You have a good argument, but I'm just not seeing that. Hurricanes beating us 4 times in a row just isn't a fluke at this point. Bruins a complete juggarnaut. Hurricanes much faster and Bruins just way way better team from top to bottom. Both in the mix for Horvat too. Even if we beat one of them then we'd have Maple Leafs, Lightning, NJ, or Rangers next. This is all if we make the playoffs though, which I dont think we will at this point. Before the injuries happened we were still an incredibly streaky team. The bottom 6 was still bad, especially third line, D was not playing well, and they had that 7 game losing streak while completely healthy. Their 5 on 5 production was very bad too while healthy. Their powerplay was on a heater and Jarry was great, so I thought they won some games where they got outplayed (Rangers, Sabres) and struggled to beat bad teams like the Blackhawks. And they struggled to play a full 60 all season. That's been a problem from the start. I would say their 15-3-2 stretch was more of a fluke than the losing streaks were.
CAR is a better team - I'm not trying to argue against that or say their wins were flukey. I'm just saying the games between those teams are already tight - and we all know games in the playoffs are even tighter - so it's not crazy to think the Pens can get some luck on their side and win. The better team doesn't always win - and the team that dominates play doesn't even always win. We just have to look at last years NYR series to see that. I'm not favoring the Pens at all against those teams - I just think a healthy Pens team definitely has a shot at beating them in a series.
They were streaky when healthy for sure - but the good streaks clearly outweighed the bad streak. I would say a 20 game stretch isn't a fluke - and definitely isn't more of a fluke than a 7 game stretch. Assuming we are just looking at when they were healthy. I would say the 3rd line and Dumo were the issues. 4th line was good - and the rest of the D was fine. Yeah they had a 7 game losing streak when healthy. You're going to have rough patches in a season. The good patches clearly outweighed the bad. Was their 5v5 production bad when healthy? Not sure I agree with that. The PP definitely needs work - as usual. I'll never know why. And playing a full 60 has definitely been an issue. No team is worse in the league than the Pens in the one minute after they score haha
Idk - hopefully all the injured guys can return somewhat soon so we can see them play a few games and actually gauge where this team is