The early part of the season has been pretty tough on the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve started their season off 1-3 and after losing a tough one to the Maple Leafs last night, the day after brings about an update on the injury status of defenseman Zbynek Michalek.
Coach Dan Bylsma updated the status of Michalek saying he would miss the next 2-4 weeks with an “upper body injury.” To read through the very non-descriptive manner of his injury, it’s apparently a shoulder ailment for the former Coyotes blue liner. The Pens defense is already dealing with the wonky groin of Brooks Orpik as that’s kept him out of the lineup of late. In their stead, virtual no-namers like Derek Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Andrew Hutchinson are getting the call to help steady the Pens in the meantime.
The lack of solid defense for the Pens is also showing its effects on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury whose stats have taken an early season plunge into the dumpster. Fleury is 0-3-0 with a .853 save percentage and a goals against average of 3.41. It’s obviously early and those numbers are awful, but inconsistent and very young defense in front of him aren’t helping matters. If you think this makes for a good time to panic in Pittsburgh… Relax, things will get better. No one’s season is in trouble after four games.