Friday, January 16, 2009

Pens a Little Gimpy

In addition to the players that were previously injured like Tenk, Zigomanis, TK, and Gonch, the Pens have a whopping 5 more players added to their injury report who will sit out tonight's game against Anaheim. Mad Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Rob Scuderi, Kris Letang, and, unfortunately, Sidney Crosby. It does not appear as though any of these injuries will end up costing anyone a significant amount of games, but with all of these injuries piling, should we really be THAT surprised by the current record of our Penguins?

Consider all that we have lost:
-Zigomanis- Our faceoff ace, who gave us a consistent spark early in the season, hasn't played since early December and doesn't appear close to returning.
-Gonchar- Our best defenseman who was a legit Norris contender a year ago STILL hasn't played and is just now returning to the ice to skate. He figures to be at least a few weeks away in an absolute best-case scenario. In addition to all that, he was also arguably the most important cog in our power play.
-Whitney- Another one of our top defenseman who toughed out an injury at the end of last season and who would have been able to fill in nicely for Gonch had he not been injured as well. And Whitters doesn't even look like he's playing beyond about 80-90% right now and certainly has lost a little on his offensive game, where we need him most.
-Fedotenko- A gritty yet talented winger who was a key role player in supporting the offense.
-Kennedy- Another gritty player who is a tremendous 3rd/ 4th line spark plug and is one of the better energy guys on the roster.
-Fleury- A top-notch goalie who continues to have injury issues and might still be working to get some of the timing back since his injury.

And these are just the injuries that kept guys out for long periods of time. Little nagging injuries like the ones to the guys for tonight are likely to hamper their play for some time and bring the overall quality of the squad down.

But that's enough excuses. Tonight will be a weird game to watch I think with all the youngsters playing up on the lines, and (hopefully) Janne Pesonen and Billy Thomas getting some of their first serious extended game looks of the season.

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