10 Penguin forwards in goal droughts

Justin K. Aller

Evgeni Malkin is injured, so the Pittsburgh Penguins need some players to step up and help score goals to help Sidney Crosby out. Quite a few forwards are mired in goal droughts, and what better time than now to break out of it.

Evgeni Malkin is injured and the scoring burden on the Pittsburgh Penguins will fall on Sidney Crosby. The league's leading point scorer is certainly capable of scoring and setting up teammates, but the NHL isn't a one man show. He's going to need some help, production wise, by his teammates.

Last game the Pens got a little help in breaking droughts, as Jussi Jokinen scored his first goal in seven games and Taylor Pyatt scored his first goal in 16 games. The Pens bottom six has been much maligned, and as you'll see below, there are some players in pretty hellacious goal droughts. For the Pens to get back to their winning ways, they're going to need all hands on deck to contribute more. Below are some players riding droughts- and of course more is going to be expected out of a first line player who gets power play time versus a 4th liner who gets limited usage and not as many minutes.

Chris Kunitz: 1 goal in the five games he's played since returning from injury
Jokinen: 1 goal in 7 games
James Neal: 1 goal in his last ten games
Marcel Goc: 0 goals, 1 assist in his 11 game Penguin career
Brian Gibbons: no goals in his last 13 games
Brandon Sutter: 1 goal in his last 13 games
Jayson Megna: 1 goal, 1 assist in the last 14 NHL games he's played
Pyatt: 1 goal in 16 games
Tanner Glass: no goals in his last 18 games
Craig Adams: 1 goal in his last 68 games

Again, for some of these guys there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why they aren't scoring. Some aren't used much. Some have battled injuries. Some have defensive roles and don't have the skills and aren't even expected to score more than a few times a season.

However, if you're taking an NHL roster spot as a forward, your function has to be to contribute some production. Crosby needs help and a few of those guys above (namely- Neal, Jokinen, Kunitz and Sutter) have to start hitting the back of the net, or the team isn't going to win games. And once Beau Bennett (who only had 1 goal himself in 11 games this year before being injured in November) is back in the mix, he'll be right in that mix too.

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