Evgeni Malkin was lost last year in 2018-19. It was easy and obvious to see, at one point he was even wearing two different sized gloves by two different manufactures. A 15 inch Bauer and a 14 inch CCM.
(If you notice, both right hand gloves are CCM, each of the left hand gloves are Bauer).
That’s like having two drinks on the table, a Diet Pepsi and a regular Coca Cola Classic and alternating sips. Just weird.
“I never ask him why,” Pens equipment manager Dana Heinze wrote in a since deleted tweet. “He can use whatever he wants.”
This season, Geno settled in this year, to the point where he didn’t even switch his stick. That might not seem like a big deal, but for a player who cycles through as much equipment as Malkin, it’s telling. Here’s a really cool graphic demonstrating all the changes he makes. (Even in the title picture above, Malkin shows no brand loyalty whatsoever with Warrior gloves [matching now, thank goodness] to go along with a Bauer helmet and the CCM stick),
When it comes to his sticks, Evgeni Malkin has ZERO loyalty. He’s swapped between different stick models 102(!) times and has used 4 different brands throughout his 14 NHL seasons! pic.twitter.com/YEjyRbWlbg— GearGeek.com (@geargeekhockey) June 12, 2020
It’s probably no coincidence he hasn’t changed sticks in 2017-18 (where he scored 42 goals and 98 points) and then this year (where he had a league-high 3.43 5v5 P/60 and 74 points in 55 games).
When it’s going good, it’s going good. No need to change when it is working well.
Funny enough, the origin of the CCM stick Malkin has used this year was born from borrowing a model from Alex Galchenyuk in an early practice back in September. Ironically, and sadly, it’s probably the biggest impact Galchenyuk had with a stick in his short stint with the Penguins.
Newcomer Alex Galchenyuk came to Pittsburgh with two sticks. Evgeni Malkin tried one. He liked it. Galchenyuk now has one stick. Welcome to the team #Pens -SK— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) September 10, 2019
Everyone likes different things, and there’s certainly no problem with changing up when things aren’t going good.
For Malkin, that’s meant finding himself through CCM sticks and it has paid off for him this season. Hopefully he won’t be driven to the compulsive need to have to search to find new answers.