Number Four: Forward Evgeni Malkin
Although October wasn’t necessarily a eye-popping display by forward Evgeni Malkin, he still earned the title of Pittsburgh’s number-four best player for the month.
Registering ten points (3G, 7A) through 13 October contests, Malkin had a six-game point streak from Oct. 8 to Oct. 21, in which he potted three goals and five assists during the stretch.
He also helped finish off the win against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 19, when he beat goaltender Roberto Luongo on a razzle-dazzle backhand shot during a shootout.
However, Malkin has had problems with puck management.
Owning an unimpressive minus-1 rating, the 27-year-old has been the victim of committing one too many turnovers, resulting in a number of odd-man rushes for opposing offenses.
Malkin is a big-time playmaker there’s not questioning that, but sometimes his style can be a little too reckless, causing the defense to be left out to dry when he loses possession. If the former MVP can improve on his puck distribution, he’ll help prevent those scoring chances for opponents.
Despite not putting up as many points as he probably normally would, Malkin is still giving the team plenty of opportunites to put the puck in the net. In his defense, he’s seen multiple linemates due to the injuries to James Neal and Beau Bennett, so we can assume he’ll start piling on the statistics once they return.
Malkin remains a top option for Pittsburgh — obviously.