Pittsburgh Penguin Evgeni Malkin suffered a concussion in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 22 after crashing into the boards. It was a nasty collision that made made viewers instantly cringe as they reached for their rosary. No, just me?
Following the win over the Lightning, Head Coach Dan Bylsma said Geno was diagnosed with a concussion, which was anticipated because he hit his head really fucking hard. But at the same time, miraculously everything was hunky dory in Pensville. The teams official Twitter account gave us some insight into the situation…
Oh. An organization that is no stranger to dealing with concussions suffered by a star player concluded that Malkin was “doing fine” despite suffering from short-term memory loss. Come again?
While each brain injury is unique and can be accompanied by various symptoms, the fact that he experienced memory loss is a huge flag and doesn’t in any way suggest that he is “fine”. Fine is when you take a puck to the wrist but end up with bruising as opposed to a fracture. Memory loss? Not fine.
The Pens obviously did what other teams and leagues (hi NFL!) do so well and ignored the most obvious sign that this could be a long road to recovery in an attempt to calm the nerves of fans. And it was pretty irresponsible of them to say it was NBD when it could be a really big deal.
But hey, if the Penguins org deem him fine then sure, why not just get him to suited up for the next game, his memory will come back eventually right?
But not so fast.
So it seems that less than 24 hours later, the Pens had a change of heart…or a wake up call.
It’s kind of exhausting when you pay attention to the way teams handle concussions. It’s 2013, son, get it together. Head trauma is a thing. And just because you can’t see it the way you see heart damage doesn’t make it less detrimental to a persons’ quality of life.
So the reigning MVPs’ strong season that includes 21 points in 18 NHL games has come to a bit of a standstill. Unlike what we’ve seen in the past, you can’t put a timeframe on the recovery of a concussion because there’s no way to determine how the brain will heal. Heal. Did you see what I just dropped? Yes, the brain needs to heal after a concussion and by not allowing it to do so, the patient then becomes more susceptible to irreparable permanent damage.
Meanwhile, the Magnitogorsk bachelor continues to remain third in points in the KHL despite not playing in months. We hope Malkin returns to form soon enough, but hey, no pressure big guy, take care, you know?