Penguins coach Mike Johnston offered his most detailed update yet on injured center Evgeni Malkin on Friday following a pair of practices at Consol Energy Center.
Still wasn’t much, but, hey, it’s an injury to a hockey player. What do you expect?
Johnston said that Malkin, who’s out with an undisclosed injury, is not skating or working out right now, but that he expects him to start doing so within the next four or five days.
Keep in mind, this is what Johnston last Thursday, the day before the Penguins began training camp practices, when it was announced that both Malkin and captain Sidney Crosby would be held out of the beginning of training camp as a precautionary measure.
Crosby skated for all but a three-on-three, between-the-blue-lines scrimmage session the next morning.
“I know I’ve said that before,” Johnston said of the four-to-five-day timeline. “It just seems to be one of those things where, if I believed it was going to be long term, I’d tell you it was long term. I believe it’s not going to be long term. But it’s still a few days away before he’s going to be able to work out and be on the ice.”
Johnston paused for a second then explained why he didn’t think the missed time — now four practice dates and three games — was going to be a big deal for Malkin, whom Johnston visited in Russia over the summer.
Much like Crosby began skating regularly earlier this week — Johnston said his captain will play Saturday at home against Columbus — Johnston expects Malkin to seamlessly work his way back into things.
“I know he had a hard summer of training because I was over there and I watched him train,” Johnston said. “I’m excited to know that his conditioning is at a high level, much like Sid. Sid was out. You guys watched him practice. He came back for practice, and it looks like he wasn’t out at all.”
Lastly, Johnston said the coaches have been going through video work with him, teaching the system and explaining what will be expected of him once he does return.
“Geno’s going to have a little more catchup, but we’ve been doing video work with him,” Johnston said. “So at least he knows how we want to play, what changes there are, what adjustments he has to make.”
Pens lineup vs. Columbus
29 Marc-Andre Fleury G
37 Jeff Zatkoff G
6 Scott Harrington D
10 Christian Ehrhoff D
13 Nick Spaling F
14 Chris Kunitz F
16 Brandon Sutter F
17 Blake Comeau F
23 Steve Downie F
32 Pierre-Luc Leblond F
34 Bobby Farnham F
38 Zach Sill F
42 Kasperi Kapanen F
44 Taylor Chorney D
47 Simon Despres D
49 Oskar Sundqvist F
55 Philip Samuelsson D
57 Marcel Goc F
58 Kris Letang D
87 Sidney Crosby F
Be GRATEFUL to each other,