The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that centre Evgeni Malkin is sidelined for at least a month with a soft tissue injury to the leg. The Penguins also announced that centre Nick Bjugstad is also out long term with an undisclosed injury. Pens coach Mike Sullivan said that Malkin’s injury is not season-ending and Bjugstad should be back before Malkin.
Malkin suffered a soft tissue injury to his leg. Expected to be out at least a month.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 7, 2019
Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad Injured
Malkin left Saturday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets midway through the second period after tripping over teammate Kris Letang‘s skates and getting sandwiched into the boards. Bjugstad left the same game in the third period.
So far this season, Malkin has scored one goal for one point. His possession numbers were 50.3 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -10.7. So far this season, Bjugstad doesn’t have a point or any penalties. His possession numbers were 51.6 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -2.7.
Over his 14-year career, Malkin has played solely for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has 392 goals and 611 assists for 1,003 career points in 854 career games. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1st round, 2nd overall in the 2004 NHL Draft.
Over his 9-year career, Bjugstad has played for the Florida Panthers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has 96 goals and 109 assists for 205 career points in 428 career games. He was originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 1st round, 19th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft.
What This Means for the Future
With Malkin and Bjugstad both going down with injuries, Mike Sullivan is going to have to reshuffle his lineup. The regular line of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Dominik Simon will probably be kept intact but the other lines will change. Some players that could draw into the lineup could include left-winger Andrew Agozzino and center Joseph Blandisi.
The Penguins could be in some serious trouble if they don’t find a way to replace Malkin’s scoring and playmaking. They have a tough schedule ahead. Additionally, they need every point in what should be a close Metropolitan division. As a result, over the next few weeks, they will truly see what their team is capable of.