@penguins Kris Letang: "Reason I didn't play for 3 games was because I wanted to get to 100%. I feel pretty good. I'm ready to go....It's coaches decision (to play)."
Letang missed a few practices last week but continued to play on as normal, recording his usual team high in ice-time (25:1), an assist, 2 blocked shots and three hits in last week's win over the New York Islanders before missing the last three games.
The Penguins could badly use Letang- Pittsburgh was pretty much even early in the game against Washington (before the Pens PP turned the game) and the Pens were totally outmatched by the New Jersey Devils in the other two games. Jersey was able to seal off the passing walls and trap the Pens in their own end for extended stretches, quite the rarity for a Dan Bylsma coached team. In order to avoid that, having a defenseman like Letang (or the also injured Matt Niskanen) to be able to skate pucks outof danger is crucial.
That said, it's believed Letang has a groin injury, and given the importance of each game in a shortened season, it's better to be safe than sorry. The last thing the team needs is to let an eager player come back a game too early and have a 3-4 week setback.
We'll see how it goes, expect Bylsma to call it a "game time decision" and probably keep the decision close to the vest right up until this evening. If Letang can play, Dylan Reese figures to be the odd man out.