It’s not been an easy couple of months for Pittsburgh Penguins star defenseman Kris Letang. They’ve been pure hell.
He suffered a second stroke, and when he finally returned from it, he sustained a lower-body injury, which sidelined him for the Winter Classic. Shortly after the injury, his father died.
Kris Letang has received massive support from the city of Pittsburgh and his teammates and coaches at the Penguins. The team all decided not to travel home after a several days-long road trip.
Instead, they decided to travel to Canada just to be at the funeral of Letang’s dad. Ahead of his return to the NHL, Letang said he was grateful. He couldn’t stress enough how much he appreciated everyone’s support.
“It’s been a really difficult time for him. His friends and teammates just want to be there to support him. It’s definitely not an easy situation what he’s had to go through,” said Sidney Crosby.
Letang finally returned to play earlier this week. He played for nearly 27 minutes in the Penguins’ matchup against the Florida Panthers. And what a return it was. Letang had two goals and two assists, including the power-play winner in overtime. You could see how much the goal meant to Letang and his teammates as they immediately jumped the ice to celebrate the goal with him.
It was such a beautiful moment, and we saw another one on Thursday.
Ahead of Letang’s second game back after his hellish months, this time against Penguins’ rivals Washington Capitals, Alexander Ovechkin skated over to him during warm-ups.
The two talked a bit, shared a little hug, and it was all about the Russian checking in with Letang to show some compassion.
There’s more to life than just hockey, and it’s so great to see two rivals showing respect to each other. We love to see it.