Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The Penguins sucked. They sure did. They were dead. Crosby sucked. Kessel sucked. Their coach was horrible. Their defense was awful. It was ugly. The core's window had closed. It was time to trade everyone off.
Then all the things happened!
Firings, promotions, trades. Sidney Crosby became Sidney Crosby. Kris Letang decided he wanted to win the Norris trophy. Mike Sullivan realized that you play to suit Sidney Crosby, not play to protect Rob Scuderi (something his predecessor hadn't done). Phil Kessel clicked.
Along the way friends were made. Justin Schultz, Trevor Daley, Carl Hagelin, Tom Kuhnhackl, Bryan Rust, and many more were added to the group and brought life to a team that was more disappointing than The Walking Dead's season finale.
And now, to quote that season finale, the Penguins are welcoming the NHL to "Pee Pee Pants City." Why?
Because the Penguins are better than you.
No team is hotter. Even with injuries to key players like Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins are the best team currently playing hockey.
Phil Kessel is proving worth every bit of his trade. Sidney Crosby is no longer traded to another team. Kris Letang is no longer a waste of $7 million. Mike Sullivan is suddenly coach of the year.
The opposite was being said by many outsiders, and even some fans, in December when they were down and out. Now they stand in awe and watch a team win 13 of 14, outscore and demoralize opponents. And going out of the East, who else will you pick?
The Capitals? Holtby has been declining for months due to over use and they haven't played a meaningful game in ages. What are the odds they can flip a switch?
The Flyers? The second hottest team in the East for a period? The ones the Penguins thoroughly outclassed?
The Rangers? So beset with injury that their most important players are currently in the press box with injury?
The Lightning? Another team missing their better players to injury, and a star who has fewer ribs than a barbeque joint at closing time?
It certainly won't be the Red Wings or Islanders who may as well be playing for pride.
Simply put, at this time the Penguins are better than the best of the East. The playoffs are right around the corner. Their MVP is playing like he should be the league MVP (and he should be). Their best defenseman is playing like the best defenseman and should win the Norris. Their big acquisition is doing what he does, show up when it matters most. They have one of the best one-two punches in net in Fleury-Murray, and top to bottom have not just puck moving defensemen, but fast, smart puck movers.
The NHL is on notice. The Penguins are here. The Penguins are ready. For the first time in a long time, the Penguins are here to eat the competition alive and not look back.
Welcome to Pee Pee Pants City, NHL. The Penguins are the mayor, and they're in control.
The @Penguins are Better Than You by @Nick422
12:00:00 PM carl hagelin , Evgeni Malkin , Justin Schultz , Kris Letang , Marc Andre Fleury , Mike Sullivan , Nick Case , Phil Kessel , Rob Scuderi , Sidney Crosby , Trevor Daley Edit