Slimmed-down Evgeni Malkin: ‘I want to show to everyone I’m not done’
Evgeni Malkin limped through a 2018-19 campaign that saw injuries limit him to 68 games and 72 points. His 12 goals at even strength were the lowest total of his career, aside from the five he scored during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
As a result, he retooled his offseason workout regimen in hopes of rebounding to the lofty levels which made him a Hart Trophy memorial winner in 2011-12.
“I worked with (power skating coach Besa Tsintsadze),” Malkin said. “(Penguins assistant strength and conditioning coach) Alex Trinca, he came to Moscow. I worked with him. I skated with a couple of NHL players in Russia, in Moscow. I came (back) a little early to Pittsburgh this summer and for two weeks, I skated here with the team. Just had fun, exciting. I feel great. I (lost) a little bit of weight and I feel great. I hope (to be) in great shape.”
Malkin wants to boost his total game, not just his offensive totals.
“Always, when you have a bad year you want (to improve),” he said. “My points last year, not a great year. Last year, I (wasn’t) happy for sure. Now, it’s a new challenge for me. I want back to my highest level. I know I can still play at my top level and I want to show to everyone I’m not done. I’m excited to show everything — power skating, stick handling, scoring, play (in the defensive) zone, faceoffs. I just want back at my top level for sure.”
“He worked extremely hard over the course of the summer to prepare himself for this training camp,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “I know how important it is for him. It’s important for him to be a leader. It starts with his example. I thought he worked extremely hard today in practice and in the intrasquad (scrimmage). So, that’s encouraging from our standpoint. Certainly (Malkin) is a guy that can lead in a number of different ways. We really like where his mindset is right now. He’s excited to play.”
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .