Summer Skate: Penguins

Health always in question, but Crosby figures to improve in 2012-13

Updated: September 18, 2012, 11:01 AM ET
By Timo Seppa and Craig Custance |
Hockey Prospectus/ESPN Insider
Sidney Crosby, Pascal DupuisGregory Shamus/NHLI/Getty ImagesSidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis could be heading in different directions production wise.

Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider is taking the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the Pittsburgh Penguins. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.

Summer Skate -- Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins were dominant offensively last season, walloping the opposition for five-plus goals in more than a quarter of their games. At times, you would have thought it was the second coming of Wayne Gretzky's Oilers. In particular, after Sidney Crosby's return on March 15, the team averaged 4.5 goals per game in their final 13 contests, enough for Vegas to tab them as favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh couldn't keep pucks out of the net in their first-round matchup against the rival Flyers, with Marc-Andre Fleury leaking goals with just a .834 save percentage. In perhaps this summer's most underrated move, veteran Tomas Vokoun was brought in to share regular-season netminding duties and maybe the No. 1 job for the 2013 playoffs.

Trending up: C Sidney Crosby
Last season: 9.9 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 12.1 GVT


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