Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury are all franchise players that led the Pittsburgh Penguins to their last Stanley Cup in 2009. Numerous other players will need to step up to lead the Penguins deep into the postseason this year.
Chris Kunitz made his debut with the Penguins the year they won the championship. He had one goal and 13 assists in the 24 games of their campaign. His chemistry with Crosby and Pascal Dupuis makes him an offensive cornerstone this time around.
Of course, Fleury and Letang will continue to be vital to the Penguins defense. Between Fleury’s fatigue and Letang’s injuries, Tomas Vokoun and other defensemen will make the difference for an already offensively-oriented Penguins team.
Here are eight Penguins that will be pivotal in their team’s 2013 Stanley Cup campaign.