Is the love story between the media and the Penguins finally over?

All good love stories end with a kiss, right? Pretty Woman did when Richard Gere climbed the ladder to Julia Roberts, Beauty and the Beast did when Belle kissed the beast to turn him into a prince, and another love story ended when Sidney Crosby grabbed the Stanley Cup this past June and lowered it down for a kiss. And with that kiss, can we finally say that the sensational love story between the young Penguins roster and the media is finally over? homegrownsportinggoods_1852_1211054

After a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins are currently the number one team in the league with an 8-1-0 record and 16 points, two more than the New York Rangers who trail in the number two spot. The Penguins also tied a franchise record for the best start to a season with their victory over the Blues last night. But when I look over the headlines today, there aren’t many mentioning the hot start of the Penguins, who by all means should be succumbing to the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover. Nor were there many journalists or fans making preditions back in September for the Penguins to go back-to-back as Stanley Cup champions despite keeping a good majority of last year’s team in tact again for this season. At the start of last season, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t think that the Detroit Red Wings had the components in place to repeat – especially with the addition of Marian Hossa. The Penguins may not have added any significant firepower in the off-season, but they still bolster one of the best offenses and two of the best forwards in the game – one of which is media golden boy Sidney Crosby. So where’s the love for the Penguins?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the love story isn’t over yet, it’s just the fact that Pierre McGuire hasn’t seen much TV time yet this season. Okay, that’s not entirely true. The fact is that the Penguins, and Crosby in particular, have been force-fed down our throats for so long that we are tired of it. It’s kind of like channel surfing. Now that the Penguins have won the Cup, can we see what else is on? And there are plenty of other storylines to follow this season, like the young Colorado Avalanche team that is taking the league by storm despite being pegged by many to finish the season dead last. It’s still early, so those predicitions may still come true, but the fact that they have started so well seems more important than a team that is expected to do well. Stories like this are happening all over the league. The resurgance of Ryan Smyth in Los Angeles, the continuing Dany Heatley saga in San Jose and the team in Phoenix that also defies expectations despite turmoil at every turn. These are the stories taking the limelight away from Sid the Kid and Co.

The other reason why the Penguins are old news might also be the biggest storyline of the year – Alexander Ovechkin. This guy is dynamite. Ovechkin is the most explosive player in the NHL today and the only one currently in the NHL capable of scoring 50 goals in 50 games or 70 goals in one season. No other player stands a chance, not even you Mr. Kovalchuk. Ovechkin is fun to watch and brings excitement to the game. And with the supporting cast building around him in Washington, many think it’s Ovechkin’s turn to hoist the Cup this year. Whether or not that happens, Ovechkin has completely taken the league by storm and will be the focal point for many seasons to come.

Perhaps the media could just change it’s Facebook relationship status with the Penguins to “It’s Complicated.” The same old song and dance can only go on for so long before it becomes tired and bitter. Besides, good teams are expected to do good. It would be more newsworthy if the Penguins didn’t do well, or if they began to slip and fall in the standings. I think right about now would be a good time to remind everyone that the Ottawa Senators went 8-1 to start the season in 2007-08  following their loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. The Senators began to slip come January and February, barely snuck into the playoffs and were eventually swept in the first round. The Penguins are still a good team and they are doing what they are expected to do, and that’s win. But so are the Avs, Kings, Oilers and Ovechkin. We’ve seen the march of the Penguins before. It’s time to switch the channel and watch something else for a change.


  1. The Pens, ironically, are like a dirty little secret. I think it’s because everyone secretly loves watching them, but no one wants to admit it. I personally can’t stand them, but whenever Malkin is on the ice, I can’t take my eyes off him.


  2. Crosby is a little easier on the eyes, but once he speaks it ruins it for me. So I see the Malkin “attraction” you have.

    The Penguins are an excellent team, they won the Cup for a reason. But like a song overplayed on the radio, you hate hearing it over and over again. I think the NHL pimped them out so much last season that it turns many fans against them.

  3. Watching the Pens is sort of a guilty pleasure. Who doesn’t enjoy some Malkin with a side of Crosby? Seriously, they are definitely two very good players and the Pens are a very good team. But you’re right EB, constantly hearing about the Penguins is like listening to the same Taylor Swift song over and over again. It doesn’t matter how hot she is, it gets old after a while.

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