PITTSBURGH -- The Sabres' sudden injury situation isn't going to evoke any sympathy from the Penguins. They've been without Sidney Crosby since early January and without Evgeni Malkin since he injured his knee in the collision with Tyler Myers on Feb. 4. Brooks Orpik, Arron Asham (concussion) and Mike Comrie (hip) are all out too. Chris Kunitz (lower body) has missed 13 games and is a game-time decision tonight.
The news section of the Penguins' Web site has a full report on the team's activities this morning with notes, quotes and video. They have one of the best sections in the league for live game-day news. Definitely worth a look.
Defenseman Paul Martin logged a season-high 35 minutes, 26 seconds of ice time in the Penguins' 2-1 overtime loss Friday at New Jersey, then played another 28:36 in a 3-2 overtime victory in Boston 24 hours later. The Jersey minutes were inflated because Kris Letang was ejected early for not having his sweater tied down during a fight (the Rob Ray rule)
I asked Martin after the Pens' skate how the team has managed to stay afloat -- just two points out of the East lead -- in the face of all the injuries.
"No matter who is out there, we've maintained our desperation," Martin said. "They're all important games to us as well as the team we're playing. You can't look ahead for games and wait for the playoffs to show up. We still realize how important it is to play every night. Most other teams you play are desperate for a playoff spot. Every point matters so much. You just go with who you have."
On the one hand, you wonder how far the Pens can go in the playoffs if Crosby doesn't come back. And there's still no timetable for No. 87's return, which is getting bleaker by the day. The Penguins are just 4-4-4 in their last 12 and have played four straight overtime games going into tonight. But they're battlers. An interesting team to watch deal with adversity. Especially now.
taggedNHL | Sabres game day