Craig Adams Breaks Consecutive Game Record for Penguins


Nov 14, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins forward Craig Adams (27) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Pittsburgh defeated Toronto 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Adams’s appearance against Ottawa on Saturday broke the Penguins franchise record for consecutive games played. The 37 year old racked up his 314th game in the streak that dates back to October 18th 2010. The veteran right-winger should increase this considerably, over the regular season, as the injuries mount in Pittsburgh.

This season has seen the right wing hit particularly badly. In a season where veteran Pascal Dupuis will miss the regular season games, Adams will play a useful role in providing experience for coach Mike Johnston as he tests the depth of the right wing.   With Beau Bennett and Patric Hornqvist joining the unfortunate Dupuis on the sidelines, Jayson Megna has found himself getting ice time whilst Adams ‘does his thing’ on the fourth line.

“When you’re in the lineup, you want to stay in the lineup. You have that fear of going out.” – Craig Adams

Much has been said about Beau Bennett’s injury prone nature whilst Craig Adams goes quietly about his work. The Penguins website quoted 1,350 man-games lost to this point during Adams’s streak and this highlights how important Adams currently is to the organization. With a cap hit of $700,000, Adams provides more value-for-money than many of his teammates. Whilst he will never reach double figures for goals scored, he provides the consistency that the Penguins sorely need right now. Three points in 26 games looks paltry but it’s the experience of a double Stanley Cup winning player, with over 900 NHL career games, that counts. Supporting an ever-changing cast on the fourth line, Adams knows that he’s the one that the younger players can rely on.

Sep 25, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Kasperi Kapanen (42) on the ice against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

One question that could be asked is if Mike Johnston plans to call on Kasperi Kapenen should the Penguins injury list get much longer. 18 year old Kapenen was the Penguins number one draft pick this year but was loaned back to Finnish club KalPa despite featuring in pre-season. Clearly, the Penguins have made a long-term decision not to rush Kapenen into the NHL. However, the short-term injury problems could mean that Kapenen gets bloodied early. He’s currently scoring almost a point a game (7 goals, 7 assists) in the Finnish Liiga with a 10.4% shot accuracy.

Although time is limited to extend the streak as age and waning ability are against him, Craig Adams will play a part in getting the Penguins into the postseason. His experience is as vital to the Penguins as they are to extending his playing career. He will be an unrestricted free agent as the end of the current season and it is difficult to imagine that he will be in Pittsburgh next season. With 56 games of the 2014-15 regular season left plus playoffs, there is plenty more hockey left in him before that happens. With the Penguins propensity to pick up injuries, that’s fortunate for both the player and the organization.