Archive for the ‘Pittsburgh Penguins’ Category

The Pittsburgh Penguins broke their silence Friday and announced that the mysterious injury that has kept Kris Letang out since January 27th is a stroke. Not the flu, not mono, not any of the other usual garbage that young healthy people get, but a stroke. Strokes are uncommon in young people (but not impossible), and the team has said that they believe a congenital heart abnormality may have been the cause. How can this happen? And how can only six weeks possibly be how long he’ll be out?


Kris Letang’s last game was January 27th against Buffalo. An episode of nausea and dizziness on the 29th kept him out of the LA game on 30th, but he continued to travel with the team. When his symptoms still hadn’t cleared by the time the team hit Phoenix a couple of days later, he underwent some tests. Those tests were suspicious for a stroke, and Letang was sent back to Pittsburgh for yet more testing. In the course of all the diagnostics, doctors discovered “a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth”, which could have precipitated the stroke. That’s a lot of information to take in all at once, and none of it seems to make sense in the context of a young, healthy athlete.


Nausea and Dizziness? That’s a stroke?


While there are two kinds of strokes – ischemic and hemorrhagic – the outcomes can run the gamut from death to major (or minor) disability to almost no side effects at all. Ischemic stroke is caused by an interruption in blood supply to a certain part of the brain – like from a clot. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding into the brain. Letang’s stroke was ischemic, and his symptoms were mild enough that he obviously had no idea there was anything wrong with him until several days later.

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(Noah Graham, Getty Images)

(Noah Graham, Getty Images)

Even as advanced statistics become more prevalent in hockey, it’s still rare to see them used in mainstream media, outside of some outliers like James Mirtle with the Globe and Mail. The doldrums of August can lead a hockey reporter off the beaten path in search of a story, however,  and Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe turned to advanced statistics for a story on Sunday, interviewing Michael Schuckers, a statistics professor who does hockey analysis.

Shinzawa clearly asked Shuckers what was the oddest or most confusing free agent signing of the off-season according to his statistical analysis, which is a reasonable question to ask when looking for a story. What was odd was the answer. Shuckers skipped right past the usual punching bags from the past few months and went with Rob Scuderi, who returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins this off-season on a four-year deal.

According to Shuckers, his signing is “the one that sticks out to me this year” as the statistics show that Scuderi is “well past his prime”  and not worth what the Penguins are paying him. But is that really the case?

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2011-12 winner Max Pacioretty demonstrates how to be awesome

2011-12 winner Max Pacioretty demonstrates how to be awesome


The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is voted on annually by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The writers have their work cut out for them this year, since all three finalists are unquestionably worthy of the award.

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Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins paid tribute to the city of Boston before today’s game at TD Garden.

Boston wore first responder hats during pregame warmups, while the Pens are wearing special patches on their jerseys today.


Via Bruins Instagram

Crosby's beautiful smile just got a little less beautiful.

Crosby’s beautiful smile just got a little less beautiful.

There’s something particularly horrifying about dental injuries. Maybe it’s the thought of what your own mouth would look like minus a few teeth, or the sheer in-your-face nature of the injuries. You can’t see a torn ACL, but you can see a pool of blood littered with teeth. Sidney Crosby, a habitual mouthguard-wearer and owner of a (formerly) beautiful smile horrified a nation Saturday when he took a puck in the mouth at the expense of several teeth and his jaw. This week we’ll have a quick refresher on how jaw injuries are treated, and explore the options for hockey teeth.

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New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins

Breaking news out of Pittsburgh today, as the team announced that captain Sidney Crosby will be out indefinitely with a broken jaw. Crosby was hit in the face by a puck in the first period of the game Saturday against the New York Islanders.

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Pittsburgh forward Tyler Kennedy was credited with the Penguins first goal of the game, but on second look, he should be thanking ex-Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn, who deflected the puck by goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

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