This is SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NHL. Each week, SB Nation sends out questions to the most plugged-in Penguins fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts. Follow @SBNReacts on Twitter for more results.
There may only be four teams still playing hockey in the NHL right now, but every fanbase still has thoughts on their own team.
In the latest round of SB Nation’s Reacts survey, NHL fans were asked if they were confident their favorite team was headed in the right direction. The Penguins fell flat in the 2020 postseason, which is likely a large reason why the fans confidence has been shaken.
It could be just that timing, but it seems telling that just over two in three Pens’ fans don’t think the team is headed in the right direction. Those fears could be confounded by future roster moves, including the Kris Letang situation where the star defender’s status with the team isn’t assured for next season right about now, even if most signs seem to point to his return.
The Pens have a busy off-season ahead. They’ve already traded future assets to add Kasperi Kapanen now, a move the team thinks will steady their top six forward group. Pittsburgh also has decisions to make on players like Matt Murray, Tristan Jarry, Jared McCann, Nick Bjugstad and several others in a season that has already been promised to have more changes in the effort to prop open their contending window a bit further as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin race toward their mid-30’s, and, sad to say, soon enough towards the end of their fabled NHL playing careers.
That’s a bleak picture to paint, but then again, the Pens still finished seventh this season in the league in total points percentage in the shortened season. Their overall talent level still puts them above many in the league. But what is standing out now is a trend of downward efforts in the playoffs, which can’t be ignored either.
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