Lucky for them they've got Malkin to pick them up; few teams can boast such an effective "Plan B."
Injuries are always frustrating, and so hopelessly out of anyone's control. We want to believe that a little more heart or grit or whatever will get the job done, but the fact of the matter is you need talent; a second line of Nyquist-Franzen-Cleary isn't going to do it.
Pavel coming back will have a huge cascade effect on the lineup. You add one guy that is great at scoring, can put guys next to him that are otherwise being wasted without a good setup man, and can demote players playing above their normal station back to lines where they are more comfortable.
Exactly, additionally it means that teams have to focus their best defensemen on Pavel and so each line below gets to play with less defensive pressure against them. The impact of everyone not having to play above their roll/ability when Pavel and Lids are back cannot be underestimated.
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