The news on Saturday morning wasn’t good for Pittsburgh Penguins fans who were hoping to hear something positive about Evgeni Malkin.
It was reported that Malkin was experiencing “concussion-like symptoms” as a result of crashing into the boards during Friday night’s game against the Florida Panthers.
The incident happened five minutes into the third period as Malkin was deep in the Panthers’ offensive zone. Erik Gudbranson checked him near the net, and Malkin lost his balance and hit the end boards forcefully, snapping his head back as he hit. He made it off the ice under his own power, though he was wobbly and very slow to get to his feet. He was kept in the hospital for a few hours before being released.
By Saturday morning, when he was to have a more extensive evaluation, he was suffering from severe headaches and mild disorientation.
The Penguins are no strangers to concussion woes. Sidney Crosby spent nearly a year recovering from the effects of two concussions sustained five days apart back in January 2011. He attempted to come back in November 2011 but sat out after eight games. He returned for good in March 2012.
Malkin will not be playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night, and it’s highly unlikely that he will be traveling with the team on their three-game road trip next week. His potential long-term absence could spell trouble for the Penguins, as he has been their best all-around player and held the team together during Crosby’s absence.