Alex Galchenyuk remains sidelined for the Penguins
Penguins forward Alex Galchenyuk was absent from Thursday’s practice in Cranberry because of an undisclosed injury that held him out of the lineup during a preseason game Wednesday.
Galchenyuk, 25, was sidelined for precautionary reasons during a 4-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena. Coach Mike Sullivan labeled the ailment as “nagging” and described Galchenyuk’s status as day-to-day.
He has appeared in one game this preseason and scored one goal.
Expected to line up on the left wing of a line with star center Evgeni Malkin, Galchenyuk could re-establish the goal-scoring touch that allowed him to reach the career-high of 30 goals he scored in 2015-16 with the Montreal Canadiens. Last season, Galchenyuk, the third overall selection in the 2012 draft, had 19 goals with the Arizona Coyotes.
“It’s my job to try to do my best to put (players) in positions where they can be successful,” Sullivan said. “We’ve had that discussion as a coaching staff internally, with Alex in particular. That is one of my main responsibilities is to do my best to help him and put him in positions where he can play to his strengths.
“When you look at Alex’s body of work in the NHL, he’s shown an ability to score goals. He’s been a 30-goal scorer in the league. Some would consider his season last year maybe not his best. For a guy that didn’t have what a lot of people deem a great year, he scores 19 goals. So if he has a good year, what is he capable with this group? We’re excited about this opportunity to work with Alex.”
The primary return in an offseason trade that sent forward Phil Kessel to the Coyotes, Galchenyuk is not being compared to Kessel in the eyes of Sullivan and his staff.
“We’re not asking him to be any player or replace any player,” Sullivan said. “We’re asking him to bring his strengths to the table. We want him to be the best Alex Galchenyuk that he can be for the Penguins. That’s all we’re asking, just like we’re asking of any player. We think he can do that. What I’ve really liked about Alex to this point is his enthusiasm to be a Pittsburgh Penguins has been palpable. For a coach and a coaching staff, that’s exciting because we want guys that want to be here.”
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .