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Analyst predictions for the 2023-24 Penguins season

NHL analysts have weighed in on how the Penguins will finish the 2023-24 season. The good news: It will (probably) be better than last year.

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NHL: SEP 28 Sabres at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy last weekend of the offseason.

Media outlets across the league are celebrating by predicting where the 32 NHL teams will stand by April 2024. Let’s take a look at the early consensus on the Penguins’ chances of contending.

  • Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic projected the Penguins finishing with 96.5 points, giving them a 65% shot at a playoff berth and a 1% shot at the Stanley Cup. Sean Gentille added that without Kyle Dubas’ moves this summer, the Penguins were projected to finish with 87 points and just a 21% shot at the playoffs.
  • writers making early predictions as to the 2024 playoff picture tended to put the Penguins in a wild card spot. Out of 16 surveyed writers, eight predicted the Penguins would end up as a wild card team, while five projected a top-three division finish. Three authors predicted the Penguins would miss the playoffs altogether. (Every writer projected either the Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils or New York Rangers finishing atop the division.)
  • ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski projected the Penguins earning the third spot in the Metro, behind the Devils and Hurricanes, but noted that prediction requires a healthy Penguins team. “The Penguins are adept at playing without their stars, but as last season showed, a point here or there lost by a short-handed team can make all the difference,” Wyshynski wrote.
  • CBS Sports’ Austin Nivison has the Penguins slotted to miss the playoffs, giving the Canes, Devils and Rangers the top three spots in the Metro and doubting the Pens’ ability to compete with the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres for a wild card spot. “Age will catch up to the Penguins, their depth scoring falters, Tristan Jarry struggles to get his footing again, and they narrowly miss out on a wild card spot again,” Nivison predicted.
  • The Score’s John Matisz predicts the Penguins will make the playoffs, but fall short of a conference final berth if they run into the Devils or Hurricanes.

Consensus opinion seems to be that the Penguins are likely to make the playoffs and exit in the first round. That all depends on the team’s two biggest question marks: the health of their star players and the consistency of Tristan Jarry.

Based on early evaluations of the Metro, where do you predict the Penguins will finish the 2023-24 season?