Anytime the Pens go down in the playoffs, it's hard to get invested in another roundof the playoffs.
That shouldn't be an issue this year. There is major interest, in our opinion. How good are the Bruins? Will the Blackhawks expose Tuukka Rask?
But there are some pretty good storylines when it comes to the players themselves as they relate to the Penguins. In fact, five players in the Cup Finals have us more interested than we thought we'd be, especially when you consider about their connection to Penguins and what could have been.
4. Jonathan Toews
This is Toews' second Cup Finals. The captain of the Blackhawks has been as good as it gets.
It makes you wonder…
What if the Penguins would have taken Toews instead of Jordan Staal? There is no doubt Toews is a better player. 100 more points in 71 games. And he is close to a second Cup. Now, Jordan Staal is a hell of a hockey player, but all things being equal, where are the Penguins now with Jonathan Toews? On the flip side, what would the Pens' salary-cap situation be if they had Toews?
3. Brandon Saad
We asked Jesse Marshall if the Pens should have drafted Saad:
At the time I'd have said no. Hard to argue now.
Saad had a solid 27 points in 46 games in his first season. He hasn't been great in the playoffs, but he is seeing some good minutes.
The Penguins passed on Saad, a hometown kid, and drafted…Joe Morrow. Could have been Saad instead of Brenden Morrow in these playoffs.
2. Marian Hossa
Hey remember this? It was speculated that Hossa turned down a 7-year, $56-million deal with the Pens. Thus began the Marian Hossa storyline that resulted in the Pens defeating him the following year. What if Hossa stayed in Pittsburgh? Again, Pens would've been running into some salary issues.
Hossa has thrived in Chicago. He has probably has been the best player for the Hawks at points in their playoff run. Hossa on Crosby's wing, and this playing after every goal at CEC.
One of the great tragedies of our time.
1. Ol' Double J
The #JagrWatch defeat still stings in some aspects, but none more than when you think about the Pens getting smoked by two Double J teams the past two years. Jagr is a shell of his former self, but his leadership is constantly on display. He is also completely insane, re: reports of him working out until midnight after games in the playoffs and shit. What if the Penguins would have offered Jagr $4 million? Could he have done better than TK? Could he have gotten the Penguins a goal somewhere in the Eastern Conference Finals?