Injury Bug

Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 10:24 PM
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Injury Bug

That frickin' injury bug is laying eggs again.

Remember it last year? The little bugger showed up just after the Stars had won their record 8th straight road game (Benn and Wandell went down in Vancouver) and then a full blown infestation broke out that night in Beantown (Barch, Burish, Sawada), followed later by a "light and bite" at home vs Columbus (Richards).

Six forwards is a lot to absorb, and they didn't. Especially difficult when a gallant Morrow, a dinged up Ott, and a recovering Petersen are added to the predicament. Oh ya, and Nick Grossman was lost from the d-corp.

This time the pestilence has come on earlier but is threatening to be just as wide-spread. First there was the win streak (They were first overall as they left the ice in Washington) Then came the Goligoski broken hand, followed by the Burish broken hand, then the Morrow injury which led to last night's Decimation in the Desert (Lehtonen, Daley, Fiddler).

Deja-Poo?

So, how will this group and coaching staff handle the crap cards dealt?

Well they can use the Pittsburgh Penguins as a model.

Dan Bylsma kept his Pens winning despite the loss of hockey's best player for 11 months. (And there were others, lots of other bodies unavailable due to injury besides Crosby, including Evgeni Malkin. Tough losses.)

How did the Penguins hold it together? Strong team game. Good discipline. Asphyxiating PK. Excellent road success. Shootouts extra points. Depth. Breakout seasons from unheralded guys. And most importantly, smart, prepared, game-manipulating coaching.

Of course what also helped the Penguins was goalie Marc Andre Fleury remained a healthy rock in the pipes. That's the one position that can mask a team's ills and that's what makes the loss of Lehtonen a tad troubling. Fleury was their MVP last season, Kari was 1/4 of the way to the same title this year with the Stars. The extent of the big Finns injury is not fully known but groins are tricky - especially for that position - and they have a habit of lingering/reoccurring when suffered in-season.

Maybe the focus or mantra going forward needs to be "Misfortune = Opportunity". Opportunity to band together. Opportunity to see what others have. Opportunity to see how good you are. Opportunity to be a much better team when health returns.

In the meantime, someone call the exterminator. A fumigation is needed pronto.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 76 28 44 -4 72
T. Seguin 66 34 35 -1 69
J. Spezza 76 16 41 -3 57
J. Klingberg 59 11 27 6 38
C. Eakin 72 17 19 -2 36
T. Daley 62 16 19 -9 35
A. Goligoski 76 4 31 0 35
A. Hemsky 70 11 21 -6 32
S. Horcoff 72 11 17 8 28
V. Fiddler 74 12 14 -6 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 34 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
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