Daley to Miss Postseason With Ankle Injury
The playoffs are all about attrition and the Pittsburgh Penguins are experiencing that the hard way.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said that Daley suffered a broken ankle in their Game 4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and will miss the remainder of the season. It’s a huge loss for the Penguins and their blue line as they enter Game 5 on Sunday. They’ve dealt with injury to Olli Maatta and suspension to Kris Letang so far, so it’s not as if they’re new to the experience of losing a key member of the blue line.
Daley was second on the team in ice time at 22:08 per game, and played on both the power play and the penalty kill. He also had six points in 15 games.
“You never want to see a guy like that go down, especially a guy who eats a lot of minutes like that. He’s a good guy on the ice and off the ice. Everybody loves him in the dressing room. He brings that calmness. That veteran presence,” said Letang, who played with Daley throughout the regular season.
“But depth has been one of our strengths all year long.”
Maatta is expected to slide in next to Letang on the top pairing while Brian Dumoulin will pair with Ben Lovejoy and Justin Schultz should skate with Ian Cole.
Maatta had been a healthy scratch since Game 1 of the Penguins’ Eastern Conference Final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was his second game back after getting injured by a check to the head from Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik. Maatta didn’t look good, reacting slowly and looking as if he didn’t have his legs.
Needless to say, Daley’s loss is a big one.
“Well, he’s a tough guy to replace, I’ve said that all along. He’s really made our team a better team. He’s got real good offensive instincts. He’s a real solid two-way defenseman, and it’s hard to replace those guys, but we’ve done it all year, and we’ll deal it again,” said Sullivan.
“On a personal level, I feel badly for Trevor because I know how important this is to him and what it means to him and what he’s brought to this team. You know, it’s emotional for him. He’s a terrific kid. He’s brought a lot to this hockey team.”
The Penguins won’t have long to figure things out as they head to Tampa to take on the Lightning in Game 5 tonight, with the series tied 2-2.