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Expectations are much higher, but these Penguins are ready

Updated: April 8, 2008, 10:44 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins were like a box full of puppies. Cute, cuddly, with the promise of something bigger, something with more snarl, more bite in the offing. But, in the end, a box full of puppies.

On this Tuesday morning, on the eve of a second straight playoff date with the Ottawa Senators, that box has long been kicked aside, and we're about to see whether this team has indeed grown from cuddly to killer.

"I've seen a lot of good teams ...

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