Letang said he feels "a million times better" now in comparison to this point last year when he was making his way back from neck surgery, Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Pittsburgh's top defenseman managed to play in 79 regular-season games in 2017-18, adding nine goals, 42 assists and 20 power-play points in the process. The veteran seemingly trains hard every offseason to try to get into prime condition and fully bounce back from his respective injuries from the previous year.
Letang notched the Penguins' only goal in Monday's overtime loss to Washington. Letang did everything he could to make up for his defensive lapse in Game 5 that led to Washington taking a 3-2 series lead, but it wasn't enough to force a Game 7. The defenseman -- who missed the entire 2018 Stanley Cup run due to injury -- compiled three goals, eight assists and 25 shots in 12 playoff outings. During the regular season, the 30-year-old notched 51 points, including 20 scored with the man advantage. Although the Montreal native has struggled to stay healthy at times, when he is in the lineup he is a lock for 25-plus minutes per game. Letang should continue to eat up heavy minutes and feature prominently on the power play heading into the 2018-19 campaign.
Letang garnered a helper in Thursday's Game 4 defeat of the Capitals. With his power-play assist, Letang has points in three straight games. After being relatively absent in Game 1 of this second-round series, the defenseman has turned it up with eight shots, eight hits and eight blocks in the previous three contests. Coach Mike Sullivan will continue to ride the Montreal native, which will have him logging more than 25 minutes per game in the postseason.
Letang tallied a helper in Game 3 versus the Capitals on Wednesday. In addition to his assist, Letang dished out six hits in an effort to match the physicality of Washington. The blueliner is having a solid postseason, as he is averaging a point per game, along with 17 shots, 18 hits and 21 blocks -- all while averaging 25:11 of ice time. The only deficiency in the Montreal native's game in the playoffs has been his lack of production on the power play, where he has a mere two assists.
Letang scored the only goal for Pittsburgh in Sunday's Game 2 loss to Washington. Letang is currently averaging a point per game in the postseason (two goals and six assists), which puts him one tally behind John Carlson and Torey Krug. Unsurprisingly, the 30-year-old leads the Penguins in playoff ice time at 24:59 per game -- a full three minutes more than Justin Schultz. Last season, the team spread out the workload for its defensemen with Letang sidelined, but that is clearly not the plan this time around, as coach Mike Sullivan will lean on the Montreal native as much as he can.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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