How scary was it to watch last night's game and see Sidney Crosby go down to the ice in obvious pain roughly 40 seconds into the match? It's that sinking feeling; that same feeling you had in Game 7 against the Red Wings when Sid jammed his knee against the boards. Or that draining feeling you had when, two seasons ago, he slipped skate-first into the boards and sprained his ankle, missing 20+ games before the playoffs.
Penguin nation breathed a giant sigh of relief when Sid returned to the ice a shift or two later. Interestingly enough, he'd lead all Pens in total ice time before all was said and done. But man, there's no denying he dodged a serious injury when his knee buckled under in an awkward fall and tangle with Lightning thug Steve Downie. As we'd surmised around these parts, that's the sort of thing that ends a season/cuts a career short/changes a player's career. Luckily Sid lives to skate another day.
Evgeni Malkin may be a different story though. Before we get too carried away and assume the injury is serious, let's at least break down the reason for the injury. In the second period Kris "I can't hit the net" Letang lived up to his middle name and sent a shot off Malkin's leg/skate/ankle/foot. What area was exactly injured is still unclear, but Malkin left the ice in obvious pain and did not return.
All this time during the Crosby/Malkin era we've been a very lucky fan base. Whenever one guy gets injured, the other has been able to step up. When Sid went out with the ankle two seasons ago, Malkin showed up big time. When Malkin was out with a shoulder issue earlier this season, Crosby took the reigns. It's a nice, reassuring factor that we have not only one incredibly talented center but two. However, in less than 60 minutes of play, the Penguins came this close to losing both centers. One may be a bit sore today but otherwise is just fine. The other, Malkin, is still in question.
Hooks, Justin and myself will keep an eye on whatever news come out surrounding Malkin's prognosis throughout the day. Here's to hoping it's nothing serious and just a deep bruise. Anything other than that, especially this deep into the season, may cause a problem of sorts.