A new season of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey is here! We at Inside the Penguins are excited to bring you our official predictions for the 2022-23 season.
The Penguins begin their campaign with something to prove and higher expectations, here is who we believe will be leading the charge.
Nick Horwat: Jake Guentzel – 50
There is no real other choice here. Guentzel has a great opportunity to push upwards of 50 goals. Even if he falls short he will still be the teams leader by far.
Nicholas Brlansky: Guentzel – 47
It’s really hard not to pick against Jake Guentzel here. The 27-year-old winger finished last season with 40 goals and continues to improve year over year. It would not be a surprise to see him collect another career-high and possibly push for the coveted 50 goal mark.
Jacob Punturi: Guentzel – 42
A pretty easy and unanimous decision. Guentzel has the best scoring touch on the roster and should be the
Cody Flavell: Guentzel – 40
Another 40-goal season isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Jake as he’ll be playing alongside Sidney Crosby and getting top power play time.
Horwat: Crosby – 101
Death, taxes, Crosby or Evgeni Malkin leading the Penguins in points. While its likely one of those two I give the edge to Crosby and the belief that one last 100-point season isn’t out of reach.
Brlansky: Crosby – 106
Crosby is the unquestioned leader of this team on and off the ice. Entering his 18th season, Crosby has led the team in points 12 times and will collect lucky number 13 in 2022-23.
Punturi: Guentzel – 92
Guentzel will lead the team outright in scoring this year, after tying Crosby for the team lead in points last season.
Flavell: Crosby – over 82
It’s not even much of a debate. Crosby is still the leader of the team and, if healthy, will post a point per game pace that should lead the squad.
Horwat: Marcus Pettersson
After finally being taken off of the trade block, Pettersson can find his role in the lineup and blossom far past his current expectations. New linemate Jeff Petry should help him along, as well.
Brlansky: Sam Poulin
Although he didn’t make the roster out of camp, Sam Poulin will be the Penguins breakout player this season. He has made massive strides through one year of professional hockey, and his switch to center has revitalized his prospect standing. Expect Poulin to become an everyday player at some point this season and play a pivotal role down the stretch.
Punturi: Ryan Poehling
Newcomer Ryan Poehling has 15 goal potential if he gets a regular spot in the lineup.
Flavell: Ryan Poehling
I get the sense the Penguins really like Poehling who played for a dreadful Montreal Canadiens team last year and still has 13 goals across 85 career NHL games. His size will prove to be a welcomed addition in the Pens bottom six and on the power play.
Horwat: Ty Smith
He may not be starting the season with the NHL Penugins, but Ty Smith will be an incredible addition to the blue line once his number is called. I also had to break up the monotony of this category.
Brlansky: Jeff Petry
Petry’s role on this team seems to be a bit undervalued heading into the season. The Penguins haven’t had a second-best defenseman as good as him since peak Justin Schultz. Petry will bring another offensive option on the back end while becoming a large reason for Evgeni Malkin’s success this season in the transition game.
The Penguins system should fit Petry’s game much better than Montreal’s thus opening the door for this first year Penguins defender to find new grounds.
I am thoroughly excited for what Petry can bring to the table for the Penguins and truly believe that last season was a reflection of him playing on the Canadiens and not his skills declining. He should be a solid presence on the blue line and will make Pettersson a better player too.
Horwat: Kasperi Kapanen
There is nowhere to go but up. A new contract that came with the support and backing of the front office, Kasperi Kapanen has a ton to prove and is more likely to progress than regress even more.
After a monumental failure of a season in 2021-22, Kasperi Kapanen will bounce back. Kapanen’s new role and renewed confidence will play a major factor in his resurgence as he becomes the player everyone hoped for back in 2020.
After a down year in Montreal, Petry will find his game again in Pittsburgh.
Pettersson will have a massive load off of his shoulders now that the Penguins have committed to keeping him despite his name being put in trade talks all offseason. Pettersson wasn’t awful by any stretch last season but he will play himself into being a reliable top-four defenseman and assert himself as such.
Jarry's Win Total
It’s time to buy into the Tristan Jarry ride. In his contract year, there’s a lot on the line for the 27-year-old. He’s going to improve and once again put up some of the best goalie numbers in the NHL.
Entering a contract season Tristan Jarry is poised to put together his best season yet. The six-year NHL veteran has reached the all-star game twice but will reach new heights in 2022-23. Jarry will finish the year with 38 wins.
People are high on Jarry having a standout season, but it can be hard to get wins in the NHL. Anything over 30 is a great number and Jarry has a contract to earn.
I think the Penguins win a good bit throughout the year but I’ll predict that Casey DeSmith gets a little bit more action throughout the season compared to last year. That will cut into Jarry’s win total and keep him below 30.
Team Win Total
A lot of odds have the Penguins finishing very high in the Metropolitan Division, and they can live up to those expectations. A finish up first or second in the metro while flirting with 50 wins is not out of the question.
The Penguins will finish this season with 47 wins. While they are more than one win better than last season's team, the Eastern Conference has gotten exponentially better and wins will be much harder to come by this season.
An improvement on last season, but not by much. It’s hard to win in the NHL and 48 should flaot around the most in the league.
The Penguins won 46 games last year. I don’t know that they’ll surpass that total this season but they will certainly come close. I think that they’ll make the playoffs again and be a competitive team.
Most often times, trying to predict the first goal is just pulling a name from a hat or just taking a complete guess.
Regardless, everyone has a 1/20 chance of being right (yes, that includes both goalies into the odds).
Brlansky: Rickard Rakell
Flavell: Jason Zucker
There you have it, the official predictions for the Penguins and their 2022-23 season. Follow along all year and see if any of us have the ability to see the future.
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