Pittsburgh Penguins: The beneficiaries of extra recovery time

Jake Guentzel #59, Sidney Crosby #87, and Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jake Guentzel #59, Sidney Crosby #87, and Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

If the NHL’s layoff due to COVID-19 has done anything productive for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it has been the time off to heal. But who benefited the most?

Throughout the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been plagued time and time again by injuries. From star players to up and comers alike, no one was safe. Earlier this week, we posed the question on Twitter and Facebook to see who, you the fans, thought benefited the most due to the past 3 months off.

The clear and obvious choice for most was the one of Jake Guentzel. Just as much as it has impacted him, it has also impacted the Penguins roster. His return from a shoulder injury has been painstakingly long for all involved, but now he’s back. After being out of work since 2019, he has returned to skating in phase-2 last week.

Implementing him back on the first line, or more commonly known as ‘Sid’s Line’ will take that line and the Pens attack that much further. You can’t ever base one player’s performance to be the outcome of a team, but it will certainly help.

Pittsburgh Penguins: The beneficiary of extra recovery time

There was however a few more votes cast in this debate. Jake may have been the only injury returnee that was looked at, but a few other leaders on the team definitely benefited from this time of rest and recovery.

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Kris Letang was mentioned more than once, not due to injury, but due to workload. ‘Tanger’ was playing an average of just under 26 minutes per match. That’s well over a third of the game and his fatigue was noticed more often than not. Injuries aren’t the only thing that happens to the body when it’s tired, fatigue and mental mistakes also come into play.

A healthy and fulling mentally fit Letang and Sidney Crosby will be dangerous for the Canadians and potentially others moving into the playoffs. Staying on the course of mental mistakes and fatigue, and we find another Penguin that needed this time to rest. None other than the Penguins 2x Stanley Cup winner, Matt Murray.

There’s no secret that Murray hasn’t always been liked by the Penguins faithful and with competition in his role moving in, it has certainly impacted his game both mentally and physically. Early this season his father passed away and that certainly took it’s toll as well. This time off should’ve given him time to recoup and get ready for the playoffs.

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From Sid, Tanger, Double, M, Shake n Bake Jake, and probably many others, these Pittsburgh Penguins needed time to rest, and that just what they got. Now, it’s time to prepare and get ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Thank you for your input Penguins Nation, we always appreciate the impact and response.