Despite going down injured after being struck in the face with a puck, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are lucky that they added veteran leader and offensive cog Jarome Iginla in case the team’s best player misses any action.
Trading for Iginla (h/t ESPN) couldn’t have come at a better time.
It was during the first period of Iginla’s debut with Pittsburgh against the New York Islanders Saturday that Crosby was struck in the face with a puck. Crosby left the game with blood coming from his mouth and did not return to the action.
Crosby was taken to the hospital (h/t Darren Dreger) to get the damage checked out, and with several teeth lost in the incident, the Pittsburgh star will reportedly undergo oral surgery, according to Josh Yohe of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Josh Yohe @JoshYohe_PGH
Sidney Crosby lost numerous teeth. Having oral surgery.3/30/2013, 8:05:03 PM
Rob Rossi @RobRossi_upgruv
No word on Crosby as of this morning from #pens. Club is off. Update not expected. Those close to Crosby think he will be fine. #TribHKY3/31/2013, 1:49:47 PM
Whether the team’s captain returns to the lineup without missing a game or if Crosby needs time to recover, the addition of Iginla and his two-way prowess is the perfect bandage for this wound.
Add in the return of second-line center Evgeni Malkin (h/t Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), and the team shouldn’t miss a beat if its captain is forced out of the lineup.
This is Iginla’s 16th season in the league (525 goals and 570 assists in 1,220 career games), and the desire to win the Stanley Cup before he retires is what will drive him to be even more successful in the case that Crosby is forced to miss time.
The team has the talent and depth to win games to cover for an injury, and the addition of Iginla and the pressure this puts on him will only bring the team closer together.
When Crosby re-enters the lineup—whether it’s after missing a day, a week or longer—Iginla will already have a rapport with his other teammates and the coaching staff.
This is likely not a long-term injury (unless Crosby’s jaw is revealed to be broken), so this will just be a head start for Iginla to get the chance to build a chemistry with the Penguins.