Why the Pittsburgh Penguins Will Repeat...and Repeat...and Repeat

Dan NoonCorrespondent IMay 6, 2010

MONTREAL- MAY 4:  Sidney Crosby #87 and Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins discuss a play in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on May 4, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Penguins defeated the Canadiens 2-0 taking a 2-1 lead in the series.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

There are many reasons why I think the Pens will repeat. but there is quite simply only one major reason....that guy called Crosby.

Ever since Sid entered the NHL the Pens have improved every season in the playoffs. He has proven himself to be a formidable opponent to any top D pair or checking line. Odds are he is stronger, faster and smarter than any player on the ice at any time.

This guy is a natural winner, and when he gets a chip on his shoulder, he gets better. That's just scary. He knows how to lead and motivate his team around him. A natural winner. Come the middle of June, in one year Sid will have won two Stanley cups and Olympic Gold. That has never happened before to anybody.

If you think Sid is the only reason then you are wrong. I believe the next most important reason is...not Malkin, not Fleury, but Jordan Staal. A consummate penalty killer and constant short-handed threat, Staal keeps the Power Play D man on edge.

He has the size and grit of a third line centre, which is where he plays on the Pens, but he also has the faceoff skill, the hands, vision and shot of a first line centre, which is where he would be on almost any other team in the league.

Sure Malkin and Fleury are great, and definitely not forgotten while writing this. But when I come to thinking of reasons why the Pens are the next dynasty, the depth of the blue-line comes to mind next. With the likes of Letang, Goligoski and Leopold mixed in with Gonchar, you have a solid group of underrated guys who all play with an edge. Without the group of guys on the back end the pens would not have what it takes to win 16 playoff games.

With a solid mix of role players like Guerin, Talbot, Cooke, Kennedy, Fedotenko and Dupuis, the pens have the exact right mix of grit and skill. And it only helps when you have two players who both lit the lamp more than once in Game Seven of the finals (Talbot and Fedotenko, the latter with Tampa).

The Penguins have it all, from top to bottom and side to side, no team in the NHL has been built this solid, with such a good young core group, since the Oilers of the '80s. For all these reasons and more that I'm too lazy to write about is exactly why these guys will keep winning when it matters most.

No team has what it takes to take four out of seven games from these guys, and you can take that to the bank.