2009 preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

Last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins won a game seven Stanley Cup final to win the title for the first time since 1992.

Now, as defending champions, everyone will be gunning for them. Teams will try to build confidence, and a regular season victory over the Stanley Cup champs will be seen as a victory for some teams.

The Pens will have to stay on their toes for the rest of the season.

Story of the season: Will there be a Stanley Cup hangover? Many teams have trouble staying motivated the season after winning the Stanley Cup. The intensity of games are lower, losing a game doesn’t mean as much and you don’t see the same team for days on end. The penguins, a young team, could be in trouble by becoming loose as the season wears on. As we’ve seen from countless other teams, intensity isn’t a switch you just turn on and off: You need to build up to it.

Former Habs: None

Blog to follow: The Pens Blog

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Pool Picks: Jordan Staal. Last season, he scored 49 points. He’s locked up to a long-term high-salary deal, so he won’t be there just to play defence. Expect an offensive break-out year from him. Stay away from:As I warned last year, stay away from any one you may hear that will be playing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. The lines switch so often, you may only get a few good games at your winger before they get moved to the third line.

Award nominees:Jordan Staal for the Selke trophy

Expected Finish: First in the Atlantic, Second in the east

Cheerleader: Not sure who this is, but it’s the only photo I could find.

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