Fora few hours Friday Canadiens fans in  Montreal were in panic mode after word leaked out that Andrei Markov had left his game in Chekhov with an injury.

The first thought was, “Oh no, not that knee again!”  In the Moscow suburb of Chekhov there were no thoughts at all which should have been the first indication that whatever happened to Markov was not real cause for concern.   There was no mention in the Russian media about the fact that Markov had left midway through the game against Yugra.  Either they didn’t take it seriously or what happens in the Moscow suburb of Chekhov, stays in Chekhov.  After all, their fan base numbers something less than 3,000.

Still the story was heating up in Montreal at time when people were snug in their beds eight time zones away in Moscow.   Lack of hard information left the field open to the speculators  and panic artists.

Finally, early Saturday Francois Gagnon of La Presse, who is in Moscow was able to talk to Markov and clear the air.

According to Markov, “I tried to check an opponent.  He saw me coming at the last second.  Instead of hitting him with my shoulder, I was hit in my ribs.  I lost my breath and went to the dressing room.  That’s all.   Really. I don’t know if I’ll play the next game and how long before the pain goes away. But it’s nothing serious. And no, the knee is not affected. “

Bruised ribs.  That’s it. That’s all.

Chekhov travels to Chelyabinsk to play Traktor Sunday.  Markov will probably be held out of the lineup.