Apr 10, 2014, 9:27 AM EDT
Letang logged 22:30 minutes in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 shootout victory over Detroit in his return last night and he doesn’t seem to mind one bit.
“I felt pretty good,” said Letang, per the Penguins’ website. “I had a lot of fun. It wasn’t perfect structure-wise for me. I’m just happy to be on the ice. It’s something I missed a lot.”
He added that he felt “totally normal” despite how much the Penguins leaned on him.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma praised Letang’s superb conditioning, which is what allowed him to play big minutes despite his lengthy absence.
This all might cause some fans to be nervous that the Penguins might ask him to do too much, too fast after going through such a serious event. That being said, his doctors concluded that hockey wasn’t the cause of his stroke and playing doesn’t increase his risk of having another one.
“He’s at no greater risk to suffer a stroke (from playing hockey) than he would be going to the grocery store,” Penguins GM Ray Shero asserted.
That’s of course great news for Letang and Pittsburgh, which can certainly use him going into the playoffs. The Penguins have dominated during the regular season, but over the last few years they have repeatedly fallen short of expectations in the postseason.
Getting Letang back might not change that trend, but there’s no question that they’re a much better team with him in the lineup.
- It’s Buffalo Sabres Day at PHT 10
- Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal 23
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 56
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 44
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? (57)