Pittsburgh Penguins, 2008-2009: The Last Chapter

Matt HunterCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2009

Well Pittsburgh fans, we are coming down the stretch of another Penguins season.

And for us, this year has been the complete opposite of what we witnessed last season from a team that was storming into the playoffs with motivation, confidence, and the knowledge that they knew they could beat anyone.

This season, though, has seemed to be a bust. It is as if the Penguins have no chance of pulling through.

Remember, there are still 24 games left and plenty of points to be had.  They are in the chase for at least the eighth position.

The Pens are starting their final stretch with a new coach in Blysma.  They also have found themselves with teammates Sergei Gonchar and Ruslan Fedotanko back in the lineup.

With Gonchar, the power play should get back on track, back to where it was last year when Gonchar was healthy.

The Pens are finally healthy, and have a strong team to start this push to the finish line.  They also have the trade deadline approaching in two weeks.  The Pens have a lot that can be used as trade bait.  If Ray Shero can work his magic like he did last year (acquiring Marian Hossa), the Pens could be looking pretty for the last month of the season.

It will all come down to how badly the players want it.  It is really easy for a team in their position to throw in the towel and play mediocre hockey the rest of the way.

Some fans and observers have already written them off, and some have said that the Pens need to cut their losses and prepare for next year.  That is not what a team needs to hear from its fans.

A team is fueled by the support of its city and fans.  If either are not behind them, it is hard for a team to want to do well.

So with 24 games left, how about we fans not write the final chapter of the Pens' season.  Instead, let's stand behind our team and give them the support that they deserve and let them finish this 2008-2009 story.