The Pittsburgh Penguins can’t catch a break. The team has announced that Nick Bjugstad underwent core muscle surgery and will be out at least eight weeks, after head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters it would be “longer-term” earlier this week. That’s exactly the way he has now also described the injury to Justin Schultz, who suffered a lower-body injury and will be out “longer-term.” If there is a sliver of good news to be had, Patric Hornqvist has been activated from injured reserve.
It’s been a disastrous season so far for the Penguins, who have now lost Hornqvist, Bjugstad, Schultz, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang for long stretches. That’s the core of their group, but somehow they’ve still managed to put up a 11-7-3 record.
While losing Bjugstad hurts, it’s likely not nearly as painful as seeing Schultz go out for any length of time. The 29-year old was hoping for a big bounce-back season after missing a huge part of 2018-19, and he was off to a good start. Schultz had eight points in 21 games and was logging nearly 21 minutes a night for the Penguins.