ϭϴ óóó͘¥½®Öæƒþ®Ä›͘ěãWZ/>ϮϬϭϳ By Brook Hager An in depth look at the favorites and the underdog The Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup Champions and many would consider it entirely possible that they repeat. They not only have scoring star power with forwards Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, they have depth. Each line, including offense and defense, have factored heavily in their scoring this season. Back on December 12th the Pens beat the Arizona Coyotes 7-0 and a different player scored each goal. Both forwards and defenders played a role in the scoring that night; that kind of depth is incredibly important in the playoffs. There are two potential pitfalls they have to look out for in order to have a long run. The first being to stay out of the penalty box by avoiding unnecessary penalties. Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang are elite players that both have a tendency to let their emotions get the best of them. They need to contain their emotions and not take ill advised slashing and tripping calls, especially Letang. He is one of, if not the best defenseman in the league and if you have to kill a penalty you really want to make sure he's on the ice to do so. The second potential problem for the Pens is health. Towards the end of the season they've had injuries to important defensemen such as Letang, Olli Maata and Trevor Daley. Maata and Daley are due to be back right around the start of the playoffs and there is no timetable for a return for Letang (who has an undisclosed upper body injury). If this team wants a long run to the Stanley Cup Finals they should keep playing their selfless game, stay out of the box and try to remain as healthy as possible. It's Apriland that means the NHL play- offs are upon us. On April 12th, the top eight teams from the eastern con- ference and the top eight teams from the western conference will battle for their chance to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. In this article, we'll take a deeper look at two teams from each conference. We'll analyze what could aide them in a long playoff run and what could possibly send them packing early. Let's take a look at who might have what it takes to win Lord Stanley's coveted cup in 2017.