Pittsburgh Penguins player makes ridiculous comment about playoff chances

May 30, 2024  (2:39 PM)

Bryan Rust
Photo credit: NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins have now missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for two straight seasons, a first during the Sidney Crosby era.

In order to help the Penguins return to being a postseason contender, general manager Kyle Dubas will have a lot of work to do this summer. He may make a few trades at the draft, or he may have to spend more in free agency as several elite players are anticipated to be available.
While the squad is focused on the summer and the upcoming campaign, a Penguins player is reflecting on the team's 2023–24 campaign and has made a daring statement regarding Pittsburgh's prospects of defeating a current playoff team.
Bryan Rust, a forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins, stated in an interview with popular streamer Ninja that if the team had advanced past the Washington Capitals, they would have faced the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Rust continued by saying that if the Penguins could have stopped the Rangers' powerplay, they would have had a strong matchup and an excellent chance to defeat them.
The Penguins forward also mentioned that his team's powerplay was 'trash' all season long and he certainly wasn't wrong. Pittsburgh had a powerplay percentage of 15.3 during the 2023-24 season, which was third worst in the entire National Hockey League. Only the Philadelphia Flyers (15.1%) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (12.2%) were worse.
"Bryan Rust told @ninja in an interview that he thinks the Pittsburgh Penguins would've beat the New York Rangers if they made the playoffs over the Washington Capitals 😳

Rust said the Pens' match up well against New York, and if they could've figured out how to penalty kill against their powerplay, they would've had a good chance. Rust also said "[The Penguins] powerplay was trash all year."" Puck Empire said.

Now, as for the Penguins' chances against the New York Rangers, they probably wouldn't have fared much better than the Washington Capitals, who were swept in the first round. During the 2023-24 season, the Penguins and Rangers met three times, with New York winning twice. The Rangers outscored the Penguins 10-9 in their three games against each other.
Bryan Rust was one of Pittsburgh's best players against New York this season, scoring three goals and adding an assist in two games. Regardless of his success against New York this season, it's a bit of a ridiculous claim to say that the Penguins could beat the Rangers in the playoffs, if they made it. Even if Sidney Crosby was at the top of his game, like he was all season long, the Penguins lacked the depth on forward and defence and were pretty shaky in net, so the Rangers could have swept them, much like they did with Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
MAY 30   |   134 ANSWERS
Pittsburgh Penguins player makes ridiculous comment about playoff chances

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