Every NHL season begins the same way.
Thirty teams, all starting on an even playing field. A handful of them, based on roster alone at the start of the season, look good enough that a Stanley Cup seems very possible.
But like any team, however, there are demons that need to be exorcised to prove that team's worth.
Hockey fans know that it takes more than a good roster to hoist the Cup.
Earlier this week, ESPN hockey analysts cast their picks for the team leaders in 2010-2011. Out of six votes, three went to the Pittsburgh Penguins to bring the Stanley Cup home for the fourth time in the history of the franchise.
Hindsight, these picks mean nothing because anything can happen in the 82-game span.
But there clearly is something about the Pens' lineup that speaks to their potential and what can be achieved in the upcoming months. They have the depth to take them far into the playoffs.
With that depth comes a tremendous responsibility for the team to live up to the potential GM Ray Shero has built in the offseason. This means playing to the strengths of players, honing weak points, and sticking to basic winning strategies that can help any team win.
Based on the free-agency signings and call-ups, there are a few things the Pens must do if they want to become more than just a team with the potential to win the Cup.
If the Pens can stick to the following gameplan, they will win the Cup.
Laura Falcon is a college intern for Bleacher Report and Featured Columnist for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Follow her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.