Injury Bug

Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 9:24 PM CT
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Razor With An Edge Blog

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 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 56 29 34 18 63
T. Seguin 56 30 32 13 62
J. Klingberg 56 10 37 13 47
P. Sharp 56 16 25 -2 41
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
A. Goligoski 56 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 56 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 56 11 10 13 21
A. Hemsky 49 6 14 0 20
J. Demers 49 7 12 16 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 16 5 0 .910 2.80
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