Originally written on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 1/10/12

MONTREAL - JANUARY 24: NHL YoungStar James Neal of the Dallas Stars competes in the 'Upper Deck YoungStars Game' during the Honda NHL Superskills competition as part of the 2009 NHL All-Star weekend on January 24, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

This years’ season can be summed up in one word for the Pittsburgh Penguins…injuries.

Injuries.  It’s like nails on a chalk board to the fans of probably the league’s best team from top to bottom.  The Penguins haven’t been able to shake them for over a year and it has gone from bad to worse.  Joining big names like Crosby and Letang on the injured list are James Neal, Jordan Staal, and Craig Adams, and all are expected to miss significant time.  Pretty soon the Baby Penguins won’t be able to field a squad because they are all in Pittsburgh.  It’s truely boardering on rediculous.

I’m truely at a loss for words here.  I’ve never seen a team this decimated by injuries in any sport, ever.  The admirable part of all this is that they are still in the playoff picture even though they lead the league in man games missed due to injury and threaten to run away that title all together with the most recent wave.  But how long can they remain competetive sending out a minor league hockey team every night (Albeit a very good minor league squad)?  I’m starting to wonder after the Pens have lost 4 of their last 5. 

Plain and simple, they need to score.  Their defense is mostly intact but they need to find Malkin some help to put the puck in the net with Crosby, Staal and Neal out for the foreseeable future.  What it boils down to is that the evil genius, Ray Shero, might have to work some of his magic to make a deal, and soon.  Realistically, Crosby’s career, let alone season, is in jeopardy.  It’s time to start figuring out what life will be like without him.  It might be time to put him on the shelf for the year, save a sizable portion of his $8+ million salary cap hit and put it towards a trade.  It is likely in the best interest for both Crosby and the Penguins organization.  It almost has to happen at this point if the Penguins have hopes of reaching the postseason.  There are just too many players out for too long.

My advice to all the fans out there is to keep an ear open for a deal in the near future, because without a little bit of help, Geno and Fleury won’t be able to carry this team to the promised land.

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