PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- NBC Sports Hockey play by play announcer Doc Emrick joined The Cook and Poni Show Monday to help the guys preview the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and just how confident the Penguins fans should be with this team as Stanley Cup contenders.
“They should be as confident as much as they allow themselves to be based on history,” Emrick said. “We only have history until they drop the puck, but what it has shown us is that the Pens have wiped them out all season and when you stack the teams up we all come out with the same thing.”
Emrick said goaltending will make a difference in this series and the Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is the X-factor.
The other X-Factor will be which Marc-Andre Fleury will show up for these playoffs.
“The good thing is that he has done this before. The unfortunate thing for Pens fans is that it has not been lately,” Emrick told the guys. “The uncertainty is the killer.”
Emrick agrees that with a healthy Evgeni Malkin, the Pens are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender but he has a different favorite.
“This is one of those seasons where you have one contender, a drop off, then the rest,” Emrick added. “Boston is the team and nobody else is close this year.”
Doc says that he agrees with his partner Eddie Olczyk, who says the Pens have the most pressure of any team in the playoffs and he said it’s spread out among Dan Bylsma, Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Pens and Blue Jackets open with Game 1 Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Consol Energy Center.
Listen to the full interview here including Doc’s thoughts on his beloved Pirates.
(Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)