Yesterday around Pittsburgh many were debating whether or not the Penguins would be able to win a seven-game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Our very own Wesley Uhler wrote that he thinks, given the choice, it would behoove the Pens to avoid playing Tampa in the postseason.
I can't say I disagree, though if we were to grab a lamp and call upon a genie, my wish wouldn't be for the Pens to avoid any team in the playoffs. It would be for the Penguins to get healthy.
Could the Penguins beat Washington, Boston, or Tampa without their full complement of players? Sure. They've got good goaltending and these dudes named Crosby and Malkin. Have you heard of them?
Would I bet on the Pens without Dumoulin, Marino, Kahun, or Bjugstad? No.
If the Pens have a healthy defense corps, I think it's one of the best groups of D-men in the NHL. Should the Penguins have Kahun and Bjugstad available for the playoffs, I think they're one of the deepest collections of forwards in the league.
If they're at full strength, I'd give them more than just a punchers chance against any of the top teams in the East.
If not, it doesn't matter who they play, they'll be fighting an uphill battle.