Evgeni Malkin returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins line up Jan11.2022 vs Anaheim Ducks. It was a glorious day in Penguin Land. The Band is Back Together. The Cavalry has arrived, hello Power Play. The Core 3 are back together and are ready for one last hurrah.
Malkin has been out of the lineup with an ACL / Knee Injury, since late May of 2021. A grand total of 234 days. How did he look in his first game back? All World. He proceeded to score 2 goals and added one assist, against the Ducks.
Hello NHL…#71 is Back.
You could tell Malkin was pumped to be playing in the NHL again and especially jacked, playing with his teammates. He controlled the puck at will. He skated with that smooth stride we have all come to know and love. He made pin point passes. He still has the shot and commands respect on the Power Play. And that, my friends, is why Malkin is an All-World Player.
The Penguins have 3 Wins and 1 Loss, with Malkin Back in the Line-up.
vs Ducks Malkin spent 17.21 minutes on the ice. He was 33.3% in the faceoff circle. He scored 2 goals and added one assist. He ended the night +2.
vs LA Kings Malkin spent 17.03 minutes on the ice. He was 66.7% in the faceoff circle. He did not score or assist. He ended the night -2.
vs San Jose Malkin spent 15.58 minutes on the ice. He was 14.3% in the faceoff circle. He did not score or assist. He ended the night -1
vs Vegas Malkin spent 17.41 minutes on the ice. He was 33.3% in the faceoff circle. He scored 0 goals and added 1 assist. He ended the night even.
#71 is still getting his timing back in general. l noted his turnovers were in bad spots and all over the ice. His faceoff timing is off a little, as well as, he is getting scored on, when he is on the ice. He needs to play with the same level of commitment to team D, that we have come to know, from this group of Penguins. The results to date, speak for themselves. Get on board #71.
Hey, let’s give Geno a few weeks to get his wind back as well as his playing legs. Crosby caused turnovers too, when he first returned to the lineup.
Malkin is UFA at the end of the 2022 Season. Do you Sign him to a Short Term Deal or Trade him at the deadline? Let’s keep an eye on these trends as “normal” NHL day-to-day life, takes shape.
My View from the Cheap Seats
We all knew Malkin would help the Penguins upon his return. We all knew he would be pumped in his first game back. He was and he looked great. How motivated will he be as his life moves on. How will his body react or shall I say, hold up to the rigor of the games, the travel, the constant covid protocols and the continued preaching of Team D structure over personal goals.
With Geno becoming a free agent at the End of This Season, I believe the Audition has started.
Quote of the Day:
Jack Welch – CEO General Electric