When the season started, the Pittsburgh Penguins had to play their first handful of games without Kris Letang. Then James Neal re-aggravated his injury during the season opener and was out for the entire month of October. Chuck Kobasew was the next to go down and will still miss another week or two. Newly acquired Rob Scuderi suffered a broken ankle weeks ago and is still weeks away from a return.
The injuries continued this past week when the team announced Tanner Glass has a broken hand and will miss 8-10 weeks. Beau Bennett will miss the next 8-10 weeks after having wrist surgery Monday — this just coming a day after Bennett was placed on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.
On top of all those injuries, the Penguins’ most recent loss was defenseman Paul Martin who suffered a broken leg Monday and will miss 4-6 weeks. Martin was injured in the third period of the team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins.
The 32-year old defenseman has had a very good season for Pittsburgh. In 23 games this season he has scored a pair of goals and nine assists, including four points over the last four games.
Talk about bad luck. Just when you think it could not get any worse for the Penguins another guy drops out of the lineup. The challenging element of this scenario is overcoming the ongoing problem of consistent play. Pittsburgh has been mixing up its forwards in an attempt to get out of a scoring funk.
In order for the Penguins to survive the slew of injuries they must maintain their composure and simplify their game — especially on the power play. The penalty kill, on the other hand, will be much harder to overcome with Glass out of the lineup.
Christmas cannot come fast enough with the ongoing list of injuries. Pittsburgh has quite the uphill battle with some of their biggest assets and role players out of commission.