Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin stickhandling the puck passed Philadelphia Flyers Defenseman Sean Walker
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Penguins - NHL

Mike Sullivan Demotes Evgeni Malkin? Recent Report Shows He May Be Entering the Bottom Six

Published January 22, 2024 at 4:24 PM
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As the 2023-24 season started, the Penguins saw center Evgeni Malkin start off hot. According to the NHL, he was first 3 Stars of the Week scoring 8 points in 5 games. It looked like the Malkin the Penguins needed. Playing well while the team overall was not, starting October with a 3-6 record.

Now that the team has started to manufacture wins off the back of the captain Sidney Crosby and linemates, Malkin has started to cool off. In fact, get cold. He has 1 goal in his last 8 games played.

Evgeni Malkin May Benefit from Less Responsibilities on the Power Play and Moving to the Third Line



The power play for the Penguins has been in need of some work all season. We all thought that Karlsson would be the answer to those woes, but as it turns out it is a team effort after all. The way the power play is costing the Penguins games, it is a move they should reconsider doing and sticking with for the time being.


Moving a 37-year-old center to the third line is usually the normal course of action for most players. At that age, playing competitive hockey for decades, the legs start to get tired sooner.

Most recently Malkin was on the ice for 2 of the 3 goals that the Golden Knights scored to make a comeback victory against the Penguins Saturday night. Malkin has never been much a defensive player, but those goals made his play look lazy.

Here is a look at Malkin in front of the net, not working hard to clear the puck:



«We not play great third period,» Malkin said. «It's not my best game.»

Malkin shoots straight, he will tell it like it is. The Penguins do need to be better in their zone and in front of the net. He will admit that he needs to improve.

«It's up and down, you know?» Malkin said on his own game. «One game is good, like when I played in Philly, yesterday was not good. I need to play better every game."

Mike Sullivan Has Admitted That Malkin's Inconsistencies Can Be a Factor in His Decline



Mike Sullivan said their message to Evgeni Malkin has been, 'don't try to do too much.' See below for his full quote on #71:


There is one big problem with moving Malkin to the third line center position. Who will step up? Lars Eller has played well, but is he a second line center for this team? We will have to wait and see if Sullivan does decide to move Malkin and who will replace, in my opinion, a future Hall of Famer.

As Read On: The Hockey News - Penguins Need to Demote Evgeni Malkin
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January 22   |   189 answers
Mike Sullivan Demotes Evgeni Malkin? Recent Report Shows He May Be Entering the Bottom Six

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