Why is it common knowledge that Fleury's fingered is injured?
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Question: If teams do not have to reveal injuries because the opposition may target those injuries, why is it common knowledge that Marc-Andre Fleury's injury is to his left ring finger? Doesn't this tell the other team, shoot high to the glove side?
Jim Montuoro, Rock Springs, Wyo.
MOLINARI: Shooting there might be a good idea if Fleury isn't wearing a glove, but that's about the only time.
As soon as Fleury's injury has progressed to the point that he is able to dress for a game -- and that apparently will happen when they visit the New York Rangers this evening -- the Penguins clearly will believe that his finger would be a non-issue in his performance. (Pain management, not the possibility of doing further damage, has been their concern since at least the early part of last week.)
If Fleury's finger was bothering him to the point that he was reluctant to use his glove to stop shots, opposing teams would pick up on it instantly and take advantage of it, whether or not they knew his finger had been hurt.
As for the Penguins' penchant for keeping the nature of injuries secret, that might work with sore groins and other such problems, but it would have been pretty tough for anyone passing through the locker room to avoid noticing the splint on Fleury's left ring finger. (Or, if they got close to him, the nasty-looking suture work that has been done to it.)
Question: Do you think Billy Guerin will be around another year or two? I think he has proven he definitely has skills left and he provides a certain toughness and calmness for Sidney Crosby.
MOLINARI: It certainly doesn't seem out of the question at this point, since Guerin has shown no interest in retiring and the Penguins don't have any wingers they're certain could be plugged in on Crosby's right side and be productive.
It's not out of the question that two young wingers, Eric Tangradi and Luca Caputi, will be able to move into top-six roles in the NHL next season, but it isn't guaranteed, either, and neither is a right-handed shot.
And while Guerin turned 39 about 2 ?? months ago, he hasn't been acting his age.
He is one of just four Penguins to appear in all 53 games this season -- Jordan Staal, Mike Rupp and Craig Adams are the others -- and enters tonight's game against the New York Rangers third on the team in points (35) and goals (16), trailing only Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in each category.
Ideally, the Penguins would have someone who is younger and more of a pure goal-scoring playing with Crosby, but Guerin is doing a pretty good job of filling that role until such a guy can be found.
First Published January 25, 2010 12:00 am