Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar sustained an injury during the game against the St. Louis Blues last night and did not come out for the third period. Turns out Gonchar has suffered a broken wrist and is expected to miss up to six weeks. Gonchar is tied for second in team scoring with eight points in nine games and averages more than 24 minutes per game. The Penguins have quite the shoes to fill, as do fantasy owners of Gonchar, but coach Dan Bylsma expects youngsters Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang to pick up the slack on the powerplay.
“I don’t think you can replace what he’s done for us and does for us on the power play, but, luckily, we have other guys — Letang, Goligoski — who can play that power-play position if that’s the case”, Bylsma said.
If Goligoski is avaliable in your pool pick him up while you can. He has 7 points in 9 games and his an impressive plus-9 so far this season. He has been a mainstay on the Pens top powerplay unit alongside Gonchar. Expect either Letang to move into Gonchars spot on the first unit or Malkin to drop back and play the point like he did for much of last season.
Other defensemen that may be available in your league and are worth a look at while Gonchar is out are Adrian Aucoin, Jason Demers, Stephane Robidas, Erik Johnson, Denis Grebeshkov, Lubomir Visnovsky (Only 37% owned in Yahoo leagues????), and Victor Hedman.
This is the second consecutive season in which Gonchar will miss significant time. He missed the Penguins’ first 56 games last season because of a left shoulder injury. The Penguins were 17-4-4 in games he played and were not a playoff team when he didn’t
Martin Skoula, who the Penguins signed to be their 7th defensmen, will see his first action of the season on Friday.