In this week’s Pucking the Trends, I look at shootout goalies, the return of Malkin, the suprise team of the East (against the spread), power-play splits, and games on the schedule between tired and well-rested teams.
Malkin the Magnificent
Evgeni Malkin returned on Saturday after missing seven games with a shoulder injury. In those seven games, the Penguins managed just 11 goals and posted a 2-5-0 record.
Pittsburgh has scored 11 goals and won both its games since Malkin’s return.
Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette observes that Malkin will be relied on to cure Pittsburgh’s recent power-play woes (1 for its last 36).
“He’s a great player and gives us extra punch, extra force,” said Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko. “He makes the players around him better and creates more opportunities offensively.”