All all these injuries and one superstar suspended, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in major need of contributions from . . . heck, just about anyone. The Pens injured reserve currently houses half of the opening night defensemen, a fourth line role player, a outstanding backup goaltender, and a should-be breakout star. Luck has been squarely on the Penguins side this season as the guys from Wilkes-Barre have done well filling in (Jayson Megna and Brian Gibbons especially), but the main roster members need to start doing a little extra. Not much, just a- a smidge more.
Remember in 2007-2008 when Sidney Crosby went down with a high-ankle sprain? The Penguins did just fine as Evgeni Malkin went crazy and tore the league up along with line-mates Ryan Malone and Peter Sykora. Those guys did not start the season with Geno, but after Sid's injury the trio was lumped together and all three stepped up. Especially Sykora, whose sniping was a great complainant with Geno's cannon.
The point is, when duty and responsibility called they answered. Here's a couple of current Pens that should do the same.
Pascal Dupuis- Duper's season has been miserable. After coming off consecutive twenty-plus goal seasons, Dupuis has just four in thirty-two games. What's more perplexing is he's played with Crosby for the majority of the year. Their history would indicate that turnaround is forthcoming, but nothing is set in stone. When Beau Bennett comes back, Dupuis will be bumped back to the third line. Most likely for the remainder of his Pens career. He can change that with a offensive burst, but it needs to happen right now.
Brandon Sutter- The third line center should not be pressed for more scoring, but that changes as the IR list grows. Sutter's been putting up decent numbers (five goals, six assists) considering his line-mates are changing more than a Power Rangers roster. Goals are nice, but winning faceoffs and playing tighter defense would really benefit the Pens more. Sutter's minus-3 rating can stand to higher.
Jussi Jokinen- It's hard to ask a guy with nineteen points (nine goals, ten assists) to do more, but the Pens really do need the Finnish Army Knife to get on the stats-sheet more often. In his last five games, Jokinen has two points. Not bad, but when you're playing with Evgeni Malkin you can preform better. Now with Neal's suspension, Jussi really needs to be the player he was in October (eight points in thirteen games). His increased power play time will also help.
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