FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2008 · PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
NHL PREVIEW 2008-09
DID PENS SET STAGE FOR MORE OR MERELY REACH THE ...
NO RETURN Story by JOE STARKEY, Tribune-Review Photos by JAMES M. KUBUS, Tribune-Review
They are nothing but road kill now, strewn along hockey’s heartless highway. Every so often a passerby will stop to pick at a carcass. Otherwise, the 11 Stanley Cup runners-up from 1996-2007 lay unattended and longforgotten. Each had such high hopes. Each believed that coming so close one year could only spur it to greater heights the next. The summit seemed so near ... a step away ... and poof ! It was a mirage. CONTINUED, D6
Your season primer on the Penguins and the NHL, including a breakdown of both conferences.
Columnist Joe Starkey: The most important player on the Penguins’ roster is Marc-Andre Fleury.
CUP RUNNERS-UP 2008
pittsburghPENGUINS FATE UNDETERMINED 2007
ottawaSENATORS LOST FIRST ROUND IN ’08 2006
edmontonOILERS MISSED PLAYOFFS IN ’07 2004
calgaryFLAMES LOST FIRST ROUND IN ’06 2003
MISSED PLAYOFFS IN ’04 2002
carolinaHURRICANES MISSED PLAYOFFS IN ’03 2001
new jerseyDEVILS LOST FIRST ROUND IN ’02 2000
dallasSTARS LOST SECOND ROUND IN ’01 1999
buffaloSABRES LOST FIRST ROUND IN 2000 1998
washingtonCAPITALS MISSED PLAYOFFS IN ’99 1997
philadelphiaFLYERS LOST FIRST ROUND IN ’98 1996
floridaPANTHERS LOST FIRST ROUND IN ’97 NOTE: LOCKOUT CANCELED 2004-05 SEASON
Penguins beat writer Rob Rossi breaks down the roster and ranks the forwards, defensemen and goalies.
The Detroit Red Wings are the overwhelming favorite to repeat as Stanley Cup champion.