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Penguins roster construction about to be put to the test

November 21, 2023, 6:50 PM ET [130 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins lineup is about to change

The big news here are the injuries to the top six wingers. Rickard Rakell is going to miss a chunk of time with an upper body injury while it remains to be seen what Bryan Rust’s timeline will be. This is a big deal. The Penguins don’t have scoring depth. This was the flaw in the roster construction heading into the season. There is no next man up to replace one, let alone two, scoring wingers. I get it, Rickard Rakell has zero goals and is off to the worst start of his career. The lack of goals has been frustrating. They need him to score. Absent goal scoring Rakell can still be a net positive and was with a 55.79 xGF%. We don’t know what the extent of the injury is at the moment. One could surmise it wasn’t helping his ability to score goals. Hopefully, when healthy, Rakell can get back his scoring touch which will be very much needed for this team to function at a high level.

I’d love to think the Rust injury is short term. I’m fully prepared to be dealt some really bad news because that’s kind of how these things have gone. Playing fine in a game one moment, out for weeks and months the next.

The Penguins have two huge holes in their top six now. Mike Sullivan alluded to some possible options

As I said. There’s no next man up. The focal point in filling out forward depth was to acquire multiple defense first forwards. This was the situation I was worried about before the year. Tough to be the oldest team in the league and expect all your players to stay healthy. Now they are very limited with their options for players to move up the lineup.

Things could get rocky for a bit.

Thanks for reading!
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