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Current Status: The Penguins are running away with the division, and it's only a matter of time before they clinch it. They enter the break with a 6-3-1 mark in their past 10 games and a 16-point lead in the standings over the second-place New York Rangers.
The recent news that defenseman Kris Letang suffered a stroke and will be out at least six weeks is a shocking blow. There's no guarantee that Letang, the team's leading scorer on the back end, will play again this season. The one area where the Penguins have a plethora of depth is on defense, so they are well-equipped to handle life without Letang.
Greatest Strength: This isn't breaking news, but Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have the ability to carry this team down the stretch. The Penguins' top two lines are the bread winners on this team, and as long as they are scoring, there's nothing to worry about here.
Biggest Problem: For a team that is so far ahead of the pack, the Penguins have their share of issues.
The biggest one is there is next to zero scoring coming from the bottom-six forwards. It won't be an issue in terms of staving off teams in the Metro, but if they want to win the East, secondary scoring is a must. Depth scoring probably won't affect the Penguins in the regular season, but if they fancy themselves Stanley Cup contenders, they'll need offense from outside the top two lines.
The other issue facing the Penguins is complacency. The division is theirs and so is home-ice advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The problem with taking your foot off the gas is that sometimes you can't get the engine revved when it matters once the playoffs starts.