The Pens Panic Button

For the past few days, all eyes have been on Kris Letang to see how he is progressing from his broken nose and any other possible consequences of the open ice hit he received from Max Pacioretty on November 26th in Montreal.

Letang traveled with the team to NYC and skated with the team in the morning on Tuesday. He did not play in last night’s game though. He had been complaining that he was having difficulty breathing through his nose (completely understandable) and was suffering from a headache. The Penguins decided to send Letang back to Pittsburgh for further medical evaluation.

Immediate panic set it. “OMG! Kris Letang has a headache! He took a hit to head! OMG! He must have a concussion! Everyone! Kris Letang prayer circle!”

Get real, people. Seriously. Someone on the Pens has a headache and the entire Pittsburgh fan base all suddenly have a medical license.

Let’s think this through: Letang broke his nose and then flew to New York. We all learned from 24/7 when Ben Lovejoy took a puck to the face that the cabin pressure can cause swelling.

Anyway. Let’s see what we know about Kris Letang:

  • He has an issue with migranes. Certainly a hit to the head could induce migranes. I recently suffered a concussion. My doctor told me it is also possible that a hit to the head could bring on migranes. So, Letang already having an issue with migranes and having left practice already this season with a migrane, it is possible that he just had a migrane or the pressure from the flight was causing him issues.
  • Today Dan Bylsma released information that Letang is suffering from a bit of a flu. Headaches are pretty consistent with a flu. Add that to the fact the guy has a facial fracture and I’m sure he isn’t feeling to swift.

“He skated with us, felt fine. Started to get some symptoms in New York. He also has a virus and some sickness. So there’s some other things going on there with Kris that he’s not even to the point where he can take a baseline test right now because he’s ill.” 

  • If there was a serious emergency, Letang would not have been sitting comfortably in the box last night with a bottle of water and a bag of popcorn. He would have been sent to a hospital immediately.


In other news, Zbynek Michalek was also returned to Pittsburgh for some testing after some headaches and symptoms were brought on by a hit from the last minutes of the Montreal game. He did pass the initial base line testing, but it doesn’t mean he is out of the woods. More will be released once Z visits with doctors. Z also spent last night’s game with Letang in the box.

Okay, so what we actually know…is nothing.

So let’s leave the doctoring to the doctors, hope for the best, and stop panicking. The excuse “well we are used to it” is. Used to panicking? You choose to panic. Step back and take a deep breath and be logical and positive.


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