Pittsburgh Penguins Schedule in 2014 - 2015
The Pittsburgh Penguins kick off the Mike Johnston era by opening their 2014-15 regular season at home on October 9th against the Anaheim Ducks. They start play within the Metropolitan Division with a home game against the New York Islanders on October 18th. Four days later, the hated Philadelphia Flyers come to town when the Penguins debut their new third uniform. In November, the Pens go on their longest road trip of the season, playing five games against the Minnesota Wild November 4th, the Winnipeg Jets November 6th, the Buffalo Sabres November 8th, the New York Rangers November 11th, and the Toronto Maple Leafs November 14th. On December 13th, the Pens go to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for the first time since their six-game playoff series the year before, in what is looking to be a rivalry in the making. The Pens longest home stand occurs around the Holiday season, playing New Years Eve against the Carolina Hurricanes, January 2nd against the Tampa Bay Lightning, January 3rd against the Montreal Canadiens, and January 7th against the Boston Bruins. They conclude the regular season April 11th in Buffalo.
Pittsburgh Penguins Roster
Returning to the Penguins this year is their core duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, as well as Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Beau Bennett, Brandon Sutter, and Pascal Dupuis. Dupuis, as of this writing, is currently on the teamâ€™s injured reserve.
Crosby and Letang are expected to be at full strength for the 2014-15 season. Although Crosby played in 80 games during the regular season, there are still lingering questions about his health from the concussion he suffered at the 2011 Winter Classic. As for Letang, he missed several games last season due to unexpectedly suffering a stroke, but is now 100% for the upcoming season.
Also returning is much-maligned goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Despite setting many team records, Fleury is the brunt of much criticism for the Penguins woes in the playoffs in recent years.
One of the biggest departures from the roster is Brooks Orpik, who after 12 years in Pittsburgh left for the rival Washington Capitals. The trade of James Neal to the Nashville Predators was controversial as well, but both moves were done due to salary cap constraints.
Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Experience
Consol Energy Center opened in 2010, and is considered one of the best arenas in the NHL. Although many Penguins fans miss the Civic Arena and all its charm, Consol has all the modern amenities to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh long-term, as well as keeping the team competitive on the ice. The Penguins sublet Consol to the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League, and the arena has been mentioned as a possible home for an NBA team as well as a team in the Legends Football League. It also hosts several concerts and WWE events every year. An interesting fact about Consol is that it was under construction when the Pens won their most recent Stanley Cup in 2009, and the team brought the Cup to the construction site while in possession of the Cup.
Pittsburgh Penguins Trivia
Before the 2004-05 NHL lockout, the Penguins were struggling to fill the Civic/Mellon Arena despite having an aging superstar in player/owner Mario Lemieux. Since the arrival of Sidney Crosby following the lockout, Penguins tickets are now hard to come by: the team now has a season ticket waiting list that nearly rivals that of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and has sold out every home game at Consol Energy Center since it opened.
Pittsburgh Penguins History
The Penguins were one of the NHLâ€™s â€œExpansion Sixâ€ when the league chose to double in size in 1967, and were a natural fit due to the NHL having a presence in the city of Pittsburgh before the Great Depression, as well as hockey having remained popular in the years following. While its expansion brethren, the archrival Philadelphia Flyers, found immediate success, the Pens struggled both on the ice and off, filing bankruptcy twice in its first 17 years and nearly folding outright. However, in 1984, things would change forever when the team drafted teenage phenom Mario Lemieux with the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Not only would the Penguins steadily improve, but fans in the market started paying attention. Things finally came together in 1991 when Lemieux, rookie Jaromir Jagr, and the rest helped lead the Pens to their first Stanley Cup, winning the Cup again the following year. After a bout with cancer two years earlier, Lemieux retired in 1997. However, the team struggled financially despite their success in the 1990s and filed for bankruptcy again. Lemieux, being the teamâ€™s largest creditor, took advantage and was able to buy the team from bankruptcy with the money owed to him. He would come out of retirement in 2000 (and playing through 2006), but by then was trying to cut the teamâ€™s budget and traded away Jagr and other players. In 2005, the team drafted Sidney Crosby and would help to eventually lead the team to their third Cup in 2009.
Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Info
Pittsburgh sports fans are fiercely loyal to their teams, and the Penguins are no different. Despite hockey being popular in the city, the Penguins struggled to find a following until the arrival of Mario Lemieux in 1984. Lemieuxâ€™s arrival sparked a renewed interest in the sport in a city more known for football, and the Pens have steadily grown their fanbase to the level it is at today. Pens fans tend to be more rational and realistic than Pittsburgh Steelers fans, but like Steeler fans (and the two fanbases do have a lot of overlap), Pens fans will give their opinions on the team and what it feels need to be done to improve the team.
Pittsburgh Penguins Rumors
The Penguins recently unveiled their new third uniform, a throwback to their road uniform from 1980-1992. Pens fans have been excited about seeing the return of â€œPittsburgh goldâ€, which had been replaced by â€œVegas goldâ€ in 2002, and are eager at the possibility that they might switch back to it full-time.
Also in the cards is a new full-time practice facility for the team. The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex is currently under construction in suburban Cranberry Township at the interchange between Interstate 79 and Pennsylvania Route 228 (exit 78 of I-79) and will open in July 2015. It will replace several different places the Pens currently use for practice.