By Rick Dayton

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – First it was Sidney Crosby, now it’s Evgeni Malkin.

The Pens’ star is out with a concussion, after he went into the boards hard during Friday night’s game.

Over pancakes, coffee and potatoes, Penguins fans at Deluca’s in the Strip District were talking pucks Monday morning.

“I just hope he stays out for as long as he needs. Don’t immediately come back or rush him to get back. I think there is a strong enough team around him that they can work around him and make sure he gets a full recovery,” Nick Wiseman said.

Even those who don’t claim to be hockey experts are well aware of the dangers of head injuries.

“Because of Crosby being who he is and all the time that he was off, I think it is now being paid more attention to,” Josh Clevenger said.

“I’m not a big sports person, but I do know that it’s important to take that time and rest, but it would be very hard and difficult and frustrating,” Linda Fiejdasz said.

The lockout means 48 games get squeezed into an abbreviated season. Missing any period of time could mean Geno misses a lot of games.

“It does give opportunities for other players to go in and for other players to play, but it seems this happens a lot more than it should especially with the short season. It’s pretty devastating, but I think he will bounce back and will be okay,” Brad Shaffer said.

Malkin is the reigning MVP of the National Hockey League, and the teams said he will not travel to Miami for Tuesday night’s game against the Panthers.

“It’s definitely a worry. I mean any time you don’t have one of your top two players it’s going to be a big issue. It’s good that Crosby is back and playing at basically full speed again so hopefully that will take a little bit of the edge off of the hurt,” Bill Krieger said.

In the end, only time will tell.


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