Pittsburgh Penguins: Huge Loss
Typically fans are ecstatic after a game one win against a very hot team. Unfortunately, we are not. Jordan Staal left the game midway through the 2nd period and did not return. When waking up this morning hoping to see good news on the injury front I came to learn that Staal immediately had surgery on his foot and will be out for the remainder of the season. This is a HUGE loss for the Penguins. Yes, Jordan Staal is only their 3rd line center but what he brings to this team is so much more.
In my very first post here at penaltykill.net I brought up the question of whether or not it was smart to re-sign Staal last January (http://penaltykill.net/blogs/was-it-smart-to-re-sign-staal/). If I would only have known then what I know how. Jordan Staal, who is up for the Selke award for best defensive forward, provides so much to this Penguins team. His penalty killing is top notch and he brings stability and energy to the third line. He is a play maker at heart but can also score. Losing Staal is going to require some players to definitely step up. No one player will be able to replace Staal. At this point, it appears that game 7 hero Maxime Talbot will center the 3rd line. Talbot has had an excellent start to these playoffs but as a winger and not a center. He is not near as defensively sound as Staal has been.
The good news is that coach Dan Bylsma was quoted as saying Staal is NOT out for the season and he is listed as day-to-day. Of course, a person could have lost their right leg and still be listed day-to-day in the NHL. I, along with all other fans, are hoping the Staal will come back soon but it is doubtful that he will be back this series. The Penguins do have the depth to handle this but it is going to require a lot of players stepping up and taking on the extra work load.
I guess we should be thankful that it was not Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin to got injured but it is still a tough loss.
Thanks to Pensburgh (http://www.pensburgh.com/2010/5/1/1453667/jordan-staal-out-for-season) for the updates.
Let’s Go Pens!