Discouraging health Penguins health update released

This doesn't bode well.



The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of a desperate attempt to get themselves back into the playoff race with the regular season schedule winding down. Right now, they're still mathematically alive in the standings, and while it will take a miracle for them to be able to advance, it's not impossible. 

But they'll have to do so without the services of defenseman Ryan Graves, who has been diagnosed with a concussion. 

Skating in his first season with the Penguins, Graves has scored three goals with 11 assists along with an impressive +10 rating in 70 games. He's in the first year of a six year, $27 million deal that he signed over the summer after having played with the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils; he was originally selected by the New York Rangers in the 2013 NHL Draft. 

And the leading candidate to replace Graves on the blue line is John Ludvig, whom the Penguins acquired via waivers from the Florida Panthers earlier this year. He wishes he could have entered the lineup under happier circumstances, but is ready if called upon. 

“You never want to see another teammate get injured. That (stinks),” Ludvig said. “But yeah, if the opportunity is there, then I’m just going to help the team win if I get in there.”

“He’s really improved,” head coach Mike Sullivan said of Ludvig. “He’s processing the game quicker with every game that he gets under his belt. I think that’s an important hurdle for young players to have to overcome. For me, that’s one of the biggest challenges, especially as a defenseman, because of the amount of reads that you have to make just in how quickly the game is played at the NHL level. Windows of opportunity open and close quickly and your ability to process the rink and process the game in a timely fashion is important to a young player’s success.

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Source: Trib Live