The All-Star Game will be short at least more three key players when it gets underway this weekend. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will all miss the event. Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne and Los Angeles Kings forward Tanner Pearson will also miss the All-Star festivities.
First, Bobrovsky will sit the All-Star Game with a groin injury. The Columbus Blue Jackets netminder suffered his injury on Wednesday night when his team lost to the Winnipeg Jets. St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliot will play in his stead at the event.
In Columbus, Bobrovsky is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Friday and could miss a fair chunk of time. In 33 games played this season, he’s 16-15-2 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.85 goals against average. His Blue Jackets haven’t been able to catch a break this season and it’s not likely they’ll be rushing him back to the ice given that they’re well out of a wild card spot.
Pittsburgh’s Malkin and Crosby are also contending with injuries and will miss the event.
Malkin was ruled out of All-Star possibility early Thursday. He re-aggravated a lingering lower body injury and sat out Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. General manager Jim Rutherford confirmed that Malkin wouldn’t be returning immediately after the break, either, which suggests that something significant could be underway.
“I really won’t know until we come back out of the break,” Rutherford said. “He’s going to be in town here during the break rehabbing. We’ll have a better idea once we regroup on Monday.”
Nashville Predators forward Flip Forsberg will replace Malkin at the event.
As far as Crosby, he apparently has been playing with one of those “unspecified lower body injuries” and will need about a week off. Sid did play on Wednesday against the Blackhawks and logged about 23 minutes of ice time before making the call to not show up at the All-Star event.
Because Crosby will be missing the All-Star Game, which makes him ineligible to return to the ice when the Penguins play the Jets on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. He actually hasn’t played in an All-Star Game since 2007, despite being a first team selection numerous times and despite being, you know, Sidney Crosby.
So there you have it. The All-Star Game will be short some pretty considerable talent and the Blue Jackets continue to have terrible luck. The Penguins, meanwhile, will do some recalling from the AHL to fill the gaps (add Kris Letang to that list) but they should come out okay in the long run.