Ramblings: Malkin, Kane, Eichel & Rask Returning; Low Shooting Percentages (Jan 12)

Alexander MacLean

2022-01-12

We saw Evgeni Malkin make his return to the Penguins' lineup last night, Elias Pettersson played his second game post-concussion, and there was a Fantrax update that said Jack Eichel should be playing his first game this week – that might be a bit early, but sometime in the next two weeks sounds right. It's great to see the stars back on the ice, and especially nice to see them back for your fantasy teams. Touch wood, but it seems like the injury bug has dissipated a little, and most fantasy IRs are littered with mostly Covid cases. What this means is that with the reduced protocols, you shouldn't have to deal with the kind of situations we saw earlier in the year where nearly half of your roster was day-to-day at certain points.

Malkin started out on the second line between Jeff Carter and Kasperi Kapanen, while also lining up on the top power play. There's no easing him into the lineup as he put up two goals and an assist. Only injuries can slow him down it seems.

I'm still curious how Eichel ends up getting deployed initially, especially with having been off for so long. With the Vegas lineup not at 100%, it might just make the most sense to move Stephenson over to the top line LW slot, keeping Max Pacioretty's spot warm for the time being. The incumbent centres in Vegas have a lot to gain or lose depending on how the lineup shakes out once Eichel returns.

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Speaking of "returns", Evander Kane is apparently going to be receiving an NHL contract by the weekend, meaning he could be in a lineup by early next week if everything falls into place. On the human side, he has had a dozen more chances than he deserves, and I'm surprised he's getting the attention he is. No one in San Jose wanted to play with him anymore, so it's a bit strange that NHL GMs are overlooking that in order to add him.

For fantasy managers, you don't have to worry about the dynamic in your team dressing room, and you can choose to ignore the legal issues if you so choose, so it follows that he's one of the