Comparing The 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins To The 2008-09 Team

With the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins battling the Detroit Red Wings for the Stanley Cup, I decided to compare this years team to the 1991-92 Penguins team that won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.  The only common link between the two teams is Mario Lemieux.  Player then, owner now.

The 1991-92 Pens finished third in their conferences regular season and struggled to get by Washington in the first round, winning 4-3.  They then got by the powerhouse Rangers 4-2.  The semis were a cake walk as the Pens swept Boston, and won the championship by sweeping Chicago.

Mario Lemieux led the 91-92 Pens en route to winning the Art Ross & Conn Smythe trophies.  Super Mario had 44 goals and 87 assists, good for 131 points.  The next big dog on that particular team was Kevin Stevens.  Stevens was second behind Lemieux in scoring for the league that year.  Stevens had 54 goals and 69 assists for 123 points. 

The 91-92 Penguins were blessed with offensive talent.  Larry Murphy may have been the best at keeping the puck in the zone during a powerplay.  Jaromir Jagr and Mark Recchi scored frequently.  Ron Francis was nearing the twilight of his career, but was a great second-line center.  Tom Barrasso was in net for the two championships.  The Penguins defense gave up too many points during the regular season in 91-92.  In fact, they gave up more points than everybody in the league besides the Quebec Nordiques and the expansion San Jose Sharks.

The 2008-09 version of the Pittsburgh Penguins has a similar top two on offense.  Evgeni Malkin had 35 goals and 78 assists for 113 points.  Sidney Crosby had 33 goals and 70 assists for 103 points.  This is where the similarities stop on offense in this comparison.  The next highest scorer on the team was Jordan Staal with 49 points.  Sergei Gonchar and Bill Guerin were nice additions and had they played full seasons, I am still not sure this team would even be close to the 91-92 team in overall firepower.

What the 08-09 team does have that the 91-92 team did not get much of is defense.  Brooks Orpik is a bad man.  If this years Penguins had the 91-92 defense, they would be out already.  To hold a powerful Detroit Red Wings team to four third period shots says alot about a defense.

Marc Andre-Fleury is better than Tom Barrasso by leaps and bounds.  Fleury showed in game four he is the real deal at clutch time.

Overall, I have to say the 08-09 team isn’t quite the special bunch that the 91-92 team was.  If they win the cup, then they overachieved with what they had.  Coach Blysma has really been an asset coming in after the All-Star break and really turning things around.  Scotty Bowman is a legend in hockey and had many toys to play with.

Edge: 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins

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