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The Landlubber’s Guide to the Pittsburgh Penguins

Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

Let’s dive in to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Are they any good?

They’ve made it to the playoffs for fifteen straight seasons, and if this season were to suddenly announce it’s over right now, they’d punch ticket number sixteen. Yeah, I’d say this is a good team.

However, they aren’t exactly as dominant this season as they have been in the past. That’s only to be expected when a team has played half of its games so far without both of their top stars – and all of them without at least one. That’s not even to mention the sheer number of injuries and COVID-19 cases this team has gone through. At one point they were down their top three centers, and at another point they didn’t even have their head coach. The Penguins can be forgiven for sitting a little precariously in the number 2 wild card spot right now with all of this happening. Even though they are known for somehow playing better when half the lineup is decimated and they’re playing unknown AHL callups that we affectionally call Mark Donks, to be hit with as many struggles as they have this early is draining to any team.

Who should I look out for?

Now, full caveat, this season hasn’t been stellar so far for Crosby. He had offseason wrist surgery, missed the start of the season, returned to play one game, and then immediately found himself testing positive for COVID-19. It hasn’t been a good time to be him. He’s still fully working himself back up to his regular form, but he’s pulled off three-point nights recently, so we’re getting there.

Any Seattle ties?

Closest thing I’ve managed to find is that Tristan Jarry and Danton Heinen are from the Pacific Northwest, but they grew up in British Columbia. Wrong country for this section, buds. But I’ve got nothing immediate that I can find that connects the Pittsburgh roster to the state of Washington.

Odds and ends

Puck drop is at 7 pm Pacific, 10 pm Eastern. If you’re in the Seattle region, you can find the game on ROOT Sports NW, and fellow out-of-market people can watch it on ESPN+.