Right before the Olympic break, in a minor deal, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forward Spencer Machacek from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for forward Paul Thompson.
Ever since they have, Machacek, who was performing moderately before arriving, has been on a scoring binge down in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Currently rostered on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Machacek has performed in seven of the nine contests since being traded for, and is averaging a point-per-game.
Notching seven points (6G, 1A) thus far, what’s noticeable is his goal scoring.
Over the past two games for WBS, Machacek, who holds the ability to garner goals in mass quantity, has tickled the twine four times, scoring two in each tilt. Although the goaltenders he faced are not exactly the very best, Niklas Svedberg, of the Providence Bruins, who he matched-up with on Feb. 22, still owns a respectable record of 20-11-3.
Anyways, six goals for Machacek in seven games is fantastic.
The most tallies he’s ever had in a season came when he was a member of the Chicago Wolves, where he potted 23 goals during the 2008-09 campaign. Since, he’s only scored 20-plus goals in two other seasons – per hockeydb.com. So, the capabilities have been there.
Despite barely seeing NHL action, Machacek has, for the most part, been a steady contributor over the years in the AHL. Able to score 53-plus points – because he did in 2010-11 – Machacek’s potential to return back to compiling that much is high, given how much better, in my opinion, the WBS’ system is to the Springfield Falcons’ (his prior squad) blueprint.
Even though Machacek hasn’t sniffed the NHL, much less played in it, should he continue to deliver for WBS, he just might see a few games for the Pens, considering their knack for filling up the injured reserve. That, and due to the fact their secondary scoring has been nonexistent, Machacek might see this as an opportunity to remain in the pros, and motivationally be effective.
He does have experience in the NHL, however.
Although he hasn’t been in the NHL since the 2010-11 campaign, he’s performed in 25 contests at the level. In those games, Machacek’s collected nine points (2G, 7A) and skated to a plus-6 rating – which is by all accounts just okay.
Perhaps he just needs a longer stay in the NHL to gain a rhythm, given the most games he’s played in a season is 13. However, understanding the postseason will soon be upon the Pens, Machacek’s call-up very well could be limited again.
That’s depending on any future injuries, and if their current ones’ can’t regain full-health.
For now, Machacek is streaking.
Catch him and the rest of the WBS’ Pens as they take on the Syracuse Crunch, Friday, at 7 p.m.