All we know for certain at this moment is the Pittsburgh Penguins are MassMutual East Division champions and will play the No. 4 seed in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their mystery opponent could be determined as soon as this evening when the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders Beantown. If the Bruins win or simply make it to overtime, they will claim the No. 3 seed, sending the Islanders to Pittsburgh for the first round.
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What many thought impossible at the start of the season became a reality on Saturday evening, the Pittsburgh Penguins are MassMutual East Division champions. Now all the Penguins can do is wait and see who they will face in the Stanley Cup playoffs. [Pensburgh]
For the first few weeks of the season, the Penguins certainly didn’t look the part of a division champion. That all changed when the numbers started to trend in a more positive direction and it turned their season on its head. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Unless something crazy happens in the next couple of days, the Penguins will end the season as the highest scoring team in the NHL. That stat makes it very difficult to narrow down their 10 best from this one-of-kind campaign. [Pensburgh]
Once the playoffs begin, the NHL is expected to relax COVID-19 protocols for teams considered fully vaccinated. Under the league’s guidelines, the Penguins will qualify for the relaxed protocols and they couldn’t be happier. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
It feels like an eternity ago since Jim Rutherford stepped down as Penguins general manager without warning. In his new found free time, Rutherford has enjoyed watching the Penguins succeed while planning his next steps. [Trib Live]
Moms play an integral part in the lives of hockey players and over the years of practices, games, and tournaments they collect their fair share of stories. For Mother’s Day, the Penguins mothers shared some of their favorite memories of the game. [Penguins]
ICYMI from Friday, the Penguins announced playoff tickets for the first round will go on sale beginning Wednesday at 10:00 AM. All dates, times, and even the opponent are yet to be determined but hopefully we have a clearer picture by then. [Pensburgh]
Sunday was a day off for the Penguins players but the front office was still at work. With the playoffs on the horizon, the Penguins recalled goaltender Emil Larmi and defenseman Juuso Riikola and Yannick Weber from the taxi squad. [Penguins]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Above it was mentioned that the NHL will be pulling back it’s COVID protocols fer teams who have been fully vaccinated. What that includes is less testing, less masking wearing, and the ability to congregate in larger groups. [NHL]
Scoring 100 points in a normal 82-game season is considered an accomplishment and Connor McDavid just went out and hit the mark in 53 games. McDavid tallied four points on Saturday night to hit the century mark for the fourth time. [NBC Sports]