James Neal has only seen three minutes of action through the young 2013-14 NHL season due to injury. The Pittsburgh Penguins keep cranking out wins without him, and that’s a good thing since he’s going to be on the shelf for at least another two weeks according to the Pittsburgh Tribune.
As per the Tribune‘s report: “Right winger James Neal (upper body) will miss at least two more weeks. He has not played since Oct. 3, when he aggravated a previous injury.”
Neal had developed some outstanding chemistry while playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins committed a longer term to Neal than anyone on their current roster, and have high hopes for him as a player moving forward. Still, this injury is just another footnote in a long string of IR visits for the Penguins and their star players over the last few seasons.
It’s hard to think of a time when the top-six has been all healthy at the same time. Despite Neal being on the shelf, the Penguins have continued to find ways to secure victories though. Of course, having Sidney Crosby on an eight-game scoring streak doesn’t hurt one bit, and slashes in the win column mean that Neal won’t be forced to return any sooner than necessary.
While Neal won’t be back by the end of October, Kris Letang and Beau Bennett are both skating again and could boost an already potent offense even higher if they return in the coming weeks.