Evgeni Malkin is supposed to be the guy to carry the Penguins’ offense, but he can’t do it when he’s out of the lineup. Malkin was a late scratch for the Pens’ game against the Oilers in Edmonton tonight. Malkin was apparently injured in last night’s game against Calgary and he hardly saw any ice time in the third period.
Coach Dan Bylsma says there’s nothing seriously wrong and that it’s just a lower body issue. Malkin missed the second half of last season with a knee injury so if it’s just maintenance and making sure he doesn’t push himself too much, it’s a good move against what should be a poor Edmonton team.
After two games, Malkin has been more of an enforcer than a scorer for Pittsburgh leading the Pens in penalty minutes to start the season while Kris Letang, Jordan Staal, and Matt Cooke have done the point scoring. That’s a trend that won’t continue (we think, anyhow) and getting Malkin back into game form is needed for the Pens to get it done.