The Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping they turned a corner via three consecutive victories that improved them to 8-6-4 overall ahead of Wednesday's home game versus the 6-11-2 Vancouver Canucks. The team has endured multiple frustrating setbacks, including a worrisome COVID-19 outbreak, over the first month-and-a-half of the season.
Some outside observers may have forgotten that Pittsburgh star goal-scorer Evgeni Malkin hasn't yet played during the 2021-22 campaign after he underwent knee surgery on June 4 to repair an issue he picked up last season. It was said in September Malkin would miss at least two months of action while recovering, and head coach Mike Sullivan offered an update on that situation when speaking with reporters Wednesday morning.
Sullivan on Malkin, continued: "We'll see how he progresses as he gets closer, but what I will tell you is that we're very encouraged with the progress that he's made."— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) November 24, 2021
The news shouldn't alarm Pittsburgh fans, as it was always believed Malkin wouldn't make his season debut before December. Per Shelly Anderson of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, Sullivan suggested last week the three-time Stanley Cup champion remained on track to return to the lineup by or around mid-December.
Pittsburgh currently sits fifth in the eight-team Metropolitan Division standings.