Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are cutting it very close to making it into the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It comes down to the last two regular season games for the team, both of which are must-wins. They will play the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow in a home game at PPG Paints Arena at 7:30 PM ET to determine their future this season.
Coming off a crucial 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings, Sidney Crosby and Co. seemed to have had great practice ahead of tomorrow’s matchup against Chicago. In a post-practice interview, Crosby was asked if he would keep an eye out for the games tonight and he said,
“Yeah, I’m sure I’ll keep an eye on it, whether watch it or watch the score, but it doesn’t change what we have to do. Obviously, we’ve gotta worry about ourselves.”
As it stands, the Penguins are out of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference. The Florida Panthers and New York Islanders are above them in the points table. Both teams are tied at 91 points each with the Pens following them at 90 points.
The Florida Panthers will have the chance to clinch a playoff berth tonight. That’s if they defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in regulation or overtime AND the New York Islanders lose to the Washington Capitals in regulation. The Panthers cannot clinch if they win in a shootout.
If the Panthers manage to do that, the Pens and Isles will be left fighting for that last spot in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders have a game against the already-eliminated Washington Capitals. But the Caps will look to make it difficult for the Long Island team as winning tonight’s game will give them the upper hand in the battle for the last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
It’s safe to say that the Penguins are not in control of their destiny and when asked about this, Sidney Crosby said,
“I think that, you know, knowing how close it’s been for a while now, I think we all understood that there’s a good chance it was going to come down to the last game and, you know, that’s the way it is.”
“So I think, you know, we’ve done a good job here last couple games, just, you know, focus on the game and we got to do that here tomorrow.”
Sidney Crosby is impressed with the Penguins’ recent form
The Penguins have been put in a difficult position, having to win all of their last four games since losing 5-1 to the New Jersey Devils. They are halfway through to achieving their goal and need to win against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. They also need the New York Islanders to lose or win a game through shootout, to make it into the playoffs.
When asked what he liked the most about the team’s recent form, Sidney Crosby said,
“I think our starts have been pretty good. I think besides that, just not giving up a ton. I think defensively we’ve been good.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only team in NHL history to have made the playoffs in 16 consecutive seasons. If the regular season were to end today, that streak would end. But Sidney Crosby has put his team in a position to have a fighting chance to keep their prestigious record alive.
Sidney Crosby recently became the 15th player in NHL history to score 1,500 career points. He’d love to cap off such a memorable season by pushing the Penguins into the playoffs and contend for the 2023 Stanley Cup.