by PuckStopsHere on 09/24/08 at 02:47 PM ET
Its still pre—season, but a couple teams are already dealing with non-ideal situations that should make it hard for them to do as well as they had initially hoped this season. The first is the Pittsburgh Penguins who has lost their top two defencemen, Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar to injury and the second is the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have learned that their young defenceman, Erik Johnson will likely miss the entire season due to a freak knee injury he suffered on a team golf trip Johnson has a torn ACL and will undergo surgery in a couple weeks.
This is a big hit to a weak Blues team, who finished very badly last season (they had a league worst 14 wins in 2008). St Louis was depending upon Johnson to improve their defence and be their power play point man. It looks like that is not going to happen. This is a lot of pressure for a young player with only 69 career NHL games played and only 33 career points. Weak teams often come to depend upon their young players before they are ready to jump to stardom. It appears this was the case with Johnson in St. Louis. The Blues might be forced to use Eric Brewer as their power play point man, unless they can manage a trade.
A serious knee injury is a set-back to Erik Johnson. Similar knee injuries have derailed entire careers. We can only hope that he will fully recover. He could have a bright career ahead of him if he does.
Some people are already writing off the Blues season. It is clearly too early for that, but things do not look good at this point. The Blues defence will likely be a weakness this season and it is hard to imagine their forwards or goaltending becoming a strength.
Here is TSN’s story on the injury.
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