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Pens Points: Ready or Not, Here Come the Playoffs

Your daily look at Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL news and stories.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all, and welcome to the postseason!

It was dicey at times but the Pens made it, and now all it takes is to focus on our first opponent. Hey at least this year we won't lose to a lower-seeded opponent, so there's that. Pretty much everyone expects the Pens to lose handily, and that's fine and it may very well happen. It will be decided on the ice, though, and not in front of someone's mic or keyboard.

Which are the most important story lines to follow as the Pens face off against the Rangers? Pens Inside Scoop has it all for you. Fantastic work all season for Sam and Michelle, so a big shoutout to them. []

Also a "good work" stick tap to Josh Yohe, who brings us the bird's eye view on this season from the perch of David Morehouse. [Trib]

Mike Colligan says he would be shocked if the Penguins won even a single game. While I respect his opinion, this team has qualified for the postseason and it would be nice if they were given at least the proverbial benefit of the doubt. [CBS Local]

This series can be viewed as process vs. PDO. Again, remember any and all information is only as good as what you choose to do with it. [Hockey Buzz]

Take look at this article. What are the things that Stanley Cup contenders do well? You will find an unexpected team full of chopped liver players who barely squeaked into the playoffs right at the very top. [CBS Sports]

You will find this same team at the top of another list that you really don't want to be on. If you had to guess which team has been the most injured since the 2009-2010 season, what would your guess be? 10 points for you. [Man Games Lost]

Broadcast schedule for the opening-round series can be found here in local time (Eastern Daylight Time). []

Low scoring could carry over into the NHL playoffs. [USA Today]

No team is perfect. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. A look at all 16 playoff teams and their fatal flaws. [Sporting News]

Sunday was the first day of the off-season for teams that didn't make the playoffs, so the barrage of firings has started. As many expected, Ted Nolan is not going to stick around for the fancy rebuild in Buffalo as he was relieved of his coaching duties. [Sportsnet]

Over in Toronto, the housecleaning was thorough and swift, with GM Dave Nonis, head coach Peter Horachek, the rest of the coaching staff and most scouts fired. The only thing missing was Rains of Castamere playing in Shanny's Red Wedding. [Yahoo Sports Canada]

Things could get interesting in Phoenix, especially in regards to Dave Tippett, who may opt to exercise an out clause in his contract. [Fox Sports]

Unhappy about Daryl Sutter's constant lectures, the Kings players opted to lock him out of the dressing room after a game and barricade the room with trash receptacles. Your vote: classless jerks or a bunch of kindergartners? [LA Times]

Dean Lombardi has been at the top of my least favorite people list for a while. Just listen to him whine about his misfortunes. What an arrogant character. [OC Register]

KHL folk, bemoaning lack of support for Slava Voynov by the Kings, would welcome him back with open arms. Perhaps they missed Lombardi's sneaky little show of support that cost them a hundred grand. How about we pack up all of the Kings and ship them to the KHL? [Hockey VIPs]

I saved the best for last, as Jaromir Jagr will return for his 456th season of hockey to hang with the youthful Panthers. This was the best Sunday news. [Sportsnet]