ShareThis Page
Penguins GM: Phil Kessel’s injuries caught up to him in playoffs |

Penguins GM: Phil Kessel’s injuries caught up to him in playoffs

Jonathan Bombulie
| Wednesday, May 9, 2018 2:06 p.m
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby makes a save on the Penguins' Phil Kessel in the first period during Game 6 on Monday, May 7, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby speaks on clean out their locker day Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby leaves the locker room on clean out their locker day Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins equipment sits in their lockers on clean out their locker day Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Getty Images
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has some tough decisions to make this summer.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Bryan Rust carries his sticks on clean out their locker day Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and general manager Jim Rutherford both admitted Wednesday that Phil Kessel was playing with some bumps and bruises in the playoffs.

They differed in how forthcoming they were about how much those injuries affected the star winger’s play.

Kessel had a career year in the regular season, posting 34 goals and a personal best 92 points in 82 games. He finished tied for seventh in the league in scoring. Noticeably slowed in the playoffs, he recorded one goal and nine points in 12 postseason games.

“He’s actually dealt with injuries all year, and to his credit, he played through those during the regular season, but his playoff was not what it has been the last couple of years,” Rutherford said. “I know some of those things he dealt with caught up with him.”

Rutherford said Kessel would not require any offseason surgery.

Oftentimes, players often open up about the nature and severity of their injuries after their postseasons end and the shroud of playoff secrecy lifts.

The Penguins didn’t do that as they cleaned out their lockers Wednesday morning.

Kessel and Evgeni Malkin, who was dealing with a left knee injury in the playoffs, did not speak to reporters. Derick Brassard confirmed he was playing through an injury, but declined to offer any other specifics.

Sullivan was largely mum.

“I’m not going to disclose any of our injuries,” he said. “(Kessel) was dealing with bumps and bruises, just like some of our other guys. I’d rather not get into the list of injuries that guys had, but it was nothing significant, I can tell you that.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review NHL/Penguins reporter. You can contact Jonathan via Twitter .

Categories: Penguins
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.