NHL Picks: Pittsburgh Penguins Season Points Total

Swinging Johnson

Friday, September 27, 2013 4:19 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 4:19 PM GMT

The Penguins were stunned in the Eastern Conference Finals by getting swept in four games but will they be able to rebound with another productive regular season in our NHL picks preview?

NHL Betting Odds - Penguins Total Points

Plenty of Points

Last season the Pens piled up 72 points in only 48 games which would equate to 123 points in a full 82-game slate. But that was then and this is now. The Penguins were the top scoring team in the NHL, averaging 3.4 goals per game, but their goaltending particularly in the postseason was a contributing factor in their stunning sweep out of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins.

But now we turn our attention to this year’s edition in our NHL picks preview and attempt to predict how many points this team can amass during the course of the regular season. We know they have the offensive firepower to overwhelm most teams on most nights but the big number of total points (109 ½) that the oddsmakers have tagged on this club may be difficult to reach for a club lacking defensive stability.

Big O

Yes, when you talk about the Pittsburgh Penguins you’re talking about their prolific offense led by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, two of the best players on the planet. But let’s not forget about the talented mates that bolster this dynamic duo. Chris Kunitz actually led the team in goals with 22 over the abbreviated 48-game schedule and Pascal Dupuis is enjoying his time with Sid the Kid in the middle. But one of the most unheralded players on this star-studded roster might be 26-year-old James Neal who was hobbled by an ankle injury in his second season with the Pens but is absolutely lethal around the crease.

Defense and Goaltending

As if the Penguins needed another playmaker, Kris Letang brings it in spades as he was the only NHL blueliner to average over a point per game. His defensive partner Rob Scuderi was recently signed so Letang can once again roam while Scuderi stays at home. The rest of the defensive corps featuring Paul Martin, Deryk Engelland and Brooks Orpik are good reliable players who are serviceable though not what I would call defensive standouts.

But while the defense is solid the goaltending has been suspect, especially in the postseason. And though the emphasis here is on regular season success, we have to consider whether or not Marc-Andre Fleury’s struggles will linger from last season’s playoffs. Pittsburgh does not have the luxury of a topflight goaltender ala the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings. Fleury’s performance will play a huge role in whether or not the Penguins have what it takes to eclipse this lofty point total in our NHL odds.

The Pick

Both Crosby and Malkin have been prone to injury and if the bug hits either one or both for a prolonged period of time you can kiss the Over goodbye. There is simply no room for anything but a stellar regular season record if they are to accumulate 100 points and that is why I am leaning towards the Under 109 ½ for this season’s edition of the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

However, if Pittsburgh was to acquire another goaltender then perhaps I could be convinced that this team is destined for regular season greatness. Until that happens I am content to watch this offensive powerhouse win many of the shootouts, just not enough to pile up quite enough regular season points.

Let’s take a walk on the wild side and bet against Sid the Kid and the talented Penguins. 

NHL Picks: Play Under 109 ½ against the NHL odds at Bet 365.

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