May 4, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT
The fact that Kris Letang is playing at all — let alone at his current level — is huge for Pittsburgh, but the process of fully moving past the stroke that sidelined him for two and a half months isn’t complete.
“He’s able to play in a playoff game 20-plus minutes,” said Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But he’s not to the level where he was a couple of years ago, or last year in the playoffs, when we could get him to 27 or 28 minutes.”
Letang has played in 10 games since his return with seven of them being in the playoffs. He’s been getting better as he gets more games under his belt and he started making bolder plays towards the end of the first round.
That’s not enough for him to call himself 100% though. He still needs to work on his conditioning after he was forced to limit his physical activity in the weeks following his stroke. He’s not sure when he’ll reach his former level and there’s no guarantee it will happen before the end of the playoffs.
Still with every game, he’s getting closer to that goal.
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