-- April probably seems far, far away to the Pittsburgh Penguins
right about now, with their season not yet halfway over. Yet they already have reason to worry about the Stanley Cup Playoffs they aspire to make -- and it's not just because they don't know when injured stars Sidney Crosby
and Kris Letang
will be ready to play again as they deal with concussion-related issues.
First, the Penguins simply have no home-ice advantage against the Philadelphia Flyers
, the cross-state rivals who are directly above them in the Atlantic Division standings.
The Flyers are 4-0-0 the last two seasons in Consol Energy Center, where they play with visible confidence and, seemingly, not much trepidation. Their latest victory was a 4-2 decision Thursday night that gave them a two-point edge in the standings over the Penguins, who have gone 14 months without beating the Flyers in regulation.