Are the Pens going to dominate the East division like Hershey did last year?
That is a question being asked by a few people lately.
The typical answer is...its too early to know.
But the honest answer is....hell no.
Sure the Pens are 8-0-0-0 and all of those have come against the division. That definitely gives them a good start on the East division race but it isn't necessarily indicative of how good a team they really are.
In fact I would say that they are actually weak offensively at this point in the season. Defense has carried them so far. 15 goals allowed in 8 games is impressive...especially considering that 5 of their game were against teams that average 3 or more goals per game (Hershey averages 4, Charlotte 3).
But outside of Hershey they haven't played anyone with a winning record. Okay...technically Binghamton has a winning record, 4-3-1-1, but in reality it is 4-5. They have played the Phantoms twice, Charlotte twice, and Bingo once. 3 teams that are not in the top 8 in the conference at this point including 2 (Adir and Char) that have a combined 5 wins in 22 games (5 wins!! ouch).
And their dominance of Hershey is not exactly unheard of...in 08-09 they won 5 straight against Hershey, outscoring the Bears 23-15. But outside of one game, a 6-2 Pens win, all the games were one goal games including 2 shootout wins.
This year...through 3 games...the Pens have a 6-2 win and 2 other one goal games..including a shootout victory.
See any similarities?
Remind me how that season turned out....oh yeah...the 10th Calder Cup in franchise history!
It is way too early in the season to worry about anything let alone the Pens dominance in 3 games against the Bears this season. Hershey will be fine, both against the Pens and in the division.