There’s a lot to get to so let’s just get into it.
Some very good news coming out of Calgary yesterday was the fact Evgeni Malkin returned to practice with the team. Still no-contact, but I think we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Penguins power play which hasn’t been great for most of the year will greatly benefit from his return. His ability to create time and space at 5v5 should allow for his linemates for some more high-danger chances and thus more finishing. We are in year 16 of Malkin, we all know how good he is.
The sale of the Penguins to Fenway Sports Group cleared some more hurdles
At least in the short term nothing is really changing other than an influx of cash into the organization from a conglomerate organization. It’s a smart strategy to start with. Fans would have revolted if Mario was kicked to the curb for faceless corporation. Even Ron Burkle is sticking around which I don’t think was expected. How much were the Penguins worth? Not quite a billion, but close.
Other good news is Tristan Jarry. Yes, the team lost last night to Calgary 2-1. Yes, Jarry lost another shootout. He also stopped 31 out of 32 shots. The team in front of him was not good. He stole a point for the team. He has stopped 172 out of the 175 shots he has faced the last six games. A .983 save percentage seems… great.
Jake Guentzel did score again in the losing cause. He now has points in ten straight games. He has six goals during this stretch. He is now on pace for 35 goals and 70 points in an 82 game season. He continues to be one of the better scoring wingers in the sport.
As for the bad, the Penguins were out attempted 62-30 at 5v5 last night including 11-4 in high-danger chances. The Penguins had an xGF% of 24.71 as well. Just brutal. We’ve seen Tristan Jarry get overworked from a games played standpoint this year, but getting overworked from a shot volume standpoint is only going to make that issue worse in my opinion. Despite it all he continues to play at a Vezina level.
Up next for the Penguins are Connor Mcdavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
Thanks for reading!