Penguins: How The West Was Done
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was questioning when the Pens magic would run out for a little while. My question has been answered. The Penguins escaped from the HP Pavilion Center with nothing more than their lives last night as they were officially schooled by the San Jose Sharks. That game ended the Pens West Coast trip which saw them visit Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose. They have one more game away before ending their 4 game road trip, but that will be on Tuesday against Boston. Honestly, the Pens were lucky to have gotten away with a 1-2 record on this trip. They beat Anaheim when they probably shouldn’t have. This trip has pointed out one glaring defect about this team right now…injuries are killing them!
Prior to last night’s game the Pens were without Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Kennedy, Max Talbot, and Alex Goligoksi was questionable. After last night, you can add one more possibly injury to that list and that is to defensemen Kris Letang who took a spill shoulder first into the ice. He did not return. The Penguins power play as been pathetic since losing Gonchar and Malkin. If Letang is out for any period of time the Pens are in even more trouble.
The good news is that all these injuries (with the exception of Letang’s as I do not know the extent of it) are not long term injuries. Malkin skated prior to the game and Gonchar and Talbot are healing up and should be returning within the month. Tyler Kennedy is day-to-day.
This is the first time the Pens have not gotten any points in two straight games under Dan Bylsma’s regime and will be the Pens first test on how they respond. It is not going to be easy, but winners find ways of winning. I am glad the Pens don’t have to meet the Sharks or Kings again this year, unless it is in the Stanley Cup Final. At least now, I don’t have to stay up to all hours of the night watching these games. Pacific Time Zone is rough!
Let’s Go Pens!