Here's one way to gauge the value of a player:

Ask a couple of teammates where the club would be without him.

"That's a tough question," Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis said Monday of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. "He's been playing great. He's a big part of it."

That would be a big part of the Penguins' run to 44 points in 35 games, among the best in the NHL, despite injuries galore.

Every defenseman who started the season on the major league roster, among others, has missed least one game. And even though center Evgeni Malkin is in contention for the league points championship and winger James Neal is vying for the goal title, the Penguins would hate an "It's a Wonderful Life" version of themselves without their franchise goalie.