It was announced Tuesday morning that Evgeni Malkin will miss 2-3 weeks after sustaining a foot injury in the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. The announcement is definitely a surprise considering the fact that Malkin played over 20 minutes in that game, and head coach Dan Bylsma said that he hurt his foot on the first shift.
That tells you one thing: The injury isn’t that serious and the Penguins are playing it safe to get Malkin ready for the playoffs.
Had the injury been even remotely serious, there’s no way Malkin would have taken the ice for the second period. He could have fooled trainers throughout the first, but eventually someone would have noticed something was wrong and the situation would have been handled during the game.
The Penguins have pretty much sealed where they are going to end up at season’s end. They’re going to win the Metropolitan division but are going to be short of the Boston Bruins for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins are simply playing too well and the Penguins have been inconsistent over their latest stretch of games, only accumulating five wins in their last 10 contests.
Malkin is currently third in points, and the most important matter is that he is ready for the playoffs, which begin on Apr. 16. The timetable that the Penguins have placed on him seems like he will be back for whichever team the Penguins end up facing in the first round.
It’s been frustrating how many injuries the Penguins have had this season, especially to their key players, but Penguins fans don’t need to fret about what’s going on with Malkin.
This is just one of those cases where it really is better to be safe than sorry.