Ramblings: Malkin’s Points Per Game, Perreault on Top Line (Mar 4)

Ian Gooding

2017-03-04

Malkin’s points per game, Perreault on top line, plus more…

Some fantasy owners refuse to own Evgeni Malkin because of his recent injury history. But when Malkin is healthy, boy are they missing out. Malkin scored two goals and added an assist on Friday, which puts him at 65 points in 56 games. That’s 1.16 points per game, which is only surpassed by Sidney Crosby (1.21 P/GP) and Steven Stamkos (1.18 P/GP over 17 games). If Malkin can stay healthy the rest of the way, he’s a threat to win the Art Ross Trophy. But that’s always a big if, and a big gamble for those fantasy owners who acquire his services.

In his Penguins’ debut, Mark Streit scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in 19:31 of icetime. Here are the Pens’ defensive pairings with countless regulars out of the lineup:

24.72%  EV           HAINSEY,RON – STREIT,MARK

24.72%  EV           DUMOULIN,BRIAN – SCHULTZ,JUSTIN

22.14%  EV           COLE,IAN – RUHWEDEL,CHAD

Fun fact: Only one Penguins’ defenseman was on the ice for more than 20 minutes in this game. That was Ron Hainsey, who received 25 minutes in this game. Expect Hainsey and Streit, who have both celebrated their 35th birthday, to play a ton while the Pens’ defense is still undermanned.

But when it comes to power-play time on the blueline, right now it’s Justin Schultz and no one else. Both of Schultz’s points (goal and assist) were on the power play. Streit was the only other defenseman to receive any power-play time, but that was less than a minute compared to Schultz’s three minutes. But it’s not as if Penguins’ second-unit options get much power-play time to begin with. Once Kris Letang returns, that power-play number might drop to zero for Streit.

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Nikita Kucherov’s four-game pointless drought in mid-February now seems like a distant memory. The Bolts’ sniper scored again on Friday, giving him goals in five consecutive games and seven goals and 13 points over that stretch. With the Steven Stamkos injury and the other various injuries, this season just shaped up to be one massive missed opportunity for the Bolts. I’m calling it early: The Lightning are back above the playoff bar next season.

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After missing nearly two months, Travis Hamonic returned to the Islanders’ lineup on