The Penguins will be missing a center for a while, announcing today that Teddy Blueger has undergone surgery to repair a fractured jaw.
Teddy Blueger underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured jaw.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 24, 2022
Blueger was injured from a hit during the 1st period of yesterday’s game against the Jets. He is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
Details: https://t.co/5BQ9odbsx4 pic.twitter.com/RvJPvQJ2QI
Winnipeg’s Brendon Dillon left his feet to deliver a hit behind the net yesterday that crunched Blueger, leaving him a bloody mess.
Here's the hit by Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon that injured Penguins forward Teddy Blueger.— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) January 23, 2022
There was no penalty. pic.twitter.com/4ngwjDRdIK
The NHL has not made a comment about any supplemental discipline for Dillon, who was not penalized on the play. It would appear an open and shut case in violation of Rule 48.1 which states:
“A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted.”
If there is a bright side for the Penguins, it’s that this injury timing was when their other top centers of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter are all in the lineup. Blueger has been a key player throughout the lineup, putting up 17 points (8G+9A) and appearing in 40 out of the 41 games the Pens have played so far.
Veteran center Brian Boyle will be counted on to fill in for Blueger now as the fourth line center and key penalty killer moving forward.