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2020-21 Season In Review: Evgeni Malkin

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We continue our look at the 2020-21 Pittsburgh Penguins season by taking a closer look at the play of superstar center Evgeni Malkin.

Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Vitals

Player: Evgeni Malkin

Born: July 31, 1986

Height: 6’3

Weight: 195 pounds

Birthplace: Magnitogorsk, Russia

Shoots: Left

Draft: 2004, First Round (No. 2 overall)

2020-21 Statistics: 33 goals, 8 goals, 20 assists, 28 points

Contract Status: Malkin is entering the final year of an eight-year, $76 million contract that has a salary cap hit of $9.5 million per season.

Playoffs

It turned out that Malkin was playing the entire postseason on a significantly damaged knee and was never anything close to 100 percent. He finished with one goal and four assists (five total points) in the six games. He was not bad, he was not great, but he was also not anything close to being at full strength.

Monthly splits

Via Yahoo!

Malkin had a slow start through January and early February before really starting to hit his stride in mid-February, keeping that rolling throughout the month of March until he was injured in a game against the Boston Bruins. He still produced points after returning, but his best hockey definitely came in the month of March this season just before the injury that sidelined him for all of April.

Regular season 5v5 advanced stats

Data via Natural Stat Trick

Corsi For%: 51.8%

Goals For%: 48.7%

xGF%: 47.9%

Scoring Chance %: 48.4%

High Danger Scoring Chance%: 43.7%

5v5 on-ice shooting%: 9.39

On-ice save%: .903

Offensive highlights

All of Evgeni Malkin’s goals from the 2020-21 regular season.

Bottom line

Even though we are nearing the end of the Evgeni Malkin era within the next couple of seasons he is still capable of playing and producing at an extremely high level when he is healthy. The latter point being an important qualifier because we have not always seen that version of him over the past few years. You might hear trade speculation again, or questions about his long-term future with the Penguins, but as long as he is playing in the NHL it is almost certainly going to be in Pittsburgh. The Penguins are still better for that.

Ideal 2021-22 Season

I think it is simply that we see him at some point and that he gets a chance to make some kind of an impact. We do not know the exact timeframe of his injury, and it sounds like it might keep him out for a significant portion of the season. He is going to be 35 years old, has been limited by injuries for most of his career, and is going to be returning from a significant one this time. The hope here is that he is healthy for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The big question

What will his next contract look like? He wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh, and a lot of important people within the organization (specifically captain Sidney Crosby and owner Mario Lemieux) want him to finish his career in Pittsburgh. So unless he retires after this season you can be sure there is going to be some kind of a contract extension here. But what will it look like? Malkin can still be an elite offensive player, but he is going to be 36 years old in the first year of his next contract and coming off of a season where he had a major knee injury sideline him for a significant part of it. How much term do you give him? How much of a salary cap number? Those are big questions for Brian Burke and Ron Hextall to have to answer.

Poll

How Would You Grade Evgeni Malkin’s 2020-21 Season Performance?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (20 votes)
  • 40%
    B
    (195 votes)
  • 42%
    C
    (209 votes)
  • 12%
    D
    (60 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
487 votes total Vote Now