The Pittsburgh Penguins will most likely be without the services of one of their superstars, Evgeni Malkin.
After returning from an infection that had sidelined him for five games, Malkin was injured in a fluke play that will cause him to miss the remainder of the season.
Malkin went into the boards awkwardly with Tyler Myers, a Buffalo Sabres defenceman, on Friday night. The early diagnosis is a torn ACL and MCL. Typically, a player who suffers this type of injury requires surgery and a rehabilitation stint of four to six months. The Penguins are looking to acquire a second opinion to see if Malkin’s injuries can be healed with rehab and not surgery. If they determine that the injury requires surgery, Malkin will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs.
Luckily for the Pens, if surgery is required, they can place Malkin on long-term injury, which will allow available cap space before the trade deadline to acquire a forward.
The Pens are still visibly missing their superstar, Sidney Crosby, who is still out with post-concussion syndrome after the hit he took during the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
The Pens have been struggling with injuries this season as Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin have only played two games together this season. Despite many injuries, the Pens have been able to stay high in the standings because of their stellar goaltending and excellent defensive play.
These injuries will hurt the Penguins come playoff time, but don’t be too quick to count them out. If last year’s playoffs are any indication, when a team gets hot, there is no stopping them. Regardless of who else is contributing, Crosby and Staal will be counted on to carry the load up front and with Fleury in net, they always have a chance to win. Malkin will be missed, but they’ve proven they can win without him; now they’ll have to.