The Penguins are already up to their ears in injury problems with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Dustin Jeffrey, and Brooks Orpik out of action. You can throw Tyler Kennedy onto that list of guys dealing with health issues as he was held out of last night’s 2-1 loss to Winnipeg with what’s described as concussion-like symptoms.
His status for tonight’s game against Minnesota (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus) is in doubt and for Pittsburgh that’s a bad break to have right now. With those guys all out of action the pressure to score falls squarely on the shoulders of James Neal, Jordan Staal, and Chris Kunitz. The Penguins have been used to making up for guys being out of action, but every team has their limits for what they can do.
What’s making things harder is the number of games the Pens have had to start the year. Pittsburgh has already played in seven games this season and their eighth game is on the way tonight. Having so many games at the start of the year leaves a team to be more susceptible to injury and the Pens have fallen victim to that. Getting sent off to western Canada to start the year doesn’t help much either. It’s up to the Pens to hold down the fort for now lest they wind up falling back of the pack too early.