Monday, October 16, 2006

It's official; Malkin to return Wednesday vs. Devils

Well, we've known now for about a week that it was imminent, but now that it's official, it still feels real good.

Fellow Pens fans, the day is finally here.

Evgeni Malkin will make his NHL debut on Wednesday at home vs. Marty Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

Just happens to be Sidney Crosby bobblehead night as well.

The place will be packed, and sure to be energized.

Look for that crowd energy to translate to a pumped-up Pens team, especially after that ultra-flat home performance against the Canes on Saturday.

And as I've been saying for a while now, the addition of Malkin specifically doesn't make the Pens so much better, it's the shuffling of the lines due to Malkin's addition that makes them better.

Putting Malkin at 2nd line center gets Ryan Malone the hell out of there, and over to wing where he is much more of an asset to the team.

And, at least according to Black and Gold Insider, the line shuffle will put the quickly aging John Leclair down to the 4th line. According to BGI, the lines will look like this;

1st Line: Ekman - Crosby - Armstrong
2nd Line: Recchi - Malkin - Malone
3rd Line: Ruutu - Moore - Ouellet
4th Line: Thorburn - Staal - LeClair

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