Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse


There’s no denying it: the Pittsburgh Penguins are far from a sure bet to make the playoffs.

It just so happens that they’re starting to look like a team that could be scary if they do make it.

It’s one thing to be a squad with obvious issues when you’re sitting at the top of the league’s standings, setting expectations oh-so high. Playing the relative underdog might just be the perfect thing for this Penguins team, instead.

Tuesday was a prime example of how they can be a flawed-yet-dangerous dark horse. Sidney Crosby generated a hat trick (plus an assist) in a track meet of a game as the Penguins edged the Ottawa Senators by a score of 6-5.

Crosby’s looking like Crosby, although he’s scoring goals on an especially sizzling pace.

He’s the author of an eight-game point streak, and the league points out that he’s scored at least one goal in his last eight home games.

This marks four straight wins for the Penguins, by the way.

When you consider Kris Letang‘s status as a player of the month and how dominant Evgeni Malkin looked at the All-Star Game alone, the Penguins suddenly seem like the team many of us expected.

Now just imagine if they improve in their own end.

(Other teams would rather not.)