Dominik Kahun is something of a rarity among the Penguins forwards.
First, he’s healthy. Unlike so many of his teammates, Kahun has nary a scratch on his body.
But most importantly, he’s the only able-bodied forward on the roster who has yet to score a goal through seven games.
“It’s been a long time now,” said Kahun, who has been limited to a single assist. “I get good chances there. Unfortunately, it didn’t (go) in. But I just keep working. I think soon it will happen.”
His futility in scoring hasn’t been for a lack of opportunity. He has six shots on net this season, including two during Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win at home against the Colorado Avalanche.
“If you’re playing and there’s no chances, then something is wrong,” said Kahun, who the Penguins acquired in an offseason deal which sent defenseman Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks. “That’s not always good. When you get those chances, it’s good for you. You know you’re doing things right. They just have to go in some time.”
His best chance putting one in came during a 2-1 home win against the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 10
Creating his own breakaway with a blocked shot, he bore down on all-star goaltender John Gibson and beat him over the right shoulder … only to have the puck clank off the cross bar.
Despite his struggles with scoring with an elevated role on the second line because of injuries up front, coach Mike Sullivan gave Kahun’s play an endorsement.
“We think he’s gaining some traction,” Sullivan said. “It’s always an adjustment process when he goes to a new team. Dominik, he’s trying to understand how we’re trying to play. He’s trying to understand what his role is amongst the group with this identity that we’re trying to build here. It’s just an adjustment process, but we like how he’s trending. We think he’s getting more comfortable with every day that he’s here, with every practice that he gets under his belt, with every game that he gets an opportunity to play in.
“You can see his offensive instincts are evident. He’s a good playmaker, he’s pretty good at tight space. He’s almost scored a handful of times. We’re just trying to encourage him to stay with it.”
“Obviously, when you get those chances, it helps you,” Kahun said. “You feel more comfortable, more confident. It’s always the waiting for a goal, that’s the worse in hockey. You just want to get it over. I just hope it happens soon so I can feel better.”