2019 has been a brutal year for injuries in the NHL and it’s just become a little worse due to a shoulder injury for Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jake Guentzel. On Monday against the Ottawa Senators, Guentzel crashed into the end boards head and shoulder first after scoring on the play.
On Tuesday, the Penguins announced that Guentzel underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the next 4-6 months – a massive loss to a Pens team already struggling with injuries. Jake is a pivotal piece of the Pens offence and plays on their top offensive line, he matches speed with Sidney Crosby and has the hands of Evgeni Malkin.
Guentzel had a goal and three points in the 5-2 win over Ottawa on Monday. The goal, which was his 20th of the season, was also the 200th point of his NHL career. He currently leads the team in goals and points (43) and the currently sit 3rd in the Metropolitan division.
“It was really scary,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said afterward. “Those are always dangerous when you fall that distance from the boards.”
Already without Sidney Crosby, Justin Schultz, Nick Bjugstad, and Brian Dumoulin, Pittsburgh Penguins Guentzels shoulder injury is just another problem on a Penguins team that’s been devastated by injury, yet they have still managed to play well (24-11-4–52) despite missing over 150 games to injury.
“I hope the injured guys are back soon and I hope he’s not out so long,” said Evgeni Malkin. “It didn’t look good. But everyone understands it’s hockey. It’s tough. Sometimes we have a couple injuries. But I need to play better next game if Jake does not play.”
To add to his Disappointment, Penguins Guentzel’s shoulder injury also means he’ll miss out on his first NHL All-Star Game after being named to the Metropolitan Division team. Teammate Kris Letang, who is part of the Last Men In vote, could be a potential replacement to represent the Penguins or the league could keep it a forward for forward swap and invite Malkin or Bryan Rust to St. Louis next month.
Let’s all hope he gets back on the ice as fast as possible.