –Jeff Petry
Ty Smith-Jan Rutta