by PuckStopsHere on 04/08/14 at 01:12 AM ET
The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the NHL in man-games lost to injury. Despite that, they have won the Metropolitan Division quite easily. They currently lead the second place New York Rangers by 14 points. That is clearly a sign of a good deep team to succeed despite that adversity.
Pittsburgh's most significant two losses this season have probably been their top defenceman Kris Letang who suffered a stroke and goaltender Tomas Vokoun who has missed the entire season due to blood clots. Unfortunately these players may never fully recover from these medical issues. It is a significant loss to the Penguins. Significant players James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, Paul Martin and Pascal Dupuis have all missed large portions of the season.
Pittsburgh has done well despite the injuries because Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL. Chris Kunitz has had great chemistry with Crosby at left wing. Matt Niskanen has had a very good year on defence. Marc-Andre Fleury has been solid, though not spectacular, in goal. Pittsburgh has some very good depth. They probably would be a runaway first place team if they were healthy. The problem is two key players in Kris Letang and Tomas Vokoun are unlikely to regain full health. Pittsburgh has proven they can succeed without them, but they might have been the best team in the league if they could have full health.
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