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Pens lose Malkin (foot) for 2-3 weeks

Mar 25, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

Evgeni Malkin AP

In a season rife with injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins have now lost one of their biggest stars.

Evgeni Malkin has suffered a foot injury that will sideline him for the next 2-3 weeks, head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed on Tuesday. The news comes two days after Malkin logged huge minutes in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to St. Louis, playing 24:32 while firing a game-high seven shots on goal — even though Malkin got hurt on his first shift, per Bylsma.

As mentioned above, this is just the latest in a long line of injuries to hit the Penguins this year. They’ve dealt with bad health all season and are currently without the services of Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis, Tomas Vokoun, Paul Martin, Beau Bennett and Chris Conner, all of whom are on IR.

That said, the timing of this latest setback isn’t so bad.

Pittsburgh doesn’t have an awful lot to play for — they’ve all but wrapped up the Metropolitan Division already and, according to Sports Club Stats, have a 97 percent chance of finishing as the East’s No. 2 seed behind Boston — so it’s possible Malkin is being shut down (for what looks to be the duration of the regular season) as a potential precautionary measure.

The injury will also give some lesser lights the opportunity for extended minutes at center. Brandon Sutter and Marcel Goc become the No. 2 and 3 middle men in Malkin’s absence.

  1. rushledger - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    This season hasn’t been great for us other than Sid on the injury front.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I swear we can’t ever catch a break!

    • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      wouldnt worry much about it. he played a whole game on it, so that tells me hes only taking time off because he wants to feel better for playoffs.

      with a spot clinched, and even at at least the number 2 seed locked up, might as well.

      but yeah, the injuries never stop.

      • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Having played in the Olympics, also, maybe the rest isn’t so bad.

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        true. like i said, not worried about this. unless he has a beau bennett like setback, everything is fine.

      • illashell - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        Not necessarily. He probably didn’t know the severity until he took the boot off and it swelled up.

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        If that’s the case, then why doesn’t Crosby also take a break? Chara? Bergeron? Toews? Getzlaf? Perry? Shall I go on?

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        im not sure what point your making.

      • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        Joey – because Bettman would lose his marbles. Boston does have intentions of resting guys, was listening to Peter C. state that yesterday. What other teams do is on them, there is no obligation to play ANYone. Sucks for the home fans to watch AHL’ers lose at the end of the season, and you also don’t want to start slumping, but resting guys for the playoffs isn’t a bad thing. Crosby’s also in a Hart Trophy race (not that it should matter, but hell you know it does).

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        im not saying hes sitting down to rest. im saying hes sitting down because theres nothing to really gain or lose right now except maybe the 1st seed in the conference, which i dont see happening because i dont think boston is going to go on a losing streak to let us leap frog them.

        so, instead of playing on an injured foot and going into the playoffs less than 100%, you sit down now and let it rest and heal.

        i never said hes resting just to rest. it just so happens he was an olympian and there is the added benefit of resting an injury is also resting in general.

        sid, kunitz, and all the other olympians have gotten days off practice and so forth along the way to help keep them fresh. i could care less what other teams do.

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        You are saying exactly that he’s sitting to rest. You think the Bruins don’t have players in the line up who have some sort of discomfort… or any other team for that matter.

        “so that tells me hes only taking time off because he wants to feel better for playoffs”

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        joey, im really not sure what the hell your deal is or what your trying to say.

        i didnt say ANYTHING about the bruins or any other team or player and i really dont care what they do or if they hurt or what. i think it goes without saying that you rest an injury in the present to feel better for the future.

        your starting to sound like my girlfriend. over analyzing things, putting words in my mouth and arguing for the sake of arguing.

      • JoeAvg - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        @ hockey412 “there is no obligation to play ANYone”.

        Not sure that’s true. Unless it was removed with the introduction of the lottery, I believe there’s something written that teams have the responsibility to put their best possible lineup on the ice each night. Not that this is entirely enforceable but it’s there to not only prevent a team resting all its stars in an unimportant game at seasons end (unfair to fans, as you’ve mentioned) but also to keep a team from tanking it for a better draft order.

        Just a vague recollection I have from in the past where teams were accused of putting call ups on the ice in an effort to lose so they can get that “can’t miss kid” in the upcoming draft.

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        I’m saying that you’re in left field and you have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re telling us “hes only taking time off because he wants to feel better for playoffs” & “hes sitting down because theres nothing to really gain or lose right now except maybe the 1st seed in the conference”. You’re blowing smoke from both sides of your mouth.

        You want your team to be running on all cylinders when the playoffs start. You don’t use the last couple of weeks of the season to rest the boys. You take them out of the line up if they are seriously injured. You use the last weeks of the season to prepare the boys for the battle, make final tweaks to the system to make sure your team is running on all cylinders. Don’t bs us with you novice theories.

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        uhhh, ok joey. your right. how could i have been so wrong? thankfully your here to set me straight.

        anyway….

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        You’re welcome! You can learn something new everyday if you are willing to listen to reason and experience.

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Additionally, you tell “sid, kunitz, and all the other olympians have gotten days off practice and so forth along the way to help keep them fresh”. So why the hell didn’t Bylsma give Malkin some time off as well. You can’t even keep your stories straight.

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        lol, malkin did get those same days off. there has been a couple times that Bylsmas gave all the olympians days off practice.

        im truly trying to figure out your motivation and ultimate point here. i really dont see where the argument is, or where there is something to be right or wrong about…

        its a very simple article about a very simple issue.

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        maybe i should have clarified.

        when i said “all the other olympians” i meant all of the other olympians. as in, all of them. malkin would be included in “all”.

        got it?

      • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        I’m so confused about why this is such a big freaking deal. The guy has a hurt foot and any/every team making a run is giving guys rest. No, I don’t believe that a team needs to put an injured player on the ice, joeAVG, to your point. And comparing a playoff run to tanking for a lottery pick is silly. Eh, you want to make a big deal of it, fine by me. Maybe Pittsburgh doesn’t want it’s players having to have extended hospital stays (i.e. gives a damn about them) after the playoffs for things that could have been avoided with rest.

    • upper90cheese - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      UmmmYeah…… about winning the draft lottery and getting the best player of his generation….

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      I just realized this but I’m beginning to think that St. Francis hospital has cursed Consol cause the arena was built on its grounds.

      • Hockeyfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        Not to be too much a stickler for details but that ground was first the Central Medical Center , a small independent facility bought out by St. Francis.

    • bbk1000 - Mar 26, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      I hope you are joking……all you have experienced are breaks…….

  3. bgrillz - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I guess as long as all are back for the playoffs, it is fine. But man, they can not buy a break.

  4. jdlinder11 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    The push to 500 man games lost is on!

  5. kastout11 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    He will be back for the playoffs as will Letang and Martin. It does not matter who comes back for the Penguins. They are not good enough to beat the Bruins. Hell, I don’t think they are good enough to beat the Flyers. If these guys come back right before the playoffs start that will give them no time to gel or get into game shape. I think the Penguins are in a lot of trouble come playoff time if, when these guys come back.

    • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      yeah they are in trouble alright.

      they suck. they cant play defense, their goalie is shaky and chokes, their coach is outmatched in every game he plays, and their stars never show up.

      i truly hope thats the story line that continues.

    • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      You said that as if the Flyers are a weak team and we can’t EVEN beat them…those guys are rolling right now.

      There are some holes in the Pens line-up this year, that is true. With everyone back, the team can beat anyone – they just have to figure that out. Boston is not unbeatable, and I feel much better with the Pens slumping now, with time left, whereas the Bruins are peaking – the B’s are known to be streaky as well. The pressure of being the Cup favorites is off the Pens. Not a bad thing.

      • dropthepuckeh - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Right, the B’s winning 12 in a row is “peaking” and therefore a bad thing. With that logic I guess it is good the Bruins lost last night and hopefully again on Thursday against Chicago. You’d hate for them to win too much now and use up their allotments of wins in a season.

        You are correct that the Penguins can beat anyone on a given night but so can most of the playoff teams. I don’t think having a bunch of your star players coming back just in time for the playoffs is what any team wants to do. Win or lose they wan to be playing well as a team and feeling confident in their game and chemistry.

        I don’t think anyone confused the Penguins for being the Cup favorites so your false modesty is not warranted. They will have a tough time making it out of the opening round, regardless of who they play. I do hope its Philly though, even if Philly already “peaked” too.

      • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        ah, damn – I answered your comment in a separate post instead of replying to the notification. You’ll have to look it up on the thread.

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Every coach and GM prefers to have their team running on all cycinders as opposed to struggling with their game and having health issues. This is precisely the time if year you need to have all the boys healthy and playing well. Of course it doesn’t mean the Pens won’t be successful, but starting he playoffs with a less than optimal team is extremely risky. If I were Pens fan I wouldn’t want to meet the Flyers in the first round with a team looking to jell and get healthy.

      • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Well, Joey, what choice do they have. And is that your advice? That Bylsma should get all the boys together and tell them that the situation is not optimal?

        Silliness, good sir. The guys hurt, and all I’m saying is that it’s not all bad, they can still put something good together. Have you noticed how the Pens play when they underestimate a team? (such as Florida, Edmonton, or anyone else that they SHOULD beat). Have you noticed how they play with people hurt, as the underdogs?

      • hockey412 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Dropthepuckeh – if you could use context, for just once, instead of taking every post as stand alone, that’d be just wonderful. I said they can beat anyone, in response to the shmo above that said they can’t beat Boston or Philly.

        Context. Look it up, and if you still need help with it, I’m here for you bro.

        I’ll save your post for use later, you sound so sure, and full, of yourself it’s silly. It was the same gluttonous egotism I heard yesterday about the Montreal game. They never stood a chance….

      • c9castine - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        risky?

        you act like they chose for these guys to get hurt. its the cards we have been dealt…so you play them the best you can and try to win.

        i dont think they are going to need time to develop chemistry. malkin has been playing with his line for a year and a half. letang has been playing with this team for 8 years. martin for 4.

        this isnt like adding iginla, morrow, jokinen, and murray with 15 games to play.

        btw, vegas odds put the penguins at 6 to 1 to win the cup. so, you might not think they are a contender, but somebody does.

      • joey4id - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        c9 put out a theory that Malkin just wanted to rest for the playoffs, which is absurd. That a novice assessment of the situation regarding an injury to a player. It was a very amateur comment and I told him or her what I thought.

      • c9castine - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        joey, its not a theory.

        its a clear cut fact that malkin is resting an injury now so he feels better in the future. its plain and simple. are you a pro? do you get paid for your stupid opinions? even in this stupid world of PHT look at the voting. you got voted down by almost every single person (except yourself and maybe one other on occasion) while everybody to the tune of roughly a 15-1 ratio voted in favor of “joey, what the hell are you talking about, why are you acting like a girl, and wont you please shut up already”.

  6. csilojohnson - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Sounds like your making a huge deal out of someone’s oppinion. Because you dont agree… Unless you have Malkin on speed dial your both only good for an oppinion on his injury.
    Reign in the ego joey.

  7. hosewater2 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Maybe you should have done the ante up for Kesler with some of those prospects, eh Ray?

    • jaybaileys - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Kessler wouldn’t make them a Stanley Cup Contender, maybe Shea Weber would but they need wingers and defense not a 3rd line center.

  8. jaybaileys - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Pens fan here, and I agree it doesn’t matter. This team has no answer for big tight checking, pack it in teams, i.e. the Bruins, Blues etc. They aren’t strong enough defensively. Scuds has been a disappointment, Orpik just needs to move on, the other guys they thought would play big roles Martin and Letang are wild cards the rest of the year. Niskanen and Matta have been their 2 best defenseman all year. Fleury is inconsistent because his D has been so unsteady and Zatkoff is unproven. They only have 2 lines that score and when teams manage to shut down Sid and Malkin they are done. NO scoring at all from the 3rd or 4th line. I don’t see them getting past the wild card round which is a shame. No way they beat Philly or Boston, or maybe even NY if they beat the Flyers. And sadly if that happens I think J. Martin will be the next coach because Disco Dan will be gone. The window is starting to close with their “core” I fear, and for all of Shero’s great Defensive drafts he’s failed to bring up one winger to contribute on a regular basis. I still love them but they are golfing by the end of April early May this year.

    • malkamania71 - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Please do not refer to yourself as a Penguins fan if you are only here to berate them.. I understand being logical in their case but there’s a difference between logical and just straight up negative. Their defense is stellar when they have all of their assets, so I don’t really know where you are going with that one. Let them get guys like Bennett, Letang, Martin, Geno, (heck, even Harry Z would improve the bottom 6 in my opinion) back into the lineup before selling them short in the playoffs. I agree with you that no match up will be easy, but it wouldnt be the NHL playoffs if it was

      • ironyisadeadscene - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        Yes jaybaileys…we’ll have no insight or analysis in these threads…you must praise the pens in all ways possible……and please….go change your name to something more acceptable…… like crosbymania87….or pensrdabombyo

        No opinions…..FOLLOW

      • jaybaileys - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Dude I watch every friggin game. Where is this stellar defense you speak of? there is a difference between being a flag waving fan and a realist. I would pretty much be shocked to see them get past the 2nd round this year unless the wild card somehow upsets the Bruins. Please don’t fricking lecture me wether Im fan enough for you. Look through your rose colored glasses if you want I’m calling it the way i see it.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        i can tell you after decades of watching hockey and after watching every minute of every pens game this year that i find it difficult to see them making it out of the east this year much less making a series competitive with any team from the west in a cup final. they just dont have “it” right now, and until i see monumental change in the form of system and/or coaching…even the personnel issues arent a good enough excuse for me.

      • c9castine - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        i dont think hes saying you must only praise the penguins.

        its just as misguided to sit there and tear down everything they are and do as it is to priase everything they are and do.

        logical minds see this in all matters of life.

        also, attitude accounts for a great deal of success.

    • penguins87and71 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      I don’t think your actually a Pens fan, because if you were a Pens fan you would know that the Penguins have had been decimated with injures. The Penguins haven’t been healthy all year, and that includes the first game of the season. How can you say the Penguins can’t beat the Bruins, Flyers or Blues? They played 2 out of 3 games against Boston without Malkin, Letang, and Martin. The one game they played against Boston when they actually had most of their regular players, they won. They played Philadelphia two games against Philly without their top 2 wingers. Fleury and Zatkoff have been really good all year, and the defense in my opinion, even with the injures have been solid all year. The Penguins rank 8th in total defense this year, which isn’t to bad.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        every team has injuries. penguins have shown they have depth that can get them through a boring middle of a regular season thanks to batman (crosby) and robin (malkin) being mostly healthy all year. doesnt mean jack for their playoff prospects this season. actual quality depth is critical because no one ever makes it through the playoffs without some form of attrition and if the penguins are going to have to rely on guys like brian gibbons, taylor pyatt and the possibility of a robert bortuzzo and simon despres pairing in the playoffs…the prospects for success are not good. a good system, disciplined personnel, even some clever coaching can make a difference and maybe get you over the hump and through a series or two with some injury issues but unfortunately i dont see a lot of that going on right now so why would i think that it improves in april/may? if you’re holding your breath for bennett, martin, and letang to come back and fix everything….you’re going to be very disappointed.

      • jaybaileys - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Dude you obviously don’t watch closely, they have no answer for tight checking playoff style hockey! Plain and simple. They aren’t healthy, and guess what they probably won’t be come playoff time. They will have to play with back ups. If they were totally healthy they would have a shot. But they aren’t. The Pens are winning mainly for one reason, they have the top power play in the league. 5 on 5 they are like +10. That is not a recipe for winning in the playoffs unless you think they are gonna get 2 or 3 PP goals a night. You obviously have a higher opinion of them than me. Good for you. Do you watch other teams play? How do you think they are possibly gonna hang with the top teams in a 7 game series? I just don’t see it. 2 line teams with shaky defense don’t hoist Cups, that’s what they are. We will see who is right shortly.

    • gsr1191 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      I really dont get all of the “pens arent strong enough defensivley”. Maybe in years past, but not this year. I’m pretty sure they are 8th overall (3rd in east) in Goals Allowed Per game, which isn’t bad at all. THey have the 2nd ranked PK, which is pretty good. Sure they have lapses but they aren’t nearly as bad on that end as most like to point out. As for them not being able to go up against the “pack it in” teams, i do agree with that at some point. But its not like they get blown out in those games. A bounce here or there and they win them. Look at the Blues game on Sunday, they got the deflection and we didnt. We did have a few deflections that JUST missed. This team, healthy can beat anyone. People act like they went out in the 1st round last year. They made it to the ECF. Sure they didnt play well, but it wasnt like they were one and done. My biggest worry is their lack of scoring from the 3rd and 4th lines. Not their D.

  9. JoeAvg - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    @ hockey412

    Wow. Never said anything about forcing a team to play an injured player. I think you completely missed my irrelevant point. But no matter. This thread has degenerated into babble. Movin on.

    • 7mantel - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      lol like most threads !

  10. phillyphannnn83 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    This thread is incredibly entertaining, especially the Pens fan complaining they never catch a break. I’m pretty sure every other team in the NHL would laugh for days if they heard that. I guess you don’t remember being awarded the 1st overall pick in a year they didn’t even qualify for the lottery. As long as Sid is a Penguin, you guys gave absolutely nothing to complain about.

    You’re team is going to win their division and be the #2 seed, stop crying, it’s pathetic.

    • jaybaileys - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      I think they meant in terms of injuries. The Pens are leading the league and approaching 500 man games lost.

    • killerpgh - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      What year were they “awarded the 1st overall pick in a year they didn’t even qualify for the lottery”?

  11. penguins87and71 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    You got to be kidding me! The Penguins can’t get a break with these injuries, it sucks to because Malkin was starting to play really good. I guess the only good thing about Malkin’s injury is he will be rested come playoff time. This just isn’t the Penguins season.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      I’m sorry but wasn’t this self anointed “Dream Team” at close to full health during last year’s ECF? Maybe all these injuries and having lower expectations, as some of the Yinzers have begun to run with as the new Pens battle cry, will work wonders come post season. I wouldn’t be at all shocked if the landscape of the East was turned on it’s head and a 2010 ECF rematch of MTL vs. PHIL emerged when all was said and done.

  12. joewilliesshnoz - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Bylsma sucks.

  13. jpelle82 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    it blows my mind that a malkin foot injury has somehow managed to generate almost 50 comments. this guy http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/05/detroit-shuts-down-datsyuk-for-three-weeks-no-knee-surgery-yet/ gets a whopping 7 comments. talk about polarizing…the penguins couldnt cross the street without this site jizzing in its pants.

  14. President Charles Logan - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Pens arent going far in the Playoffs .

  15. chanceoffleury - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    I think using Jokinen as the #2 center isn’t out of the question either. I’d just be hesitant to start making major changes to the lines. Because it sounds like as soon as the playoffs start they’re going to go back to normal. Bennett is likely to return this week. By the way of the Penguins team structure (being strong down the middle) , losing a centerman is going to be the most disruptive. Instead of disrupting 3 lines by shifting out Malkin and moving around Sutter and Goc, then putting Malkin back in in 3 weeks and moving Sutter and Goc around again, why not just shift Jokinen over and add Bennett to the left wing? Then when Malkin comes back they can shift Bennett down to the 3rd line wing. Jokinen’s strong on face-offs and centered the Kunitz-Dupuis combo when Crosby was out last year. I think he could handle the duties and like I said, I think it causes the least amount of variance.

  16. penguins87and71 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    I never said that the Penguins would go far in the Playoffs, all I said was I think they could play with the Flyers or Bruins if they were completely healthy, they probably won’t be, I don’t think the Penguins will go far in the Playoffs. What makes you think next year will be any different next year? Every year the Penguins are decimated with injuries. They also don’t have two bottom lines that score goals, they are very top heavy and that’s not good for the Playoffs. The Pemguins might actually be worse team next year, they will probably lose Jokinen and Niskane, getting Kesler wont help that much eaither. Even with a healthy lineup, Dan Byslma has no clue how to coach in the Playoffs. Maybe we just need to be happy with 1 Stanley Cup in the Crosby/Malkin era.

  17. flyerspsu - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    one of the funniest things I have seen in awhile #ask neal

    http://www.crossingbroad.com/2014/03/the-penguins-askneal-twitter-hashtag-went-horribly-wrong.html

    • imgoingtowichita - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Thanks for that! It had been a rough morning. Even a pens fan would have to laugh at some of the creativity.

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