NHL

Questions about Tristan Jarry’s health mirror talks about Najee Harris earlier this year

Questions about Tristan Jarry’s health mirror talks about Najee Harris earlier this year

The Pittsburgh Penguins appear to have a Najee Harris-like injury situation developing with goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Jarry says he’s playing through injury while the head coach downplays him.

That hasn’t worked out great for Harris and the Steelers much of the year at Acrisure Stadium. Pens fans are hoping the situation gets rectified faster for their goaltender at PPG Paints Arena.

After a 5-4 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, Jarry revealed has been dealing with some sort of physical ailments.

“I’ve been dealing with some issues,” Jarry said after the game. “It’s obviously affected my game. I’m trying to get back to 100 percent health. I’m trying to do everything I can. I think that’s what affected it.”

Jarry blew three separate one-goal leads in that game, scoring twice within a minute of the Penguins taking the lead.

Mike Sullivan, however, did not give credibility to the idea that the level of injury was a variable in Jarry’s game. The head coach simply said “no” when asked if the team needs to monitor how much Jarry is playing and “no” again when asked if there are any physical issues with Jarry.

Hmm. Well, at least Sullivan didn’t say that Jarry was just “trampled” in practice.

That was Mike Tomlin’s simple explanation of what happened to Harris during an early training camp practice this summer. After barely practicing the rest of the month at Saint Vincent College, Harris had a spotty preseason and eventually revealed on his own that he had been dealing with a Lisfranc foot injury throughout.

As Harris’ struggles to replicate his rookie season continued into the 2022 regular season, the 2021 first-round pick indicated that the nature of the injury was such that it had been playing with a steel plate in his shoe. He was not removed until the team’s sixth game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Harris finally had his first impact game in 2022 this past Sunday when he ran for 99 yards in a win against the New Orleans Saints.

I almost always side with the athletes in situations like this. They are their bodies. It’s their reputation. They are their names. If they want to reveal what is physically wrong with themselves, they should have every right to do so.


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I understand where managers are coming from in that they can be paranoid about opponents trying to exploit this injury news in terms of match preparation. Or they may be afraid that opposing teams might take a foul shot on their player if they know where a specific injury is. Or maybe some coaches simply subscribe to the “if you’re healthy enough to play, go out and play” mantra.

You know, there are no excuses.

I understand.

But that’s a bit stiff, isn’t it? Especially for a player like Jarry, who probably wasn’t healthy enough to play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals last year, but he still did it in New York because the Pens were desperate for goaltending help against the Rangers.

A big reason why I side with the players in matters like this is because I feel they have less reason to deny the truth. It’s not like athletes like to admit they’re injured. For the reasons above, this doesn’t do them much good. But coaches have every reason in the world to outright lie about their players’ injuries, if their respective leagues would allow them to do so.

Theoretically, for gambling…I mean…in the name of transparency for fans and the media, that’s why organizations have to provide some kind of injury reports or when players games or training are missed. But, especially in the NHL, there are no rules about how true they have to be.

And that’s why phrases like “upper/lower body,” “maintenance day,” “veteran’s day off,” and “stepped on” are part of the cat-and-mouse public information game they love. play trainers

Whatever the case with Jarry, the Penguins need a better goaltender out of him, and they need him healthy. Backup Casey DeSmith has been decent lately. He has won the last two headlines. In three of his last four appearances, DeSmith has allowed just two goals or less.

But that can’t go on forever, and DeSmith has also shown a propensity for injury if he plays too much.

This is how Pittsburgh became acquainted with Louis Domingue and “spicy pork and broccoli”, as you will remember.

Brian Metzer and I discuss all of these topics at this week’s hockey podcast. We also preview Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And let’s talk about former Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, who is slated to start for the Leafs against his former team at PPG Paints Arena for the first time.

Listen: Tim Benz and Brian Metzer talk Penguins hockey

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or road Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.





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