Marc-Andre Fleury may not return until next week

Pittsburgh's schedule sure isn't getting any easier these next few games.  With the Islanders, Capitals, Flyers and Rangers on tap between now and January 25, you'd hope the Pens can send out their healthy players to hopefully gain some points (or at least not give up two) in the Eastern Conference standings.

With that said, Rob Rossi is reporting in today's Tribune-Review that Marc-Andre Fleury likely won't return until late (emphasis mine) this week.

Fleury participated in the Penguins' morning practice but said he "could not do a whole lot" with his glove hand. He was injured Thursday in a win at Edmonton when a puck caught his glove awkwardly during a second-period save.

I suppose there are many questions to ask, but the main one has to revolve around Brent Johnson.  That same article suggests Johnson's listed as day to day, but if he's not healthy by Tuesday night to take on the Islanders, will he be ready to step it up against the Caps on Thursday?  Even if he does return, will he be at 100%? 

As detrimental as these injuries may be for the Pens, you can at least appreciate the fact that they came late in the road trip.  Had the Pens kicked the five-game trip off with two minor league goaltenders starting between the pipes, you can only imagine what the outcome of events would've been.  Especially after witnessing last night's debacle in Vancouver.

Alex Pechurski, for all the awesomeness surrounding his play and third star nomination last night, likely won't see play in the NHL again for the rest of the season.  His call up was more a matter of convenience than anything else.  Now that the Pens are returning home, more specifically back east, it would seem more likely that the Pens will rely on WBS backup goaltender Brad Thiessen to fill that void if needed.  With any luck, it won't be necessary.

Any thoughts on Pittsburgh's recent goaltending issues?

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