I know, it's a Penguins blog. So why am I writing about two goaltenders from two other teams? Because, without praising any sort of injury to another player or team, it merely shows that the Penguins aren't the only team dealing with injuries early on. Misery loves company, right?
Sure, it's bad enough the Penguins are facing an uphill battle in the face of all the recent injuries to big names like Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and most recently Kris Letang, but there may be a similar issue with a few other teams around the league. I'm highlighting two in particular in this post, based strictly on the fact that two teams in the East are trying to manage without a number-one goalie.
Last week I tossed together a post that highlighted the list of injuries for each team. Most of the guys listed are still on the shelf, but two recent additions may more or less pose as a balancing act in the East. In other words, as banged up as the Penguins are, they're not the only ones fighting through the bug early on.
In what came mere inches from being censored for television, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward will miss up to a month or more after Columbus forward Rich Nash lost his footing and literally slit Ward across the leg with his skate. This injury isn't far off from the one Teemu Selane sustained last season after an awkward fall that sent him down to the ice and onto his own skate.
Video of Ward's injury:
Just a freak accident that will keep Ward out for upwards of a month. In the wake of this news, Carolina went out and signed NHL veteran Manny Legace.
On top of injuries to Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky this past weekend, the New York Rangers will also have some obvious concern for Henrik Lundqvist. No word exactly on what the injury is but as of right now it's labeled simply as "undisclosed." I know, the details are overwhelming, but when a guy like Henrik misses his scheduled start you tend to give it some attention.
Again, this post isn't entirely relevant to the Penguins but I think it is relevant to the Penguins' interests. A few teams in the East are, minus bruises here and there, considerably healthy: The Devils and Islanders are just two of em specifically in the Atlantic.
Many have said the season is still young. This is no doubt true. But don't be surprised or upset if the Penguins drop a few spots in the standings. After all, that's to be somewhat expected at this point. But even tomorrow night's opponent (Bruins) are dealing with a good amount of injuries as well. We'll get into that more as we edge closer to game time.
What do you feel is the biggest key to Pittsburgh's success right now? Or at least, trying to maintain it? Personally I think a healthy Marc-Andre Fleury is the big difference maker, and I mean that with full confidence in Brent Johnson as well. If the Pens lose him for any reason then I think the rough patch here goes from bad to way worse.