Boston Bruins: Getting to Know the New Division Opponents for 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 10: Tyler Pitlick #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Connor Clifton #75 of the Boston Bruins collide in the third period at Wells Fargo Center on March 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bruins won 2-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 10: Tyler Pitlick #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Connor Clifton #75 of the Boston Bruins collide in the third period at Wells Fargo Center on March 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bruins won 2-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 01: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his goal with teammate Jake Guentzel #59 in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 01, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 01: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his goal with teammate Jake Guentzel #59 in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 01, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Penguins

In the first prospered alignments, the Penguins were not in the Bruins division as they were in the Central Division, but they were swapped in with the Hurricanes being swapped out. That is a swap that Boston would like to have back.

Sidney Crosby will be entering his 15th season with the Pens and 16 games short of 1,000 for his career. Last year in 41 games because of injuries, he had 16 goals and 31 assists, while Evgeni Malkin had 25 goals and 49 helpers in 55 games. Malkin will begin his 14th season in Pittsburgh.

In late August, the Penguins traded for Kasperi Kapanen from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a six-player deal. Last season with the Leafs, the 23-year-old Kapanen had 13 goals and 23 assists, but a change of scenery should do him some good.

On defense, Kris Letang returns and the Penguins upgraded on defense when they signed former Maple Leaf Cody Ceci and they made their big splash in free agency when they got defensemen Justin Schultz to leave the Capitals for two years and $8 million.

Despite some changes, the Pens return Crosby and Malkin, which makes them Cup contenders again in 2021. The Bruins will have their hands full with Pittsburgh and their offseason additions that will test their young defensive grouping.