Alex Galchenyuk has not yet scored a goal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In seven games, Galchenyuk has just three assists and has been on the ice for four more goals by the opponents than by the Penguins including four straight games with a minus-one. Things aren’t going well.
The Penguins acquired Galchenyuk in late June in exchange for Phil Kessel, who also was known for being on the ice for more goals against than goals for. In fact, that was one of the reasons Kessel had to go. The Penguins replaced Kessel with Galchenyuk beside Evgeni Malkin, too.
After injuries derailed both players for October, Malkin has come back strong. Malkin’s line exploded for three third-period goals in under eight minutes Thursday night against the New York Islanders. The trio of goals erased a 3-0 New York lead and propelled the Penguins to an overtime win.
However, head coach Mike Sullivan moved Galchenyuk off the Malkin line prior to the outburst. The coaches instead put Galchenyuk with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel, hoping to spur the line and Galchenyuk.
“Obviously, he has the ability to score goals. He’s shown that year in and year out in this league,” Sullivan said in praise before subtly putting the boots to Galchenyuk. “We tried him for quite some time with Geno’s [sic] line, ummm, and we felt we’d make this change to see what happens.”