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Malkin skates with Pens: ‘I feel good’

Mar 19, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT

Evgeni Malkin AP

Evgeni Malkin joined his teammates for a skate this morning, a development that suggests the Penguins’ star forward is getting closer to returning from an upper-body injury.

“I feel good,” he said, per NHL.com. “Practice with team first time, feel very good. Just the next step to my recovery.”

But Malkin, who last played March 9, will not be in the lineup tonight against Washington when Pittsburgh attempts to win its 10th straight game.

Nor will defenseman Kris Letang, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury that he sustained Sunday.

“We’re going to have to keep it pretty simple,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “I don’t think you want to change too much, but obviously missing those two guys we want to simplify things, not force anything and play to the strengths of all the guys who are out there.”

The Penguins have been markedly better defensively the past five games without Malkin, surrendering just five combined goals.

Related: Laich back for Caps

  1. mordock57 - Mar 19, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Can’t wait to see the Pens back at full power with Geno and Letang. Should be a hell of a thing to watch.

  2. nunan - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Don’t see a need to put him in there. He’s a great player but prone to injury. With that team on such a run right now, they have the luxury of being patient with him. I would sit him until he is, w/o a doubt, 100% healthy. They need a healthy Malkin in the playoffs, not during the regular season where they’re on a winning streak w/o him.

    • pfailp8 - Mar 19, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      “they have the luxury of being patient with him. I would sit him until he is, w/o a doubt, 100% healthy. ”

      Said nobody’s fantasy team ever.

  3. theageofquarrel - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Just like the Godfather Of Soul.

  4. modellforprez - Mar 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Just a wild guess but im thinking ray shero is not gonna be able to retain both letang and malkin. so the ? becomes who should he keep my vote goes for Geno because even though tanger the banger is special players like Geno dont grow on trees and if the devolop Simon Despres the right way he can be just like Tangs or even better so theyre both up after next season and let the mind games begin.

    • bmscalise - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      They will keep both Letang and Geno because you simply don’t give up players like them. BUT Letang is actually more important to the offense than Geno is – crazy as that sounds. They score 4-5 goals with everyone in; they score 3-4 with Geno out; they’ll struggle a bit to score 3 without Letang, even when Geno comes back. He’s the motor that makes that offense go, and it’ll be noticeable tonight. People don’t put together enough how much harder it is for them to get the puck up the ice without Letang in the line-up, and all the offense in the world from Geno can’t help that.

      They’ll need to continue to play very sound defensive hockey and get good tending to keep the streak going. And hopefully Tanger’s back by next week.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      I think we keep them both – Shero has been told to do everything to keep both players so there’s that.

      Also Malkin’s cap hit may go up, but probably not significantly on a new deal. Letang is likely to see a decent jump but the Pens have space (even below a cap that will be reduced), so they won’t be pressed that much. To prepare you can also expect them to get cheaper buy replacing guys like Orpik, Kennedy, and Cooke in favor of cheaper and younger in those areas.

      • holeecowman - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        he wont resign lol he wants to get away from cindy just like staal, talbot and others the reason jagr didnt sign with them lol your precious lil ice chickens will fall apart soon

      • steelpenbucs87 - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        I know that you’re just trying to troll, but rather than engage I’ll just point out where you’re wrong.

        Staal, Talbot, and Sid remain friends to this day – in fact all three were together at Staal’s wedding over the summer. Staal wanted to play with his brother (understandable), and Talbot wanted to get paid (seeing as how he had a cup already that’s not surprising either).

        As for Jagr… who knows. I am actually of the minority of Pens fans who still love Double J. Such a huge part of our history and one of the best players to don the black and gold. He’ll always have a place in my heart.

        As far as the team falling apart… I just don’t see it. They’ve got their top player locked up until 2021, they will resign Malkin as well for an 8 year term. Letang is next and as I said I believe they resign him too. Flower and Neal are both signed for the foreseeable future. The team has cap space (unlike your team – assuming your a Philly fan) even below a reduced cap, and has a wealth of defensive prospects to fill out the D. Sign a couple of grinder, and skilled forwards to fill out the top line and you’ve got a strong team for the future.

  5. holeecowman - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    alright cant wait to see first his cheapshot lol

  6. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Letang is the Pens best puck mover on D. His ability to transition from D to O is the best on the squad, if not the league. No one can eat up as much ice time as he does on the blue line which makes it impossible to replace him. Pens offensive depth is so strong that others can help pick up the loss of productivity caused by Malkin’s absence. Which one to keep if one had to go? Letang!

  7. billsboy88 - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    “he wont resign lol he wants to get away from cindy just like staal, talbot and others the reason jagr didnt sign with them lol your precious lil ice chickens will fall apart soon”

    Except Stall got traded and Talbot loved Pittsburgh. Don’t be surprised if Talbot ends up back on the pens one day before it’s all done. And where do you get the idea that either Letang or Geno want to get away from Sid?? Couldn’t be more wrong

  8. Stiller43 - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Steelpenbucs,

    Agreed. I believe sid and geno both had cap hits of 8.7 last time they signed, and theyve since resigned sid to another 8.7 per year deal…can they lock up geno for less or equal like they did last time? They certainly cant justify paying geno more than sid. I know geno loves it in pittsburgh, and the burgh has been great to him and his family, but he might want to be the number 1 guy and get paid 10 mil or more.

    I think theyll have the space to resign him if he’ll accept 8.7 per, but i worry he’ll try to break the bank.

  9. csilojohnson - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Shero will sign both. But to humor the question. Tanger gets signed first. Geno is great. Though the Pens have proven they can win without him. Tanger is another story. The Pens are 15-16-8 without him. Not worried though. A few posts before mine have sufficiently described what will happen in reality.

  10. ironman721 - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    🚨⚠Warning we have yet another troll advisory! Holecowoman has been spotted trolling on a Pens article. This cowoman is considered extremely stupid. Do not engage this loser in direct conversation. Doing so can significantly lower your IQ. You have been warned!🚫🚓🚔

  11. ironman721 - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Glad Malkin is on the mend! Let’s go Pens🐧❗

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