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This season has been a roller coaster ride for the Penguins. From the atrocious 7-8-1 start, to the November winning streak, to Crosby's point streak and subsequent injury. It seems like nearly every plausible situation has occurred in Pittsburgh this season.
With injuries to Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik, Mike Comrie, Nick Johnson and Eric Tangradi, along with the suspension to Matt Cooke, the Penguins are basically operating with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton All-Stars.
Come playoff time, hopefully Crosby and Orpik will be back to make the lineup more complete. But losing Cooke for a possible gritty series versus Tampa Bay or Montreal truly hurts the Penguins' chances of going deep in the playoffs.
As the Penguins have proved though this whole season, when faced with adversity, they rise to the occasion. With all of the obstacles this season, the Penguins are still only six points out of first place in the Atlantic Division, and are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference.
If the stars align, the Penguins have what it takes to make another run at the Stanley Cup Finals, but it could be in spite of Matt Cooke.