It is no secret that the Pittsburgh Penguins have suffered enough injuries to last an entire season, and it is only December. Even with these injuries, though, the Penguins will continue to win.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, according to Twitter account, @ManGamesLostNHL, are the second most injured team in the NHL, second only to the Detroit Red Wings
Despite that incredible misfortune, Pittsburgh is still hanging on to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and, although more players are going down with injuries than returning from them, the Penguins compiled a 6-4-4 record in November, collecting 57% of points available to them.
This number is not overly impressive, but it shows that this team can tread water until players begin to return. Consider some of the players they are/have been without recently:
The Penguins have also spent time without Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and several others. What is getting the job done for the Penguins in the midst of these key absences are consistent production from star players when healthy, and contributions from a variety of role players.
The depth the Penguins are boasting this season is the other reason for Pittsburgh’s continued success. More than 20 players have recorded at least three points this season for the Pens.
So at the top there is very good production, and at the bottom there is production, but the role players in the middle of the lineup are doing their part by exceeding expectations. Jared McCann, Dominik Kahun, Brandon Tanev, John Marino, and Dominik Simon round out the team’s top ten scorers.
If this production isn’t enough to convince you, consider the fact that it is happening with different lineups every night. If the Penguins are actually able to get healthy and put together steady lines, players like Nick Bjugstad and Alex Galchenyuk might even be able to gain traction.
When big names go down with injuries and losses start to pile up, doubt and panic begin to creep in. However, looking at the production from the Pens’ elite (when healthy) and the contributions throughout the lineup, there is more than enough reason to be optimistic.
The Penguins and their fans will be happy to embrace healthy players when they return, but until then, look for this team to continue to stay relevant in the playoff mix.
Do you think the Penguins can survive all of the injuries they have suffered? Leave your comments below!