Penguins' Malkin experiencing severe headache, mild disorientation
By Rob Rossi
Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 2:45 p.m.
Evgeni Malkin was experiencing concussion symptoms Saturday, including severe headaches and mild disorientation, multiple sources confirmed.
“He's still getting evaluated as far as the extent,” Bylsma said Saturday afternoon following an optional practice for players at Southpointe Iceoplex. “It's an ongoing process at this point in time.”
Malkin was not available for comment, per team policy.
Bylsma declined to place a timetable for a Malkin recovery, but said “in terms of NHL (concussion) protocol, we're following that.”
Players believed at risk for a concussion are required to be removed from games and sent to a “quiet room” for on-site examination by a team physician, who will administer a baseline cognitive test for evaluation. The NHL began using this protocol on March 16, 2011.
Malkin was injured early in the third period of the Penguins' home win over Florida on Friday night.
He did not finish the game after sliding into the end boards following a hit by Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson. The back of Malkin's head appeared to bounce off the boards and his neck snapped back in a whiplash-like motion.
A whiplash-like motion on its own could cause a concussion, said Dr. Julian Bailes, a neurosurgeon who is co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute in Chicago.
Bailes said “brain slosh,” when the brain is jarred against the skull because of sudden jerking of the upper body or neck, would be a factor in that scenario.
“It's a minority of cases, but it's another way a concussion can occur other than direct contact to the head,” said Bailes, who chaired the neurosurgery department at WVU's School of Medicine for 11 years and has consulted for the NFLPA since 1994.
Bailes stressed that concussion symptoms often are delayed.
That was the case for Penguins captain Sidney Crosby at the start of his concussion saga two years ago.
Crosby played in only eight games from Jan. 6, 2011-March 15, 2012, because of concussion symptoms that altered his equilibrium and left him with headaches, neck soreness and occasional sensitivity to light and sound.
Crosby absorbed blindside blows in separate games over the span of five days from Jan. 1-5 in 2011. However, he was not diagnosed with a concussion until Jan. 6, after he failed an ImPACT baseline test administered by Michael Collins, director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
Crosby was treated by a stable of physicians and medical experts, but experienced the most success with Ted Carrick, a Georgia-based chiropractor who specializes in neurological symptoms.
Several other NHL players, some at the urging of Crosby, have gone to Carrick for treatment of concussions.
Malkin was previously diagnosed with a concussion in February 2004, before the Penguins selected him second overall in the NHL Entry Draft. He recovered and played for Russia at the World Championships in May of that year.
A two-time NHL scoring champion, Malkin was league MVP last season. He only has four goals this season, but his 21 points are ninth in the NHL.
Some teammates witnessed Malkin walking normally in the dressing room late Friday, but none spoke directly with him.
Penguins players took no issue with Gudbranson, who raced Malkin to the spot in the Florida zone where Malkin was upended and slid back-first into the boards. Malkin had entered the zone with great speed, darting toward the crease near the goal line.
“I just finished my check,” Gudbranson said. “You never want to see a guy go down. He's in a vulnerable position. But you can't pass up a hit.
“It's unfortunate that he got hurt on the play, but it's one I'd take every time.”
The incident occurred with 15:09 remaining in regulation.
Malkin spent more than a minute on the ice, his head buried in the blue gloves of the Penguins' alternate uniform set. He did not return and appeared slightly staggered as he left the ice.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Popularity with female fans brings test event to Consol
- Power play, penalty kill help put Penguins on another 100-point pace
- Penguins center Sutter is thriving despite unsettled 3rd line
- Penguins’ Neal apologizes, vows to be better
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights
- Penguins’ Neal suspended five games for Marchand hit
- Penguins notebook: Thousands pack Consol for practice
- Penguins notebook: Slow-starting Letang frustrated
- Baby Penguins notebook: Goaltenders find their places in system
- Penguins notebook: Injury keeps Malkin out against Sharks