We all know by now that Penguins forward Chris Kunitz for an elbow he delivered to the head of Lightning forward Simon Gagne during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quaterfinals, and we here in Pittsburgh are no strangers to players or should we say player (ehem we're looking at you Matt Cooke) being suspended for hits like this in recent history. But this suspension is an even bigger blow the Pens as they are already with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the afformentioned Matt Cooke and are in need of all the offensive help they can get. Not only has Kunitz been a perrenial elite forward on the Penguins roster since GM Ray Shero robbed Anaheim back in February of 2009 when he traded never was defenseman Ryan Whitney for Kunitz and Eric Tangradi whom happens to be the likely canidate to step into the empty roster spot created by this suspension.
Not only will the Penguins miss the potential offense that Kuni can bring to the table in Game 4 but they will miss his grit, the don't mess with my teamates or I'm going to lay you out attitude that Kunitz brings to every game, Don't get me wrong Tangradi is a more than sufficient replacement in terms of offense but he doesn't bring the same grit as Kunitz and not many players do. Another potential fill in would be Mike Comrie whom has yet to really show his potential in a Penguins uniform but still has an offensive prowess that can be dangerous once he gets back in the zone. There aren't many options after that because we all know that Eric Godard will not be seeing any ice time the rest of the season and everyone else is in WBS or on the injury list.
Here is a look at Kunitz's stats over the past season up until now.