It isn't surprising that the Penguins and the Flyers will play the first game in the arena, but what will be a surprise is whether the Flyers will be the team that just competed for the Stanley Cup or if they will return to their normal, penalty filled team like they were in the regular season.
There is going to be a lot of hope for this coming year's Pens. They have had their longest summer break in the last two years and will be looking to rebound from their disappointing loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs.
There are going to be a lot of questions from fans and media about the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Can Sidney Crosby be even better than last season?
Will the real Evgeni Malkin show up this season?
Will Marc-Andre Fleury finally hush the critics?
Question after question will be asked.
What about Jordan Staal? When can we see him finally break out of the shadows of his two friends and teammates, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?
Well, I can give my opinion on the new season and that's exactly what I'm going to do.
Sidney Crosby has proved every critic out there to be an idiot.
It wouldn't be normal for there not to be criticism of Sidney Crosby, especially by the fans. Sidney Crosby is the biggest thing in Pittsburgh; yes he even is ahead of Big Ben in fan support.
The one thing Sid needs to work on is his on-ice attitude. Teams will get under his skin, but Crosby has to maintain control and forget about them.
He led the NHL in slashing penalties this season. Look for that to change, along with some MVP-like games.
Evgeni Malkin was a disappointment this season, even with over 60 points. He had just come off a 100+ point season and didn't perform like he should have.
He had a reality check this past season and saw a lot of media bash his play. He'll come out fighting this year.
Marc-Andre Fleury needs to have one of his best seasons this upcoming year. His goaltending was below par to me—especially during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's extremely hard to compete against him at his best and Fleury shined in the playoffs of 2009 leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup victory, but he has been inconsistent most of his career and isn't producing for how much he is getting paid.
He has to rebound in 2010-11 and make this season his best.
For me, Jordan Staal was the most improved player this past season. He has grown into his role as a defensive forward. It shows in his nomination over Jonathan Toews as the Selke candidate. He won't win the award, but it's a stepping-stone for him to take over in the next year or so.
These are our four key players, whom Pittsburgh has put a lot into and has high hopes for in the future.
They hate to lose and are coming off a long summer.
As long as there is production from the wingers and solid defense, look for the Pittsburgh Penguins to compete next season for their fourth cup.
It's time for a new dynasty to emerge.