Insider Intel: The invaluable Gonchar

The Penguins are worse without Sergei Gonchar than they are without Sidney Crosby. James Lang/US Presswire

Wallowing. That's probably the best word to describe the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 14. With a 27-24-2 record, they looked nothing like the team that had surged to the Stanley Cup finals the previous season, largely because, until that day, they lacked one of the biggest pieces in their championship puzzle: Sergei Gonchar.