This much is known: Hal Gill injured his left shoulder. How serious it is and how long it will take to heal remains a gray area, but two to four weeks is the speculation right now.
If anything this means rookie defenseman Ben Lovejoy has a chance to really prove himself on the professional level a bit longer. Seeing as how Philippe Boucher is week-to-week with an undisclosed injury, it's likely the Penguins may make another rookie call up just to have a D-man on reserve. Considering the Pens just re-assigned Pesonen to Wilkes-Barre, it would seem like they're trying to open up an active roster spot for just that.
This is detrimental to the Pens' defense for many reasons. For starters, Gill was playing some phenomenal hockey before the injury against the Senators on Saturday. His shot blocking was a matter of right place, right time and his ability to keep guys out of the lane and get the puck out from a crowd was right up there with some of the best defensemen in the league.
Additionally, the Pens' D is once again rocked by an injury. Tally it up: Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney, Philippe Boucher and Hal Gill are all on the Penguins' IR or short-term injured list. Add Tyler Kennedy and Michael Zigomanis into the mix and that accounts for six guys.
As fans we can hope for a lot of things. Maybe Lovejoy is the real deal and looking to really earn some credentials in the league. Perhaps Letang, coming off his first goal of the season against the Sabres, will look to get some more looks at the net. Maybe Goligoski will stop shooting into the shins of defenders while manning the point.
Above all, we can hope the other guys (who shall remain nameless for the sake of a jinx) stay healthy. If last year's season is evidence to the depth of the club than this season will be a test as well, specifically on defense. By March/April, a healthy Penguins defensive corp and a prolific offense can provide the perfect weapon for a team skating into the playoffs.