Pens Pointers #6

Anthony DeSimone, Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins, though battered and bruised,  are showcasing their resilience and rebounding abilities once again after defeating the Ottawa Senators this Saturday 3-2.


The Penguins are currently struggling with a variety of injuries this season. As of Monday December 8, the team currently has seven players listed on their injury list:


  • Olli Maata Defensemen                                   Undisclosed
  • Patric Hornqvist Right Wing                         Head
  • Chris Kunitz Left Wing                                     Foot
  • Beau Bennett Right Wing                               Knee
  • Kris Letang Defensemen                                 Groin
  • Anton Zlobin Right Wing                                Shoulder
  • Pascal Dupuis Right Wing                              Illness (Blot Clot)


This large list of injuries has caused head coach Mike Johnston to alter his lines, call-up  players from the minor league, and even make a trade. The trade occurred last week and was with the Arizona Coyotes. The Penguins traded Phillip Samuelsson to the Coyotes in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a conditional draft pick.


The interesting story here is that Klinkhammer was traded to the Penguins Friday afternoon. He then proceeded to fly to Pittsburgh, where he was inserted into the Penguins starting lineup without participating in the team’s morning practice. In fact, Klinkhammer did not know who he would be playing with until he met them in the dressing room on Saturday before the game started.


Despite this wild stand of events, Klinkhammer made quite an impression on his new fans and teammates. On his first shift, Klinkhammer flattened Alex Chiasson of the Ottawa Senators following a defensive zone faceoff. Additionally, he drew two penalties for the Penguins, which allowed the team’s ferocious power play to come onto the ice and score.


As amazing as Klinkhammer’s story sounds, he honestly fits right into the Penguins lineup for another reason; his ability to fit through adversity and still preform at his best.


This is something that the Penguins have been doing all season long so far. Whether it is an on-ice injury, an off-ice medical emergency, a seven goal rally, or a reversed call in a shootout, the Penguins are simply finding ways to win hockey games despite all the adversity they have faced. Keep in mind, we are only 26 games into this season. Who knows what else is in store for this organization as the season progresses!


What they do know is that tonight the Penguins find themselves, once again, matched up with the New York Rangers. The Rangers are currently in fourth place in the Metropolitan division with a record of (11-10-4) and have 26 points, which puts them 12 points behind the Penguins.


Do not let this record fool you though. The Rangers have proven to be a formidable opponent for the Penguins over the past few seasons. Let Pens fans not forget that the Rangers are the team that caused the Penguin’s playoff run to come to a grinding halt last season when they came back for being down in the series 3-1 to eliminate the Penguins.


Regardless, tonight’s game will surely be entertaining, especially if the Penguins can get on the power play. The Pens still lead the NHL in power play efficiency (29.4%), while the Rangers penalty kill is struggling. It is currently ranked 17th in the league.


If the Penguins can exploit this weakness in the Rangers defense tonight, they will certainly be helping themselves toward another victory!