- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

LAST SEASON: 51-24-7, 109 points. Won Metropolitan Division. Lost to New York Rangers in Eastern Conference semifinals.

COACH: Mike Johnston (first season, first NHL season).

ADDED: D Christian Ehrhoff, F Patric Hornqvist, C Nick Spaling, F Blake Comeau, G Thomas Greiss.

LOST: F James Neal, D Brooks Orpik, D Matt Niskanen.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Sidney Crosby. Sid “the Kid” isn’t so young anymore. It’s been nearly a decade since he arrived in Pittsburgh and helped rescue a floundering franchise. He rolled to his second MVP Award in 2013-14 after racking 36 goals and 68 assists for a league-leading 146 points. A wrist injury slowed him in the postseason. He scored just once in 13 playoff games.

OUTLOOK: New coach, new general manager but same old expectations in Pittsburgh. It’s been more than five years since they lifted the Stanley Cup, a drought that cost former coach Dan Bylsma his job. Johnston brings in a more structured philosophy. There may be growing pains early, but if Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are healthy, the Penguins will again be a threat to make a deep playoff run.

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