Hockey News writer says Penguins will miss playoffs in 2020. Hear why. | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

Hockey News writer says Penguins will miss playoffs in 2020. Hear why.

Tim Benz
1403117_web1_GTR-Pens215-041519
Chaz Palla
Penguins’ goalie Matt Murray skates back into the net as the Islanders celebrate a score during the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins missing the playoffs in 2020? Pfft! That’s not going to happen. I mean, they haven’t missed out since 2006.

Then again, the Penguins made the playoffs by only four points in 2019.

And it took until Game 81 to clinch a berth.

And they couldn’t win a playoff game.

And they lost Phil Kessel, Olli Maatta and Matt Cullen.

And they have have salary-cap issues.

So maybe the idea of them missing the playoffs isn’t so crazy, after all.

That’s what Matt Larkin of The Hockey News is considering. Annually, he posts a “three in, three out” column. In other words, he lists three playoff teams from the previous season who will miss the playoffs in the upcoming year. And he lists three organizations who missed out last year that will scramble back into the bracket next spring.

Larkin has the Penguins as one of the franchises out before the postseason begins this season, along with the Jets and Blue Jackets.

Even worse, he has the Flyers as one of the teams getting in after missing out a year ago. A lot of Larkin’s rationale is connected to watching Chicago flame out after seeing a lot of postseason success in preceding years. He sees similarities in Pittsburgh.

Larkin also doesn’t seem sold that the Penguins’ additions will offset their losses from the roster. And he thinks the rest of the Metropolitan Division is getting better while the Penguins are regressing — or staying stagnant, at best.

Is he right? Take a listen. See if you buy what he is selling.

Not that you’d want to buy it. But just see if makes more sense once he explains.

LISTEN: The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin on Penguins’ playoff chances

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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