Pens Gonchar Out 4-6 Months

I think the guys at The Pens Blog got it right a few minutes ago when they warned Pittsburgh fans to "buckle up."

What else can you say now that the news has leaked that Sergei Gonchar, one of the most talented offensive defenseman in all of hockey is going to miss the next 4-6 months thanks to a separated shoulder he suffered in Pittsburgh's pre-season opener against Lightning. It was initially thought that he'd only miss 2-3 weeks if he could avoid surgery, though others thought that a bit too optimistic.

Gonchar's loss comes on top of the extended absence of Ryan Whitney, who will be shelved until at least December recovering from off-season foot surgery. With both Whitney and Gonchar out of the lineup, it's time to ask some difficult questions about the Penguins power play.

Over the past four preseason games, youngsters Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski and veteran Daryl Sydor have been seeing plenty of power play time, with Goligoski making the most of his minutes by compiling five assists over those four games. Still, you'd figure if any team in the league could make do in the absence of a power play QB, it would have to be Pittsburgh.

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