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The Pittsburgh Penguins Take More Hits

Although the Pittsburgh Penguins have had a great start to the season, they've taken some more hits as two more players are out.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had an amazing start to the 2021-2022 NHL season. Despite not having top centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup, they’ve been able to adapt. So far, they’ve put up an impressive 2-0-2 record. However, with some new developments on the team, things may not look so bright for the time being.

Two Big Hits

Jeff Carter has been an incredible part of the team’s success so far. He’s had to step up to center the first line, and boy oh boy, has he performed. In four games, he has one goal and three points. The influence Carter has on his line is also notable as either Carter or his wings have scored in the first three games. He brings leadership and hustle to a team that needs it now more than ever.

Tristan Jarry has been astounding this year after having an abysmal postseason.


Image Courtesy of Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Carter isn’t the only player having a great year so far. Tristan Jarry has been exceptional after having a mediocre season last year. In three games, he has a 1.62 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. After fans have been calling for the organization to trade Jarry since last postseason, this is a breath of fresh air for both the young goaltender and the organization.

However, the main problem is that these two players can’t play in the foreseeable future. It was announced Thursday that both Carter and Jarry have tested positive for COVID-19. While they remain asymptomatic, they are restricted from playing. This is a massive blow to the Penguins as these two have been some of the more influential guys so far. Now, who’s going to have to step up and pick up the slack?

Who’s It Going To Be?

The answer for who is going to step up for Jarry is pretty simple. Pittsburgh can look to Casey DeSmith to command the crease for the next few games. However, he hasn’t been playing as solid as Jarry. In only one game, he has a 4.92 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage. If DeSmith going to be starting, he’s going to have to up his game, or else the Penguins could suffer.

Sam Lafferty is re-entering the lineup to be back on Boyle's wing.
Image Courtesy of Scott Audette/Getty Images

Now, with three centers out of commission, the only regulars Pittsburgh has are Teddy Blueger, Brian Boyle and Evan Rodrigues. It’s not a surprise that Rodrigues is going to be moved to the first line. Blueger’s line could be moved to the second, but Boyle’s line will probably stay on the fourth. That means the Penguins will have to make some changes.

In a press release from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team practicing with Drew O’Connor at the helm of the third line with Jason Zucker and Danton Heinen. Sam Lafferty was practicing on the fourth with Boyle and Dominik Simon. Although Carter and Jarry are out, Pittsburgh always seems to do better when things have to be mixed up. Fans will just have to hope that it works out. If not, the Penguins could be in trouble.

 

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