Penguins Battle Injury in Slow Season

This season has been a quiet one for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Right now, the Penguins are at 3rd in the Eastern wild card race, a point out of playoffs. Usually the team is 3rd in the Metropolitan division at this point in the year with around 80 points The Penguins have been quiet this season. It’s not necessarily a bad thing just not their usual M.O.

In their 62 games, the penguins have gone 33-22-8 with 72 points. The point count is lower than where they usually average at this point in the season but the Penguins have hit rough patches throughout the season that have dragged them behind. Between October 30th and November 19th, the Penguins hit rough 10 game stretch where they went 1-7-2. They improved after that and between December 19th and January 19th, the Penguins went 11-4-0 with an eight game win streak thrown in the mix. But the team dropped lower again and hit a 4 game losing streak at the beginning of February. It’s been a roller coaster of a season for this team.

Screenshot 2019-02-26 at 3.58.04 PM
The Eastern Wild Card as of February 26th (x)

The streaky pressure of the season, of course, falls on the leaders. Sidney Crosby, captain of the Penguins, has taken this team’s struggles and brushed it off his shoulders as Crosby always does. He’s still producing with 75 points (26 goals 49 assists) in 59 games and a +18 rating. Crosby has remained confident in his team, never giving up on them throughout this rough season.

One of the team’s biggest hurdles this season has been injuries. Only 4 players on the Penguins roster have played in all 62 games. One is Brian Dumoulin who suffered a concussion in the Penguin’s last game and will for sure be missing our on more than a few games coming up. Another major loss for the Penguins has been Kris Letang. Letang was injured in the Stadium series game and has yet to return from the upper body injury. Letang is having a season that has put him in talks for the Norris trophy, with 15 goals, 53 points, a +10 rating, 102 blocks and 111 hits. The Penguins did add two more players at the deadline, Chris Wideman and Erik Gudbranson (both defenseman), to support the injuries plagueing the defense.

The injuries have led to an inconsistency on the ice. The team can’t build upon their chemistry with it. They’ve made trades to keep the team relevant but there’s still a certain flow missing to their game. With playoffs fast approaching, I think the Penguins will be able to solidify a place but I don’t see a full-out Cup run in their future for this season. It’s going to take a lot for them to turn it around but when they’re led by a captain like Crosby it’s not unlikely.


Featured Image: NHL.com

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