Last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins made it all the way to the Stanley Cup before being defeated by the Detroit Red Wings. Although they have great young talented players, the 2008-2009 season has not been the Penguins' best, especially compared to last year. Right now, the Penguins are tied for seventh place with the New York Rangers and one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres going into Thursday's games. Now, their star center Sidney Crosby is battling through an injury.
The Penguins played the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday and Crosby missed his fourth straight game. Crosby got hurt with a groin injury on Feb. 22 in a game against the Washington Capitals. The good news is he is expected to return Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.
He has been patient with missing all these games. When asked about his injury, center/team captain Crosby said, "It just takes time. Obviously, it's not easy being patient this time of year. It's the same story — you go to bed every night hoping that it gets a little better.
"It's not easy," Crosby added later, "It's really frustrating."
For now, the Penguins rely on Evgeni Malkin, who has scored the most goals in the NHL this year. Malkin has scored 93 points in 65 games.
Number 87 has been very successful in the NHL since he came to the league in 2005. He was the first pick in the 2005 draft. He's 5'11" and weighs 199 pounds, a good size for a hockey player. This year alone, he scored 79 points as well as 344 points in his first 250 games.
If the Penguins expect to play well in the playoffs, they will have to get their star center completely healthy. After all, the Pittsburgh Steelers just won a Super Bowl, so it's the Pittsburgh Penguins' turn. A city of champions.