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How would the Penguins be right now in a normal world?

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A look at where the Pens might be if the NHL season wasn’t paused due to the coronavirus

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

How would the Penguins be looking right now in a world where there was no COVID-19 epidemic and life was more “normal”? It’s a trivial thought given the gravity and seriousness of the world at large, but hey, this is a hockey blog that is for trivial thoughts and distractions.

The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn has been using his model to simulate games and Pittsburgh was sitting at 47-24-7 with 101 points. Yesterday would have been a Pittsburgh-Philadelphia matchup, which feels sad to think about knowing that right now that’s so far off the radar. But in another world, it would have been a fun and exciting game with huge playoff implications (the virtual Flyers in Dom’s simulation had 102 points coming into yesterday’s game).

Given that the Pens were 40-23-6 when play was stopped in reality, they certainly have stabilized going 6-1-1 in the eight games wiped away in the real world that Dom has simulated. Could the team have done that well if given the chance? I would probably take the under since the goaltending hasn’t been so strong as of late, but hey, you never know. Either way, it’s very likely the Pens would be locked in a tight race with Washington and Philadelphia as the three teams jockeyed for 1st - 3rd place in the Metropolitan Divison.

And sadly, we never will get to see that fun. It is a trivial point right now, but still another layer of sadness to realize that real games are being lost that won’t be enjoyed. This could/should be the last week of the regular season, the Pens would only have three more games left before the playoffs as we all gear up for the most exciting time of the year...

...But not this spring, at least not yet in the usual and typical manner. It’s a tough break and harsh reality to face on so many levels.

About all we can do at this point is listen to the captain, band together, and hope things get back to normal as quickly as safely possible.